SMILE ON THE DIAL: Gympie Hospital's Dr Frank Le Bacq and one of his 35 camels.
SMILE ON THE DIAL: Gympie Hospital's Dr Frank Le Bacq and one of his 35 camels. Contributed

Camel therapy? A unique way of getting over mental hump

EVERYBODY struggles to get over the hump of an intense working week, but one Gympie doctor has carved his own niche to help himself cope with life's demands.

Gympie Hospital Clinical Director of Medical Services Dr Frank Le Bacq has found passion and nourishment in the form of his 35-strong herd of camels, which he cares for with his wife.

Dr Le Bacq said the benefits of his relationship with the animals were "immeasurable".

 

Dr Frank Le Bacq and his camels, as well as another of his property located in Gympie and the herd.
Dr Frank Le Bacq and his camels, as well as another of his property located in Gympie and the herd. Contributed

"They improve our physical health by encouraging our strength, mobility and flexibility because we must get out and about on our farm," he said.

"Mentally, having something completely different to focus on takes your mind off work, we spend a minimum of half-an-hour a day with them. Enjoying time outdoors with them helps reduce stress and promotes a sense of calm.

"We acquired our first camels after hearing what intelligent, sweet animals they are. They're very contemplative animals and remember everything. Our herd recognise our voices and look forward to us coming to spend time with them."

 

Dr Frank Le Bacq and his camels, as well as another of his property located in Gympie and the herd.
Dr Frank Le Bacq and his camels, as well as another of his property located in Gympie and the herd. Contributed

Dr Le Bacq said "pet therapy" has been shown to lower blood pressure, boost moods and improve communication.

"As well as the personal advantages of owning such wonderful animals, there is also the land management and environmental benefits; they tend to the farm by eating 80 per-cent of weeds and leaving the grass alone, their pads don't cause the same amount of erosion as cow's hoofs and they open up under-growth for other animals," he said.

"Their love is unconditional, they are always making us laugh and that is always good for our health".

The Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service is encouraging locals to "work out what they love, make sure it's healthy, and do more of it in an effort to improve wellbeing and happiness".

Gympie Times


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