Just Do the Work!

Most Tellington TTouch practitioners have had the experience of being faced with a situation that mystifies them and for which they have no solution in mind. They try a variety of things and discover - with surprise! - that the problem is solved. Newcomers to the work buy the book and practice the techniques for the fun of it and find some unwanted behavior disappears. This is not luck, or the random landing of an angel on the shoulder, but the result of putting the TTouch process in motion: Just doing the work.

Extreme behavior is often the result of an accumulation of stressful conditions and triggered by a “last straw”: stress is cumulative. The mental, emotional and physical aspects of a being are so interwoven that all conditions of the body and behavior influence one another. It is possible, for example, that an apparently obscure skin condition might in fact be the largest part of what causes the dog to urinate in the house. Leash pulling and the slow healing of wounds on the feet just might be related. The kind of out-of-the-box thinking that helps in the process is what one student calls “TTouch CSI” (from the TV show Crime Scene Investigation).

A guideline for the work has always been “meet them where they are” and an observation process usually begins the session to ascertain the starting point of the animal’s journey of change. However, we need to continue to be sharp-eyed and open-minded throughout the session. We want to discover what might get in the way of their willingness or ability to begin the journey, and what conditions help them to move along. We are finding the path that works for them, and sometimes have to take our eyes from the goal.

TTouch is blessed with many tools and techniques. As we explore them in a session we can make choices about which are useful and which are not. It is common to pay little attention to those that appear not useful, and even throw them out of the toolbox - yet they can give us a lot of information! We gain insight into situations for which the animal has little tolerance and lacks coping skills, situations that may not represent a problem for the human but which for the animal add to his accumulating stress. As we watch carefully the “negative” responses we find out the dog’s specific ways of showing concern, which for each dog is different. Some of these may be very subtle. Listening to and acknowledging these concerns builds trust. Their trust in us allows us to help them more.

Getting a full body of information depends upon exploring a wide variety of TTouch tools and techniques, rather than just focusing on those that we feel are going to “fix” the problem. We may not be able to predict the impact of the condition of the dog's skin on his behavior, but we should be mindful that it is highly likely to have some influence and should not be overlooked. A continuing and full observation of the animal and its responses to the TTouch work may allow us to find a wealth of small issues which we can resolve - or which resolve themselves as we work through the process. The consequence may be that the accumulated stresses never reach the point that evoke the extreme behavior

This is a two-way street: Just as behavioral issues may be resolved through working with the body, issues of health and well-being may be resolved by working with behavior It isn’t complicated. It is simply a matter of just doing the work!

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