The Healing Power of Dogs

IF YOU'RE LUCKY... A DOG WILL COME INTO YOUR LIFE, STEAL YOUR HEART AND CHANGE EVERYTHING.

All animals have the incredible gift of giving and healing. However, we are focused on dogs this month because August 26, 2021, is National Dog Day. This day celebrates all dogs, mixed and pure breeds. Colleen Paige, a Pet & Family Lifestyle Expert, Animal Rescue Advocate, Conservationist, Dog Trainer, and Author, founded the special doggie day. Her purpose is to raise awareness around the number of dogs in need of being rescued each year. The day also acknowledges family dogs and dogs that work selflessly to save lives. Dogs keep us safe and bring comfort, and that’s not all. They keep giving! Now, they are detecting cancer and seizures, playing an undeniable role in our health and wellness.

Finn, Finn, Finn. I can not think of a better time to celebrate and honor my most precious sidekick and co-worker. Many have met the Finster. He works at Element 5, Acupuncture and Wellness, and he takes his job very seriously. Therefore, I would like to formally introduce him as my Chief Executive Greeter and Therapy Dog. He has excellent listening skills, is a top-notch comforter and counselor with fur. For nine years, Finn has had an overwhelmingly positive impact on my clinic, patients, and of course, me. His enthusiasm and excitement for his job are every employer’s dream. When he connects with our patients, he wipes a massive smile across their faces. In seconds, they soften, relax, and let go of the world. They are present with him, even if it is just for a few minutes of peace before they return.

Finn came into my life in 2012. I saw him while running around Rice University. He was with an independent rescue service at the Rice Village Farmers Market. His adorable terrier face and sweet demeanor caught my eye. It’s hard to think that I almost kept running, but he chose me. I adopted him and his first day at the clinic was September 12, 2012. I had just moved into a beautiful new space in the Rice Village District. At that moment, everything changed personally and professionally. I didn’t know then, but our special bond would bring companionship, love, loyalty, trust, support, authenticity, non-judgment, and healing. Whew, that’s a lot, but it’s all true!

I’m not alone in this experience. As humans, we are social animals. We have a strong need to connect and have meaningful relationships. Coincidentally, dogs are social animals too. Lucky for us, they are xenophilic. A dog’s openness to humans along with their other proficient skills creates the conditions for a powerful connection. That’s why 38.4% of the US population owns a dog, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association—making the canine a popular and favorite addition to many families.

Dogs are not only great companions, but they also have magical healing powers. These extraordinary bonds have revealed dogs’ impactful role in our mental, social, and physical well-being. We can experience their healing abilities just by their presence. Research shows they can improve quality of life, decrease stress, decreases anxiety, lower blood pressure, ease pain, improves mood, lowers cholesterol, promotes exercise, helps people socialize, improves immunity, and help children develop. No wonder we are carving out space for them in homes and businesses. In conclusion, inviting a dog into your life can positively impact you if you open your heart to a relationship of authenticity, non-judgment, loyalty, and love. You will not regret it!

“The only way to optimal health is to take care of ourselves everyday emotionally, physically and mentally.”

Sheri Davidson, licensed acupuncturist and integrative health coach, specializes in preventative medicine. She loves sharing her passion for wellness living and Eastern medicine through her blog, The Wellness Inspired Podcast, and practice, Element 5, Acupuncture + Wellness in Rice Village District of Houston, TX.

15-minute zoom call for a complimentary health assessment/consultation. We will assess where you are in health, explore short-term and long-term health goals, and discuss the best way to get started on your healing journey. 713-942-7110

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Sheri Davidson

L.Ac + Integrative Health and Wellness Coach