Research shows that human physiology is positively altered in the presence of animals. Many therapists, medical professionals, hospice workers, hospitals and veteran recovery programs have introduced pets to provide comfort and healing to those living with grief and trauma. Interaction with animals helps to:
- increase levels of oxytocin (happy hormone)
- decrease levels of cortisol (stress hormone)
- raise levels of immunoglobulin A (antibody that strengthens the immune system)
- reduce blood pressure, heart rate and anxiety
- decrease feelings of loneliness and isolation
- “Easing the Way in Therapy With the Aid of an Animal” by Jane Brody (The New York Times)
- "What Is Equine Therapy?" by CRC Health
- "Stress Reduction, Tropical Fish and Aquariums" by MentalHelp.net
- Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor, Hansen, Marty Becker, and Carol Kline
- The Healing Power of Pets: Harnessing the Amazing Ability of Pets to Make and Keep People Happy and Healthy by Marty Becker
- National Service Animal Registry - Facts related to owning Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals (ESAs)
- Emotional Support Animal Center services a population of individuals who suffer from emotional and psychological distress in various aspects of their lives. The Center strives to provide sufficient information on its website to enable these individuals to determine whether they may qualify to have their pets classified as Emotional Support Animals.
- Pets Healing Vets' goal is to improve the emotional well-being of Hoosier veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) by pairing them with carefully selected shelter dogs or cats in need of homes.
How can you integrate ANIMALS into your healing journey?