Animal healing

The power of our beautiful creatures to heal us.

Yet again, another example of a post almost writing itself.

Let me explain.

Yesterday, I published a post about being sensitive to the world around us.

Then this morning there was a new post from Sue Dreamwalker under the title of Fear of the Future. It was uncharacteristically downbeat for Sue.

Now most who follow me know I try to bring a positive touch within my posts… Yet to be quite honest with you all I am really struggling right now to lift myself from the doldrums of my own thoughts.

The key to conquering our fears lies in awareness. When we identify the irrational thoughts that frighten us and replace them with positive affirming ones.

Argh… all easier said than done..

You would think with my inner Knowing, and my Spiritual mind I should be the last person to take a nose dive into that Pit of depression.. Especially when I dredged its depth before and vowed that I had been there done that and worn the T-shirt and I refuse to wear it again.

I could blame it on my Fall which left me feeling bruised with aching, muscles which are still healing.. And I could blame it on grief as I lost a very beloved Aunt last week. I could blame my fatigue on me deciding to move a whole wall of books out the spare bedroom with wrists still recovering from the sprains of the fall.. And I could blame it on the weather being cold and miserable.. I could even blame it on the state of the world, or the Planets .. I have a whole host of excuses I could fall back upon to justify why I am feeling tired and jaded..

Many left comments including me. I spoke of the reward of hugging a dog. My words included:

I don’t have answers other than to feel what you are feeling. All I hang onto when I spend too much time thinking of my own mortality is that the answer, the answer to the moment, is to bury one’s face into the warm, soft fur of a dog. They seem to sense my need at these times. (And that isn’t meant to sound like me devaluing the love and affection that I receive from Jean!)

In other words, that contact with the warm dog holds me in the present and before long the reinforcement of living that present, loving moment puts the unknown future into perspective.

Another comment was left by blogger Rajagopal that included this wonderful tale:

The only thing that I have seen working in my life is to keep living, as much as possible, in the present. There is nothing to fear, either of the now or of the future.

In this context, wish to leave you with the story of the pregnant deer; in a forest, a pregnant deer is about to give birth. She finds a remote field near a strong-flowing river, that looks like a safe place, as she starts going into labour. At the same moment, dark clouds gather in the sky and streaks of lightning sets off a forest fire. The deer looks to her left and sees an approaching hunter with arrow pointed at her. To her right, the deer spots a hungry lion speeding towards her. What can the pregnant deer do? She is in labour! What will happen? Will the deer survive? Will she give birth to the fawn and will it survive? Or will everything be burnt by the forest fire? Or will she perish to the hunter’s arrow? Or does a horrible end await her at the hands of the hungry lion? Constrained by the fire on one side, the flowing river on the other and boxed in by her natural predators, the deer is apparently left with no option. What does she do? Well, she focuses on delivering and giving birth to a new life.

The sequence of events that follows is the Lightning strikes and blinds the hunter, who releases the arrow which zips past the deer and strikes the hungry lion. It starts to rain heavily and the forest fire is slowly doused by rain water. The deer gives birth to a healthy fawn….In our life too there are moments when we are confronted with negative thoughts and possibilities on all sides, so powerful as to overwhelm us. May be we can learn from the deer. The priority of the deer at that given moment was to give birth as safely as possible.

The rest was not in her hands and any change in her focus would have most likely impeded giving birth to the fawn. In the midst of the severest storm, we just have to maintain presence of mind and do what is in our control…the Cosmic power will take care of the rest…best wishes… Raj.

Finally, there was a recent new follower of this place. Her name is Emma and she writes the blog The Muse in the Mirror. Emma was kind enough to grant me permission to republish a post from last December about the healing power of Llamas. Enjoy!

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Llama Loving; The healing power of Llamas

emma1It’s official; I LOVE llamas. There, I said it, put out there for the world to know! I love their gentle, sensitive nature, friendly disposition and most of all their goofy, giggle-worthy expressions, which never fail to bring a smile to my face! Concerned that my llama loving status was bordering on obsession, I was beginning to question whether my love for these comical camelids was founded on anything other than sheer amusement! Thankfully as I researched further my findings confirmed that these beautiful animals are much more than a pretty (funny) face!!!

Llama Therapy

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Llama Marisco visits patients at Bellingham Health and Rehabilitation Center in Washington, USA. © Jen Osborne Photography

I squealed in delight when Colours Magazine published the story about The Delta Society, a non-profit organization that licenses animals for therapy

Holly Barto hugs a therapy llama at Bellingham Health and Rehabilitation Center, USA © Jen Osborne Photography
Holly Barto hugs a therapy llama at Bellingham Health and Rehabilitation Center, USA © Jen Osborne Photography

in USA. The adorable photo’s lay testament to the happiness that llama’s bring to residents at Bellingham Health and Rehabilitation Center in Washington, USA. Llama Marisco (pictured above), and Llama N.H. Flight of the Eagle (pictured right) are trained therapists, who spread comfort and joy as they stop at each bed to kiss the patients or have a hug. Resident Holly Barto remarked that…

It was heaven. Just emotionally – to be able to touch an animal and hold an animal close.

Another example of the profound healing benefits of llama’s can be seen in this adorable video below showing Rojo the therapy llama and Napoleon the therapy alpaca from Mtn Peaks Therapy Llamas & Alpacas, in Vancouver, WA USA. A non-profit corporation, which offers therapy teams to visit hospitals and schools in the area. The expressions on people’s faces are heart warming to say the least!

Who knew such fluffed-up, carrot munching mammals could bring so much joy.

Laughter is the best medicine.

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Llama Dave is disgruntled by the fact I was munching in on his dinner!

If I am having an off day, the first thing I reach for is a funny llama picture. Better still, a visit to the local llama park soon blasts my bad moon into infinity and beyond! A good giggle-fest at the Ashdown Forest Llama park, in East Sussex, dissolves the blues and confirms that laughter really is the best medicine! (See my picture gallery below to see me with some of the residents of the Ashdown Forest Llama park!).

There’s a very good reason behind the saying Laughter is the best medicine. Research suggests that people feel less pain after a good laugh, because it causes the body to release chemicals that act as a natural painkiller. ‘Professor Robin Dunbar of Oxford University, who led the research, believes that uncontrollable laughter releases chemicals called endorphins into the body which, as well as generating mild euphoria, also dull pain.’ (BBC)

It is common knowledge that animals in general make us happier and brighten our spirits. A growing body of scientific research now suggests that interacting with animals can make us not only happier, but healthier too. That helps explain the increasing use of animals for therapeutic purposes in hospitals, hospices, nursing homes, schools, jails and mental institutions.

The use of pets in medical settings actually dates back more than 150 years, says Aubrey Fine, a clinical psychologist and professor at California State Polytechnic University. Fine who has written several books on the human-animal bond says:

One could even look at Florence Nightingale recognizing that animals provided a level of social support in the institutional care of the mentally ill,”

So there you have it, next time you’re feeling blue, you know what to do! Head on out to your nearest llama park to insight those warm fuzzy feelings from a fluffy four legged llama! Check out my favourite selection of Llama and Alpaca pics below, guaranteed to bring a smile to any face!!

emma5

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Note: That last photograph above is only one of a wonderful collection of Llama photographs that Emma included in her blog post. Do drop across there and admire all the wonderful pictures.

The incredible healing power of hugging an animal.

2 thoughts on “Animal healing

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