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    Puffin Therapy

    NewsStrange but TrueMonday 18 July 2011
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    A tour company on the Scottish island of Mull, one of the Inner Hebrides, has begun running "puffin therapy" trips to nearby islands. The trips are backed by psychologists and take clients to the island of Lunga where over 3000 of the sea birds migrate during Northern Hemisphere summer in order to breed. The clients in need of therapy are then advised to "commune" with the sea birds by lying flat amongst them. The puffins congregate on Lunga, one of the uninhabited Treshnish Isles, to rear their young during the summer. They are often are so tame that they will get close enough to people to tug their shoe laces. "They definitely have a therapeutic effect," says Iain Morrison, whose company Turus Mara runs the trips. "If you can get that close to something that is so comical and endearing, it will do you a lot of good."  Consultant psychologists have backed the idea, saying that communing with nature is as important to humans as sunlight or vitamin C, and is something missing in the overwhelmingly urban life of most Britons.

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