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Pet therapy. Part 1

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Back in the days of Hippocrates, it was known that pets favorably affect human health. However, the term "pet therapy" appeared relatively recently - in the middle of the twentieth century. It was then that the children's psychiatrist from the USA, Boris Levinson, drew attention to the fact that his small patients reacted positively to the dog, which very often was in the waiting room during the treatment session.
True, at that time there were no scientifically substantiated confirmations of the therapeutic effect that pets have on humans.

The word "pet" in English means the generalized name of domestic animals and is literally translated into Russian as "minion", "favorite animal", "manual".

Only at the end of the 20th century did scientific works on pet therapy appear, proving that communication with pets brings great benefits to a person. Since then, this method has been widely used in the West.
Currently, hundreds of scientists are studying this issue. True, in Russia there are very few specialists in pet therapy. For some reason, in our country, this treatment method is not taken seriously. But abroad, in particular in the USA and some European countries, the method of therapy with the help of pets has already moved from the category of alternative medicine to the permanent practice of doctors. In some countries, there are even courses for the training of specialists in pet therapy, after which doctors receive the right to engage in private practice.

For the first time in medical institutions, animals appeared in 1792 in England, in the city of York, in an institution for the mentally ill. Even then, doctors drew attention to the positive impact that cats and dogs have on mentally unhealthy people.

How do pets help people cope with their ailments?
Firstly, being close to a person, animals create a good mood in the latter and serve as a kind of incentive to life, especially among single people. Animals become not only objects of their care and attention, but also best friends. A four-legged friend loves his master as he is, regardless of his age, appearance or mental state.
Secondly, pets can save a person from many serious diseases. At the same time, animals exert a therapeutic effect even with their presence, creating a favorable energy background.

Varieties of pet therapy are hippotherapy - treatment with the help of horses, as well as canistherapy - treatment with the help of dogs.

Thirdly, animals help doctors to establish contact with those patients who, for a number of psychophysical reasons, refuse to communicate with a psychologist or other specialist. In the USA and some European countries, pet-therapy is used to treat depression, autism, Down syndrome, as well as various brain disorders with manifestations of any kind of dependence or aggressiveness. In addition, pets help patients cope with constant anxiety and insomnia. With the help of pet therapy, hypertension, arrhythmia, as well as heart attack and its consequences can be cured.
And studies conducted at the end of the 20th century in the United States showed that in 70 nursing homes where pets were allowed, older people who were depressed and did not want to communicate with anyone while caring for animals completely changed their lifestyle, became active and struck up friendships even with those residents of the house who had not been contacted before.

In countries where pet therapy is an official medical discipline, a whole staff of specialists is involved in the selection of pets and monitoring their communication with patients, which necessarily includes a pet therapist, trainer, veterinarian and psychologist.

Of course, the presence of animals in the house is an excellent prevention of many serious ailments. For example, cats, as mentioned above, can lower blood pressure, cure colds and many other diseases.
As for the communication of children with animals, this is a separate topic for discussion, since now there is conclusive evidence of the positive effect of pets on children. So, impressive results were obtained when observing the communication of animals with children suffering from various mental disorders and serious diseases.
It has now been proven that in a family with pets, children are distinguished by good health and good immunity. In addition, such children are usually emotionally balanced.
It is interesting that the presence of animals in the house prevents the development of allergies and bronchial asthma in children: according to scientific studies, children who grow up in a house where animals are kept, from the first days of life develop immunity to allergies to wool, house dust and pollen from plants. But back to pet therapy ... Can she help anyone?