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)
The 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.”
The 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.
*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.