Tellington Touch for Animals
Loving an animal is much like parenting a child. Our precious pets often exhibit behaviors as frustrating as a two year-old’s. Tellington Touch, or TTouch, is a unique, effective method that pet owners can use to bring their animals back into a state of balance.
Originally developed by Linda Tellington-Jones through her work with horses, TTouch helps to communicate with and develop partnerships with animals of all species.
Tellington-Jones studied the work of Moshe Feldenkrais, who discovered that many patterned neural habits are formed in response to tension, pain and fear. By utilizing non-threatening, gentle movements and manipulations of the body, he discovered that the “cramped” emotional attitudes that correlate to the patterns could also be released, allowing one to truly start over, physically, emotionally or behaviorally.
Knowing that each cell of the body has its own intelligence, Tellington-Jones realized that touch could stimulate this intelligence and quickly “turn on” and repattern the corresponding brain cells. She instinctively chose to work with circles of all sizes with a fingertip or whole hand. Practitioners do the circles all over the animal’s body and adapt the pressure, speed and size of the circle for each animal.
In addition to the bodywork techniques, TTouch also uses groundwork exercises that involve guiding the animal through movement exercises in non-habitual ways. Together, bodywork and groundwork are designed to create a calm, attentive, focused state of consciousness. In this state, the animal can use its mental and physical resources to reorganize its programming and develop more appropriate patterns and responses.
Both techniques are easy to learn, work to eliminate fear and quickly change unrewarding behaviors. Local TTouch practitioner Christina Natichioni has taught workshops and worked with private clients for the past seven years. Natichioni, who primarily works with dogs, believes that TTouch offers a way to effectively influence the behavior and character of dogs, as well as their willingness and ability to learn.
“My focus is on improving the quality of the dog’s life by instilling self-confidence and mutual respect. This program will improve problems such as excessive barking or chewing, leash pulling, jumping up, fear-biting, shyness, resistance to grooming, hyperactivity and fear of thunderstorms. It is a positive no-force approach to training,” Natichioni says.
One of Natichioni’s clients had rescued a dog that was fearful of strangers, other dogs, thunderstorms and going to the vet. Natichioni worked with the owner and dog for three weeks and noticed major improvements in the dog’s behavior.
The owner, Carrie, states, “I sought out Tellington Touch to ease my dog's anxieties about going to the vet and dealing with thunderstorms, as well as to form a deeper bond between us. My dog enjoys the touches and has become less stressed and more confident as a result.”
T-Touch also helps support companion animals through illness, recovery and inevitable aging. Carol Okuda of Huntersville worked with Natichioni after her spirited Doberman, Gertie, was diagnosed with Wobbler’s disease.
“Gertie was offered a prognosis of six months. I was pregnant with my second child at the time. Because of Christina’s work with Gertie, she lived for almost two more years, which allowed both children to bond with this special dog. Christina helped us learn the intricacies of Gertie’s emotions and behaviors. We were able to have a significant relationship with our sweet dog through the end,” remembers Okuda.
Veterinarian Tom Beckett has researched TTouch and uses it as an enhancement to his practice. He notes that both the animal and the owner benefit from the TTouch experience. “It does not use force, fear, or pain for handling, treating or managing animals. With TTouch, human and animal relate as autonomous thinking creatures with increased self-confidence, enhanced communications, and mutual respect,” states Beckett.
The Tellington Touch technique brings harmony between the pet and the owner in a natural, lasting way. TTouch improves the performance and well-being of your animal and can support it through illness, recovery and aging while enhancing the human/animal bond.
Info: Christina Natichioni at 704-661-6866 or [email protected].Lisa Moore wrote this article with her dogs Maggie and Chica at her feet and her cats Tigger, Cricket and Esmerelda curled up on her desk.