September 6, 2012

The Benefits of Dolphin Therapy. ~ Anny Ortiz

A Gift of Nature

“To the dolphin alone, nature has given that which the best philosophers seek:
Friendship for no advantage. Though it has no need of help from any man, it is a genial friend to all and has helped mankind.” ~ Plutarc

Dolphins are fascinating creatures. Their ever-smiling faces and playful nature captivate our attention and inspire our love. Personally, when I think of dolphins, I can’t help but feel as though they represent joy, grace, serenity and unconditional love.

In spiritual terms, it seems to me dolphins and whales are here to assist us with our personal ascension process, as well as to hold open the gateway for planetary ascension. With all the new energies in the form of solar flares, planetary alignments, and blue moons, my intuition tells me that dolphins help us by using their large bodies to assimilate and integrate these higher frequencies, in order to anchor them to the planet. Dolphins then make these messages available to us humans in a more “digestible” form.

These days, the ways in which dolphins continue to help us are more direct and specific.

For years I have known of different organizations that facilitate dolphin-assisted therapy  to help people with different ailments that range from autism, cerebral palsy and other neuromuscular disorders, to psychological conditions like depression and anxiety, to chronic pain and even cancer.

There are a couple of different theories that explains why this dolphin-assisted therapy works. One is based on behavior modification and motivation. The other theory is based in psychoneuroimmunology, or the relationship between the nervous, endocrine and immune systems.

Institutions that use the behavior modification approach do what is called “dolphin-assisted therapy.” Dolphin-assisted therapy utilizes the dolphins as a powerful motivator to help shape desirable behaviors. For example, an autistic  boy who struggles with verbal communication, may be  rewarded with dolphin interactions after he verbalizes a specific sentence he is asked to articulate, or performs a particular response that is asked of him.

Dolphin therapy utilizes the powerful dolphin’s presence not only as a motivator, but also makes use of their precise sonar. Echolocation is a system dolphins use to navigate in deep waters. Dolphins have very good eyesight, but this is of little help when they dive into the depth of the ocean where solar light no longer reaches. For this reason, dolphins have developed echolocation to guide themselves when their eyes fail to see.

Dolphins emit a variety of high pitched sounds (clicks). When these sounds hit an object, they create an echo pattern that goes back to the dolphin and lets him know the size and location of the object.

During a dolphin therapy session, the dolphin directs sonar at the person, thereby scanning his or her body and “seeing” if there are any irregularities, much like with ultra-sound. With this third dimensional image of a person’s body, the dolphin then knows what area to target with their sonar. Although limited research exists for dolphin-therapy (certainly much less than dolphin-assisted therapy research), there have been a couple of very promising studies.

What has been found is that dolphin interactions have a positive effect on brain wave activity, inducing an alpha state. Alpha brain waves are reflective of a deep meditative and relaxed state, when a person is relaxed, endorphins flow freely in the body and the person is in a more receptive state, opening up to healing and learning.

After dolphin therapy, for a brief period of time, the two hemispheres of the brain are synchronized. Hemispheric synchronization is a state in which the brainwaves emitted from both the left and right hemispheres of the brain are in phase and of similar frequency, as opposed to having one side be dominant over the other. Hemispheric synchronization is an uncommon neurological state and it can be translated as simply a state of bliss, which has a positive impact on the immune, nervous and immune system.

As fascinating as everything having to do with the brain and nervous system is, there is yet one other way in which dolphin sonar helps us today. It is believed that dolphin’s echolocation can create enough energy to produce a phenomenon known as “cavitation” inside the cells of soft tissue, stimulating the production of disease fighting T-cells.

Cavitation is basically the fragmentation of molecules. This, I believe, may be related to the mechanism through which some cancer patients have gone into remission after dolphin therapy. Maybe the cancerous cells are blasted with the low frequency vibrations (ultrasound waves) emitted by the dolphins, they rip apart, and then when they assemble back together, they are re-set, they no longer have that cancerous message or code.

There are many hospitals that use a lithotripsy machine that uses low frequency sound waves to break up kidney stones and gall stones. Dolphin’s sonar is not much different than ultra-sound, only it is nature’s own ultra-sound.

Unfortunately, many organizations do not facilitate dolphin therapy; they focus mainly on the behavioral aspect and offer dolphin-assisted therapy. However, there is one organization that besides being one of the few that does take advantage of dolphin’s sonar, facilitates dolphin therapy programs for the entire family. Living from the Heart, The Dolphin Experience is a pioneer in dolphin therapy. This non-profit foundation, based out of Morrison, Colorado,  takes groups of people several times each year down to the beautiful and pristine island of Cozumel in Mexico.

Learn more about the neurological research to date too. Hopefully, in the years to come, more research studies will be conducted to generate scientific data that validates and further explains the positive changes in quality of life that hundreds of families have reported throughout the years.


 Anny Ortiz has spent the past 10 years following a passion to better the lives of adolescents and their families through coaching and counseling.  Her path has taken her through a variety of educational and therapeutic settings in Mexico, The United States and Costa Rica.  Over the last year or so, she has also been following her dream of working with dolphins and children and has embarked on a volunteer mission with the non-profit organization Living from the Heart, The Dolphin Experience. She looks forward to her first dolphin therapy expedition in September 2012, and pursuing graduate school to conduct research studies that further validate the positive effects of dolphin therapy on the human body.

Editor: Colleen Simpson

Like on elephant journal enlightened society on Facebook

Read 1 Comment and Reply

Read 1 comment and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Elephant journal  |  Contribution: 1,375,490