Some medical conditions are managed by involving animals or pets in different stages to possibly help with the total treatment or health plan. This type of health management system is commonly referred to as pet therapy or animal-assisted therapy. In simple terms, simply having a pet around to interact with is said to provide various health benefits to a particular person depending on his condition. People who undergo a lot of stress or those who are diagnosed with depression are said to respond well to pet therapy. Patients with chronic illnesses and those undergoing long-term treatment may also respond well by simply having pets around. Cancer patients, war veterans and the elderly are also great candidates for pet therapy. The following are some benefits of this kind of therapy:
In the field of medicine, mood elevation plays a significant role in terms of boosting health or aiding people from recovering from an existing illness. Having pets around literally helps the body produce endorphins or hormones that provide a calming effect. These endorphins also make patients feel better regardless of their condition and therefore have better moods and ultimate a better perspective in life. For some people, playing with their pet dogs or cats will help them become happier and this feeling will eventually be beneficial to overall health.
Improved social situation
Pet therapy is also beneficial for people who have social and interaction problems. Having pets to play with makes some people become more open and sociable which ultimately helps them get better with their medical condition. People with speech problems will also get easier interactions with other people when there are pets around that help them build their confidence in different social situations.
Lower anxiety levels
People who undergo therapy have also reported to have lower anxiety levels. People who undergo depression and those in long-term treatment plans often are very anxious about various things in life. Some worry so much about their condition that they do not get to improve in terms of health despite various management strategies and plans. With pet therapy, many of these patients will become calmer and worry less about their conditions. More of them will also become better at following their treatment plans which will be benificial for their overall health.
People who have problems with movements and their joints will also benefit from pet therapy because of increased chances of physical activity. The pets in this case will serve as playmates or motivators for doing certain physical activities. With more motivation, patients with physical problems will tend to strive for more flexibility and strength in various exercises. Pet therapy in these cases will become a type of physical therapy for many patients affected with some body or joint disorders.
Some people may dismiss that having pets simply provides companionship but experts in medical field can attest to the various health benefits it provides. People may only notice that their moods and sense of self are the only things that can improve with pet therapy but in reality, their overall health and recovery have also been optimized.