Have you ever tried TTouch? TTouch stands for Tellington-Touch. It is a specific set of touches developed by Linda Tellington-Jones, who is the founder of both TTouch and TTEAM, the Tellington Touch Equine Awareness Method, also known as Tellington Touch Every Animal Method because it works on everything with a nervous system! In 1983 Linda developed her technique of circular touches now known around the world as The Tellington TTouch, or TTouch, and applied her work to dogs, cats and other animals as well as humans.
The foundation of the TTouch method is based on circular movements of the fingers and hands all over the body. The intent of the TTouch is to activate the function of the cells and awaken cellular intelligence - a little like "turning on the electric lights of the body." The TTouch is done on the entire body, and each circular TTouch is complete within itself. Therefore it is not necessary to understand anatomy to be successful in speeding up the healing of injuries or ailments, or changing undesirable habits or behavior.
To do the TTouch, imagine the face of a clock on your animal's body, half an inch to one inch in diameter. Place your lightly curved fingers at six o'clock on your imaginary clock, and push the skin around the face of the clock for one and a quarter circles. Rest your thumb on the body and feel a connection between thumb and fingers. Whenever possible, keep your other hand on the body too so that you complete the connection and maintain balance. Maintain a steady rhythm and constant pressure around the circle and a quarter, pay particular attention to the roundness of the circles and whether the TTouch is light or firm.
After each circular TTouch you can either move to another spot at random, or you can connect to another spot with a little slide where you will make another circle. Both types of movements induce relaxation and improve self-confidence. Placing your free hand in a supporting position and making a connection between your two hands will keep the animal in balance and enhance the effect of the TTouch.
Most of the time, clockwise circles are the most effective for strengthening and rehabilitating the body, as well as improving self-confidence and performance. However, there are times when counterclockwise circles are appropriate for releasing tension. Practice the both directions and trust your fingers if they are moving in a counterclockwise direction.
The TTouch pressures range on a scale from one to nine. To learn the scale, begin with the "one pressure" as a guideline. To know how this feels, place your thumb against your cheek. With the tip of your middle finger push the skin on your eyelid in a circle and a quarter with the lightest possible contact. Make sure you move the skin, not just sliding over it. Take your finger away and repeat this movement on your forearm, to get a sense of the pressure. Observe how little of an indentation you make in the skin. This is what we call a "one pressure" TTouch.
To discover a "three pressure," make several circles on your eyelid as firm as feels safe and comfortable. Repeat the circles on your forearm, noting the depth and pressure of the indentation. It should still be very light. This is a "three pressure."
To discover a "six pressure" press twice as deep. We rarely use more than a "six pressure" on dogs and cats. On horses (and humans), we occasionally go as high as nine. Instead of pressing three times deeper than the "three pressure," we tip the first joints of the fingers so that the fingernails are pointing directly into the muscle and apply three times the pressure. (These are known as the Bear and Tiger TTouches.) This TTouch is more comfortable for the person doing the touch, and the animal or human gets a much deeper connection than simply applying pressure.
Experiment with the pressure until you click into the one that is "right" for the animal you are working on. Small creatures call only for the lightest pressures. Larger or heavily muscled animals may be more responsive to the deeper pressures, but not always. If there is pain or inflammation in the body, you may have to begin the touch with a two or three pressure, and then determine the right level to work at.
As you become familiar with the various TTouches (see Special Features, TTouching Your Horse, in this issue, for more information) you will intuitively know which to use. If your animal friend is not comfortable with one TTouch, choose another. With practice, you will find both you and your animal will benefit from this experience.
The Ear TTouch is one of the most useful TTouches you can use for your horse. It is helpful for quieting nervous horses, reducing stress, for emergencies, and much more. The ears have many acupressure points, on them and at their base, which provide beneficial results when stimulated.
The EarTTouch is also one of the TTouch techniques for first-aid that offer animal owners a very valuable tool. Hundreds of case histories about emergencies with colic, illness or injury show the value of TTEAM work with the ears to keep a horse out of shock or to bring a horse out of shock while waiting for the veterinarian.
In an emergency, after calling the veterinarian, start working on your horse's ears. Start at the base of the ear, fold the ear on itself with your fingers on one side and thumb on the other, and slide along the length of the ear. When you reach the tip, rub it between your thumb and fingers to activate the shock point. Keep repeating the slide and the rub of the tip. You can also make circles or rub around the base of the ear, where it joins the head, to activate the acupuncture point for digestion and respiration for colic and other problems.
Working the ears in the case of colic, or any other situation where shock is a factor, helps to balance an animal's system and bring, or keep, him out of shock. Working each ear individually, rather than both at the same time, usually is more effective. Also, you can stroke an ear while walking the horse if the horse seems to prefer moving. The TTouch can relieve many of the horse's symptoms without added stress.
Working the ears is most important since it affects the entire system of the horse. The TTouch has been used extensively to speed healing and recovery from injury and illness in horses and in all animals, including humans. Attitude and behavior also can be positively influenced with the TTouch. There are many good reasons to learn more about it and to use it, on your animal and human friends!
About Linda Tellington-Jones:
For more information:
TTEAM and TTouch Training
PO Box 3793
Santa Fe, NM 87501 USA