Did You Know That Animals Can Help Us Heal?
Our Animal Ambassador for Birds On The Brink Sanctuary, Fiona the Eclectus parrot, is being trained by our visionary Maxine to help people heal. Maxine describes a typical event:
“I am working very carefully with Fiona to be a PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) bird. So when people with their energies are a particular way, she can read them and knows how to respond. She is a natural. She is fine with kids and their energy, but if there’s a child who’s stressed or has a problem, not stressed about the bird, but you can tell they’re not doing well with their emotions, they’re having a tough life, I’d take Fiona and put her on their arm, “Is this okay?” “Yes.” She moves up the arm to the elbow, I ask the child, “Is it okay if she gets up on your shoulder?” So she walks up, sits right on their shoulder, puts her beak right on their temple and keeps it there without doing anything and she goes, “Hmmmmmm.”
“She hums! What I’m teaching her to do, I want her to say, “Breathe. It’s okay. You are okay.” Her voice is so clear. She can say, “You are okay,” and they would just get it. We’re working on when stresses come up, she can respond to that.
Fiona’s Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Exercise – Do a Full 360 Degree Turn
“In PTSD, just telling you you’re okay means you need to take a moment and look all around you, turn all 360 degrees, and tell yourself, “I’m okay.” Fiona is very good at that. She waits until they calm down, she doesn’t want to leave, she stays right there. The bond she makes is profound and quick and deep. It’s really amazing.”
“So there’s a lot about how she makes people feel, she makes them feel calm. She assesses and when she’s done assessing, she responds based on that assessment. I’ve never seen her back away from an experience.”