Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Therapy Dog Talks About Healing People (Research, Video 2:30)

Many animals play important roles in enhancing health. Results of positive exchanges between animals and people are scientifically measurable with documentation of animals improving traditional medical therapies dating back as early as the 9th century. The American Heart Association verifies that heart failure patients who spent 12 minutes with a dog or cat had lower stress hormones and blood pressure levels. 

Animal-assisted therapy research was done on the use of therapy dogs in the postoperative recovery of patients after parts of an arthritic or damaged joint were removed and replaced with a device called a prosthesis. Evaluation of the dogs’ roles was documented in relation to patients’ perceptions of pain and patients' satisfaction with their hospital stay. Results concluded that the use of therapy dogs has a positive effect on patients' pain levels and satisfaction with hospital stays after total joint replacement. 

There are many organizations dedicated to regulating, testing, and registration of therapy dogs and their volunteer handlers for the purpose of visiting nursing homes, hospitals, other institutions, and wherever else therapy dogs are needed. You can view a list of therapy dog training organizationsDogs of various breeds are being certified to improve patients’ health. They seem to know instinctively that they are there to help patients.

Meet Galion, one of three therapy dogs at Shepard Center, a nationally ranked spinal cord and brain injury rehabilitation hospital in Atlanta, GA. Galion will tell you in his own words how he brings joy and healing to patients:

Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback and e-book editions in America and other countries at online and offline booksellers.

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