We are finally getting around to sending you a little report about the dolphin therapy for our Lutz. Three months have already gone by since our return, and daily life is again making full demands on us.
But what will remain forever are the wonderful memories of our time in Antalya. To put it briefly: it was a huge success!
It has already been five days since we came back. How to put into words this extraordinary week and our experience with dolphins? It certainly is a difficult task…
The dolphin therapy first and foremost! Because that was the purpose of this trip. Because we hoped without expecting much. Because it was infinitely better than what we expected. Because it was just indescribable, because all six of us felt the effects!
It was very impressive to watch our three little guys, both anxious and excited at the prospect of meeting these large marine animals. Flip, Benoit’s dolphin, measures a little over a whopping 3 meters!
Diego, our youngest, would have happily waved us goodbye to go swim alone in the sea with Daisy “my own dauphin” as he called it. We watched him tame Daisy with incredible ease and learn to control his movements and impulsivity so as to not see Daisy swim away from him. Read the rest of this entry »
This was the first stay with the dolphins that Melanie herself wanted. Over a year ago she wrote: “I would like to go see the dolphins once again”. When asked why, she says, “Because they are the only ones who can look in my soul”.
Our daughter would like to thank all those who have contributed with large and small donations and with loving assistance to the success. Read the rest of this entry »
In June of 2014 one of my dreams came true. I’ve always wanted to meet a dolphin and swim with him. During our summer vacation in 2014, I and my husband were able to spend a wonderful day in the Dolphin Therapy Center in Antalya.
Axel Linke’s team greeted us warmly and accompanied us relaxed and happy through the day. Time and again we were able to observe the care and love with which they work with the animals.
As preparation, the trainers gave us much information about the dolphins, and contact with the animals was handled step by step. The dolphins appeared quite calm and curious to us. Axel Linke also provided us with much background information regarding the Dolphin Therapy Center and dolphin therapy.
The final high point of the day was swimming with the dolphin that was part of my program “Dolphin Trainer for a Day”. Because I was able to experience the atmosphere around the dolphin all day long, the dolphin swim was an extremely intensive experience for me.
The impression we came away with was the competence and love with which the dolphins are treated. The well-being of the dolphins is ensured by great attention to their needs.
A big Thank You to Axel Linke and his team for an unforgettable day in the Dolphin Therapy Center Antalya!
If you want to get in touch with that family concerning dolphin therapy related questions please contact us.
A small note of thanks to you and your team of wonderful trainers for a fabulous day with your dolphins. As you know I have worked with many companies all over the world and think you are the best by far. My only sadness was the fact it was in Turkey as I would love to offer to help out as a volunteer this summer. Please thank also the photographer for making the disk.
Visit our dolphin therapy center and see the dolphins, get a chance to learn about them and take some memorable photos.
We are happy about our new team member and to announce our new country website for Dolphin Therapy in Hungary. Csollák László is happy to answer your questions about our unique therapy approach by swimming with dolphins and is here for your concerns about dolphin therapy in Hungary.
As we had such memorable experiences in 2009 in the Onmega Center, we decided to repeat the adventure a second time. After the first time he began to speak, became generally more open and self confident. This time we flew to Antalya without any expectations, just thought we would see what happens this time. Phil and his Papa flew first, my young son Nick and I flew a week later. (with Grandma and Grandpa for support). It was like coming home, as if we had never left. Phil this time had Flip, Barbara, Christina and Cynthia as his therapeutic Team, Beata, Sema and Julia dealt with the „stiff joints“. Right from the beginning Phil was not anxious at all and looked forward to working with everyone each day. Especially singing with Flip, dancing with him and driving „water taxi“ gave him much joy. At the end he used the „magic word“ all on his own. He quickly became more confident, used longer sentences and personal pronouns („we/“us“). But the best was: He could pronounce „sch“, for which we had waited so long (before it was „Fiff“ oder „Hüppe“). His favourite word is now „SCHön“ J. We are more than happy about the further progress our son made in the therapy. Read the rest of this entry »
We are back home safe & sound from our wonderful trip to Turkey.
Jayden had a great time with his new friends Daisy & Flip. He also had Osteo, Physio & “Hippo” (horse riding therapy).
We were able to see a difference in his concentration & awareness at the end of the two week therapy. Read the rest of this entry »
Dominik‘s Therapy was a wonderful time which brought about big changes. Dominik got on well with the therapists who cared for him, and naturally us too. We were very competently counselled and received a hearty welcome. We felt quite at home. Dominik can move his left hand much better than beforehand. Moreover he can stand up with support. His muscular system is much more relaxed. Dominik can pass various things from his left hand to his right and back again. His torso rotation has also improved. He can stand with support and walk in his trainer. The work of the therapists, the personnel and Dominik has initiated these changes.
We, the family, especially Dominik, give again a big thanks to Frau Weis, for enabling us this opportunity.
If you have questions concerning dolphin therapy you may contact Family Brandenburger [encode_email email=”” display=””]
Dolphin therapy centers are not tantamount to dolphin shows, the manager of one such center off the coast of Antalya has said ahead of a planned protest in April by a German dolphin-protection forum.
They want to close the dolphin shows in Turkey but we are not a show, said Turgay Uykusuz, manager of Onmega, about the Wal- und Delfinschutz-Forum (Whale and Dolphin Protection Forum), or WDSF, which is organizing protests in Turkey against dolphin facilities.
They also say that therapy is expensive and doesn’t work. What do they know? They should see some of our patients and talk with the parents of the children with disabilities who come here from all over the world before they say anything like that, Uykusuz told the South Weekly.
Instead, he said he wanted the demonstrators to look at their own countries. Why don’t they close all the dolphin parks in Europe before they come here? Why not try to stop the dolphin massacres in Japan? Instead they compare us to Japan in their comments on Facebook.
Onmega is a dolphin therapy center off the Antalya coast. At a time when many are questioning the efficacy of dolphin therapy and are vociferously protesting against keeping dolphins in captivity for any reason at all, Uykusuz explained why the facility was important and should be allowed to continue its work in peace for the many families with children with disabilities who visit the center.
For Uykusuz, Onmega is the finest facility in Europe. It is the first and only one in open water: much deeper and larger than any other and way above the European guidelines, he said. The three sea pens contain 16,000,000 liters of water. Compare that with the latest dolphinarium opened in Nürnberg, Germany, which has four dolphins in 5.5 million liters, he said.
We have many testimonials saying that our method of dolphin therapy has long-term benefits for them and in some cases has changed lives, Uykusuz said, adding that helped adults and children that come to the center.
The location is crucial, Uykusuz said with passion. In the sea, the water and currents keeps the water changing, which is healthy for the dolphins. This can’t happen in land parks, without machines and chemicals, which are disturbing and dangerous for the dolphins. Our dolphins, Flip, Daisy, Frosia and Splash have two purposes: two for therapy and two for a ‘swim-with’ program. This helps us to publicize what we do and to educate people about these amazing mammals. It also subsidizes therapy for those who couldn’t afford to come otherwise.
The dolphins are quick to learn their role. It only takes three months. They really enjoy themselves and learn quickly. We give our dolphins the best veterinary care from abroad, as there are no expert dolphin vets here in Turkey, he said.
In the early days, the Onmega team hoped to be able to work with the owners of a dolphinarium in Kaş. He admits that they were horrified by the conditions, but thought they could make improvements.
We researched dolphin therapy and thought it would be possible to open a center there, he said.
Unfortunately, despite their promises, the Russian owners didn’t comply with our requirements: the partnership was only for therapy but we split when we realized they were not prepared to change anything and were just using the dolphins for entertainment and profit. So we then decided to move to Antalya and to establish the best dolphin park and therapy center both in Turkey and in Europe. Unfortunately, there are still no guidelines for dolphin parks in Turkey although ours has been used as an example to others of how it should be done, he said.
Uykusuz joined the team at Onmega in 2004 having been skeptical about dolphin therapy. You know I am a member of Mediterranean Greenpeace. I hate to see animals suffering and until I learnt about Onmega Center therapy I was skeptical, too. But since then some of the results I have seen have been so amazing I have cried, he said.
He recalled one case where doctors in Austria did not believe that dolphin therapy could help a child with severe disabilities from birth trauma and were reluctant to agree to fund dolphin therapy. The case went to court where the judge awarded in favor of the child when it was seen how dolphin therapy had helped.
We are providing an excellent service at Onmega, in an amazing environment, which is good for both dolphins and clients but we are being compared with cruel entertainment venues. It is obvious to anyone who cares to look that we are completely special and unique. Even more ridiculous, this group is not visiting dolphin parks in Istanbul and Ankara because ‘they are too far from Antalya.’ These people can’t pick and chose. Let them go away and do their research and stop doing these things for their own egos, he said.
Special food for dolphins
The dolphins at the Onmega Dolphin Therapy Center in Antalya eat special foods brought in from overseas, according to manager Turgay Uykusuz.
We give the dolphins extra minerals and vitamins bought from a specialist U.K. company and they also carry out regular blood tests. Our fish is the best: this is another problem for many dolphinariums because buying the correct varieties of fish for dolphins is so expensive when it is done properly. If we are at all suspicious about any consignment, we throw it away. We also send samples of the fish to İzmir or Bursa, where they test it for bacteria. We buy our fish ‘shock-frozen’ at -40 degrees Celsius and keep them in special freezers set at -25 degrees Celsius. All this is very important for the dolphins’ health as it protects them from any contaminants, Uykusuz told the South Weekly.
Mixture of classic therapies and interactive dolphin therapy
Several special treatments are used at the Onmega Dolphin Therapy Center, according to its manager.
We specialize in combining classical therapies such as physiotherapy, crania-sacral therapy and hippo therapy. Our clients have 10 45-minute sessions of interactive dolphin therapy, together with 10 sessions of classical therapies [either one chosen classical therapy or a mixture of them]. The created synergy increases the overall power and effect. And we have a wonderful team of expert humans, from all over the world, to work with them, Turgay Uykusuz told the South Weekly.
People who have been in contact with dolphins say they have extraordinary experiences and there are many stories about how dolphins protect and save humans, like they are our protectors, he said.
He also said dolphins should be kept in their natural environment. If they are not, they can’t use their sonar properly, [since they need that] to help people who are ill. It is a sort of catharsis: their sensitive ultrasound cavitation effect has extraordinary properties. You know, really they are rather like doctors. They can understand when a person is ill and help them.
Of Onmega’s annual average of 150 therapy patients, most come from Germany, France, the Netherlands and England. Some patients come repeatedly because they see so much improvement.