Dolphins have been used to treat a variety of ailments including autism, cerebral palsy, trauma and cancer among other disabilities.
Dolphin-assisted therapy (DAT), as a part of animal-assisted therapy and complementary and alternative medicine, yields several positive results. A study in the Ukraine called ”Dolphin Swim” used 37 participants who were parents of special needs children. The children suffered from a variety of diagnoses which included emotional and physical disorders. Five treatment programs took place over a span of 2 weeks. A comparison was made with pretreatment and post treatment using DAT (Dolphin Assisted Therapy). The results showed positive behavioral changes in the affected children.
In Israel at the Eilat Dolphin Reef Dr. Ilan Kutz of the Meir Medical Center has supervised the unusual treatment and rehabilitation of trauma victims. DAT is not a cure but alleviates symptoms significantly. Dolphins are very intelligent creatures and have a language of clicks and physical movements. They enjoy communicating with humans and like to be touched, petted and cuddled. The mammals react to the person if they feel a connection to him and then they will give unconditional love. In a particular case of a young man that was severely beaten and even after his physical wounds were healed he didn’t speak. Working with the Dolphins greatly improved his swimming skills and he now speaks normally.
Aside from this unusual therapy the CP patient can hope to improve limb movement ability with the use of the TUTOR system. This most cost effective physical therapy solution (as is the dolphin therapy) is currently used in leading U.S. and European hospitals and clinics. The system which includes the HANDTUTOR, ARMTUTOR, LEGTUTOR and 3DTUTOR are ergonomic wearable devices together with powerful dedicated rehabilitation software. The TUTOR system consists of motivating and challenging games that allow the patient to practice isolated and/or interjoint coordination exercises. The physical therapist can then record and design a custom made exercise program for that particular patient’s needs.
The Tutors are also available for adults and children and can be used in the patient’s home through the use of telerehabilitation. They are fully certified by the FDA and CE.
See WWW.MEDITOUCH.CO.IL for more information.