The hypothesis for this study explains that patients who have mild to moderate depression have seen improvement in their symptoms by swimming with dolphins. This research was done on patients who used to take Prozac. For this study, the participants went off their medication and went to Honduras for two weeks. After two weeks the patients reportedly had no side effects. The control group that swam in a coral reef on their own did not have as great of an improvement as the group that swam with the dolphins.
According to Kalb & Juarez (2005), animal therapy is nothing new. In the past, Greek soldiers used to put their wounded soldiers on horses during time of war. Studies done now include control groups as opposed to older studies done with only one group.
There is even plant therapy also known as horticultural therapy. A notable study done at New York University School of Medicine tested 100 cardiac rehab patients and split them up into two groups.
While both groups attended educational lectures, one group attended it at NYU garden. The group that spent time in the NYU garden had an improved mood and lowered heart rate.
The only downfall with "nature" studies are not as credible as "gold-standard research" because they tend to be smaller in scope (Kalb & Juarez, 2005). Participants know what type of treatment they are going to receive and are more prone to bias. They are also not practical enough nor are they long term.
In conclusion, in a world where one is diagnosed and given medicine for all symptoms, it is a good alternative to have natural therapy for a change. There are equal arguments for natural therapy compared to conventional medicine. Some rely and become dependent on medication to patch up their symptoms. According...