Animal Healing

Topics: Dog, Guide dog, Dogs Pages: 5 (1967 words) Published: December 8, 2012
I. The Healing Power of Animals
Animals has been known to help individuals cope with mental and physical ailments. II. How animals Help us Heal
a. Emotionally
i. Depression
ii. Grief
iii. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
b. Physically
i. Veterans
ii. Autistic
iii. Blind
I. Positive effects
II. Why I chose the healing power of animals

It has been shown that animals are able to heal patients that suffer mentally and physically. Pet therapy, known as animal assisted therapy, is recognized as helping with treating depression and mood disorders. Being a round a pet promotes a connection and overall sense of contentment. Peter Ashenden owns a Shih Tzu, named Bella. Bella goes everywhere with hi m even board meetings and important gatherings. Peter suffers from a bipolar disorder; he accredits Bella for keeping his moods balanced and stable. She forces him to stay active when he gets depressed and keeps from coming withdrawn from society. She provides constant companionship so he never feels alone. Researchers have found that even if you interact with an animal that does not belong o you it can ease feelings of depression. One example showed that when elderly men that was in the veterans hospital visited an aviary filled with birds their moods improved drastically. Professionals have recognized that animals provide comfort during the grieving process. People have said that having a pet that belonged to a loved one that passed away provides an on going connection. One patient stated that her and her husband had a cat; since her husband died the cat has been very attentive to her. When she is feeling down the cat will come and sits on her lap as if the cat knows she needs consoling. At Krause Funeral home you can grab some tissues for your tears or have Oliver the therapy dog sit at your feet. Oliver is able to sense when people are upset and he will go to them and lean against or lay at there feet to offer comfort. Mourners automatically start petting the dog and talking to him. Many times he has helped children open up and talk about their grief and licked away their tears. Over 300,000 veterans have been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder. They suffer from symptoms, such as, fear, anxiety, depression and substance abuse. They often feel isolated and withdrawn. They turn away from the friends and family and turn to substance abuse to cope. Organizations like, Paws for Purple Hearts, have been created to help veterans who are afflicted by PTSD. Researchers are finding that bonding with animals creates biological effects such as elevated levels of the hormone oxytocin. This hormone improves the ability trust, recognize facial expressions and overcome paranoia. It has been found that distress from PTSD has been reduced when a patient has an animal by 82%. Programs that assist vets with finding the perfect companion are free of charge. Many of the animals provided are from rescue facilities. For nearly 40 years U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. E5 Harold Fake has lived with the constant reminder of war in his mind. He has tried pills, alcohol and even trying to take his own life but nothing had worked. He struggles with leaving his home and dealing with crowds. Even midday grocery shopping can be excruciating. Fake received a service dog to help him cope with his emotional struggles. Fake credits his dog, Lakota, in helping cope with the stresses of daily life. The relationship between Fake and Lakota is part of Fakes treatment. Treatments dogs for soldiers have been trained to wake them from nightmares, switch on lights and remind the patient to take their medication. Dogs seem to know their owners feelings and are in tune with them. Many veterans tend to relive their missions over and over in their minds and can cause harm to themselves or others. Veterans who have acted our have found themselves committed to psychiatric...
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