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Dolphin Gifts

Dolphins are marine mammals that are closely related to whales and porpoises. There are almost forty species of dolphin in seventeen genera. Dolphins are often regarded as one of Earth's most intelligent animals, though it is hard to say just how intelligent. Comparing species' relative intelligence is complicated by differences in sensory apparatus, response modes, and nature of cognition. Furthermore, the difficulty and expense of experimental work with large aquatic animals has so far prevented some tests and limited sample size and rigor in others. Compared to many other species however, dolphin behavior has been studied extensively, both in captivity and in the wild.

Dolphins are social, living in pods of up to a dozen individuals. In places with a high abundance of food, pods can merge temporarily, forming a superpod; such groupings may exceed 1,000 dolphins.

Swimming with Dolphins

Animals have been used along with physical therapy for decades. It is common to see small farms or petting zoos double as places for assisting those who are in need.

Horses are popular for disabled children. Farms catering to those with special needs are growing due to the great and positive results achieved. Dolphins are giving researchers and therapists opportunities to break new ground through dolphin assisted therapy.

There is also a new trend for such physiotherapy. Humans have been swimming with genteel dolphins for decades. It seems that only in recent years have researchers noticed how the dolphin interacts with those who have special needs.

Dolphins have it in their nature to be curious and sociable. Their lesser known traits are patience and an inner sense of their environment. Physiotherapy researchers noticed that dolphins seem to exhibit an extra degree of protectiveness towards individuals who are physically disabled. Pregnant women are also known to gain extra attention from these marine mammals.

Researchers are careful to emphasize that the results will vary for each individual. The results of their studies continue to reflect amazing potential. Non-verbal individuals have often spoken their first words to dolphins. Seemingly unaffectionate individuals have gradually learned to cope or even show affection.

These studies have also showed some patients developing greater motor skills when introduced to dolphin assisted therapy. Cancer patients have found relief from the emotional isolation they may feel. Patients with multiple sclerosis and autism have all responded positively.

Dolphin assisted therapy, also called DAT, is most often conducted with the help of a marine biologist as well as a physical therapist. The individual receiving the therapy is given the standard physical exercises, but they are allowed physical contact with the dolphin at the same time.

Scientists are currently exploring the use of dolphins in a therapeutic setting. There are no guarantees of results when using dolphins as with any other animal. The dolphin's 'healing' powers have been attributed to a range of factors.

Some theories believe it is merely the dolphin's affection and tolerance that brings such positive results. Other rumors suggest that the dolphin's natural sonar actually triggers a healing response from within the human body.

Advocates of this therapy cite many areas of improvement for patients. Many believe this form of therapy can boost the immune system. Some state it can increase learning capacity from 3 to 11 percent. Advocates also believe this learning capacity brings a knowledge retention rate of around 50 percent a year.

Reports have been submitted for years that dolphins have helped humans swimming in the ocean. These include such acts as offering protection against sharks to pushing injured swimmers safely to shore. When you consider their biology it is easy to see how dolphins may associate humans with their own kind.

Dolphins live in groups that are called pods. They carry one offspring at a time and nurse them after birth. Dolphins are warm blooded like humans. They protect and care for one another just as humans do.

There are two options available for swimming with dolphins. There are many vacation locations that will take you to popular swimming spots for wild dolphin interaction.

Dolphin assisted therapy always occurs in a captive dolphin facility. Disabled individuals or even those who can't swim are usually treated to swimming with these beautiful animals in shallow areas.

Dolphin assisted therapy is not a promise of success. It does offer the potential to bring much joy into the lives of the disabled. These caring and gentle animals of the ocean can urge development in areas that may not see stimulation in other circumstances.

About the Author
A guide for Tenerife, where Dolphins can be seen in their natural habitat, is available with yourtenerife.netThe travel guide has a choice of Tenerife hotels including those mentioned on many travel blogs.




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