The Therapeutic Effects of Pets on Fibromyalgia

The Therapeutic Effects of Pets on Fibromyalgia
Through the Fog If you've ever owned a cat or a dog, you know firsthand how pets can be a source of comfort. Their loyalty and unconditional love work wonders, especially for those of us suffering from fibromyalgia. Pets can be especially comforting when our fibromyalgia causes us to lose our job, important relationships, or the ability to do the things we used to enjoy. Caring for a pet helps us to focus on someone other than ourselves. We need to walk them, bathe them, feed them, and clean up after them. But we also get to enjoy snuggles with them. Pets have a built-in sensitivity to our pain and sadness. They can crawl up onto our lap or lie beside us in bed and help us to feel comforted. Studies have shown that spending even a short amount of time with a pet can help to reduce stress, anxiety, and pain. In one such study published in the journal Pain Medicine, researchers added a trained 40-pound Wheaten terrier therapy dog to a chronic pain waiting area. When fibromyalgia patients were waiting for their doctor or therapy appointments, they were given a choice to either spend time in a traditional waiting room with a television and magazines or go to a different room with the therapy dog. People were asked to rate their sympto
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