An Insight, What Is D.A.T?

Dolphin Assisted Therapy (D.A.T.) is a field of modern medicine that some people categorize as being part of Animal Assisted Therapy. This is a type of therapy that involves an animal, in this case Dolphins whose specific characteristics, aesthetics and behaviour become a fundamental part of a person's treatment.

Basically, D.A.T. is where both children and adults who have particular medical conditions be it physical or mental have human interactions with Dolphins. In the majority of situations, these interactions take place in a pool or tank enclosure with captive wild or semi captive dolphins i.e. they go swimming or floating with the dolphins.

Dolphin Assisted Therapy has been used to assist in the symptomatic treatment of children and adults with Down’s syndrome, Autism, Asperger syndrome, ADHD, clinical depressive and emotional disorders, cancer, Cerebral Palsy and various other neurological disorders.

It is important to realise that Dolphin therapy is not a cure but it can help alleviate some symptoms associated with both a child’s and adult’s conditions by enhancing their healing process. In some studies, samples of blood were analysed before and after the therapy, results 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 but the evidence that dolphin therapy works remains anecdotal, though several theories have been hypothesised.

Swimming with dolphins can be a truly beautiful experience Dolphins are intelligent creatures whose joyful play, compassion and unconditional love when experienced first hand can have a profound impact on the emotions and therefore the life of the patient. It is perceived that Dolphins emanate unconditional love and the joy, which the patient receives as such helps in their recovery. Patients often gain confidence within themselves through this interaction from just being with the Dolphin who senses their needs.

Encounters with dolphins can evoke a deep emotional response and trigger the release of deep feelings and emotions. It is believed that patients are more responsive to the therapy because they play in a pleasant environment, they are motivated to complete the tasks, they are happy and therefore they pay greater attention to the therapists' work. It has also been suggested that dolphins can sense areas of disability and physical trauma in the human body; as such they motivate the patient to use these parts.





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