by Marnie Black
(published in Seattle Purebred Rescue Magazine)
How To Do TTouch
Following are simple TTouches and techniques that you can use any time on your animal.
All of these will help both the senior and the disabled animal. Twenty minutes at a sitting is the maximum amount of time to do TTouch on your dog. Beyond that time, the nervous system can be overtaxed, and the animal can become tired or restless. After a TTouch session animals often (but not always) drink more water and sleep deeply for an hour or two.
Excellent for excessive barking, nervousness, reducing stress, relaxation, wounds, bruising and swelling, and injuries. Rest your hand lightly on your dog’s body, your fingers flattened slightly to allow a large area of warm contact with fingers and palm. Go below the haircoat and push the skin one and a quarter circle. Make your circle last to a count of 5 or longer. Let your middle finger lead. Feel the connection between your forefinger and thumb, which are held several inches apart. Keep your wrist straight yet flexible. Breathing in rhythm with the circles you are doing helps maintain a softness in your fingers, hand, arm and shoulder. Assess your dog’s comfort level. If he seems uncomfortable, lighten the touch. Never press harder than you could tolerate on your own eyelid.
Excellent for arthritis, balancing, hip dysplasia, nervousness, gait improvement, improving physical and emotional balance, stiffness in back and shoulder. Place your hand on the body or around a leg with just enough pressure to gently lift the skin and muscle. Lift to a count of four or a full breath in, hold for a count of 2, and slowly lower the skin to a count of four or a full breath out. Be sure you are balanced and breathing. If you lift with tension in your own body, the animal will tense or move away.
Excellent for arthritis, bloating, digestive problems, fear, fear of loud noises, sore back, shoulder or hips, stress and tension. Fold a towel so that it is 4 to 6 inches wide. Starting just behind your dog’s front legs, gently lift to a count of 4 or a full breath in. Do not lift so hard that you lift your dog off his feet. Hold for about 15 seconds. Release slowly, to a count of 8, or twice as long as it took to lift up. The slow release is essential to achieving the desired effect. After each lift move toward the hindquarters and repeat the procedure. Continue until you are all the way to the hindquarters. Repeat 3 or 4 times if your animal tolerates it.
We are all used to petting our dogs, but petting becomes unremarkable and somewhat mindless after a while. Even our dogs become habituated to petting and won’t be aware of the health benefits of your touch. Varying your hand movements as well as using different textures to touch your dog, will have your dog snuggling closer to you:
- Use a chamois mitt from an auto store. Gently and slowly rub the mitt over your dog’s face, ears, back and paws. Always go in the same direction as his whiskers.
- Use a paintbrush to outline the sworls and rivulets around your dog’s ears, chest and chin. Use a bigger paintbrush for his stomach and back.
- Grasp a small handful of fur at the root. Gently move it in a circle and a quarter, and slowly let go while pulling over your index finger. Dogs especially love this on the top of their heads.
You will enjoy using TTouch as much as your dog does. TTouch affects you the same way it affects your animal. Many people use it while they are meditate or do their yoga exercises. Being mindful and enjoying the time you have with your animal is a gift you can give to both of you.
Marnie can be reached via her website at http://www.marnieblack.com/
THANKS MARNIE FOR SUCH A COMPREHENSIVE ARTICLE!