The Dutch wellness trend has people hugging COWS to combat stress


A growing wellness trend from the Netherlands is causing people to hug cows for comfort.

Called ‘cuddling cow’ in Dutch – which translates to ‘cuddling cow’ – the practice usually involves visiting a farm and spending several hours in the company of cows.

According to proponents of the trend, cuddling with cows can be quite soothing due to the animal’s warm temperature and size, and the oxytocin boost it leads to can actually reduce stress.

Isn't this a-moo-sing?  A growing wellness trend from the Netherlands is causing people to hug cows for comfort

Isn’t this a-moo-sing? A growing wellness trend from the Netherlands is causing people to hug cows for comfort

Bovine besties!  Called 'hugging cow' in Dutch - which translates to 'hugging cow' - the practice involves visiting a farm and spending several hours in the company of cows

Bovine besties!  Called 'hugging cow' in Dutch - which translates to 'hugging cow' - the practice involves visiting a farm and spending several hours in the company of cows

Bovine besties! Called ‘hugging cow’ in Dutch – which translates to ‘hugging cow’ – the practice involves visiting a farm and spending several hours in the company of cows

Cuddling, rubbing or leaning against cows can be 'incredibly restful'

Cuddling, rubbing or leaning against cows can be 'incredibly restful'

Cuddling, rubbing or leaning against cows can be ‘incredibly restful’

According to the BBCthe Dutch trend is a form of self-care that can bring ‘serenity’ to practitioners.

Cuddling, rubbing or leaning against cows can be ‘incredibly soothing’ because the cows are large, warm and have a slower heart rate.

“Cuddling cows is believed to promote positivity and reduce stress by stimulating oxytocin in humans, the hormone released during social bonding,” explains the BBC. “The calming effects of curling up with a pet or emotional support animal, it seems, are accentuated when cuddling with larger mammals.”

There are several farms in the Netherlands that offer the activity to visitors, including Cow Hugging in Voorst.

‘With us you only have one task, which is to simply enjoy. Our lovely animals are relaxed, sweet and have a curious nature. They have warm and sincere attention for you with a body temperature of no less than 39 degrees [Celsius], ‘their site reads in Dutch.

Hug a heifer!  Cows are large and warm and have a slower heart rate, all of which can have a calming effect

Hug a heifer!  Cows are large and warm and have a slower heart rate, all of which can have a calming effect

Hug a heifer! Cows are large and warm and have a slower heart rate, all of which can have a calming effect

The trend is starting to spread and is now also being offered at Mountain Horse Farm in Naples, New York, hosting a Horse & Cow Experience for $ 75 per hour

The trend is starting to spread and is now also being offered at Mountain Horse Farm in Naples, New York, hosting a Horse & Cow Experience for $ 75 per hour

The trend is starting to spread and is now also being offered at Mountain Horse Farm in Naples, New York, hosting a Horse & Cow Experience for $ 75 per hour

‘Hugging a cow is a unique experience. It has been proven that the cow’s heartbeat has a relaxing effect on humans. ‘

The trend is starting to spread and is now also being offered at Mountain Horse Farm in Naples, New York, which offers a Horse & Cow Experience for $ 75 per hour.

‘It’s about connecting, getting close to nature, slowing down, taking time to catch your breath, doing something new and exciting, finding peace and just being,’ explains the farm’s website from.

Prairie Conlon, a professional counselor and clinical director of CertaPet, said Yahoo that while it may seem ‘strange’, it can also be ‘a healthy way to increase activity and get those endorphins flowing, so why not?’

“I’ve seen lives changed with the help of horse-assisted psychotherapy,” she said. ‘The horse is not ridden here, which is a common misconception. This involves spending time with and thinking about the movements and behavior of the animals.

‘Since the cow is also a prey animal and displays similar behaviors, I can absolutely see how it can be useful for therapy. Not to mention cuddling with animals in general releases those “feel good” neurotransmitters. ‘

OXYTOCIN: THE ‘LOVE’ OR ‘CUDDLE HORMONE’ THAT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR TRUST

Known as the ‘love hormone’, oxytocin inspires confidence and generosity.

The chemical is naturally released from the brain into the blood of humans and other mammals during social and sexual behavior.

It is produced by women during labor to help them bond with their baby and stimulates breast milk production.

The chemical is also released during intercourse, earning it the nickname ‘the hugging hormone’.

Other loving touches, from hugging a teddy bear to petting your dog, also trigger the release of the hormone.

Cuddling cow is just the latest in animal-related wellness trends.

Several years ago, goat yoga became all the rage, with fitness fans signing up for yoga classes that featured goats walking around and maybe even climbing on a practitioner.

Born in Albany, Oregon, classes have appeared in Dallas, Nashville, and Washington, DC.

Farm owner Lainey Morse, who started the trend, got the idea when she organized a children’s party on her property.

A mother told Morse to remember to hold yoga classes. “I said okay, but the goats have to participate,” said the farmer CNN. Morse hosted her first goat yoga sessions last summer, and soon 1,200 people were on her waiting list.

Several years ago, goat yoga became all the rage, with fitness fans signing up for yoga classes that featured goats walking around and maybe even climbing on a practitioner

Several years ago, goat yoga became all the rage, with fitness fans signing up for yoga classes that featured goats walking around and maybe even climbing on a practitioner

Several years ago, goat yoga became all the rage, with fitness fans signing up for yoga classes that featured goats walking around and maybe even climbing on a practitioner

Pennywell Farm in Buckfastleigh, Devon introduced piggy pilates sessions for adventure fitness enthusiasts

Pennywell Farm in Buckfastleigh, Devon introduced piggy pilates sessions for adventure fitness enthusiasts

Pennywell Farm in Buckfastleigh, Devon introduced piggy pilates sessions for adventure fitness enthusiasts

Armathwaite Hall hotel in Keswick, Cumbria, offers lemur yoga classes to guests

Armathwaite Hall hotel in Keswick, Cumbria, offers lemur yoga classes to guests

Armathwaite Hall hotel in Keswick, Cumbria, offers lemur yoga classes to guests

In 2019, Pennywell Farm in Buckfastleigh, Devon, began offering piggy pilates. During the 50-minute training sessions, the miniature teacup pigs “run around like crazy,” nibbling the participants’ toes and playing around while gym bunnies do planks.

The rural farm staff has suggested that the workout is “ incredibly popular, ” and one woman reportedly claimed she “ enjoys the workout more than her wedding day. ”

Finally, the Armathwaite Hall hotel in Keswick, Cumbria, England started offering yoga classes with lemurs last year.

The lemurs, from Lake District Wild Life Park, can wander around the mats and climb over yogis during the Lemoga classes.

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