I just had the pleasure of reading an article from Natural Awakenings in 2005, entitled: Local Healing for the Planet Draws Wild Dolphins and Manatees. According to the article, Ocean Therapy Events are put on by David Dolan, LMT and Upledger trained therapist in Matanzas Inlet. On the occasion this article describes, the intention of the event was a day of healing and peace for the planet. Wild dolphins kept a distance of about a hundred yards from the therapy activities, however, four manatees came up and touched the participants legs. Additionally, one manatee stayed for over an hour, allowing the therapists to perform craniosacral therapy on her.
The manatee slowly rolled as if to invite them to apply therapy on all sides and to direct them to areas in her body that wanted attention.
On two occasions when a therapists hand was on the chest/heart area, the manatee folder her pectoral fins over the human hand and firmly held it there with her fins…
I have not read any other articles on manatees interacting with humans in such a profound way, but it seems this interaction with this particular female was quite special for the manatee and the humans in her company.
David Dolan quotes Dr. Stanislav Grof’s concept of “ocean ecstasy”
…feeling whole, unified and integrated; effortless and at ease; completely yourself; free of blocks, inhibitions, and fears; in the here and now; being pure psyche and spirit; with no wants and needs; simultaneously childlike and mature; and graced in a way that is beyond words.
In my life, while I have not had the opportunity to interact with manatees in this way, I have had some pretty remarkable experiences with a variety of ocean life. Most notably, working with Hippo, the alpha male dolphin at our holistic immersion program site in Tortola, BVI, I’ve had several experiences in which he’s brought his body into my hands to receive craniosacral or other forms of energy work. He responds very strongly to my hands upon his heart.
On a recent trip to Bimini to be with wild spotted dolphins, I had a mom and then a baby rub their pectoral fins against my abdomen. And while performing attunement on this same trip in the shallows, many stingray surrounded our sessions and brushed their fins against clients as they floated in the water and against the legs of the facilitators.
Over the summer, I also had the opportunity to get up close and personal with a seagull, tagged T47. He approached me on the rocky beach in Rye gingerly, as I offered to him an organic rice cracker. After melding our energies, he ate right from my hand and stayed very close to me, making eye contact. I’ve had a similar experience with a large swan just down the road from this location as well. I offered both loving energy, respect and trust.
There are opportunities for interspecies connections occurring all around us. Being conscious, still and open to sharing a connection with another species can lead to beautiful interactions and experiences that are of benefit to us and the other species. Offering the energy to an animal that we offer to clients in sessions is a remarkable gift as it opens a connection with the creature. Sharing a moment of love and consciousness with a manatee, dolphin, stingray, or even a seagull is something profound.