One of my favourite things about working at the Integrated Wellbeing Centre is the amazing meals I get served in the waiting room! Yes, I too was surprised by the first imaginative culinary delight served to me with love by little hands, carried ever so carefully from the play kitchen to the front desk. It is a special moment to be invited into a child’s creative world of play where anything is possible and doing the dishes never seems to be a problem!
The Australian Companion Animal Council estimated in 2009 that 63% of Australian households owned some kind of pet with 53% of them being a cat or dog. Pets have become a significant part of our lives. You may be thinking what have pets got to do with our health? Well studies have shown they have an enormous benefit to our health and wellbeing. Not only are they wonderful companions they also provide significant psychological and physiological benefits. They provide us with unconditional love, friendship and comfort in a way that is often unmatched by other humans.
Owing a pet has a powerful benefit to our health they can help to reduce the risks of heart disease by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. They can provide a positive effect on our body’s reaction to stress, this includes a decrease in heart rate, blood pressure and adrenal hormone release that has us in flight or fight response. A cat’s purr gives off low-frequency vibrations that may provide the owner with pain relief and increased wound healing ability.