I covered the first three elements of TTouch – the basic circle, pressure and tempo – in my last post. Today I’m going to cover elements 4 – 6 as follows:
4 The mindful pause – after completing several circles, hold the connection after the last circle and a quarter with a short pause. This gives the dog time to integrate the effect of the touch. This may well be a new feeling for the dog and his mind needs a moment to adjust. Now you can resume your work.
5. Connecting the touches – there are basically three ways to connect. First, you may choose not to connect at all. When you have completed the first basic touch, pick your hand up and move to another area on the dogs body. Secondly, you can complete the basic touch and, leaving your hand on the dog, gently slide to the next area and begin again. I like the slide because it integrates so well with either “touch-slide-touch” or “touch-pause-slide-touch”, etc. And thirdly, there is a connection called ‘weaving’ that is most useful in cases where the dog is hurt, ultra sensitive, or is experiencing a painful area because you will not connect the touches on the dog. This looks like touch, lift, connect through the air and touch again. In these exceptional cases, sustained touching can be irritating. (OK, you got me here. There’s really only one connecting touch on the dog!)
6. Body position – both you and dog should be in comfortable positions. Dogs can be standing, sitting or lying down. You should be at his side, relaxed. If your dog is fearful you might consider sitting on a stool so that you are not leaning over him. This will also help you stay in balance and you can move easily if need be. You will find working with both hands makes the process easier. One hand is working on the dog, the other is connecting and containing the dog. When you are working with the head, the supporting hand will be under the chin. When working towards the rear the supporting hand will be at the front of the chest. This helps him feel secure and safe. Generally, you will begin the touches at the front of the dog working towards the rear.
Next post – the last three elements of TTouch.