Proven Health Benefits of Animal Interactions

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    By John Kelly

    1

    The inclusion of animals for health promotion and medical treatment is becoming more common. Why?

    Because more and more healthcare providers are embracing the proven facts about the benefits of the human and animal connection for all ages of people.

    For example:

    Children with an autism spectrum disorder often respond well to pet therapy. Studies have shown an increase in their socialization and communication skills, a decrease in awakening cortisol levels, and a decrease in severity on the autism index scale. Also, pet therapy can provide an overall increase in life enjoyment for the entire family of an autism spectrum child and has been shown to decrease emotional stress, change vital signs, and decrease  pain.

    For adolescent and young adults, animal interactions have been shown tokimba2 positively affect patients with a variety of mental and behavioral disorders, such as schizophrenia, depression, and substance abuse.

    Adults and seniors? For starters they can experience lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, lesser risk of stroke, stronger immune system, lower heart rate. How about this? Decreases in systolic pulmonary artery pressure and pulmonary capillary wedge pressure, as well as decreases in epinephrine and norepinephrine levels in patients hospitalized with heart failure.

    It seems like a lot of perks for just being kind to an animal.

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