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pet providing therapyIt has been proven that animals are always a great addition to a family. Many of them make kids happier by giving them a friend they can play with, but they are also great for adults since they usually ensure that everyone who is in the home stays active. Dogs have also become known for their ability to provide a service to their masters. There are police dogs who can sniff out bad things and take down bad people if need be. There are also service dogs that can sense when their owner is about to have a seizure or some other health issue. With all the good that animals provide, it should not be a surprise to anyone that they are also great healers. Therapy dogs and other animals are frequently used in hospitals to help the patients be a little happier and it is becoming even more popular with each passing year.

What Is Animal Therapy?

pet therapyAnimal therapy is a type of therapy for people that can improve a patient’s entire outlook. It can help them mentally, physically, socially, and emotionally. There are also different types of animals available to help people. It depends on what the person needs as to which type of animal may work the best for them, but dogs, horses, rabbits, llamas, and even dolphins can be used. There are also other types of animals. These animals can help a person with cancer, addictions, heart disease, dementia, emotional or behavioral disorders, autism, chronic pain, and more. The animals, depending on specific needs, may be able to help improve balance, increase focus, relieve grief and anxiety, or reduce blood pressure so that the patient can worry less about having a stroke or a heart attack.

Why Animal Therapy Works

pet therapyPet therapy takes advantage of the bond that is naturally available between pets and people. By interacting with a pet that is friendly, a person’s body will release endorphins which cause calmness. Even children can benefit from it by becoming more empathetic with other beings and learning to nurture them. Also, a pet, alongside a health care provider, can increase the patient’s willingness to go through the more uncomfortable parts of physical therapy.

Is Pet Therapy Right for You?

Pet therapy can be useful for virtually anyone, but it is especially beneficial for elderly patients who are in a long-term care facility and people who have been in a hospital for an extended period of time. Veterans who suffer from PTSD, children who are having certain procedures done, patients who need rehab after a stroke, and anyone with a form of mental health disorder. If a pet is near, most patients will want to get well enough that they can play with and spend time with the animals that are there. There may even be some patients who will communicate more with an animal than they are able to do with their actual physical therapist.

In short, pet therapy is ideal for anyone that loves animals. It is perfect for people of all ages and all health-related issues. They are best used by anyone who wants to smile through their next physical therapy session.

Training Starts Young

pet trainingAnyone who has ever attempted to train a dog can tell you that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks. Most people prefer to get a puppy that is eight weeks old rather than wait until they are two-three years old. It makes it easier to become their pack leader and tackle tasks such as housebreaking, playing fetch, and getting them beyond food aggressiveness. Although it is different, we often start teaching our kids to become well-rounded grownups when they are still very young as well. We teach them to pick up after themselves, help others, and more. We know that training starts young, but there is also more required.

Necessary Things to Help the Learning Process

decorative cratesWhen you get a puppy, most professionals recommend that you train them to use their crate. They say that it gives them a safe place and makes it easier to train them to potty outside or stop barking when they shouldn’t. As human’s, we are the same way. We learn better if we are well rested. This can only come from feeling safe, being comfortable, and guidance.

Training Made Easier with Rest

baby restingIt may seem odd, but learning starts with a good night’s sleep. It doesn’t matter whether you are a man or a beast. You should remember this if you want your dog, cat, or child to learn. Even an infant is learning while they are awake unless they are not sleeping enough. Graco offers a lot of great options for ensuring children rest well. You can even check out a list of mattresses that are best for Graco according to Baby Comfort Authority if you want your infant to be able to rest on the go in their Pack N Play.

While a puppy is training, you will likely want to stick with a metal cage that is filled with an old blanket to keep them comfortable. Once they are housebroken, you can upgrade their crate to give them more comfort. Wooden crates, plastic crates, and other options will all keep them comfortable and safe. You may still want to keep a doggie bed or an old blanket inside, especially if you are training them daily. The wooden crates may even blend in with your home’s style to ensure that they are decorative as well as functional.

Learning Never Stops

Whether you are human or animal, learning doesn’t stop because you grow up. You will learn most when you are small, but you will still learn as you grow into adulthood and beyond. This means that you should always strive for a good night’s sleep, plenty of comfort, and opportunities to expand your knowledge. With enough rest for your entire family, you may be able to prove that the old dog saying is not 100% accurate. Wouldn’t that be great?

At Home Water Therapy

aquatic therapySwimming has already proven that it can be beneficial in helping you to stay in shape. What you may not think about too often is the fact that there are a lot of different things you can do in the water to make swimming even more effective. This also includes working out during the summer months, without going to the gym. Have you ever considered at home water therapy?

The Best Use for Water Therapy

One of the biggest things you can do while in a pool is rehabilitating muscles. The water is relaxing to muscles so that they do not feel the workout the way they normally would. This can allow them to stretch further, without increasing your pain. It also does not cause you to feel pain in your joints the way that you would if you were trying to compensate for sore muscles. In a swimming pool, it is impossible for you to jar your joints and muscles by walking, hopping, or doing any other movements that would normally aggravate further the aches and pains of a previous injury.

Other Uses

autism and water therapyNot only does water soothe the body, but it can soothe the mind. Therefore, there are some who feel that it may also be beneficial to children and adults who suffer from autism. It can help by giving a person with ASD better balance, more communication skills since small talk can happen easily in a pool, sensory improvement, improve oral motor skills, and best of all; improves their ability to swim. Can you imagine the person that you love being more able to blow out a birthday candle because they blow bubbles in the water, or feeling more because it awakens senses and calms at the same time? These same benefits can also help those who suffer with cerebral palsy and other medical issues. You can perhaps increase this “calmness” by putting them in a pool that is close to home and adding lights to it. They even have pool lights for above ground pools now, so that people can workout whenever it is best for them and enjoy a deeper relaxation.

Swimming Rocks

cerebral palsy and aquatic therapyMany parents do not want to have a pool because they are worried about their children getting hurt. However, for the autistic child, it can be beneficial to have a pool available to them. It gives them the chance to learn how to swim, which is great because many kids with ASD cannot express that they need help. By making aquatic therapy a part of their lives, you can work with them on how to communicate when they are in danger, while teaching them how to swim and lessen the risk. They can workout without feeling that you are pushing them to workout their muscles. The beauty of water is that most all kids will feel happier because they are swimming. If you have a child that rebels against being told let’s do this, chances are they will not be upset over a chance to play in the water. You simply have to stay close in case they get into trouble while trying to have fun.

Therapy Through Fashion

fashion therapyThere are many reasons a person may need to heal. It could be an accident that impairs their ability to do things, it could be a handicap that they were born with, or any number of other things. Pets are good physical therapy assistants, but sometimes it takes more to ensure that a person feels good on the inside and the out. This often requires a little therapy through fashion and many healthcare professionals feel that it can significantly improve other aspects of a person’s therapy.

The Idea of Fashion Therapy

handicapped modelsWhen you think about someone with any type of handicap, it is often because they look a certain way. Your attention is typically drawn to their handicap, whatever it may be. When a person has an obvious issue, they feel as though all eyes are on it, whether it is a broken arm, a missing limb, or a severe burn scar that they cannot quite cover up. It is something that makes them different and most of us just want to be looked at as ourselves, not as what may hinder or hold us back. Therefore, the idea of fashion therapy takes root in our desire to blend in with the crowd rather than stand out from it.

Looking Better Than Ever

disabled modelsPart of therapy for anyone who is having issues, big or small, is a positive self esteem that they can achieve what they want to. A person with down syndrome can live a normal life with a job and a family if they put their mind to it. The same can be said for all other handicaps. The handicap should be viewed as a strength, because they can overcome it with a little dedication. A wardrobe may seem like something that is insignificant to someone who is striving to make their way in a world where they are unique, but it is quite the opposite. That is why we have colored casts for broken bones, reconstructive surgery for severe scars, and limbs that look like normal limbs for those who need it. Those people go through a lot to be “normal” and they should take it a step further. They should wear the clothes that they enjoy wearing, the makeup that makes them feel good about themselves, and even a little henna over hair dye can come in handy as they age to ensure that they continue to look great.

Never Give Up

A person with a handicap of any kind is going to be faced with a daily challenge of pushing themselves harder than all others have to. Having a physical therapist who knows how hard to push them and clothing that makes them feel great about themselves can both work together to improve self esteem and make it so that they never give up on the things they hope to achieve. By dressing for success, they can be successful. By dressing to impress, they can be impressive. By dressing in a way that makes them feel normal, they can be normal; and that is perhaps the most important thing a person can ask for, with or without a disability.