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Carmel clinic uses healing power of French bulldogs for patients

Clinic uses healing power of French bulldogs for patients

CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) — A medical clinic has adopted a unique approach to health care that is capturing hearts and transforming lives.

As patients enter the clinic, they are not only greeted by the friendly faces of medical staff, but also by a duo of gentle French bulldogs, Frank and Stella, who eagerly wag their tails and offer unconditional love.

The introduction of French bulldogs at the Integrative Medicine, Laser and Aesthetics clinic heralds a era of patient care, and recognizes the profound impact of animal therapy on overall well-being. The clinic focuses on harnessing dogs’ ability to alleviate stress and create a calming environment for patients.

A patient of four years, Anita Roesch said, “I think my largest was when I was going in for physicals and things like that. First thing was we have to have these vaccines, shots, and flu shots, and I just don’t do well.”

Roesch says the clinic has fostered a sense of community and support for her family while seeking medical care. “I think of the places where they take them to nursing homes, and it makes people happy. Obviously, if you’re not an animal lover … but I love them. It’s like they’re my first thing and if you’re anxious about something, they come greet you.”

Dr. Charnjit Pabla was the visionary behind the initiative. He explains that studies have illustrated the therapeutic benefits — reducing blood pressure and reducing anxiety — of interacting with pets, especially dogs. “I started a practice and I thought how interesting would it be to have animals in our practice to help with that calming atmosphere, not only help our patients, but our employees as well.”

For many patients, visiting a doctor can be stressful. To ensure a comprehensive appointment experience, Pabla brought in the energetic pair. “When people realize that you are a dog lover they instantly feel better talking to you. Some of our visits are two hours long or an hour long. So, we spend a lot of time with our patients, and I think our dogs play a big part of it.”

Dr. Jason Amich with the clinic said, “There is a lot of research and literature out there that are connecting things like gut health with mental health, that includes issues like anxiety and depression. With Frank and Stella, we call them our chief experience officers for setting a therapeutic tone here as well.”