by Healey Lockett
As an aware, compassionate pet parent , you want to do as much as you can to care for your pet. This is especially challenging when they’re undergoing a health crisis. Even routine, non-emergent healthcare practices – spay and neuter surgeries, vaccinations, grooming – can cause our pets stress and fear.
What if there was something you could do to help alleviate those negative emotions and help your pet feel calm and relaxed, even help with reducing pain and inflammation? Would you do it?
I want to introduce you to two of my favorite alternative therapies that are suitable for literally anyone to perform on their pet – or themselves!
Developed by Linda Tellington-Jones in the 1970’s as a method for training horses, she soon expanded it to encompass all animals, and humans. It’s even gaining acceptance in hospitals.
From the website www.ttouch.com this modality uses “Gentle body work called Tellington TTouch comprised of circular touches, lifts and slides.” TTouch can help resolve health and behavioral issues by fostering respect and communication. The body work is simple, but works by establishing “a deeper rapport between humans and animals.”
TTouch is essential a gentle massage of the skin. It doesn’t require a lot of force or pressure as deep tissue massage does. Massage feels as good to animals as it does to people, but TTouch claims that these particular bodywork maneuvers stimulate healing on a deeper, cellular level.
Reiki is an energy healing modality. Unlike TTouch, Reiki does not involve manipulation or movement of the skin. Reiki is done with the hands lightly placed upon the body, or within 2 inches. At higher levels of practice, Reiki can be performed at a distance.
The word Reiki has been defined as “universal life force” or sometimes “spiritually directed life force energy”. Mikao Usui developed the practice in Japan in the 1920’s. The practitioner acts as a conduit for the life force energy, allowing it to flow into the recipient through the practitioner’s hands.
The most immediate and obvious effects are relaxation and pain relief, but Reiki often produces far more profound effects. Reiki acts on four levels of well-being – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Practitioners often find their intuition and sensitivity to their own animals in particular, and all life in general, is greatly enhanced.
You Don’t Have to Believe
I can hear you, “Oh, come on. Really?” Yes. Belief is based on faith, but these two modalities show real results that have nothing to do with wishful thinking.
You can explore this linked page for the numerous studies involving TTouch. Reiki has been scientifically documented to reduce stress – as measured by heart rate, blood pressure and blood tests – in humans and animals. A search with the terms “Reiki in peer-reviewed journals” will give you ample reading material.
Both have shown statistically significant beneficial effects in multiple controlled studies. And that is something you can believe.
Putting it into Practice
Both are easy to learn, but they do require you put in at least a day’s effort in a class taught by a certified TTouch practitioner or Reiki Master/Teacher.
TTouch – In a single day you can take a class, often with your pet, and start to immediately reap the benefits. In the classes I’ve participated in, students are taught the different types of body work and given the opportunity to practice hands on.
Reiki – A day or perhaps a weekend-long class will set you on the path. Class participants are given an ‘attunement’ by the Reiki Master/Teacher which opens them to the Reiki. Students are also taught basic hand positions to facilitate the flow of energy.
I recommend in-person training whenever feasible. The ability to get immediate feedback from an experienced practitioner is priceless. However, if online is your only option, then by all means go for it!
Then, just sit down with your furkid and practice, practice, practice. The way to maximum effectiveness though, is through repeated use. A moment here, a brush there will not bring the relief you’ll get from a mindful, focused treatment.
That means taking the time and devoting it to you and your pet. Put office aggravations and traffic frustrations out of your mind enjoy this bonding time. You’ll find it quickly deepens your relationship with your furry BFF.
I use TTouch and Reiki. I am not a certified TTouch practitioner, I’ve only taken day classes, but those give you all you need to work on your own companion animals. However, I am a Reiki Master/Teacher, so Reiki tends to be my go-to, although I’ve noticed an enhanced effect when I combine the two; I can have my dogs snoring inside of a couple minutes.
Both though, give you the opportunity to spend some time with your pets that doesn’t require anything of them. They simply get to spend time with you, and that is something they all want. I’ll bet you need it too, our world is so faced-paced we can all use some slow-down time.
I talk about how to build a deep, lasting bond with your dog in my book Dog Care and Training for the GENIUS. I give easy-to-follow directions that show you step-by-step how to connect with your dog so you really can be best friends for life.
Follow this link bit.ly/dct-ftg and use the coupon code dct-ftg at checkout for 15% off!
Healey Lockett has been training dogs for more than 20 years, starting with her first Belgian sheepdog she got as a puppy in 1991. She trained to compete in multiple dog sports including conformation, obedience and agility. Healey has taught both group and private, in-home obedience classes.
Healey developed her training expertise working with exotic animals in two zoological facilities. She volunteered her time at the Santa Ana Zoo while working on her Biology degree. After graduation she was hired as an Animal Trainer at the San Diego Zoo and worked there from 1994 to 2002. She worked with multiple exotic species, sea lions, wolves, cheetahs, birds of prey and even domestic dogs. During her time there she was awarded the Behavior Management Department’s Excellence in Training Award.
Healey’s philosophy of dog care is wholistic. That to be a good, responsible dog parent requires caring for a dog’s physical, mental and emotional health. This is best done by learning to understand your dog: Body language, vocalizations, facial expressions and subtle emotional energies shared will all play a role in human-dog communication and bonding
Although she no longer takes on clients, Healey loves to educate people about dog care, behavior and training through her writing, sharing her expertise and observations. Her book, Dog Care and Training for the GENIUS is a comprehensive guide to wholistic dog parenting. Please give her a big welcome to Pet Radio!