In addition to medical care and alternative medicine, there are various other healing methods on the rise. More notably, they are art therapy, horse therapy and pet therapy. As experimental as they are, they seem to offer solace and comfort, or at the very least, a reason to smile.
For those interested in such nontraditional healing, read on.
Increasingly, those with a creative soul are using the arts – whether visual, musical or theater – to volunteer their time and talent to help soothe others’ pain, whether it is physical, mental or emotional. There are various agencies, organizations and nonprofits that seek to go outside the box and get creative when volunteering in schools, hospitals or nursing homes. For example, those living in New York may have seen free pianos NYC in various public spaces such as parks. The artist-designed pieces offer an oasis of color in an otherwise urban landscape for a brief respite.
Music therapy has also been used to help children with autism, among others. Research showed piano sessions or singing songs helped improve those children’s social interaction and communication skills.
Known as horse therapy, or equine therapy, working with and riding horses is another experimental method that is becoming popular. Simple tasks such as feeding, grooming and leading a horse, supervised by a professional, can help patients with stress, emotional awareness, self-confidence, accountability, empathy, self-control, independence and more.
Equine therapy has been integrated for the treatment of various disorders, including addiction, substance abuse, grief and loss, compulsive behavior, depression, eating disorders and more. Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder have also found help and healing in horses.
Pet therapy, also known as animal-assisted therapy is another growing field. Dogs, cats and other pets are helping health care professionals help patients with health problems ranging from cancer to heart disease.
A short visit from a friendly dog and its handler that leaves a cancer patient smiling is a win. In another case, such a visit can help a child relax before his or her time in the dreaded dentist chair. Pets can also help with education, as they don’t judge. So you may see pet therapy even in schools, where children learning to read will read books out loud to dogs without fear of judgment.
For those searching for alternatives to manage their pain outside of hospitals and doctors, there are many options available. Whether the patient is you or a loved one, such options might be worth exploring and discussing with your family and health care provider.