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Health Benefits Of Teddy Bears

Before my wife and I got married, I had no idea that some adults maintain very strong attachments to their childhood teddy bears.

It wasn't long before I realized that Margaret had very real feelings of affection for her two favorite bears: Snuffles (a brown grizzly) and Mika (a pink polar bear).

I have to admit, it wasn't long before I started to enjoy having Snuffles and Mika around, especially in the evenings when we would lie in bed and talk about how our day went. As silly as it might seem, Margaret has two distinct voices and personalities for Snuffles and Mika that really bring them to life.

Now, instead of seeing two cute and lifeless teddy bears on our bed, I see two important and charismatic members of our growing family. :)

Sometime last year when I told Margaret that a busy week at our clinic had me scrambling to write a health article for our weekly newsletter, within about an hour, I received an article via e-mail entitled "Health Benefits of Teddy Bears."

I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to include it in our newsletter, only to have Margaret protest in horror. "It was only a joke, just to make you laugh!"

Well, I just came across "Health Benefits of Teddy Bears" as I was cleaning out my e-mail folders, and this time, without her consent, I am throwing it up here on our blog.

Whether you have a teddy bear in your life or not, I hope that you find the following article to be as amusing as I do. Enjoy!


Health Benefits of Teddy Bears
By Snuffles and Mika Kim

For the past century, teddy bears have enjoyed immense popularity among the young at heart. What many people underestimate is the positive effect these bears have on your health. Not only do teddy bears make wonderful sleep time companions, they are also effective in alleviating many chronic health conditions such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, obesity, flatulence, and ear wax build-up.

Contrary to popular belief, teddy bears do not only come in the colour brown. There exist black, white, red, pink, and even blue bears. However, brown is the traditional colour and is what people seem to be most familiar with. No matter what the colour, teddy bears are beneficial for your health. It is the bear itself that is the effective component, not the colour.

Studies have shown that it is the cuteness and apparent attentiveness of the bear that affects change in a person'?s health status. Cuteness depends on how well-loved a bear appears, roundness of features, and amount of fat the bear possesses. Bears that look too new (e.g. like they have never been touched) or too worn (e.g. they have bits and pieces missing) are not considered as cute as bears that look like they've been slept on for a few years, and still have all of their vital organs (e.g. nose and eyeballs). Round and chubby features are best, but if the bear is too round it can be mistaken for a ball which then renders its health effect nil.

Apparent attentiveness is an important feature, because human owners (also known as parents) of the bears tend to find comfort in the fact that their bears are listening to them. That is what helps the human to feel like their health is improving - the attention factor. Thus, if you have a bear that can't sit up or is always looking at something else when you'?re talking to them, you should find a new bear. The best teddy bears are modeled after wild bears, with the same shape and perky ears. These teddy bears can sit on their bums and look you straight in the eye while you complain about how life sucks, and their round, chubby faces deliver compassion and empathy. However, as these types of teddy bears are quite small compared to wild bears, they are sometimes mistaken for pigs, especially if they are pink in colour. One should be careful to shield these bears from hearing such comments, as they then become angry and resentful, which decreases their ability to improve your health condition.

Teddy bears are the best companions to have because they provide help in a wide range of areas. They aren't only good for sleeping and cuddling, which is what most people think. They have also been known to help students prepare for speeches, throw surprise birthday celebrations, provide therapy, and dispose of leftover honey. And, despite working so hard, teddy bears don'?t need regular baths. Actually, they don't need baths at all! You should never wash your teddy bear, as washing also decreases their healing potential. This is a fact.

In recent years, imposters such as teddy ducks, teddy dogs, teddy cats, and even teddy cows have made an appearance. Don'?t be fooled, as these charlatans cannot heal the way teddy bears can. If you want to improve your health, teddy bears are the genuine article. If you REALLY want to improve your health, you should leave some cookies out for your teddy bears. Scientists are not sure how or why this works, but it does.

Kim, S. & Kim, M. (2005). Interview with Teddy Bear Experts. Barrie, ON: MooBoo.


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Anonymous said...

Just had to tell you to check out a great magazine called Teddy Bears and Friends. The bears in there are made by artists and they are so incredible.

You might need a second mortgage on your house to afford some of them.

Thursday, July 13, 2006 1:02:12 PM
susan said...

I love your article! Thank you to Margaret, Snuffles, and Mika! I too have a Snuffles bear, and a few others who have been with me since the very early days.

My mom once tried to get rid of my first bear, a panda bear named Joe Bear who was very ragged but still had all his parts when I was about 4. She tried tossing him out many times, but I always retrieved him.

Then she tried giving me another bear, but of course, that's not the same thing, and Joe Bear gained a wife. She tried another bear, an Joe Bear gained a sister.

Finally, she gave up and re-stuffed him, sewed the gaping holes to his arms and neck and and my sister gave him a set of clothes. They are family in the truest sense of the word.

One of them travels with me when I go on business trips, which are long and stressful. Bears are a cheerful face after a bad day with the sales person and customers, and they don't mind hearing me vent. They give me hugs and tell me "well, aren't you glad the day's over now?"

I've acquired a bit of the Dr. Dolittle in being able to talk to my bears and hear the answers. But it only seems to work when no one else is around and only with my bears. Their wisdom, love, hugs and attentiveness are always much appreciated.
Thursday, July 13, 2006 1:15:29 PM
Anonymous said...

Funny, but there is a lot of truth to this article. I have recently "found" my old childhood bear buddy in the basement. I haven't held him for at least 10 years (24 now). Now, I have him sitting on my wardrobe and I feel a very strong positive sensation whenever I hug him. :)
Thursday, July 13, 2006 1:32:49 PM
Gombojav said...

So cute!! I'm glad you posted this! Hope your wife doesn't mind!
Thursday, July 13, 2006 1:53:39 PM
Jackie V olkov said...

Your blog on teddy bears really reached so deeply into my heart and soul. I am 67 years...YOUNG(!) and I was never given a bear when I was little and I have NEVER had one! Much as I have a great longing for a bear I have never bought one as I feel very deeply that bears are one of those things( no, not THINGS!) that should be given , not bought. So perhaps it is that I am meant to be..bearless.
Thank you so much for the dedication you put into your site.
Love from Jackie Volkov faraway at the 'end' of the planet in New Zealand)
Thursday, July 13, 2006 3:39:03 PM
darcy-bat said...

Thanks so much for the teddy bear article today. I have almost finished chemotherapy treatments, and have, for the past 6 weeks, had my bears atop a bookcase in my bedroom. Having their concerned, loving faces watching over me while I sleep makes me feel warm and loved, and not alone during my bouts of insomnia.
Sometimes, teddy bears are better than husbands, and often they are better than your sickly, negative Self. They don't talk back, they listen intently, and they never wander away and leave you in despair. Remember though, that Teddies learn from you: they can value you only if you value them. If you show them kindness and love, they will do the same anytime you need it. They are invaluable healing tools, and not just because they are filled with absorbant stuffing that dries your tears for you.
If you cannot have animals at home, Teddies are a MUST (and to Jackie Olkov, I would gladly send you a Canadian teddy if I had your address!) when it comes to the healing process.
Bravo to Dr. Kim's wife for understanding and proclaiming this fact to the health-minded world!!
Thursday, July 13, 2006 5:12:30 PM
douglas brown said...

Sorry, but Bears are nothing but stress and trouble. They are soooo demanding! It's not just Bears either our pig and Rhino are always asking for stuff.

Can't live with 'em - can't live without 'em though.

Thursday, July 20, 2006 9:56:16 AM
evenjavi said...

My father gave me my "Teddy" before my one of my first trips to Spain to visit my mother's side of the family, so I could have a little something from home always have with me. I am 35 years old now and still have my bear safe and sound since the age of three. All my friends have always known about my bear and what he means to me too. They get a kick out of it.

When my husband and I started dating, I made it clear, "Love me, love my bear". He has always been respectful just like Dr. Kim and his wife Margaret.

Now we have a 1.5 year old son and we both felt very strongly about him having a bear too. He loves "Paco" more than you can imagine! Paco soothes him to sleep every night. I hope his bear brings him comfort as the years pass, just like my "Teddy" did to me.

In high school I wrote a poem about my bear that I still keep:

"My Teddy Bear"

He's one of admirable mention,
Who comes to me at times of tension.

I call upon not only during distress,
Thus also when I am filled with happiness.

He comforts when lonliness sets in,
The unamimous advice is a definite win.

There is no feeling of any possible neglect,
For we've got a mutual respect.

There he sits awaiting me at home,
Similiar to a faithful ol' dog that never tends to roam.

Though a bit worn like a used pair of jeans,
I couldn't see confiding in any other means.

His battle scars of rips and tears,
Are only evidence he consoles most fears.

Hence, most others don't much care,
There is none for me but my Teddy Bear.

Believe it or not, I am a very happy, well adjust adult... most times! Ha, ha!

Sunday, July 23, 2006 9:45:48 PM
BearOwner said...

Dearest Jackie Volkov,

No one should ever be Bearless! As Darcy said, many would be happy to send you a Teddy Bear if you tell us where to send it.

However, no Bear should be left homeless or without it's human "parents". So, don't delay, go out there and save one of those lonely Bears from a store shelf!

...and Dr. Kim, thanks for the endearing posting!
Friday, August 04, 2006 2:25:02 AM
Anonymous said...

I'm fifteen and was reading this over my mother's shoulder on a forum. I don't really have any bears but I have two puppies who I love to death and still sleep with, both tucked in my arms. Brownie, a brown and white dog, I have had for as long as I can remember. According to my mom I got her around kindergarden. My other dog Haruka, is more recent. Less than a year old. As said before I love them to death. When ever I get mad or sad I got talk to Brownie. At sleepovers Brownie comes. All of my friends accept and love her. When I camp, Brownie comes. When I travel, Brownie rides in my seat with me. I have multitudes of other stuffies but Brownie is my favorite with Haruka in second and Scouter Lepi in third. Scouter Lepi is a leopard with a scouts outfit. I made her at Build-A-Bear. Stuffed animals really help. Whether it's a bear, a dog, a cat, or anything else. Just pick your favorite animal. Could even be a flamingo! I have on somewhere in my basement.

My mother on the other hand has a purple bear called Violet who stays on her bed. Same goes for Ralph, her black dog. She's been collecting the snowflake teddies and has every one of the lager sizes scine 1996. They hang in our basement along with ALL her other stuffies.

Little Shadow
Thursday, August 17, 2006 10:00:04 PM

I totally agree with you. I talk to my teddy bear. And I have my teddy bear talk to my friends too. I'm 22 and me and my sis (21 years old) still play with teddy bears.My male friends hate my teddy bear (due to its craziness) but I still get them laughing. I think there's a strong emotional attachment between me and my teddy bear, like it has its own crazy personality (created by my sis)instead of a lifeless stuffed toy, like you said. haha~