Animals, of course, play a large part in our natural world. Certainly, the hike in dog and cat adoptions during the pandemic provided anecdotal evidence for the stress-reducing power of pets. But humans turning to animals for solace is not a new thing. The therapeutic value of riding horses was noted back in 600 B.C.
Today, horses may be the best-known animal therapists, with several wellness retreats offering equine therapy to those suffering from PTSD and other anxiety-related disorders. Because horses have an innate ability to sense and mirror their handler’s feelings, specialized equine therapy programs can help reduce anxiety and regulate emotions. But horses are not the only soothing breed in the stable. According to Chinese medicine, the black Silkie chicken can help warm the body and strengthen the immune system. Some wellness retreats count dogs, cats and cows among their healing menageries.
PHOTO with TEXT: The Ojo Sante Fe Spa Resort in New Mexico employs the quirky breed to soothe its clientele. Some wellness retreats count dogs, cats and cows among their healing menageries.
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