Assisted Animal Therapy: A new and loveful way towards healing

Whenever one is ill, we often treat them with medicines. But there may be something that can speed up the process of treatment.

Animals play an essential role in our lives. Most of us have pets are emotionally attached to them. The relation between man and animal dates back to the times of the agricultural revolution.
In the year 1930, French psychologist, Sigmund Freud, introduced his own dog therapy sessions, which today is used as an especially prominent method of healing various emotional, mental and physical illnesses.
Assisted Animal therapy ( commonly known as Animal Therapy) means therapy that involves the presence of animals. In the recent past, the use of dogs ( or dog therapy ) has been widely accepted by all. AAT is both intentional and therapeutic. Here, the animal's role is integral in assisting people with mental health, speech issues, cognitive disorders, and physical, social and emotional well-being.
As per experts, being in the companionship of animals help to reduce blood pressure and uplift mood. It also helps in the release of oxytocin and enhances empathy and compassion.
As per the study conducted on dog therapy, the companionship of dogs decreases the levels of stress-causing hormones like cortisol, norepinephrine and epinephrine in patients.
A study regarding dog therapy shows that the companionship of dogs decreases the levels of stress-causing hormones like cortisol, norepinephrine and epinephrine in patients.
The secret of animal therapy is all about the bonding between the human and the animal.
a therapy dog
Image: a therapy dog
Assisted animal therapy has been widely practised in Western countries for the last ten years.
The good news is that it is gaining good acceptance and popularity in India too.
Sonali Gupta, who is a Bombay based clinical psychologist, firmly believes that animals can be of great help to heal people faster.
Radhika Nair, who owns an organization called ANIMAL ANGEL FOUNDATION, has 40 therapy dogs. These dogs are trained after they pass a temperament test. Radhika, in this context, had to say that in the process of animal-assisted therapy, the animal is used as a motivation or re-enforcement in the therapy that boosts faster healing. A therapy dog generally assists a psychologist in the treatment. For this purpose, the dog should have a notably friendly and pleasing personality. Dog therapy is especially helpful in treating children with behavioural issues and adults with learning issues.
These therapy animals are taken to various organizations like schools and hospitals to provide relief to the patient. The Mumbai Airport also has three therapy dogs, namely, Goldie, Sunshine and Pepe, for entertaining the people at the airport. The people at the airport pass their times by playing with them, and they take away their travel blues.



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