Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) or pet therapy is a growing field that uses the help of animals to provide comfort and enjoyment. The animals can assist a person recover, or better cope with health problems such as heart disease, cancer, and mental disorders (e.g. people with depression, anxiety, and/or anger issues). And it’s not only the ill person that reaps the benefit of this therapy, but the family members as well. Before you continue reading about this form of therapy, keep in mind that there are benefits to using other forms of therapy that can help as well like in-person or online therapy sessions.
Today, pet therapy is on the rise. Aside from dogs, which is the common therapy animal, there are now a wide variety of pets that can help people recover from their problems such as cats, horses, rabbits, reptiles, birds, and dolphins. However, among these animals, dolphins are largely publicized by the media (for the last decade) who have reported several success stories. If that is so, then, what could dolphin therapy do to you and how can it help?
What is dolphin therapy?
Dolphin therapy is not a cure, but a way to alleviate some symptoms that are associated with health and mental conditions, most especially for children – such as neurological disorders, autism, Down’s syndrome, ADHD, pain relief, and depression.
The therapy is aiming to increase sensory activities by conducting programs in a pool with dolphins and several therapists who assist the patients. In most cases, children are the patients. Often, they are asked to touch, pat, feed, and swim with the dolphins. While enjoying these activities, the therapists work on areas such as speech, behavior, or motor skills and other needs of the patients. The programs are customizable, as well.
What are the results of dolphin therapy?
Several improvements from people who had undergone dolphin therapy were noticed:
- Strong emotional change, increased confidence, and self-esteem – These improvements are the commonly-noticed results from people suffering from depression who use dolphin therapy. They tend to withdraw from the people around them and always carry the feeling of excessive sadness. The lack of motivation, drive, and enjoyment characterizes their illness; that if not given the proper treatment might lead to suicide.
- ADHD Children tends to calm down – Children with ADHD often have a difficulty in calming down. Some of them stay up late at night or most of the time, they suffer from anger issues – that is, because their emotional regulation is dysfunctional. Also, people with anxiety sometimes suffer from overthinking, worry, and fear to the extent that they find it frightful to even go out of the house. The treatment reportedly helped the children to relax, focus and process their anxiety better.
- Improved communication, better coordination and better eye contact – People, especially children with autism find it hard to communicate and maintain eye contact with others. When not treated, it becomes a major barrier to their everyday lives. Dolphin therapy reportedly helped patients with these concerns and noticed drastic improvement.
- Better immune system – People who underwent the therapy noticed the benefit of having a better immune system and are healthier than ever.
When should I go for dolphin therapy?
Dolphin therapy is not something your doctor will prescribe you to do. Rather, it is optional and a personal choice. Read more about this therapy to understand how it works.
Enroll in a dolphin therapy program and reap of the benefits that it can do for your mind and body.