Get a pet

Milwaukee Health - - PERSPECTIVE -

If you want to lower your blood pres­sure, choles­terol and feel­ings of lone­li­ness, while in­creas­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for ex­er­cise, out­door ac­tiv­i­ties and so­cial­iza­tion, get a pet. Dogs, horses, cats, pigs and birds have all been tapped for a wide range of ther­a­pies treat­ing autism-spec­trum dis­or­ders, ad­dic­tion, de­pres­sion, post-trau­matic stress dis­or­der, de­men­tia and more. “Of­ten times we’ll see pa­tients with com­plaints of in­creased pain and ten­der­ness and over­all anx­i­ety, and when we put them in the room with the dogs you can see that the pain goes down and they re­lax them­selves,” says Erinn Kulba, a recre­ational ther­a­pist with Froedtert & the Medical Col­lege of Wis­con­sin’s An­i­mal As­sisted Ther­apy Pro­gram, a part­ner­ship with Health Heel­ers Inc.

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