Monday, October 6, 2014

Penguin petting therapy

Sunday, October 5 2014

If you needed another reason to own a pet, or even visit the Newport Aquarium, it appears that a personal petting encounter may have serious health benefits. Alle Barber and Ric Urban have pretty cool jobs; they get to play with penguins.

Both of them perform education and outreach for the Wave Foundation, so they get to spend a lot of time with penguins. So who better to talk to about how animals help us heal?

Ric admits that he can be having a rough day until he himself has a personal encounter with a penguin. “After thirty minutes, I feel great,” Ric said. “I am ready to go off and tackle the world again.”

Alle said that a few minutes with an alligator will do the same thing. “It really does make you feel calm, and just peaceful,” she said, “It's just this feeling that nothing else matters in the world.”

In addition to that, there may some power to actually petting the animals. A recent report from the Mayo Clinic found that when scientists looked at those who were petting animals, they had surge in healing hormones that led to a feeling of peace and serenity

While the effects are tough to quantify, just take a look at the penguins. Notice how you can’t help but smile?


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