Treatment Partners: Dolphin-Assisted Therapy

Throughout the ages, man has celebrated his special connection to the cetacean world. From earliest times, dolphin and whale motifs have been carved, embossed, adorned, and painted on human property such as jewelry, urns, bowls, weavings, toys, etc. (My favorite is an ancient roman mosaic depicting a man riding abreast of two dolphins.) There have been countless sagas, from ancient mariners to modern sailors, of dolphins being attracted to humans in distress on the sea and bringing them to safety. Even in the movie Castaway, with Tom Hanks, a whale shows up at Tom’s darkest hour. Cetaceans, the message is, are our friends. And cetaceans, especially dolphins, seem to enjoy in a sort of cosmic dance with man.

Now Dr. John Upledger, of the Upledger Institute in Palm Beach FL has taken this dance one step further…

On the shore of Port Lucaya, (Freeport) Bahamas, an interesting experiment is happening of a special therapeutic kind. In conjunction with The Dolphin Experience at UNEXSO, groups of cranio-sacral therapists are treating clients in the water with the assistance of dolphins. Although these dolphins at UNEXSO are kept in large pens and trained to perform, they are also taken out to sea each day to play and interact with other dolphins. When a hurricane comes along, the cages are opened and the dolphins go out to sea for their safety. Yet they always come back of their own accord. These unique dolphins appear to want to be at UNEXSO. They could leave anytime they chose, but don’t. (OK, who would want to leave when there is a readily available supply of fish for the asking, but hey…)  These are happy dolphins and love their interaction with humans.

So how can these magnificent creatures help in therapeutic treatments?  Dolphins have a natural sonar, called echolocation, that emits sound waves through the water. This natural detecting devise of theirs is similar to our ultrasound machines, but their ultrasonic frequency is four times higher. In the Upledger Foundation’s therapeutic model it is believed that this dolphin frequency can scan the human body and detect abnormalities, restrictions or disease states in the client’s tissue. It is also thought that dolphins can, with this echolocation, transmit a frequency or resonance to a particular part of a person’s body, stimulating change in tissue structure, encouraging healing. Dolphins also seem to be able to read energy fields and recognize disharmony at the auric levels. By their interaction with us, sending us balancing resonances, our energy field can be cleared and centered. This especially goes for the heart chakra center. Dolphins have amazing heart energy, filled with joy and elation. By just being in the same vicinity, swimming by us, or frolicking near, we can feel our heart center open, filling with light and delight. Dolphins seem to spend their time playing an enjoying life. They are one of a rare species that have sex for enjoyment rather than just procreation.

Another aspect of dolphin healing that Upledger feels is brought to a therapeutic session is what he terms “information bearing bioelectric sound energy”, and which is explained as “information contained within the dolphin’s biosonar is somehow communicated to many levels of the body system, thus influencing its functioning process”. Their clicks, hums, whistles, chatter and various other sounds all have an impact on our cellular bodies, clearing dysfunction to the minutest level.

I’ve been down to the Bahamas for the last three years to co-treat with the dolphins through the Upledger organization. In the therapy session with the dolphins, the clients are floated in the water (on a platform in a dolphin pen) by two or more qualified cranio-sacral therapists. There usually are 2 dolphins that have been chosen to help treat the clients. One or more dolphin will usually swim to about 2 feet above the head of the client and there, pulse sonar vibrations through the water to the client. The sound vibrations that one hears under the water are amazing. There are a multitude of different sound qualities that they emit during treatment, each distinct in their own way. Often a dolphin will actually come close to the client and touch a part of the body with the rostrum (the dolphin’s beak) and send frequencies directly into a body area. More likely than not, this area that the dolphin focuses on will have had some trauma or dysfunction in the past. Sometimes the dolphin will gently stroke a limb or body section. And they have also been know to do some pretty intense “chiropractic adjustments” by tapping the person on the head and snapping the neck back. After the initial shock, people have claimed amazing results. The dolphins seem to know exactly how much pressure and force to use in a restricted area in order to free it up.

If the client has any fear, the dolphin usually will respect the energy and only direct frequencies from afar. Such is their compassion and union with man’s (feeble) emotions. They just seem to know everything about you!

In my personal experience with dolphin healing, they have touched lovingly and gently on my head, working deep into my mid-brain and endocrine system. They once rubbed my left knee, which I had previously had recurring problems with, though not at that moment. How did they know, when I had totally forgotten that injury?!?   I have felt them blast open my heart chakra and felt the heart expansion. They have transcended me into a time and place that felt as if I were one with the Universe. The ecstatic feelings, the euphoric joy, the openness to all humanity are gifts that the dolphins transmitted to me. After my first session with the dolphins, I felt how different I was at my very core, and with each subsequent session, I became more and more clear and open energetically. And I am not alone in my experiences. All the clients who have worked with the dolphins when I was co-treating, have claimed core changes to their beings. How can you be touched by a dolphin and not be intrinsically altered on an energetic level?!?

The Upledger Institute runs several bio-aquatic programs down in the Bahamas each summer and has had incredible results. People from all different levels of physical challenge, from children with cerebral-palsy and autism, to people with chronic diseases, to people who just loved the idea of dolphin contact, have all flocked down to these programs to interact with these gracious beings. If you are interested you can check out the website at

Dolphins live in pods, in community. It could be this aspect of their global understanding of the whole that spurs them to include us in their efforts to raise the frequency of the earth. How noble of these fine creatures to consider us worthy of healing. They communicate to us through sound vibrations and frequencies and with these vibrations offer us a chance to rebalance around dysfunction. Who knows what they really are doing, but whatever it is, the results speak for themselves. We could all use a good dose of joy, pleasure, heart centered love and compassion. If we only could be more like dolphins.