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the Dolphin Swim Club Archives - The Dolphin Swim Club

patient watches wild dolphins in virtual reality during medical procedure

‘Medical VR and virtually swimming with Wild Dolphins’ — The Wall Street Journal

By | In the news

We are delighted to share this article published in the Wall Street Journal on the exciting possibilities of Virtual Reality within healthcare. And of course we’re proud that the VR experience of the Dolphin Swim Club is featured With a short VRdemo online all readers get to meet the wild dolphins! As well as a video of a young patient experiencing dolphin magic to help ease the pain.

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Featured in the NRC, a leading Dutch newspaper: Swimming with dolphins in the hospital to relieve pain

By | In the news

VR nowadays gets used more often for medical purposes. An example of one of these uses is to relieve pain. Due to the immersive power of virtual reality, patients may experience less pain. This may cause less use of medication and thus improve patient well-being. And of course, a drug-free medicine has no environmental impact! Which is great news for our Wild Dolphin friends. We are excited that NRC once again mentioned us in this article about the use of VR in the medical world.

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Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford Pioneers Use of VR for Patient Care, Education and Experience

By | In the news

We are very pleased to share this update as the Dolphin Swim Club 360°VR movie is used in this particular pilot study.  Lauren Schneider, PsyD, clinical assistant professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, is exploring the impact of VR therapy in a study called: Project Brave Heart . A Wonderful project and great to see this research getting shared by multiple platforms. The full articles can be seen on the links below.

Stanford Children's Health Business Wire Virtual Reality Magazine


‘Virtual swimming with dolphins is more than a game’ — by NRC | a Dutch newspaper

By | In the news

Recently, the psychiatric patients admitted in the University Medical Hospital in Groningen (UMCG) are able to swim with wild dolphins. The footage of the Dolphin Swim Club is used in the treatment of depression, psychosis and anxiety disorders. Psychiatrist Wim Veling: ‘Patients with psychological problems often have difficulties to relax’. Stress enhances a lot of these psychological problems. This VR experience helps to reduce stress by immersing patients in a serene underwater environment surrounded by dolphins. (language Dutch)

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Update 9 | The Blue Whales

By | Blog

September 15th 2016… Off the coast of Dana Point, California. Meeting for the first time, the incredible amazing Blue Whale. Bigger than any creature ever lived on our planet. A Gentle Giant, we are in awe…



Just a little part of the whale is visible above the surface, here you can see the two blowholes, as all baleen whales have. They can be up to 33 meters, the whale that we met was a young whale and not that long yet.


Exhaling many meters high


About to dive under


And then these beautiful inspiring words;




The biggest heart in the world is inside the blue whale. It weighs more than seven tons.

It’s as big as a room. It is a room, with four chambers. A child could walk around in it, head high,

bending only to step through the valves. The valves are as big as the swinging doors in a saloon.

This house of a heart drives a creature a hundred feet long. When this creature is born it is twenty

feet long and weighs four tons. It is waaaaay bigger than your car. It drinks a hundred gallons

of milk from its mama every day and gains two hundred pounds a day, and when it is seven

or eight years old it endures an unimaginable puberty and then it essentially disappears from

human ken, for next to nothing is known of the mating habits, travel patterns, diet, social life,

language, social structure, diseases, spirituality, wars, stories, despairs, and arts of the blue whale.

There are perhaps ten thousand blue whales in the world, living in every ocean on earth, and of

the largest mammal who ever lived we know nearly nothing. But we know this: the animals

with the largest hearts in the world generally travel in pairs, and their penetrating moaning cries,

their piercing yearning tongue, can be heard underwater for miles and miles.

Mammals and birds have hearts with four chambers. Reptiles and turtles have hearts with

three chambers. Fish have hearts with two chambers. Insects and mollusks have hearts with

one chamber. Worms have hearts with one chamber, although they may have as many as

eleven single-chambered hearts. Unicellular bacteria have no hearts at all; but even they have

fluid eternally in motion, washing from one side of the cell to the other, swirling and whirling.

No living being is without interior liquid motion. We all churn inside.

So much held in a heart in a lifetime. So much held in a heart in a day, an hour, a moment.

We are utterly open with no one, in the end — not mother and father, not wife or husband,

not lover, not child, not friend. We open windows to each but we live alone in the house of

the heart. Perhaps we must. Perhaps we could not bear to be so naked, for fear of a constantly

harrowed heart. When young we think there will come one person who will savor and sustain

us always; when we are older we know this is the dream of a child, that all hearts finally are bruised

and scarred, scored and torn, repaired by time and will, patched by force of character, yet fragile

and rickety forevermore, no matter how ferocious the defense and how many bricks you bring to

the wall. You can brick up your heart as stout and tight and hard and cold and impregnable as

you possibly can and down it comes in an instant, felled by a woman’s second glance, a child’s

apple breath, the shatter of glass in the road, the words “I have something to tell you,” a cat with a

broken spine dragging itself into the forest to die, the brush of your mother’s papery ancient hand

in the thicket of your hair, the memory of your father’s voice early in the morning echoing from

the kitchen where he is making pancakes for his children.


Reprinted from The American Scholar, Volume 73, No. 4, Autumn 2004.

Copyright © 2004 by the author.


Update 7 | A wonderful meet-up in Denmark

By | Blog

Ever since we started, with the Dolphin Swim Club VR experience, on behalf, or perhaps even requested by the dolphins, our lives have been filled with adventures and sea creatures of all kinds. As well as people with a big heart for the sea, or even simply a heart as big as the ocean.


Friday afternoon, June 10th, spend in the studio of Jewelbox with owner Pepijn Buitenhuis, working on the last bits of the sound design, with only the natural recorded cetacean voices for the 15-minute healing VR version. So now the dolphins are ready to swim into people’s lives and do their thing!

And they are. The medical research on the healing effects of wild dolphins, done by UMCG (Groningen University) has started, as well as they are joining the VR programs in several hospitals and healthcare facilities around Europe and USA. (Cancer Society Oslo, Norway, ‘sHeeren Loo, the Netherlands, UMCG Groningen, the Netherlands, University of Southern California, USA) just to name a few.

Friday evening, after a lovely dinner with Michelle Broens, owner of Praktijk Broens who also started working with the dolphins with her patients, and is planning a program for refugees with us. We set of for a 500 km drive into Denmark, to look for our ‘Ambassador’ dolphins Selfi & Delfi. You can find the the whole magical story about them on our previous posts. The next morning we set out to search for our friends, and found them! Under a bridge like clochards in Nyborg, Denmark. Such a happy reunion it was.We even met up with our friends Ann-Sofi and Clifford whom we met last autumn when Selfi & Delfi were visiting the Kalmarsund…

11 juni 2016 Selfi&Delfi Nyborg - 8 van 21DSC_107211 juni 2016 Selfi&Delfi Nyborg
11 juni 2016 Selfi&Delfi Nyborg - 12 van 21DSC_1053DSC_1051

Safe travels my dear friends.

Save travels to all sentient beings out there in the waters and on the land.

‘the Reunion’  Meet Selfi & Delfi in their underwater home.


‘University Medical Centre Groningen starts with virtual swimming with Wild Dolphins’ — Omrop Fryslân | Frisian television

By | In the news

Swimming with wild dolphins in VR as a therapy for patients with for example autism or depression. The idea comes from the artist Marijke Sjollema from Leeuwarden in the Netherlands. The filming of the wild dolphins took place in Egypt. University Medical Centre Groningen (UMCG) embraced the project immediately. The hospital starts with a study of the effects of this new drug free medicine. (language: Frisian & Dutch)

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Belangstelling UMCG foar virtual reality-projekt Ljouwerter

By | In the news

It sikehûs UMCG yn Grins toant belangstelling foar it virtual reality projekt fan de Ljouwerter keunster Marijke Sjollema. Sy hat in programma ûntwikkele, wêrtroch’t it mooglik is om firtueel mei dolfinen te swimmen. It keunstprojekt hat ek in wittenskiplike ynslach. It swimmen mei dolfinen soe nammentlik brûkt wurde kinne as foarm fan terapy, benammen by autisme en depresje. Troch it programma fan Sjollema, liket it oft swimme de pasjinten mei de dolfinen en dat moat in posityf effekt opsmite by de behanneling.

It UMGC sil de kommende twa jier ûndersyk dwaan nei de wurking fan it programma.

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