Therapy Dog Visit Can Improve Physiological Health of Fibromyalgia Patients, Study Shows

Therapy Dog Visit Can Improve Physiological Health of Fibromyalgia Patients, Study Shows
A single 20-minute session with a therapy dog significantly improves the physical and mental health of people with fibromyalgia, according to a collaborative study between the Mayo Clinic and pet food company Purina. The results also showed that such sessions do not negatively impact the well-being of the dogs, and may even help them be more relaxed. “The Better Together study showed therapy animals could be an evidence-based treatment option, and healthcare professionals should strongly consider utilizing animal-assisted activity in the care of their patients with fibromyalgia,” Arya Mohabbat, MD, assistant professor of medicine and the project’s lead researcher from the Mayo Clinic, said in a press release. Despite some therapeutic advances in the management of fibromyalgia, most patients continue to experience chronic symptoms and look for non-conventional strategies, including animal-assisted activity. Using animals in therapy has been shown benefit people with chronic illnesses, by easing pain, anxiety, fear, and mental health symptoms. Notably, a previous study showed that brief therapy dog visits lessened pain and emotional distress in people with fibromyalgia. However, most studies of therap
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