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Bianka Wolf, a naturopath from Hohenwestedt in Schleswig-Holstein goes on therapeutic hikes with owls. The eagle owl Saphira, the Chacokauz Radagast and the white-faced owl Gandalf.
Owl walks against burnout
The owl walks are said to help burnout and relieve children of concentration and learning problems because they would focus on the owls.
An hour owl costs 80 euros
Wolf also goes with the owls to retirement homes, schools, hospitals and hospices. An owl hour costs 80 euros.
She explains the meaning of the owl encounter as follows: "A silent conversation with an owl can give new impulses - it's like meditating," she says. The “owl cuddle” costs 80 euros per hour.
"Owls have something mystical"
The naturopath says this and supports this fantasy by giving her little owls the names of the magicians Gandalf and Radagast from the “Lord of the Rings”. The reference to the “Waldschrat” Radagast probably underlines the association with nature magic.
Owls rest in themselves?
Wolf wants their customers to rest by putting the animals on their hands. The animals would rest in themselves, and that could lead to more serenity in humans.
She also suspects that her birds are almost magical. According to the focus, she says: "Owls look into the soul of man."
The magic owl
Hardly any animal is as magically charged as the owl. Even the generic name of the owl “Strix” is derived from Roman mythical creatures, the Strigen, who were supposed to suck out the blood of children in bird form. Which in turn became another term for witch.
Messenger of death and healer
In ancient Greece the owl was a bird of wisdom and enlightenment, in medieval Europe it was associated with the devil and witches.
Mythical creatures and diseases
Vengeful gods took the form of owls, and Odin's wild hunt was led by an eagle owl. Our ancestors interpreted the call of the tawny owl “Kuwitt” as “come with” and as an announcement of an imminent death. Madness and madness cost the lives of countless barn owls, which the farmers nailed to barn doors to keep "evil" away.
Owls have idiosyncrasies that predestine them for magical fantasies: they see at night and they fly silently; they can turn their heads up to 270 degrees.
Large, forward-looking eyes
Owls have large, forward-looking eyes, the retina is shortened and the lens is convex, surrounded by scleral bones. That is why they can see spatially and assess distances.
Owls have special ear openings that are arranged slightly asymmetrically. In addition, many owls have a face veil (barn owls), which directs the sound towards the ears. The broad skull also helps locate sounds.
You hear the mouse run
The hearing center is well developed, a barn owl has three times as many nerve cells there as a crow. For example, a barn owl hears noises of 10,000 Hertz, and with that it hears mice squeaking.
Looking into the soul?
If Ms. Wolf is convinced that "owls can look into the soul of man", she makes no zoological or real statement, but spreads her magical associations to the owls' fascinating eyesight. In realitas, however, this does not serve to "look someone in the soul", but rather helps to fix the prey in dim light.
Animal assisted therapy
Animal-assisted therapy refers to all procedures in which contact with animals is supposed to change people's lives positively, from borderline patients who get a daily structure from dogs, autistic people who learn to lose their fear of contact with animals, to depressed people who have Take the first steps towards communicating with people by contacting an animal.
Are owls suitable for therapies?
We have to distinguish between trained therapy animals such as dogs that act as “therapists” and animals whose mere contact supports therapy.
Just as stroking alone has a positive appeal in rabbits, and the singing of a canary exacerbates gloomy brooding, so of course owls can also accompany therapy.
Healing by nature?
Wolf is right: Wild animals can generally help us to overcome stress and fears. We observe a life outside of ourselves that is not interested in our problems. And we communicate with animals, whether we like it or not - a walk along the duck pond has already solved some emotional knots.
The naturopath decorates her owls with mystical symbolism, but unfortunately she does not decipher her own metaphors. Rather, it spreads symbols of owls that are widespread in the esoteric scene, but which only have a peripheral connection with their zoological reality.
What do the animal therapists say?
The President of the European Society for Animal Assisted Therapy, Rainer Wohlfarth, sees Wolf's owl walks critically. He says. "You should only work with domesticated animals in therapy."
Are the owl walks pointless?
Wohlfarth does not generally see the owl hikes as useless: "I can already imagine a novelty effect." In a narrow sense, however, this does not correspond to animal-assisted therapy. This is primarily about body contact, communication and interaction with animals that seek contact with people on their own. (Source: Focus) (Dr. Utz Anhalt)