10 reasons pets are good for your health (our excuse to post cute pet pics)

The team at East Village Spa knows that pets are vital for our mental and physical well-being and many of us have at least one rescued pet!

1: A  2012 study from Hiroshima University in Japan showed that when employees watch pictures of cute animals at work, they narrow their focus and pay more attention to detail. (All the more reason to read on!)

Our esthetician and nail tech Cassandra's dog
Cassandra’s dog

2. Nurses at Cedars-Sinai hospital share anecdotal evidence that after a pet therapy visit, some patients sometimes have lower heart rate and require less pain medication.

Camille's dogs
Camille’s dogs

3. Many studies have shown that dogs help with weight loss, including encouraging more physical activity, especially walking.

Cassie and her dog Ernie
Cassie and her dog Ernie

4. When humans pet a dog, they experience a release of several “feel good” hormones. (Study by: Rebecca Johnson, Ph.D., RN, of the University of Missouri-Columbia Center for the Study of Animal Wellness)

Celeste’s dog, Hannah’s dog, Jamee’s dog

5. James E. Gern, MD, a pediatrician at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, states in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology states that children who grow up in a home with “furred pets” like cats or dogs have reduced risk of allergies and asthma.

Cassandra's cats and Jackie's cat and dog
Cassandra’s cats and Jackie’s cat and dog

7. Dogs have been shown to improve reading scores.  Many schools and libraries are even incorporating time for kids to practice reading to dogs, who are great and non-judgmental listeners!

Hannah’s dog

8. Pets can relieve pain by initiating the relaxation response and taking a person’s focus off their pain. (Dr. Jeff Burgess, University of Washington Pain Center).

Our Esthetician/Cosmetologist Cammie's pet rabbit.
Our Esthetician/Cosmetologist Cammie’s pet rabbit

9. Pets can encourage people to make social connections

social pets
Katie’s dog at the East Village Spooky Paws Pet Parade. Cassie’s dog at a doggy birthday bash.

10. Senior citizens who own a dog or cat performed better on Activities of Daily Living. Researchers speculate the sense of responsibility to a pet also contributes to their the overall well-being of seniors. (Raina P, Waltner-Toews D, Bonnett B, Woodward C, Abernathy T (1999). Influence of companion animals on the physical and psychological health of older people: an analysis of a one-year longitudinal study. J Am Geriatr Soc. Mar;47(3):323-9)

spa cats
Kelly’s cats, Teresa’s cat, Hannah’s cat

East Village Spa Partners with the Beacon of Life Shelter

East Village Spa has partnered with the Beacon of Life Women’s Shelter to provide free facials and skin care products to help the shelter’s residents learn what it feels like to relax and be cared for, in addition to developing a skin health routine that is attainable and manageable.

The Beacon of Life serves women who do not have a safe place to reside or who need support in their housing.  Many of their clients come directly from incarceration and The Beacon programming focuses on helping them with employment, financial stability, mind/body wellness, and recovery.  When the licensed estheticians at East Village Spa decided to partner with an organization to help educate and nurture women, the Beacon was a natural choice.

Julie Hewitt, Case Manager at the Beacon of Life said that in addition to not feeling worthy of self-care, the women at the shelter have skin care concerns unique to their situation.  Hewitt describes advanced signs of aging due to drug use and stress.  She adds, “I see a lot of acne, wrinkles, dry skin, and pock marks from scabbing.”

Cassie Sampson, owner of East Village Spa, says “I believe working in a spa environment, we take skin care for granted, but we know that when our skin looks healthy and we feel worthy of being cared for by others, we gain confidence. We hope a boost in confidence helps the residents who are making positive life changes like starting a new career or reconnecting with family.”

Both East Village Spa’s employees and the team at The Beacon of Life shelter hope that the women come away from their spa experience with a sense of relaxation and feel that they are valued and important.