Listening To Whispers

Tellington Method™
(Tellington TTouch Training™)

For all species — from hamsters to horses

General Description

TTouch offers gentle, positive teaching techniques that complement force-free training methods. It combines bodywork and ground exercises to improve co-ordination and balance. Good physical balance positively influences emotional and mental states, helping animals to be calmer, and improving their ability to focus. They become better able to develop self-control and self-confidence — the lack of which underlies most undesirable behaviours and interferes with the ability to learn.

Edie Jane Eaton - LIstening To Whispers - Hamster Squeak

TTouch offers many techniques to support veterinary care. It can help to speed recovery from injury or illness and reduce stress during treatment. It offers ways to help our animals remain stable and out of shock as we await veterinary care in emergencies. TTouch has a Veterinary Advisory Board of nine international veterinarians, and has been taught at the University of Vienna School of Veterinary Medicine in Austria and at the University of Hannover in Germany. 

TTouch increases the well-being and contentedness of our animals. Added benefits are the development of a deeper rapport between human and animal through mutual understanding and communication. It can improve interactions with animal professionals such as vets and groomers, by easing handling and diminishing stress.

With TTouch we can give back to our animals some of the immeasurable gifts they give us throughout their lives, improve their comfort as they age, and eventually ease their passing. It can be a great comfort for us to have something useful to do at times when we may feel helpless.

TTouch is used around the world by dog trainers, veterinarians, shelter assistants, zookeepers, wildlife rehabilitators, and therapists of many different modalities. It lends itself to many training and therapeutic modalities, and often learning and using just a few of the simple body TTouches and rebalancing exercises can make a huge difference to an animal’s life.

There are over 1600 certified practitioners in 36 countries.

Edie Jane Eaton with horse - LIstening To Whispers

A Bit of TTouch History

The Tellington TTouch is named after its originator, Linda Tellington-Jones. Linda grew up surrounded by animals of all kinds. She is particularly known and honoured worldwide as an innovative horsewoman, developing TTouch techniques initially with horses and later with companion animals.

TTouch grew out of Linda’s extensive range of experience, combined with her study of the Feldenkrais Method, which is known to be successful in improving athletic ability and increasing function in cases of paralysis and chronic pain, and her recognition that the same principles could be applied to animals.

Tellington TTouch consists of two basic techniques:

Bodywork

Bodywork consists of different ways of touching the animal: One type of touch is the circular Tellington TTouch, in which your fingers gently push the skin in a clockwise circle and a quarter. Other ttouches include strokes and slides, using your hands in different ways to provide different effects; and lifts, in which the tissue is lifted gently against gravity and supported as tensions release.

TTouch techniques help to increase awareness, speed healing and relieve tension. Mindful touching helps us to feel areas of tension, and become aware of where the animal has concerns about our touch. The significance of this is that there are consistent relationships between tension patterns and behaviour, and relieving the tension can change the behaviour.

Groundwork

Groundwork involves moving through the ‘Confidence Course.’ Leading techniques are explored to find ways to help the dog or horse to walk in balance so they can fully experience the exercise. We observe them as they move in and around the elements of the course, and with TTouches and other TTouch tools, such as bodywraps, help them to negotiate it easily and confidently. Their increased awareness of themselves, and the postural changes that come about, allow them a new experience of themselves and their environment that carries over into everyday life.

TTouch is useful in working with a number of situations. Open the toggles to learn more.

 

Behaviour

There are many strategies of working around our animals’ behavioural problems so they no longer interfere with our lives. However, though life may then be fine for us, the issues and the reasons they arise can have serious consequences for the animal.

A key precept of the method is that all animals have the potential to be perfect, and that if they are not it’s because something is getting in the way. Instead of putting our focus on stopping them from doing what they’re doing, we seek to find ways to help them behave as we wish. This involves discovering what the impediments are. They could be in the body, where we find some behaviours consistently related to tension in specific areas, in misunderstandings about what’s wanted, or in the environment.

TTouch recognizes that emotional, physical and mental states are interwoven, and that bringing one into balance does the same for the others. This is achieved through a combination of the bodywork and groundwork. Gentle, powerful and profound, TTouch techniques help animals gain confidence, develop a clear sense of themselves within their bodies, and discover how to focus and learn.

Stress

Some behaviours caused by stress are familiar, including hyperactivity, withdrawal, inappropriate urination, separation anxiety, compulsive chewing, and so on.

Less often, we realize that stress causes increased heart and respiration rates, compromises the immune system and interferes with normal digestive, respiratory, cardiac etc. function.

Stress-related tensions can cause joint inflammation (arthritis) and pain, to the extent that the animal may be reluctant to be handled.

Insecurity

Insecurity may be reflected in separation anxiety, fear of thunder, timidity, ‘dependent, one-man-animal’ behaviour, aggression, etc. We may not really be aware of the degree of insecurity if we provide predictably comfortable and safe routines and environments, and if we avoid ‘problem’ situations. Even if the animal is not showing insecure behaviour, it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s free of the physiological aspects of stresses we may not be aware of.

Health

Tellington TTouch does not take the place of veterinary care, although there are many ways in which it can be used to promote recovery from injury, surgery and disease. Its profound ability to reduce stress and pain is a large part of this, and one sphere where this proves invaluable is in the rehabilitation of wild animals, which need to be handled and be calm, yet not be tamed.

Several veterinary surgical nurses use the ear work to help settle animals during examinations, and speed their recovery from anesthetic. TTouch is used in several veterinary practices during the physiotherapy following injury or surgery, to restore awareness and function to damaged areas. In animals whose mobility has been compromised, TTouch helps restore ease of movement without putting undue stress on other parts of the body.

In the San Diego and Zurich Zoos TTouch has been used to help animals cope with medical care. Tellington TTouch Training has a Veterinary Advisory Board of nine international veterinarians, whose support and input has been invaluable through the development of the work.

Training

Training and socialization are a big part of many solutions. Tellington TTouch can play a role in making both easier by reducing stress, teaching the animal to move beyond what is instinctive and learn how to learn, and by helping to improve self-confidence, self-control and focus. A consequence of this is that they become better students — for home schooling and the classroom.

Behaviour

There are many strategies of working around our animals’ behavioural problems so they no longer interfere with our lives. However, though life may then be fine for us, the issues and the reasons they arise can have serious consequences for the animal.

A key precept of the method is that all animals have the potential to be perfect, and that if they are not it’s because something is getting in the way. Instead of putting our focus on stopping them from doing what they’re doing, we seek to find ways to help them behave as we wish. This involves discovering what the impediments are. They could be in the body, where we find some behaviours consistently related to tension in specific areas, in misunderstandings about what’s wanted, or in the environment.

TTouch recognizes that emotional, physical and mental states are interwoven, and that bringing one into balance does the same for the others. This is achieved through a combination of the bodywork and groundwork. Gentle, powerful and profound, TTouch techniques help animals gain confidence, develop a clear sense of themselves within their bodies, and discover how to focus and learn.

Stress

Some behaviours caused by stress are familiar, including hyperactivity, withdrawal, inappropriate urination, separation anxiety, compulsive chewing, and so on. Less often, we realize that stress causes increased heart and respiration rates, compromises the immune system and interferes with normal digestive, respiratory, cardiac etc. function. Stress-related tensions can cause joint inflammation (arthritis) and pain, to the extent that the animal may be reluctant to be handled.

Insecurity

Insecurity may be reflected in separation anxiety, fear of thunder, timidity, “dependent, one-man-animal” behaviour, aggression, etc. We may not really be aware of the degree of insecurity if we provide predictably comfortable and safe routines and environment, and if we avoid “problem” situations. Even if the animal is not showing insecure behaviour, it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s not suffering from chronic stress and its associated physiological aspects.

Health

Tellington TTouch does not take the place of veterinary care, although there are many ways in which it can be used to promote recovery from injury, surgery and disease. Its profound ability to reduce stress and pain is a large part of this, and one sphere where this proves invaluable is in the rehabilitation of wild animals, which need to be handled and be calm, yet not be tamed.

Several veterinary surgical nurses use the ear work to help settle animals during examinations, and speed their recovery from anesthetic. TTouch is used in several veterinary practices during the physiotherapy following injury or surgery, to restore awareness and function to damaged areas. In animals whose mobility has been compromised, TTouch helps restore ease of movement without putting undue stress on other parts of the body.

In the San Diego and Zurich Zoos TTouch has been used to help animals cope with medical care. Tellington TTouch Training has a Veterinary Advisory Board of nine international veterinarians, whose support and input has been invaluable through the development of the work.

Training

Training and socialization are a big part of many solutions. Tellington TTouch can play a role in making both easier by reducing stress, teaching the animal to move beyond what is instinctive and learn how to learn, and by helping to improve self-confidence, self-control and focus. A consequence of this is that they become better students — for home schooling and the classroom.

TTouch Workshops and Workshop Information

To learn about workshops with companion animals, visit the TTouch For Companion Animals Workshops page. To learn about upcoming workshops for horses, visit the TTeam For Horses Workshops page.

TTouch Contact Information

More information about The Tellington TTouch Method can be found at www.TTouch.com and www.TTEAM-TTouch.ca.

A list of worldwide offices can be found at www.TTouch.com/contact.shtml.