- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Sure, those furry, lovable creatures are a part of the family; but did you know that they're also keeping you healthy? In this fascinating book, Dr. Marty Becker examines how "a strong relationship with animals often gives people the strength and motivation to reclaim their health."
When a personal medical crisis prompted Becker -- the expert veterinarian for Good Morning America -- to reassess his own relationship with his dogs, cats, and horses, he discovered the powerful therapeutic benefits that result from a nurturing relationship with a pet. Providing emotional comfort, a good source of exercise, and the opportunity to look past one's own ailments and concentrate on the well-being of another, pets have been proven to be a tremendous aid to recovery.
Even more intriguing is the power pets have to actually detect and prevent illness. Covering such conditions as cardiovascular problems, cancer, and chronic pain, Becker recounts stories of animals who warn their owners of impending heart attacks, are trained to smell melanomas in their earliest stages, or ease pain by triggering the release of therapeutic biochemicals into a patient's bloodstream. (In fact, the simple act of petting an animal has been shown to cause a decrease in blood pressure that alleviates the suffering caused by a number of ailments, including arthritis and multiple sclerosis.) These stories serve to illustrate that animals can be exquisitely attuned to subtle changes in a human's mood, emotional needs, and even chemistry. And the attention and exercise they require are a natural boost to their owners' mood and health, which helps stave off illnesses ranging from depression to heart disease.
The Healing Power of Pets concludes with a section detailing what readers need to know about choosing and caring for a pet. As Becker points out, specific animals are more ideally suited to certain functions: a rambunctious puppy makes an excellent companion for someone who needs to get off the couch, while a more sedate cat is a better choice for someone who wants to soothe chronic pain or simply needs someone to listen. This book will help readers select a pet that will enrich their life and their health, and vice versa. (Karen Burns)