The dolphin therapy is a method of intervention that involves the use of dolphins to improve some physical and mental condition and has gained tremendous popularity in recent years. Swimming with dolphins is also being considered widely to help improve many health conditions.
Such therapy is effective in treating a wide range of conditions: depression, stress , anxiety, psychomotor, language development, down syndrome, autism, social phobia, cancer, self-esteem, motivation, hyperactivity, communicative difficulties, etc.
About Dolphin Therapy
Throughout history, numerous types of assisted animal therapies have been developed, based on the hypothesis that the human-animal relationship contributes to the well-being and health of the former.
This phenomenon of well-being has been documented for the first time in 1980 when Friedmann demonstrated the benefits of owning a pet in short- and long-term recovery and survival of coronary patients. Since then, the development of such therapies has grown unstoppable.
The human being creates the human-animal bond or connection in a natural way, made evident by the evidence of the existence of pets since ancient times.
This link has been described in many different sources: ancient literature, modern fiction, scientific publications, etc. Robinson concluded in 1995 that relationships with other species cover human needs that go beyond basic needs.
From the first occurrences of this type of interventions to the present, many clinicians have reported the effectiveness of the use of animals in psychological therapy. The psychological benefits and advantages provided by the context of therapy established with the presence of animals are immeasurable.
” Animals are very nice friends. They do not ask questions and do not allow criticism.” (George Eliot, 1857)
Benefits of Dolphin Therapy
Dolphin therapy has been used for the first time in England in 1976 by Dr. Doobs for the psychological treatment of patients presenting with work tension, better known today as burnout.
The results were objectified with the measurement of blood markers. Among other things, it was demonstrated that dolphin-assisted therapy increases levels of endorphins in the blood, a hormone associated with relaxation ( the increased parasympathetic activity of the central nervous system).
Let’s take a detailed look at 10 of the most attractive and documented benefits of dolphin assisted therapy:
A lot of health problems, both psychological and physical, are highly associated with the context of life. With the advances of modern life, we have stopped living in a natural environment, a fact that has contributed to the emergence of stress, anxiety, mood disorders, etc.
Dolphin assisted therapy provides an environment of absolute avoidance of modern life, in many cases including the possibility of traveling to natural paradises such as Island Dolphin Care in Florida or Isla Margarita in Venezuela.
This characteristic of dolphin-assisted intervention is therapeutic in its own right, allowing users to forget the pathological context of disease acquisition.
Another use of dolphins for health purposes is known as relaxation therapy with dolphins.
Different spas have implemented this therapy in their offer due to the great demand of the public, offering benefits of reduction of anxiety and stress.
3.Synchronization of Biological Rhythms
Cochrane and Callen demonstrated in 1998 that flotation in aqueous medium induces theta brain rhythm, associated with shallower sleep stages.
During the same, the brain releases and propagates a cluster of neurotransmitters that induce complete relaxation of body and mind.
Numerous physiological benefits have been associated with immersion in water. Among them, there is greater freedom from gravitational forces and less restriction, making dolphin therapy an ideal context for physiotherapy and treatment of psychomotor problems and physical disability.
4.Freedom and Openness
According to the researchers Cochrane and Callen (1998): ” Even children with severe disabilities begin to open when they are in the water. Little by little they lose their fear and begin to move as if they were in a familiar and reassuring environment. ”
Brensing proposed in 2003 that, beyond the benefits of an aquatic environment, the positive impact of dolphin assisted therapy could be based on the delicate and kind behavior of dolphins towards humans.
In the context of therapy, according to Judy A. Rollins, patients do not seem to focus on healing, but on how peaceful and magical it is to swim with dolphins.
6.Improvement of communicative and concentration skills
As a result of the dolphin therapy, patients increase their vitality, receptivity and attentional abilities. A better ability to focus and concentrate during and beyond therapy is developed.
An improvement in expressive communication skills, such as maintaining ocular contact, sound production, and language development, has been documented in children.
In patients with autism, the development of cooperation and participation behaviors has been observed as well as the facilitation of the establishment of new social relationships.
7.Improvement of intellectual and Learning Skills
In children, significant progress in development and responsiveness to maternal behavior has been demonstrated.
The improvement is observed in the capacity of the initiative, level of processing and speed in the same.
Since most learning difficulties are caused by problems in the concentration and processing of information, acting on the reasons of the problem becomes the best path of improvement.
8.Connection with Nature
Proponents of dolphin therapy claim that using dolphins allows patients to experience powerful emotions associated with the connection with nature and biology.
And what do you think about dolphin therapy? Do you support it? Have you tried it already? Just try it see the difference.