banner - 2021-06-02T141716.812.jpg

Benefits of Animal Assisted Therapy

Animals are amazing creatures and we, as humans, are lucky to have them. Not only do many of them serve as pets, they also offer a type of companionship like no other. But did you know that spending time with animals offers plenty of health benefits as well? In fact, the benefits that come from being around animals are so amazing that we use Animal Assisted Therapy here at Thrive . Read this week’s blog post to learn more about Animal Assisted Therapy and reach out to us in Southern Illinois today to schedule an appointment!

Thrive specializes in a range of premier counseling, alternative health, and medical services in Southern Illinois. Our experienced team offers primary care services, mental health services, behavioral therapy, personal training and fitness, and anything in between. We strive to provide the very best care to each of our patients to help them achieve their health goals and successfully lead the healthiest, happiest life possible. In this post, we will discuss Animal Assisted Therapy and what it has to offer. Read this week’s blog post to learn more or to schedule an appointment with our team in Southern Illinois today!

Increased Heart Health

Believe it or not, the American Heart Association says that spending time around animals, such as dogs or cats, is associated with a decreased risk of heart disease. Additionally, animals can help lower unhealthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Animals can even alert you of a heart attack, should you ever experience one!

Reduced Anxiety and Depression

Petting, hugging, or touching an animal can rapidly calm and soothe humans when they are stressed. Doing so releases oxytocin, which is the “love hormone” and can help us feel happy and can promote attachment, serving as the foundational element in any relationship. Animals are also known to help reduce cortisol levels, which are present when you’re stressed.

Helps Teach Empathy and Nurturing

Animal Assisted Therapy is especially helpful for teaching children about empathy and nurturing. The stronger the bond a child has with their therapy animal, the greater their empathy and social intelligence. As children develop relationships with animals, they learn to respect animals the way they should humans and can become more in tune with other people’s feelings.

Increased Self-Esteem

Caring for and spending time with animals can help children develop their sense of self-esteem. When they feel loved and wanted by an animal and are able to provide the animal with the things they need, it increases their confidence in themselves, which is then carried over into other aspects of their lives.

Other Benefits

Animal assisted therapy offers a range of other benefits including:

  • Relief from the negative effects of chemotherapy

  • Support for veterans

  • Support for people in long-term care facilities

  • Help with mental health disorders

Schedule Animal Assisted Therapy at Thrive

If you or a loved one is in need of relief from certain conditions and you believe Animal Assisted Therapy could be right for you, reach out to our team at Thrive in Southern Illinois today to schedule an appointment! We look forward to helping you find relief.