Saturday, January 21, 2006

Swimming with dolphins, a healing technique!

PEOPLE are travelling across the world to experience the healing benefits of swimming with Bunbury's dolphins.

They are flying from as far as Germany to spend time with the dolphins – and they say it is worth the trip.

Interacting with dolphins has a therapeutic effect and can help children with disabilities and people with depression, say visitors and researchers.

The positive feelings of people who have swam or been in the water with dolphins at Koombana Bay has now been backed up by research.

An Australian researcher, in Bunbury to study dolphin-human interaction, says her ongoing studies have highlighted the positive effects of being with dolphins in the wild.

Patricia Athena said when people have close contact with dolphins they experience increased feelings of vitality and wellbeing.

"People can feel happy, excited, amazed, peaceful, full of love and more relaxed," she said.
"People can move from sadness and heaviness of feelings to joyfulness and lightness of feelings.
"Disabled children here can become more focussed and more relaxed and they sleep better."
Ms Athena said the benefits were more pronounced when people experienced dolphin sonar by being in the water with the mammals.

Carla Henco of Bunbury Dolphin Therapy said being close to dolphins helped many children.
She was currently working with a nine-year-old boy from Germany, whose family is in Bunbury for four weeks especially for the therapy.

Ms Henco said she had another family arriving in the city next month and in the past had worked with people from Japan and Malaysia.

Ms Athena said Bunbury was unique in that it is one of the few places in Australia where people are permitted to mix with wild dolphins.

z A Dolphin Therapy Day will be help at the Dolphin Discovery Centre tomorrow from 8am, beginning with dolphin interactions off the Koombana Bay beach. There will also be a dolphin cruise at 2pm and a presentation of Patricia Athena's research at 4.30pm.

Quick "Facts about Dolphins"