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Therapy animals provide U of M students with a stress reliever during finals week

Photo: Center for Spirituality & Healing

U of M students met with Tanya Bailey and Woodstock the therapy chicken to relieve stress during finals week.

Yesterday, Health Talk provided U of M students with some tips to keep their mind and body sound during finals week.

Earlier this week, the Center for Spirituality & Healing partnered with the Magrath Library and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum to provide students with some much needed stress relief during finals week by bringing in therapy animals including 21 dogs and Woodstock, a therapy chicken.

This fun three-day event even garnered considerable media attention from the Minnesota Daily, WCCO-TV, KSTP-TV and the Twin Cities Daily Planet.

From the smiling faces and laughter, it was easy to see the effect these animals had on the students.

“If I’m stressed out, I won’t produce the best possible work. Spending time with the animals gave me a chance to stop worrying about everything I had to do during finals. I had an hour where I could just relax – I wasn’t thinking all the projects that are due right now,” said Taylor Wichrowski, a junior in the College of Design.

Staff members involved with the event also saw the importance of the therapy animals firsthand.

“This was an important way for the Library, Arboretum and the Center for Spirituality & Healing to demonstrate our commitment to student success,” said Jean Larson, Ph.D., lead faculty, Nature-Based Therapeutics at the Center for Spirituality & Healing. “Many students are seeking ways to lessen stress during finals, and this event gave them that opportunity.”

If you were unable to see Woodstock or any of the other therapy animals, make sure to check out the Center for Spirituality & Healing’s Flickr page.

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