Mooove over, goat yoga. There’s a new wellness movement in town to help you reduce stress and embrace the zen. Or, more accurately, a cow.
That’s right. A COW. Because apparently milk isn’t the only thing from cows that does a body good.
Don’t have access to a cow to cuddle? Fear not. Mountain Horse Farm in upstate New York has you covered. For the not-so-bargain price of $300 (for up to 2 people) you can get your snuggle on with your very own Bessie bovine stress buster.
According to Mountain Horse Farm’s website, your 90-minute hug-a-cow session will:
Bring relaxation, healing, awareness about your body language, comfort, Mindfulness, build assertiveness, help with overcoming fear, build confidence, lets you be playful and teaches you to set boundaries. It can help you work through obstacles in your life and it can be helpful if you feel stuck and you are looking for a new way.
They explain that cows are gentle, sensitive and intuitive creatures and have the ability to read your body language:
They will pick up on what’s going on inside and sense if you are happy, sad, feel lost, anxious or are excited and they will respond to that without judgement, ego or agenda.
Huh. Wonder if the cows can also offer sensitivity training?
Need another reason to cuddle a cow?
Cows have a body temperature that is slightly higher than humans and their heart rate is lower than ours. Cuddling up with a cow, feeling that lower heart rate and higher body temperature, is very relaxing.
If you’re not a hugger, that’s okay. You can tailor your experience to your own comfort level. You can pet them, brush them, play together, do an obstacle course together, or simply share space with them.
Before you decide to go rogue and drive out to the middle of nowhere to cuddle up with some random cow, stop. The sessions are facilitated by an equine specialist and a licensed counselor who will ensure an emotionally safe environment, allowing you the time and space you need to relax, heal, learn, and grow.
Cows not your thing? Mountain Horse Farm offers the same experience with horses.
They also offer various wellness retreat packages, including Swedish and Accupressure massages, Shinrin-Yoku forest therapy, and wine tours.
I like cows. I do. There’s no denying they’re cute with their big brown eyes and long lashes. And goodness knows, I’m as stressed as the next person. I’ve tried yoga and meditation. I’ve tried drinking calming teas and taking deep cleansing breaths. I’ve tried hot-stone massages and visualizing myself lounging on a white sandy beach, margarita in hand. I could do with some de-stressing. A number of studies have shown that animal-assisted therapy can improve a person’s social, emotional, psychological, and physiological well-being. It has been used to help in the treatment of ADHD, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Autism, depression, dementia, schizophrenia, and cancer.
But I can also think of a few other cow-related things I would rather spend $300 on:
200 Hershey Chocolate bars
30 wheels of Camembert Cheese
15 Filet Mignons
60 quarts of Häagen-Dazs Sea Salt Caramel Truffle Ice Cream
50 slices of White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake
1 pair of leather boots
1 Michael Kors Hand Bag
So as much as I may love a little cow cuddle, I think I’ll stick to de-stressing with some chocolate instead.