AuthorAndelora, Joshua Francis
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis creative honors thesis, The Zen Horseman, explores the possible correlation between equine interaction and meditation. Through methods such as practicing Zen meditation, working with equine assisted psychotherapists, neurosurgeons, and academic researchers in the field of mind-body physiology this thesis suggests that heart rate variability is the physiological link correlating meditation and equine interaction. Through a review of multiple studies occurring within the past ten years, both equine interaction and meditation have been found to boost immunity, decrease negative affect, decrease anxiety, depression, and stress. The core focal point of these studies is heart rate variability (HRV), which is the foundational physiological phenomenon, which indicates a mind-body connection. By using HRV, evidence based data allows speculation that Zen meditation and equine interaction are linked through their health-promoting effects on the human body.
Degree ProgramHonors College