(ANIMAL THERAPY) Can playing with animals make us healthier? A pony named Happy is helping autistic 9-year-old Ryan with not only his speech therapy, but his everyday life skills and overall safety. Psychologist Aubrey Fine is certain that having animals around helps her patients feel more comfortable and open than they do in a formal setting. Animal-human interactions boost both oxytocin levels in both parties, a chemical that makes us feel happy and trusting. Oxytocin also allows our bodies to heal faster and regenerate cells. It is nice to know that in a world where there is a pill for everything, spending more time with animals might be just what the doctor ordered! — Global Animal
Photo Credit: Maggie Starbard/NPR

Listen to or read NPR’s full story: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/03/05/146583986/pet-therapy-how-animals-and-humans-heal-each-other?ps=sh_stcathdl

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