Is Dolphin Assisted Therapy Research The Answer?

Dolphin assisted therapy research is a therapeutic method used mostly with special needs people. This type of therapy is using both professional help as well as well trained dolphins. This is a mix between occupational therapy, physiotherapy and animal therapy. This type of therapy is also used to feed results to research as to discover both benefits and inconvenient to using this style of therapy and if the benefits outweighing the inconvenient or not. This way, researchers will be able eventually to decide if this style of therapy should be discontinued or not.

What kind of exercises can be done during dolphin assisted therapy? Well, you have two kinds of ways to use dolphinsí assistance in this type of therapy: in and out of the water. But first, therapy must be done in the water to allow the person to build a relationship with the dolphin.

How is the patient able to build a relationship? The therapist is using various exercises to allow both the dolphin and the patient. For example, ball games, being pulled by the dolphin which gives the patient a ride while holding its fin, giving acrobatic displays and doing some exercises in water can be various ways to motivate a patient to achieve educational activities, etc. These activities are done out of the water and when goals are achieved, the patient is rewarded by interacting directly with the dolphin while in the water.

Also, occupational and physiotherapy exercises can be done to develop certain motor skills on both fine and gross levels. It also helps the patient to strengthen their muscles. Several success stories happened in patients participating to dolphin assisted therapy.

What are the inconvenient of using this type of animal therapy? Well, some people, especially groups defending animal rights happened to be against this style of therapy mainly because of wild dolphins being caught and trained in captivity. Others say that being a wild animal, dolphins can be as unpredictable and may be even dangerous. Also, this type of therapy is not only expensive which means that in general people can hardly afford and if they do then they have limited amount of sessions that are made available to them but also, the locations are distant and far apart. This means that besides the bill for the sessions, you must also pay for travel expenses, hotel rooms, restaurants, etc.

Before sharing with you the benefits of such a therapy, I intend to set some things straight concerning the inconvenient mentioned above this paragraph. First, often, the dolphins that are trained and used for this purpose are born in captivity and not in the wild. Also, even in the wild, dolphins are both curious and naturally friendly to humans, as long as they do not feel threatened but even in this case, they do not always display aggressively. In fact, not long ago, a dolphin was curious and friendly with men despite the fact that they attacked it several times, and stabbed it to death. And donít forget that these dolphins are well trained by dolphins trainers which were professionally trained by following a dolphins trainers education course. The dolphins were trained for hours, days and even weeks before being allowed near patients. Plus, the therapist and the trainer are both ready to intervene as they are with the patient and the dolphin at all times.

Now, letís look at the benefits. First of all, dolphins are known to not only detect vibrations and understand the humanís mind better than anticipated at first, but also can be gentle, protective and use several techniques to facilitate communication. They are known to be friendly and fascinate most people. Being without fur, dolphins are also easier to work with as they do not affect allergies. Research has already proven on several occasions that during dolphin assisted therapy, patients improved, developed or acquired abilities that were sometimes unknown even to their own families.

This therapy is also used in special cases such as depression, Dawn Syndrome, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Partial Paralysis and much more. In some cases of patients suffering from Autism, for example, non-verbal patients were known to start to develop their speech. In physical conditions, some patients were known to develop some motor skills which were thought impossible to some physicians and specialists.

Dolphin assisted therapy research did not only offer success, improvement of the quality of life of patients but also to their families. That is why I believe that this type of animal therapy is crucial to patients, especially if they love animals such as dolphins. Why not use the positive influence of dolphins to help your loved ones?

If you wish to get more information concerning dolphin assisted therapy research, I invite you to go to:

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