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Virtual Reality and Swimming with Dolphins Can Help Disabled


Being able to swim alongside these breathtaking water mammals is a lifelong dream for some. Some spend hundreds of thousands of dollars just to be able to go to a water park or attractions many miles away to fulfill their dreams.

dolphin-assisted-therapiesAdvances in technology, however, have been potential untapped gold mines to help others live through incredible experiences, especially for those who would not be able to experience them otherwise.

Seen as a luxury item in most cases, these virtual reality glasses can place you in different worlds that you would otherwise never see. As a large step in technology in ways of watching films, gaming, and other forms of entertainment, virtual reality has been a long-anticipated new technology hitting the market.

Interestingly found and fortunately enough, it has been shown that these glasses can actually benefit and help those who are disabled. The original claim has come from the Dolphin Swim Club, a Dutch non-profit that was founded by Marieke Sjollema and her husband Benno Brada, which first began in 2015 with a normal virtual reality headset to bring the experience to others after Sjollema’s personal encounter with dolphins.

Recently, they have advanced into virtual reality headsets that can follow their customer underwater with them. This allows people to swim and drift around in the water while experiencing visually, physically, and audibly, a true experience of swimming with the dolphins.

The experience is still in the trial stages but is hoped to be released to the public soon.

How It Helps Those with Disabilities

There are lots of different available options when it comes to assisting those with disabilities with dolphin-assisted therapies. However, since these therapies use dolphins in captivity, they have always been on the lookout for other alternatives, which virtual reality seems to fit perfectly.

The virtual reality videos have shown to have a lasting and beneficial effect for those who have watched them before. It has been statistically shown that 82 percent of their clients feel relaxed when they watch the films. There have also been multiple accounts of clients benefitting physically from the films.

virtual-realityNot only do these films take them away from their own reality, they also provide a calming effect on those who watch it. There has been a woman who uses the films every night before falling asleep because she has had trouble sleeping for years.

There has also been a man who has used the films to forget about the agonizing pain in his arm. Psychiatrists have said that most psychiatric problems and mental imbalances are based on stress, which is a large cause. The bottom line of the virtual reality experience is that it relaxes its clients, which can benefit them in the long haul.

Since dry, “on land” virtual reality completely immerses their clients in another world, it has been used in over 150 universities, community centers, and hospitals internationally. This company hopes the in-water version is going to have a large impact, as well.

Comment below on what you believe can be the benefits of submersed virtual reality.


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