Have you ever heard of purr therapy? A part of the zootherapy concept, namely animal-assisted therapy, purr therapy is on the increase. And it sounds purrfect to us!
Let's find out more about purr therapy.
What is purr therapy?
Several studies have shown that the purring sound a cat makes has soothing qualities for humans. Thought of as a means to communicate a cat's contentment, as well as heal the body, the cat purr is now being used to help treat humans suffering from stress, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension, among others.
Thanks to the low frequency sound emitted, 25-50Hz, studies have shown that this can help to slow the heart rate and decrease blood pressure in humans. Our breathing becomes deeper, encouraging relaxation through improved blood and oxygen circulation. A cat's purr is also said to contribute to the production of serotonin - a neurotransmitter designed to help manage anxiety, happiness, mood, and overall health.
Even more interesting, these studies also claim that the low-frequency sound waves emitted by a cat can help facilitate muscle repair, as well as bone growth in a fracture, thus enhancing the healing process. Science believes this is one of the reasons why cats purr, in addition to when they feel content. And these benefits can potentially be passed on to humans.
Purr therapy alternatives
If you don't have a cat at home, there are various CDs available that can be played to experience the next best thing to a real purring cat. Whilst playing a recording may not offer the additional benefit of being able to pet the animal and experience it physically, many who use the CDs found it to be relaxing. This surely can't be a bad thing!
Some hospitals are said to be testing the calming effect of cats on patients, including on the elderly. Additionally, cat cafes are increasing in popularity throughout the world, allowing customers to pet the animals whilst enjoying a drink.
Do you notice the benefits of your kitty's purr?