Some scientists who work with dolphins
believe that these sea-dwellers show a sense to the disability and
physical trauma associated with function and pain in humans, therefore
making the cranio-sacral therapy possible. Dolphins, with their internal
sonar or echo-location can feel where the person hurts the most and are
able to gently nudge and play without hurting the person.
Once, two dolphins saved a writer while
he was swimming far off the coast of California. The man was a good
swimmer and swimming had become his daily routine. One day, far away
from the shore, he felt very tired, too tired to lift his arms or kick.
Suddenly, two dolphins came to his rescue. They swam with their bodies
touching him and they propelled him forward by fastening their nose
under his arms to keep him afloat, until they came close to the shore
where there were other people. By this time, the writer had regained
enough strength to swim a few more yards to safety. He says the dolphins
didn't leave immediately. They kept leaping off shore to make sure he
made it to land safely.
Many incidents of dolphins saving people
at sea have been reported. Some time ago, it was in the news that a pod
of dolphins defended a group of swimmers by circling protectively around
them to fend off the attack of the great white shark. The swimmers were
on a lifeguard training swim about hundred yards off the shore. At
first, the men didn't understand that there was a shark. One of them
swam away but was pushed back into the circle by the dolphins. At that
time he saw a nine-foot shark two yards away from him. The men spent
about forty minutes before in that circle before the dolphins let them
swim back to the shore. Since sharks are dolphins' greatest enemies, it
is possible that they protected the men as if the swimmers were their
There are many different species of
dolphins. A familiar one is Flipper's kind, the bottlenose dolphin. One
of the world's most endangered species is a dolphin called by many names
such as Beiji; Pai C'hi; Chinese River Dolphin; Yangtze Dolphin;
Whitefin Dolphin; Whiteflag Dolphin. It inhabits the Yangtze River in
China. It is said that these animals are very close to being extinct
since there are only 5 of them left, whereas in 1984 there were 400.
Dolphins at Allposters.com
Warm-blooded like men, dolphins are
mammals, not fish, and they give birth to one baby at a time, nursing
their young up to four years. They live in social groups called pods and
interact with each other very closely. These pods' make-up can change,
since dolphins interact with dolphins from other pods from time to time.
A lone dolphin that has lost his friends at sea can easily be adopted by
Dolphins have powerful tails that not
only help to steer them in water, but also signal annoyance or danger.
Just like humans, dolphins like to gesture when they interact with each
other. To communicate, they use body language or they whistle and they
stroke one another with their fins as if bonding socially. When they
swim together as friends, they move synchronously leaping in and out of
the water. When they are angry or aggressive, they open their mouths or
clap their jaws violently.
Dolphins can dive to great depths and
also can leap high over the water. Being mammals, they need to breathe,
but unlike humans their breathing is voluntary. They breathe through the
opening on the top of their heads. It is possible that dolphins can
drown. When that happens other dolphins come to the drowning dolphin's
aid, supporting his body in such a way that his blowhole stays above the
To sleep, dolphins have to shut down only
half of their brain, which probably means that they are always alert to
danger. Dolphins also take short naps as they float just below the
surface. Yet, unlike humans, their most active feeding time is the
night, although they spend a good amount of the day looking for food.
One of the best dolphin research centers
is located in the Marathon Key, Florida. Here and at other dolphin
centers around the world, the project of aiding handicapped children
with Dolphins is carefully investigated, with the therapy based on the
dolphin's natural desire to come into contact with humans. Through
interaction with dolphins, children with Autism, Down's Syndrome,
anorexia, depression, cancer, and learning disabilities have exhibited
positive results by calming down and showing a better sense of
importance and self-confidence.
There are, however opposing views and
theories. In 2003, a report by WDCS (Whale and Dolphin Conservation
Society) and HSUS (the Humane Society of the United States) claims that
the risk to dolphins overweighs the positive effects of their
interaction with humans in dolphin-petting zoos. Dolphins become obese
with the excess feeding by the public and extended exposure to humans
subject the animals to stress and injury. Also some children, even if
very few, have been reported to regress in their development from being
pushed by their families and the fright of the animals or the water.
Given the positive use of dolphin and
human contact, more research is needed, and attention to the dolphin
petting areas and more closely observed rules of hygiene and sanitation
are in order, so that both species can continue to benefit from each
About the Author
Joy Cagil is an author on a site for Writers
Her training is in foreign languages and linguistics. In her background
are varied subjects such as psychology, mental health, and visual arts.
Her portfolio can be found at http://www.Writing.Com/authors/joycag