From My TT Notes

By Barbara Janelle M.A.

Assessment. I was teaching basic Therapeutic Touch recently, and as is often the case with those developing their ability to sense the field, this student felt heat in a localized area. As I checked the spot, I felt congestion and the field straining to draw energy – as if it was attempting to take in a lot of energy through a tiny straw.

I suspect that the field’s attempt to draw energy in through a congested area was creating the heat that the student was feeling. This may be the situation in most instances where heat is found in the field. It certainly makes it easier for the field to take in energy if congestion is cleared first. Thorough unruffling in the early stages of the Therapeutic Touch treatment disperses congestion and enables the field to take energy in much more easily and fully.

Centering Calms Anxious Dogs. I was teaching a course on animals this spring in Ontario, to which a lot of the participants had brought dogs. A loud thunderstorm approached and many of the dogs became upset. A Golden Retriever, known for going bonkers during a storm, frantically tried to find a place to hide, and others paced or crawled under chairs.

Usually I have owners massage their dogs’ ears to affect acupressure points and elicit a fast relaxation response. A body wrap with a tensor bandage helps the animal stay connected to its body and breath better (both of these approaches are from Tellington TTouch). I have also found that grounding the animal through all four feet is helpful.

However, I decided to try something different this time. I asked that everyone close their eyes and move into a very deep state of peace. Sometime later we opened our eyes to find all of the dogs were asleep, except for the Golden who was lying down calmly watching us! A few weeks later that dog’s owner wrote to the workshop organizer to say: “”…an amazing thing has happened with Thumper. We had some thunder two nights ago and Thumper didn’t pant or tremble. He wasn’t completely relaxed and came over to sit at my side of the bed. He remained alert, almost as if he was on guard and eventually settled back down and went to sleep. I consider this a miracle…”

In June while teaching at Camp Gone to the Dogs in Vermont, I had an opportunity to use centering with another dog during a storm. The black Standard Poodle became quite agitated as the storm was building. He was in an x-pen in a dormitory and a staff member checking on him and found that he had pulled the x-pen part way across the room almost collapsing it. She got things back in order and sat with him while the storm started to rage. I entered the dorm and found the two of them in the meeting room and offered to sit with him while she went to a lecture. He was wide-eyed and restless when I started into a centering meditation. Sometime later I opened my eyes to find him stretched out on the floor asleep.

Relationships and Timing. Camp provides opportunities to use Therapeutic Touch with both dogs and people. This year, bruises, scrapes, tired muscles, a ballet teacher’s inflamed knee, and another woman’s severe bruising and back pain from a fall all responded beautifully to TT.

I found one treatment particularly interesting because it involved some ideas that I have worked with over the years. A staff member who does announcements at most meals developed severe laryngitis and could barely whisper. During the requested TT treatment, the areas that were most congested were first, the sacral chakra, then the root chakra and third, the throat chakra. A strong relationship between the sacral chakra and the throat chakra has been noted by many writers (e.g., Roslyn Bruyere, Wheels of Light, Fireside, New York: 1989, 1991 & 1994). In addition, I have found that unruffling and grounding the root chakra affects the function of all the other chakras. The woman reported to me later that her voice had returned 30 minutes after the TT treatment, which also offered confirmation for the shift in the field that we find 20 minutes after the session, particularly if the receiver rests during that time.

Use of Hands in TT. Relaxed hands sense the most information from the field. Tension in the hands affects the practitioner and the recipient’s breathing and reduces the practitioner’s ability to center and feel. Movements that are gentle, rhythmic and governed by intention are effective. Movements that are rapid, irregular, and done mindlessly are not only ineffective but can also trigger resistance in the field. Every movement must be done consciously and with care.

A Note on Keeping Notes. The most important part of my training in Therapeutic Touch was my period of mentoring with Merlin Homer many years ago. Merlin had me write case histories that described with words and drawings what happened during the treatment. She also required me to look at issues that arose for me in the treatment setting, and to examine my experiences within the framework of my own life.

I continue to make notes on many of my treatments and find that they help me see relationships that I was not aware of during the session. They raise questions for me to pursue and they help me process treatment experiences and the meaning they hold for me. Note-taking and writing min-case histories are among my most valuable tools for learning and growing in this work.

June 2004/bj