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09/17/2010 03:32 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Pink Dolphin Therapy Used As Controversial Form Of Treatment For Disabled In Brazil (VIDEO)

A controversial new form of therapy for mentally and physically disabled individuals is gaining momentum in Brazil, which involves swimming with the rare pink river dolphins of the Amazon.

In this video, Reuters investigates the effects that swimming with the docile and curious creatures has on a 12-year-old boy, Leonardo de Souza, who was born with no arms and truncated legs.

Leo, as he is known, feels that the therapy has helped him "in playing soccer, in swimming, in school, in everything." His mother also says he has become more playful and socially active.

Physiotherapist Igor Simoes is behind the therapy, and claims that it helps build a person's self-confidence. He also believes that the dolphins emit sound waves that have healing effects, like with Leo, though a recent U.S. study says there is no scientific evidence supporting that the therapy helps cure diseases, and that it could also lead to accidents.

As long as the dolphins are able to come and go of their own will, the Brazilian government remains supportive of Simoes' research.

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