Animals – the Ultimate Natural Remedy!

Animals can do so much for natural health and healing and many individuals and also health practitioners – both mainstream and alternative – have eschewed the benefits of animals when it comes to helping people get well.

You only have to think of an interlude or humorous interaction with an animal or family pet to understand that our four legged and also our feathered friends can have a distinct bearing on our day to day emotional state and our sense of gladness or well-being or health and happiness.

It is already well documented that animals can lighten moods and their presence can delight and enrich. Nursing homes, aged care facilities and many other institutions now use animals to delight and entertain their patients and residents. This emotional and tactile contact can mean so much to the elderly and help to lower their stress levels and their anxieties and fears.

I have even heard of various health practitioners using animals as a curative treatment, although more research may need to be done into the specifics of this claim.

Animal Assisted Therapies and Natural Health

Animal Assisted Therapy is a new mode of therapeutic treatment whereby animals are specifically used to help patients and clients physically, emotionally and psychologically.[1]

The American Humane Organization says that “Animal-Assisted Therapy has been shown to help children who have experienced abuse or neglect, patients undergoing chemotherapy or other difficult medical treatments, and veterans and their families who are struggling to cope with the effects of wartime military service.”[2]

Professor Temple Grandin, world renowned animal behaviorist and autistic advocate has also said the use of animals can be incredibly beneficial to individuals on the autism spectrum. Animals –particularly dogs – can help severely and even mildly autistic people break through from their internal prisons to the outside world. Animals can form the first phase of interaction with living and spontaneous creatures that are unpredictable and changeable – beyond the autistic individual.[3]

Story Dogs is another programme that assists children with improving their literacy.[4] Dogs are used as the listeners to the children. This encourages fun, reduced stress, a sense of joy and happiness in the children who may struggle to read in a class situation or with other kids. Children are taken out of class for a one on one session with the dog and dog handler and experience the delights of reading and trying in a relaxed and pet friendly environment beyond the class.

Animals can bring so much joy and can actually be a part of a natural remedies approach.

What could be more natural than an animal?


[1] http://www.americanhumane.org/interaction/programs/animal-assisted-therapy/

[2] Ibid.

[3] http://www.templegrandin.com/

[4] http://www.storydogs.org.au/