Tellington TTouch: The Touch that TeachesSue Becker BFRP, BFRAP, CTTP June 1, 2012
Does your dog panic and hide during thunderstorms? Is he a chewer? Maybe he pulls on the leash so that walks are a chore rather than a pleasure. What about your cat – does she live in the closet or under the bed? Is it next to impossible to trim her claws? Maybe she’s getting older and is a little stiff, or needs support in recovering from surgery.
All of these animals and many, many others are excellent candidates to be helped by the magic of TTouch.
Tellington TTouch (pronounced tee-touch) was developed by internationally renowned animal expert Linda Tellington-Jones in about 1983. It is used by aware personnel in animal shelters, zoos, veterinary clinics, training facilities, and by pet owners. TTouch is taught at some universities in Europe and is well known and respected in the international equine world as TT.E.A.M. It has been used successfully with hundreds of species from alligators to snow leopards, and cockatiels to elephants.
So what is Tellington TTouch, now known as The Tellington Method™? It is a way of working with animals (and humans) based on circular movements on the body, not massage which is deeper and involves muscles, but gentle circles on the skin. This touch effectively connects on a cellular level to activate the cellular intelligence in the body. Not only is the animal provided with a new enjoyable experience, but fear and tension being held in the body is allowed to be released. The animal is able to learn new, more appropriate responses to various situations, rather than reacting merely through instinct and habit. Enhanced wellness, behaviour, and performance are the result!
Ground exercises are done with dogs and horses to encourage them to learn improved focus and coordination, and to increase self-confidence. An animal that feels good about himself is more balanced physically, emotionally, and mentally!
TTouch is founded on the philosophy that most behavioural problems and resistance comes from misunderstanding, fear, tension, and/or pain. This work is an innovative and effective method for improving health, well-being, and behaviour using gentleness and respect for the whole animal. Communication and the relationship between animals and their people is deepened through trust and understanding in TTouch. Often, recovery from injury and physical problems appear to be speeded up as well.
Try TTouch On Your Own Pets
An especially responsive area for TTouch work is the ears – excellent for calming a nervous pet and enhancing physical wellness. The ears contain multiple acupressure points, and ‘ear work’ soothes an animal at the same time as supporting the body. When my kitty Aleysha was at the veterinarian’s for a check-up and he was listening to her heart, he exclaimed how nervous she was because her heart-rate was unusually fast. After about 15 seconds of ear-strokes, he said, “I don’t know what you’re doing, but keep on doing it – her heart-rate is almost down to normal!” This is the magic of TTouch. Aleysha relaxed noticeably – her facial expression and body posture softened – while the vet still had his stethoscope on her.
Here’s how: Holding the ear gently between thumb and forefinger, think of the ear as a rose petal as you slide and stroke gently from the base of the ear toward the tip. Repeat slowly so that both entire ears have been stroked. Some animals prefer a little more pressure. Try this the next time your animal companion needs to go to the vet or groomer, or is agitated for any reason. It is also helpful in preventing car sickness! I believe that a little daily ear-stroking adds quality – and maybe even years – to your pet’s life.
Aleysha lived to be almost 20 and every evening she would come to me and present her head for her nightly ear strokes!
TTouch is a non-invasive and non-threatening app-roach to animal wellness and improved behaviour. Anyone can learn the basic circles, strokes, slides, and lifts to deepen connections with animal companions.
A few moments a day is all that it takes, but what a difference those few moments can make!