Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Restore Your Health With Ecotherapy

If you’re stressed out with modern life, walking the dog, stroking the cat, or swimming with dolphins could be the best medicine for coping. The idea of restoring health through reconnecting with nature, known as ecotherapy, is gaining support among the mainstream medical establishment.
Ecotherapy includes helping to develop green spaces in urban areas, conservation projects, and teaching troubled children to handle small animals. Not only has the British Medical Journal found that swimming with dolphins helps people with depression, a study in Honduras has found the same. Researchers at Leicester University studied 30 patients and found that those given the opportunity to play with dolphins over a two week period reported less anxiety and depression than those who simply swam.
A more everyday type of ecotherapy is simply owning a pet. British researchers suggest pet ownership is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, lower use of medical services, and reduced risk of asthma and allergies in young children.

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