Dolphin Assisted CranioSacral Therapy
Harnessing the Healing Effects of the Sea
In 1996 Dr. Upledger initiated a pilot project designed to investigate the effects of CranioSacral Therapy applied in an aquatic environment in which dolphins were present. The healing capabilities of dolphins have long been speculated - particularly relating to the high ultrasonic frequencies they emit. This study was designed to experientially test the therapeutic benefits of dolphin-human interaction.
The test group consisted of seven children, ages 5-12 years, with diagnoses ranging from cerebral palsy to traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries and chronic pain. Each patient completed two four-hour treatment sessions that involved both in-water CranioSacral Therapy and dockside sessions. The positive response was significant and included reduction in pain, increased ease in breathing, greater general relaxation, reduction in hypertonicity, enhanced strength and flexibility, and more restful sleep.
Dr. Upledger asked Integrative Intentions, a member of the International Alliance of Healthcare Educators, to carry on his bioaquatic CST work. Integrative Intentions continues these bioaquatic Intensive program in Freeport, Grand Bahamas Island. Current programs focus on working with participants in Dolphin-Assisted Therapy intensive programs and training therapists both in the dynamics of water-based healing and in dolphin-assisted therapy. The Dolphin-Assisted Therapy intensive programs are 4-day intensive programs featuring select teams of therapists working together to address the specific health concerns of each individual.
Past research has shown that no more than thirty minutes a day is the optimal amount of time for a patient to spend with the dolphins. Therefore, participants will spend approximately that amount of time in multiple-therapist sessions in the water where dolphins are present and free to interact with the group as they wish. The remainder of the day will be multi-therapist sessions either on land or in the water, as the groups decide.