Great article in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703886904576031521407391768.html?KEYWORDS=doctor%27s+dog
It’s about how therapy dogs can be helpful to psychiatrists. My mom’s training one of her dogs for therapy, and having grown up with dogs myself I know how healing they can be.
From the article:
“Research shows that a few minutes of stroking a pet dog decreases cortisol, the stress hormone, in both the human and the dog. It also increases prolactin and oxytocin, hormones that govern nurturing and security, as well as serotonin and norepinephrine, neurotransmitters that boost mood. One study found that five minutes with a dog was as relaxing as a 20-minute break for hospital staffers.”
An article in the same section discussed the top five health-related books of the year, one of which I’ve blogged about, The Decision Tree. The other that seems very interesting to me is “After the Diagnosis: Transcending Chronic Illness,” by Dr. Julian Seifter.