In trying to overcome insomnia, we often try to find a unique, fast-acting remedy: we take sleeping pills, sedatives, or other drugs. And few people think about the fact that the best defenders of human health, animals, constantly live side by side with us …
History of pet therapy
Animal therapy has existed for centuries, long before the very term “pet therapy” appeared. So, for example, already in the time of Hippocrates, the positive influence of animals on sick and unwell people was noticed, although, of course, they did not yet attach serious importance to it. The concept of “pet therapy” (” pet ” – “hand”, “darling”, “favorite animal”) appeared in the middle of the 20th century. Boris Levenson , a psychiatrist who works with children in the United States, noticed a surprising pattern. If a dog appeared in the booth during a treatment session for children, it caused violent positive emotions in young patients, and the recovery was better and faster. However, even at this time, no scientific studies of the influence of animals on humans were carried out.
Studying such a peculiar method of treatment – with the help of animals – began much later, at the end of the 20th century, in the West. There, many works have appeared, providing scientific evidence for the effectiveness of pet therapy. To this day, this method is widely used abroad. In foreign clinics, he has long since passed from the category of alternative medicine to part of the daily practice of doctors. Moreover, in the West, special courses are held that train qualified masters in this field. In Russia, proper attention is still not paid to animal therapy , or zootherapy (this is how pet therapy is known in our country). Dolphin therapy (treatment with the help of dolphins) and hippotherapy (treatment with the help of horses) have become more popular in our country .
For the first time, animals appeared in medical institutions in England. In 1792, in the city of York, animals began to be used to treat the mentally ill. And such an innovation had tremendous positive results: patients made better contact with doctors, became more open and sociable, thereby bringing their recovery closer. By the way, even today in English pharmacies you can buy special medicated white cats.
In the United States, for example, dogs live with older people in nursing homes. They constantly improve the mood of their owners, make them smile and enjoy the little things, enjoy the current moment of life. Even in American prisons, there are special programs in which prisoners communicate with dogs, train them for further use in pet therapy.
The animals themselves, which are used in foreign clinics for treatment, are preliminarily trained. And it seems that here Russia should learn from the valuable Western experience …
How do animals treat insomnia?
For animal treatment to be effective, you need to understand the nature of insomnia itself. After all, sleep problems do not arise unexpectedly or by themselves. Often they become a consequence of our stress, anxiety, chronic fatigue, colds, fever, pressure drops, etc. Thus, in order to normalize your sleep, you need to overcome all these unpleasant “irritants”. It is the animals that are able to help us at this stage. How can pets improve our health?
- Feline therapy
Feline therapy , or, more simply, treatment with cats, is a very effective way to combat insomnia. Cats act on the human body in several ways:
- When a person communicates with a cat, two bioenergetic fields come into contact. Purring pet, having a powerful positive energy, transfers it to its owner. Thanks to this, the owner of the cats significantly improves his mood, restores his mental attitude and has an optimistic outlook even on minor domestic troubles. Cats have a positive effect on the state of the brain, enhance our performance. By restoring the balance of the processes of excitation and inhibition of the nervous system, cats make it possible to fall asleep easily and painlessly, without scrolling through the events of the past day in their heads.
- Cats are wonderful and empathetic companions. They allow us to “throw off” the accumulated grievances, disappointments, share vivid impressions and disturbing thoughts. Closed people who find it difficult to establish contact with others, it is much easier to “communicate” with cats, thus getting rid of fatigue and stress.
- Purring pets help people get rid of depression, loneliness, bouts of anger, aggression and anger. And in a calm and balanced state, it is much easier for us to fall asleep! By the way, in the United States at the end of the 20th century, a special study was carried out, during which they monitored the health of patients in nursing homes. It turned out that those of them who were often near the cats felt much better and recovered faster.
- Cats can also help parents of hyperactive children. More precisely, they help the children themselves to calm down after noisy daytime games and tune in to a night’s sleep. After a few minutes of communication with a warm meowing lump, it will be much easier for children to fall asleep, and the dream itself will be strong and calm.
- Cats also have a knack for finding sore or damaged spots in the human body. Intuitively feeling where the pain comes from, the cat tries to lie down on this place or snuggle up to a certain part of the owner’s body. Having warmed him with her healing warmth, she begins to purr enchantingly and release her claws. It seems to us that she does it for pleasure. In fact, this is how the cat mechanically massages and heals the desired organ of the human body.
- By calming a person down, pacifying his irritability, nervousness, aggression or anger, the cat warns and saves the owner from serious diseases and health problems. In particular, the common with the cat serves as a good prevention of stroke and myocardial infarction.
- Cats are able to treat many diseases, including those that interfere with falling asleep (colds, depression, brain disorders, hypertension, arrhythmias, trauma, internal inflammatory processes). Down syndrome and autism respond to feline therapy.
- With their intuitive sensitivity, cats are able to do a good acupressure with their claws before going to bed. Feeling the energy emanating from the owner, they press their paws on the necessary reflexogenic zones of the human body, conducting a kind of “acupuncture”.
- Even a simple, slow petting of your cat will help you fall asleep before bed. After all, it is known that there are many nerve endings on the palms. Thus, stroking an affectionate pet, we simultaneously massage the palms and have a positive effect on the vital organs.
- By the way, there are also many nerve endings on the feet of a person. That is why the cat loves to sleep at the feet of its owner, protecting his calm healthy sleep.
Before starting the treatment of insomnia with a cat (cat therapy ), you need to understand the important subtleties. First, you must believe in the effect of this treatment and only wait for a positive result. Secondly, you must have good contact, a warm relationship with your beloved pet. Thirdly, do not force the animal to do something forcibly: if you see that the cat is irritable, sleepy, you should not start treatment at this very moment. And fourthly – and this is the most important thing – be reasonable: with the help of a cat, cancer and similar serious diseases cannot be cured. In such cases, you should immediately consult a doctor!
When deciding to start a cat therapy session , try to establish good, strong contact with your cat. Call her, pick her up, talk to her affectionately, stroke her. By the way, the very stroking of the cat, its reciprocal purring and release of claws are direct elements of cat therapy .
Psychologists often advise trying to talk to the cat mentally, telepathically transmitting to her painful sensations and feelings. With amazing sensitivity and sensitivity, cats are able to understand us and diagnose the disease.
To cure insomnia with the help of a cat, it is advised to prepare a cozy, warm “bed” for the cat on the table and invite the pet to take its place. When the cat has settled down, try pressing your forehead against it. Then try to gently unobtrusively attach the cat to your own neck. For such procedures, 5-7 minutes will be enough, they need to be carried out approximately every other day. The total number of treatments ranges from 7 to 20. The exact number depends on the cat’s willingness to help you, your age, the duration of insomnia, etc.
Due koshkoterapii can be cured, and many other diseases that provoke insomnia. For example, to overcome arrhythmias, it is enough to just stroke the cat for 3-5 minutes, you can also ask it to lie on the chest and warm it with your warmth. Such simple procedures will bring calmness and noticeable relief. It is enough to carry out these sessions daily for two weeks.
For bronchitis, where bed rest is recommended, you can simply pet the cat periodically or lay it on its legs while sleeping. The best medicine for you will be if the cat can lie down on your chest several times a day and do a light massage with its magic claws. But to treat a headache that interferes with falling asleep, it will be enough if the cat lies on the bed near your head.
Canistherapy , or dog-assisted therapy, is another great way to improve sleep and fight diseases that cause insomnia. Since dogs themselves are active, cheerful and positive creatures, they are able to share their energy with their adored owners.
Communication with dogs has a great positive effect on human health. Firstly, the need to take regular walks with dogs in the fresh air allows a person to breathe plenty of fresh air. In turn, oxygen saturation always has a beneficial effect on the quality of sleep. Dogs make their owners move, run, play with them every day. Firstly, it develops motor skills (especially in children), and secondly, it allows you to relieve emotional stress. This is how dogs treat depression, psychosis, neurasthenia. But in a balanced, calm state it is much easier to tune in to a healthy sleep.
Dogs are the best healers to get rid of diseases of the cardiovascular system; communication with them is the prevention of ischemia, stroke, myocardial infarction, etc. Dogs are also best at helping to pacify and tune hyperactive children to sleep at night. Stroking the dogs, playing quietly with our smaller brothers, help to calm the extremely sensitive nervous system of the child. In addition, dog saliva contains a special enzyme, lysozyme, which destroys bacteria and all kinds of disease-causing organisms.
To prevent insomnia, you need to communicate with dogs more often, walk with them, play in the fresh air and periodically stroke their warm fur.
- Treating insomnia with other animals.
Feline therapy and canisteropia are far from the only ways to treat insomnia with the help of animals.
For example, it is very useful to monitor aquarium fish to normalize sleep. Their measured, slow “journey” through the aquarium bewitches a person, calms the nervous system, pacifies aggression, resentment, anger, simply helps to relieve daytime stress and tune in to sleep. The sight and sound of iridescent water and the babbling trickles of home fountains also help to calm down. By the way, having an aquarium in the bedroom is especially useful: the evaporating water humidifies the air, and it becomes much easier to breathe at night.
Communication with rodents (hamsters, rabbits, mice, guinea pigs) also gives joy, improves mood and helps, at least during a night’s sleep, not to think about problems and past deeds. However, when choosing therapy with the help of rodents as a treatment for insomnia, it is imperative to check that they have no infectious diseases. In this regard, such a rodent as the Mongolian gerbil is the most acceptable and safe.
Many have also heard about the existence of dolphin therapy and dolphin correction . It is dolphins who are able to freely share joy and goodness with a person. These animals have an amazing bioenergy field. Getting into it, a person feels an increase in vitality, an improvement in mood, the appearance of cheerfulness and a more optimistic outlook on the environment. Dolphins perfectly calm the nervous system, normalize the brain, treat depression, psychosis, stress, nervous breakdowns that often prevent us from falling asleep. Dolphin ultrasound can even treat serious diseases such as Down syndrome, autism and cerebral palsy.
This type of pet therapy is also known as hippotherapy (treatment with horses). Horses can disinterestedly give joy and happiness simply from direct communication with them. And horseback riding is triple beneficial for the health of the body as a whole, and for solving problems with insomnia. Riding a horse in the fresh air, firstly, allows you to breathe enough oxygen before going to bed, and secondly, it gives you the opportunity for a good kind of gymnastics. Sitting on a horse while riding, a person adjusts to the rhythm of the animal, moves to the beat of his walking or running, massages and trains his own muscles. As a result of such exercises, blood circulation is normalized, blood circulation in the brain improves. In addition, horses perfectly treat depression, stress, neuroses, and disorders of the nervous system.
Observing the activities of amphibians and reptiles will also help to restore your mental balance and fall asleep with a restful sleep. If you watch their movements in the terrarium for at least 30 minutes every day, gradually your mental state will return to normal.
Do not forget about the miraculous abilities of birds. Owners of parrots, canaries, lovers of listening to the singing of forest birds are much less likely to have difficulty sleeping.