Science Confirms the Healing Power of the Purr
Have an injury? Hug a Cat for Pain Relief and Faster Healing!
It’s well known that petting a cat helps lower blood pressure, but the true depth in the healing power of the purr is rather substantial.
When I suffered a near-fatal car wreck, I wasn’t aware of the research surrounding cats purrs and how they were ideal for healing bones and tissue.
I just knew that I hurt, and that my cats were extra cuddly.
Last year a multi-car accident left me with quite a few serious injuries. If they were shoes I’d have a rather enviable collection! My poor body. I was a mess. I really don’t remember too much of the first few months- the initial healing period is a blur of doctors and treatments and uncertainty and daunting prognoses. I have hazy memories of the pain, too- I know there was an awful lot but it seems my brain added a foggy filter to those as a coping mechanism. What I do remember most is the mental anguish. After the shock and disbelief of surviving such a horrific wreck faded- the Highway Patrol stated it was the worse they’d ever seen- I was overwhelmed by three truths:
- that my life would forevermore be punctuated with pain and I wouldn’t be able to do a lot of things anymore or even move the same again- I had to relearn to walk,
- that PTSD is a very real thing. And a great big mean bully
...and perhaps most frustrating of all-
- my brain now worked slower and “foggier” from a TBI with short-term memory loss.
I think that was the most troubling because I “remembered what escaped my memory”, or “knew what I was forgetting”- I knew that I knew words, for instance, but I couldn’t “find” them in the muddy fog that was now my brain.
I’m extremely thankful that I had a strong and capable support network, and I know I’m fortunate as there’s so many who suffered greater needs than me without support. I can’t imagine enduring all I had to without at least one person to lean on or vent to. I also know that one cannot truly understand something unless they have experienced it. If you are suffering the physical and mental effects from an accident or TBI and don’t have a support network please contact me. You are not alone. Please reach out, and remember that I get it- no thing is too small or insignificant.
But I digress. I was repeatedly told that my heal time would be very long and to take it easy on myself. Now, I’m the one who, as soon as she feels better tackles all the stuff I had to let slide. Then, I’m sure you see what’s coming, I take a turn and feel even worse because I “did too much”. I did this every time! But something told me this was different. I seemed to understand on a subconscious level just how important it was to rest. A lot. And to take it really easy for at least a year. I suppose one look at my body and I couldn’t not take it seriously.
When home I was on strict bed rest and my four resident cats spent most of each day snuggled up beside me, purring their little butts off. I kinda figured they were happy to finally have me all to themselves!
I honestly can’t say I have ever heard them purr so much. But me being the ever jaded skeptic with an impossibly busy schedule brushed it off as inadequate observational evidence. I figured they must always purr a lot and I’d just never noticed it until now. Now that I had nothing to do but lay with them and observe.
At the time, I believed my cats sensed that their mom was not doing well and did what cats do best- cuddle and purr- in an effort to comfort me in the only way they know to help.
And even though I was right, I wasn’t even close to comprehending just how much they were helping me.
One of my doctors incidentally helped me realize that my rescue kitties were in fact rescuing me.
After hobbling into Dr’ K’s treatment area for my daily appointment, he joked about the cat hair on the hoodie he was helping me out of. When I feigned embarrassment he waved it off with. “It’s all good, I’m just glad you have them to help you.”
If you knew me you’d know I love to talk and am very rarely at a loss for words, definitely true to my Italian roots! Dr. K took my pause as confusion so asked if I was aware that puthat I couldn’t do many things anymore and would never move the same- I had to relearn to walk,rring was shown to accelerate healing.
Wait, what?! No, surely ye jest! But yes, surprisingly enough it’s true, and Dr. K took the opportunity to educate me. Not only did this ignite my curiosity for further research, but it also proved a great distraction from the painful 90 minute procedure.
The Paradox of The Cat
Shrouded in mischievous mysteries and regal ambiance, felines have been studied and scrutinized since they began living among humans around 12,000 years ago- long before being risen to royal ranks by Ancient Egyptians. Their aloof traits, perceived supremacy, and exotic eccentricities have been the subject of countless myths, folktales and arguments- to this day experts disagree on exactly how cats purr!
We’ve long believed that our ancestors tamed cats to be a companion with benefits. We were taught that Ancient Egyptians domesticated felines because they hunt disease-bringing rodents that destroy our crops and food stores. But thanks to recent discoveries, it turns out that (thousands of years before Egypt was even on the map) cats in fact just sort of domesticated themselves. Which, if you know cats even a little bit makes far more sense.
Besides... there are other creatures that kill rodents. Why didn’t we domesticate the snake?
Can you imagine how different the world would look? Curling up to binge watch with your boa?
I don’t know about you but I’d rather fight kitty than king cobra for my keyboard.
Considering all the new evidence that’s disproving long-held beliefs, I’d say it’s smart to reckon we’ve assumed wrong this whole time. Which leads me to wonder what else we think we know about cats is false?
Figures. Just like a cat to have constant validation for the “Mysterious” title lined up neatly and laid at its feet… Almost seems orchestrated...
It is said there is a cure for everything in nature, and purr-haps early felines instinctually sensed the symbiotic connection and stuck around to co-exist in a mutually beneficial relationship because, face it, healing your humans injuries in exchange for free shelter and fresh mouse meat sounds like a pretty good deal to me. It could be that humans and cats subconsciously knew the profound medicinal benefit of the purr and formed an essential friendship.
Or maybe cats just felt sorry for the poor, ill-equipped humans with their fur-less bodies they had to cover and lack of defense, and knew there was no way such a fragile species would survive without help so decided to step up and offer their amazingly pawsome purr-services to protect and save the human race.
Ancient Egyptians worshipped cats. I’m not so egotistical that I can’t consider the possibility that our ancestors knew more then than we do now.
It can’t be coincidence that cats purr in the exact frequency thats best for healing our bones and tissue.
The Purr Cure
Ongoing research started in the 1970s confirms heart disease rates are about 40% lower among cat owners. Most recently, Dr. Adnan Qureshi of the Zeenat Qureshi Stroke Research Center concluded that owning a cat significantly reduced the risk of heart disease in at-risk patients and asserted in published reports that cat ownership can be used as an effective form of prevention for patients at risk of heart disease.
Purr vibrations release endorphins and other "feel good" chemicals in the brain, including dopamine, oxytocin, prolactin, and norepinephrine. These healing chemicals induce a blissful meditative state, decrease anxiety and depression, and elevate mood.
Both domestic cats and wild cats purrs produce frequencies of 25 to 150 hertz: the prime frequencies for growing bone and healing fractures, and soft tissue restoration.
In 2009 Dr. Adnan Qureshi of the Zeenat Qureshi Stroke Research Center concluded that cats purring mimics the dhikr, a rhythmic chanting used by Sufis as a healing process in early Islamic hospitals.
Scientist and Dr. Zhonghua Wai Ke Za Zhi found that frequencies between 25 and 50 hertz promote bone strength by 20% and stimulate both the healing of fractures and the speed at which the fractures heal.
Scientist and bio-acoustic authority Elizabeth von Muggenthaler’s research statistics conclude that the frequency of a cat’s purr is optimal for, “muscle, tendon, ligament injuries, joint injury, wound healing, reduction of infection and swelling, pain relief, and relief of chronic pulmonary disease.”
Frequencies for the healing, generation and strengthening muscle, ligaments, tendons and soft tissue lie between 35-100 Hz. All cats have at least 4 sets of strong harmonics in this range. This frequency also aids pulmonary issues and relieves dyspnoea.
Take Two Purrs and Call Me in the Morning
In addition to healing tendons, bones and muscles, the same frequencies of the cat purr provides significant pain relief. Vibrational stimulation between 50-140 Hz is found to relieve 82% of suffering in humans with both acute and chronic pain. Cats have at least 5 sets of strong harmonics at 100Hz.
Russian sports medicine developed a biomechanical stimulation technique which uses mechanical vibration of standardized frequencies based on the frequency of the cat purr to improve bone and tissue healing after injury, increase relaxation of strained muscle structures, improve tendon and muscle stretching ability, and relieve pain while doing so.
In the meantime, why not save the lives, too?
Cats are the only creature that purrs to the frequency of our healing. It could be argued that cats are a “miracle cure”.
Why not- we call pills “miracle” drugs. Although, cats don’t have nasty side effects ;)
But so many cats and kittens are euthanized at shelters every day. Why not save countless lives and use cats in recovery hospitals and physical therapy facilities?
The cat's purr is a valuable healing instrument and natural way to increase strength and speed up the healing process to get you back on your feet faster. And forget pain pills- we have pain purrs! Purring not only benefits the cat, it’s a priceless gift to their human caregivers, too.
So if you ever suffer a cat-astrophe resulting in injury be sure to schedule extra time to snuggle and get cat-atonic with your favorite feline because taking pause with your fur-end with paws is the purr-fect treatment fur what ails you.
Go hug your cat meow.
Originally Published at AuthorCat.com
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