What the Animals Tell Us

By Barbara Janelle M.A.

North American Nurse-Healers Annual Conference

Toronto, Canada 1990

Gentleness, centeredness and receptivity are important aspects of using Therapeutic Touch on animals. Body language, specifically relaxed posture, momentary eye contact, quiet voice and controlled energy field, can reassure an animal. The approach and entry into the animal’s field can be done in ways that honor the animal.

Animals are more aware of energy changes than most humans and can direct our work if we know how to listen to them. Information picked up in initial scanning can be augmented by noticing the bright and dull places on the coat, and watching where insects land because they will direct you to needy places. Follow the animal’s direction given with breathing, eye, ear and body movements, and projected mental images. Trust the animal to let you know when and where to work, for how long and when to finish.

As illustrated by Chloe, a Standard Poodle with lymphoma, animals come into our lives to help us learn the lessons of this lifetime. An ill animal may lead us to a major learning experience, mirror something in our lives, or provide lessons for others. Pity locks in an animal’s pain. The greatest gift to any animal is recognition and thanks for the role they play in our lives.


I had known for almost a year that I would present on the use of TT with animals at this big North American conference. I did not know if I would have the courage to speak my truth about hearing the guidance from the animal.

That morning, I listened to Bruce Pomeranz describe his journey into exploring healing and acupuncture–going beyond the bounds of the acceptable understandings of the time and culture. His courage to explore new things and communicate his learning, in the face of a witch-hunt mentality in the accredited scientific community, gave me the gumption to override my fear of criticism and speak my own truth. And so I told the whole of Chloe’s story, how she guided me with her movements and spoke to me in my mind of will and timing. This was my springboard to publicly communicating my experiences and understandings. Without Pomeranz’ lead, I might still be writing only for myself and would have missed the teachings that free, open discussion bring. –BJ 2/99