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People and Pets: Healing Each Other

People and Pets: Healing Each Other

This is a story of a veterinarian who changed from mainstream medicine to alternative pathways for healing and what he discovered.

Dr. Dennis Thomas, who practices in Spokane, Wash., has come to believe there is something more than medication, splints and physical therapy in the healing of pets. That something, he believes, is a heart-to-heart, energetic connection, and he is certain it is a two-way process.

“I have witnessed countless times the health benefits that occur when people focus their awareness on the loving connection that they have with their pets,” Dr. Thomas said. “Initially, my focus, as a veterinarian, was the benefits for the pet, but as time passed, I became acutely aware that the pathway to healing was two-directional. It was as if there was a deep awareness of the benefits of giving and receiving from both parties.”

Healing Through a Heart-Mind Connection

Once Thomas had accepted the possibility of an energetic connection between humans and their pets, he began expanding his research into this area.

“I started using what I called the heart-mind connection to direct healing,” he said. “I told people that they had the ability to help direct healing for their pets if they believed that they could. I sent home a sheet of paper that guided the client in a meditative/visualization process that was to direct healing for the pet.” (Quick Coherence® Technique)

women and catThe pets Thomas was treating using the heart-mind connection to direct healing mostly were older and had chronic illnesses such as degenerative arthritis and malignant cancer. The results of those tests made him a firm believer. He is convinced the belief/faith of clients with pets that had been diagnosed with “incurable” conditions contributed to their recovery.

“Every person who committed to this program told me that they witnessed great improvement in the health of their pet,” Thomas said. “I would see pets that were old, gray and could barely move come into the clinic looking years younger with obvious functional improvement.”

Thomas recently sought input from Institute of HeartMath Director of Research Dr. Rollin McCraty, Ph.D., who has conducted a variety of research related to human heart intelligence, emotions and energetic connections among other areas. McCraty, whose research spans more than two decades, also has explored the energetic bond between humans and humans and pets.

McCraty, widely recognized for his research of heart rate variability (HRV) – the beat-to-beat changes in human heart rate – suggested Thomas incorporate HRV analysis as he explores the forces that drive the unique relationship between humans and pets. McCraty and other researchers at IHM have found that HRV is a key indicator of human health and resiliency. As HeartMath explains, “heart-rate variability is a powerful, objective and noninvasive tool to explore the dynamic interactions between physiological, mental, emotional and behavioral processes.”

“IHM’s HRV studies primarily have involved humans, but trials also have been conducted with some animals. Monitoring the HRV of dogs, for example, can provide a variety of helpful information,” McCraty told Thomas.

“We can explore what the HRV of a dog who is ill looks like and whether it changes in a positive way when the owner is present and in a loving state with positive intentions toward the dog,” McCraty explained. “We can explore the dog’s nervous system activity (using HRV analysis) when its owner is having an argument with someone in the presence of the dog, and the response of the dog when the owner calms down.”

Unconditional Love

Woman and DogThe general public and the medical community now widely accept that interaction between people and pets and animals can be beneficial for physical and psychological healing. It is increasingly common in the treatment of a wide range of human diseases and disorders. Thus there are thousands of facilities that employ ATT, as it is commonly referred to, including hospitals, nursing homes, military and veterans facilities and hospice, drug-abuse and physical therapy programs among a long list of others.

“I have seen countless cases,” Thomas said, “that convince me that at some energetic level there are no boundaries between ourselves and our pets and that by knowing this we can tap into the potential for directing healing to both parties.”

Thomas said he read scientific and nonscientific articles extensively in search of information about human-pet interaction. He learned that this interaction was found to be beneficial for conditions as wide-ranging as geriatric aging, Alzheimer’s, relief of health testing anxiety, post-surgical healing time, pain, depression in adolescents and congenital and developmental disorders in young children.

“This information screams to me that there is a powerful, energetic force that has a tremendous potential for directing healing for people and their pets,” Thomas wrote to McCraty. “I believe that this energetic force is what you consider the heart-to-heart energy connection that creates physiological coherence.

“I believe that the pet might act as a source of universal energy that aids in healing. It is a method of focusing our awareness towards a source of unconditional love and this state of consciousness (at whatever level) acts to direct the body back to its natural state of wellness, which in my opinion would explain the wide range of effects that have been documented.”

Coherence, which Thomas referred to, is the state in which the heart, mind and emotions are in energetic alignment and cooperation.

Note: Regardless of the energetic bond and unconditional love between you and your pets, sometimes it simply is their time to pass. Letting go with care and comfort may be all they need.

Dennis*Veterinarian Dr. Dennis Thomas sold his regular veterinary practice two years ago so he could write a book related to heart-heart healing. He is set to open a new entirely holistic-based clinic in Spokane, Wash., this fall called Heart To Heart: Holistic Health Care for Pets. He refers to it as The Little Healing Room. It will offer acupuncture, laser, herbal remedies and pulse electromagnetic therapy while training clients to heal themselves and their pets using intention healing and visualization.

Another IHM article on this subject, Pets: Making a Connection That’s Healthy for Humans.

Read more: Behavior & Communication, Family, General Health, Health, Healthy Aging, Home, Life, Love, Men's Health, Mental Wellness, Nourishing the Heart, Pet Health, Pets, Remedies & Treatments, Self-Help, Spirit, Spirituality and Technology, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Sara, from Institute of HeartMath

Sara Childre is President and CEO of the non-profit Institute of HeartMath. Since 1991, Sara has helped oversee and develop HeartMath trainings, educational products and scientific programs. She was appointed vice president and CFO of the institute in 1992, then president and CEO in 1998.

130 comments

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6:39AM PDT on Jun 19, 2014

thanks for sharing :)

7:38AM PST on Jan 17, 2014

Unconditional love, caring, sharing -- these qualities know no bounds ... or species. All manner of life forms long for, recognize, and respond in the same way to genuine outpouring. Basics 101.

9:54AM PST on Dec 17, 2013

Thank you so much!

10:27AM PST on Dec 7, 2013

Love is a necessary component of healing in any living being, animal OR human. When my son was in the pediatric intensive care unit at 10 months old, he was close to death. Either myself or his grandfather sat with him every single day, rocking him when they allowed us to, or just reaching into his oxygen tent to hold and warm his tiny, cold hands. He had the same illness as the child next to him, whose parents were not able to stay with him, like we did with Drew (my child). When I was able to, I also visited the other child, who was alone and so very very sick, but of course my priority was to my own son, so I could not give the other child as much attention as he needed. My son lived, the boy next to him died. That broke my heart. My son's doctor told me he firmly believed that Drew lived because he had the will to survive, and that he garnered strength from our presence. That was comforting but it also made me sad for the family of the little boy who died too young. It wasn't his parent's fault they couldn't be there; medical bills are expensive and jobs won't wait indefinitely. I was fortunate to be in a position that I could be with my son at all times. This story proves to me that love and attention go a long way in determining whether we live or die.

10:19AM PST on Dec 7, 2013

Great article! We need more vets (& doctors) like this! Thanks for sharing.

6:37PM PST on Dec 3, 2013

very true. ty

6:38PM PST on Dec 2, 2013

I learn so much from my dogs. It's amazing how they lead to self realization. Bless them. Thanks for the article.

6:39PM PST on Nov 17, 2013

i like it.. everytime i am stressed or having a bad day.. i stroke all my 4 cats' fure.. they try to heal me and try to say "hey.. dont be sad.. i am with you!"

12:43PM PST on Nov 17, 2013

My doctor suggested me taking a pet cat and she has turned out to be such a positive booster in my life.

11:32AM PST on Nov 17, 2013

What a great article, and some thought provoking posts in response as well, thank you for posting.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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