Sunday, September 25, 2011

TTouch Seminar

Today I attended a 3 hour TTouch seminar with Bug. It was excellent. I learned so much and it is just scratching the surface! The presenter, Sally Sizer, gave us a brief introduction to the philosophy of the Tellington TTouch (created by Linda Tellington-Jones [LTJ]) and then began to introduce us to some of the various TTouches and their purposes.

The seminar was geared toward performance dogs, but I was there purely because I am interested in TTouch. I recently read The Tellington TTouch (<-- use this link to support ForPaws Corgi Rescue) for the first time and was blown away by the possibilities, behaviorally speaking. In addition, since I do have a dog with hip dysplasia, I thought it would be beneficial to his overall well being. TTouch uses what LTJ refers to as non-habitual movements to activate unused neurological pathways to the brain. By stimulating different parts of the body and brain you stimulate the animal to think and make different choices.

The foundation to all the different TTouches is based on circular movements of the fingers and hands. When doing TTouch it is suggested you visualize a clock and start at 6 o'clock with your fingers. You will move clockwise, past 6 o'clock to finish at 8 o'clock.

Pressure is a very important aspect of TTouch. TTouch uses very light pressure in a range of 1 - 6. The 1 pressure is the equivalent of the amount of pressure you can apply with a fingertip on your eyelid - moving it gently clockwise. We practiced our movements on our own arm prior to working on our dogs to try and establish a 3 pressure.

We then went through a variety of TTouches (circular slide, Noah's March, Llama TTouch, Abalone TTouch, Racoon TTouch, Ear TTouch, and the Tellington Heart Hug) and when would be appropriate to use them. We also discussed using tools like a mitt to help lessen the energetic impact for a sensitive animal.

We discussed the benefits of using a t-shirt or body wrap (with an Ace bandage) for anxiety and to increase proprioception. For dogs that are dealing with any sort of leg or hip related injury Sally specifically recommended the full body wrap 2x/day for 10 minutes at a time. She taught us how to do both the Half Wrap and the Full Wrap.

I would say there were only 3 dogs out of 12 that were not displaying some form of anxiety in the workshop (Bug , a 6 yo Pom, and an older Golden). By the end of the class one of the stress-y dogs was sound asleep and the energy in the room had changed dramatically. It was pretty amazing and an awesome experience to witness something that is somewhat inexplicable work so effectively.

If your dog stresses I highly recommend looking for a TTouch workshop. Even if your dog doesn't stress I think you would find it incredibly beneficial. I noticed a big change in my energy too. I have had a very stressful 2 weeks and I found myself feeling incredibly centered and grounded.

2 comments:

Kathy said...

THat sounds awesome, I am going to try the wrap with Breeze because of her hip issues, and maybe Skyler because I do not know why he seems on edge and stressed. I have a t touch book I will have to review. On another note, the Kale/blueberry slurry is a big hit, hope it does its job but I was thinking it sounded gross from a taste point of view, and was wondering if the dogs would eat it, but they seem to love it, I took a tiny taste and it was really not bad, although with all those blueberries it does look a little questionable, LOL.

Jules said...

Kathy, I can't remember if I said this in the post, but Sally suggested starting with the half wrap for a few days so your dog could get used to it. For both HD and anxiety she recommended 10 minutes 2x/day.

I am glad you pups like the slurry - it does look foul, but Bug loves it. And his infection is healing!