Dolphin therapy

Dolphin Assisted Therapy is a method that involves controllable and dosed interaction between peoples with special needs and dolphins for obtaining of healthcare effect.

Dolphin-assisted therapy is a new field of modern medicine that started in the late 1970s. Studying dolphins, American scientists found that interacting with dolphins had a beneficial effect on mental and physical health of the humans. Later there have been scientific data got which confirm that swimming with dolphins helps on treatment of different diseases.

Healing effect of dolphins is accounted for different influencing factors directly associated with the dolphin nature, with psychological benefit of the human and animal interaction as a major component.

Watching dolphins, a human feels the so-called «expression of movement» having a kinesthetic effect — producing a neuromuscular response to the external agents involving an attempt to repeat the whole image of a muscular movement.

The dolphin echolocation system can be part of the reason behind how dolphin-assisted therapy works too. The dolphins act upon the humans as the natural sonar which transmits ultrasound with intensity of 8.3 Wt/cm2.

Arising under the influence of dolphin echolocation, chemical and electrical changes in a human body and increased release of hormones that penetrate through cell membranes activating the cells promote intercellular metabolism.

Ultrasound of the same intensity can generate processes of cavitation and phonophoresis in cells and tissues of the human body.

Cavitation is the formation of low-pressure gas-filled bubbles (cavities) in liquids and immediate explosion of them. The shock waves formed by the explosion promote cells to release bioactive substances and stimulates release of the endorphins.

The cavitation results in change of a cell membrane coefficient that creates conditions for sonophoresis — increase in flow of ferments, specific hormones penetrating into the cells, with sodium and calcium ions inflow and potassium ions outflow during this process. All this produce beneficial chemical and electrical processes in a human body and explains «analgesic» effect of the interaction with dolphins.

The electrophysiological and behavior changes stimulated by low-frequency electromagnetic oscillations, which the dolphins emit, can result in intensification of thought process and communication activity.

Penetrating into tissues, microvibration induced by the ultrasonic waves and sounds of audible range (200–20000 Hz) emitted and produced by a dolphin can also effect selectively on the different biological structures.

During swimming with dolphins, their motions and differently directed water flows modulated by its caudal fin produce beneficial effect of hydromassage for a patient.
Dolphins are social animals living in groups called pods that the reason of their friendliness to humans and high communicativeness is accounted for. The dolphin sociability allows them to find various ways of communication, change their behavior depending on ability and conditions of their interaction partner. A dolphin involves a child in playing process by attracting attention to itself and expecting a response from the playmate. A play therapy, as is known, one of the important methods of mental function recovery in children.

Mutual interest a child and a dolphin and attraction of them to each other are just the stimulus for mental, speech and physical development in children. The dolphin becomes a friend to the child and a starting point for all further beneficial changes is just close interacting between them.

Because of dolphin-assisted therapy sessions, a child has better spatial orientation and coordination of movements; there are accelerated processes of formation of new motor skills, development of thinking, and acquisition of knowledge, manifestation of creative inclination, for example, demand for drawing observed. Moreover, developed communication skills, stabilized mood, improved self-assessment are also observed. Feeling of fear in children is reduced, they cease to fear of water; dolphins immediately sense a child’s fear and give the time for the child to accustom himself/herself. After dolphin therapy sessions, children become nonaggressive in relation to strangers.

Some scientists hold the opinion about dolphin extrasensory influence on humans. Moreover, dolphin extrasensory ability to heal is more powerful than that of a human extrasensory individual. Powerful biofield of dolphins has relaxing effect on a human during swimming with dolphins expressed in feeling of tingling, skin vibration, and heat.

It is observed that dolphin-assisted therapy aids in maintenance of a closer contact between parents and children. This is very important for families having got handicapped children; in fact continual emotion tension of parents can have an adverse effect on emotional, mental and physical development of their child.

Dolphin-assisted therapy is also recommended for children with hearing disorders. Many children who are not able to hear in humans’ audible range hear sounds produced by dolphins. It can have beneficial effect and become a stimulus for hearing restoration.

Dolphins benefit not only children but adults as well. Medical research shows that swimming with dolphins has beneficial effect on pregnant women: they get into good mood, have better immunity and general well-being. Influence of emotional state of an expectant mother on prenatal development is well known. Researches of dolphinarium in Lima (Peru) have found that ultrasound produced by dolphins helps to avoid fetal development anomalies, stimulate cardiac performance and hearing organ in a fetus. Swimming with dolphins before labor also eases the labor pains.
Dolphin-assisted therapy has shown good results in complex therapy of organic pathology of central nervous system, attention disorders including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), psychomotor retardation, mild and moderate mental retardation, memory disorder, learning disorder, verbal and hearing impairments, autism, Down’s Syndrome, cerebral palsy, retinopathy, neurosis, non-endogenous depressions, and enuresis.

High effectiveness of dolphin-assisted therapy has also been observed in patients with psychological traumatic experience who have suffered in accidents and critical occurrences, and in children-hostages. However, maximal effectiveness of dolphin-assisted therapy is noted on treatment of functional illnesses, metabolic disorders, psychosomatic disorders; it makes this method eligible for rehabilitation actions.

After interacting with dolphins, humans note improved mood and sense of well-being, higher working capacity, eliminated fatigue feeling, apathy, and tension.

Dolphin-assisted therapy can help in solving the following problems:
— correction of mental development of humans with neuropathy;
— development of cognitive activity in humans with psycho-neurological abnormalities;
— chronic pain control;
— event lowering in neurotic and vegetative-vascular reactions;
— alleviation on psychosomatic disorders;
— event lowering in involuntary movements, tics and spasms;
— rehabilitation of humans suffered from violence and other stressful situations;
— psycho-emotional training for specialists working in the stressful environment;
— leisure activity and relaxation for healthy humans, both children and adults.

In spite of current opinion that dolphins heal any disease, dolphin-assisted therapy is not recommended for some ailments such as:
— epilepsy
— acute infectious diseases
— oncologic diseases
— conventional contraindications for rehabilitation treatment in the health resorts.

Source material:
www.dolphintherapy.ru
www.therapynemo.com