Recently we attended the first Dolphin Therapy session held in Andalucia, at Selwo Marina, in Benalmadena.
For the last decade dolphin therapy has been publicised by the media, but Dolphin Therapy was started in the early seventies by Dr Betsy Smith who noticed the therapeutical effects of dolphins on her disabled brother. A few years later dolphin therapy was developed by Dr Nathanson in Florida, America, who studied the interaction between dolphins and children with Down’s syndrome and obtained promising results.
During the therapy children are asked to touch, feed or pat the animals and swim with them. Therapists work on specific areas such as speech, behaviours and motor skills, they customise programmes to the needs of the children. Samples of blood analysed before and after therapy, showed that after swimming with dolphins there is a change of hormones, endorphins and enzymes as well as T-cells. How this is possible is still not well understood. There is ongoing research in universities and dolphin research centres.
The healing principle has been considered similar to that of sound therapy: rhythm and vibrational sound facilitate an altered mood. Dolphins have a natural sonar. They emit ultrasound waves to localise things and to communicate. This process is called “echolocation”. Sounds emitted by the dolphins are so intense that that they can cause “cavitations”: they create holes in the molecular structure of fluids and soft tissues. Some believe that the dolphins’ signal frequencies can have a profound effect on the human brain by modifying the brainwave activity. Results of EEG tests carried out on people who experienced the echolocation showed that the dominant human brain frequency drops from beta to alpha.It was also noted that both sides of the brain enter into synchronisation which means there is a far better communication between the left and right sides of the brain, this is an uncommon neurological state, which is typically associated with heightened awareness and increased learning ability.
Some of the results noticed following dolphin therapy are:
· Strong emotional change
· Children calm down
· Improved communication
· Increased attention span
· Increased confidence and self esteem
· Improved gross or fine motor skills
· Better co-ordination
· Better eye contact, smiling, laughing, touching
· Better immune system.