We attended a workshop to introduce us to touches and methods using Tellington T-Touch Training delivered by Caroline Still of Stylish Fido (https://stylishfido.co.uk/t-touch).
T Touch is not massage but involves a variety of touches manipulating the skin rather than the muscles below. Although the touches are light pressure, they can be very relaxing and powerful. However, like massage, the aim is to help resolve health and behaviour.
As well as bodywork, there are also a number of groundwork routines designed to aid flexibility, movement and increase confidence.
The touches themselves are named after animals, such as the Leopard, Chimpanzee, Racoon and Llama. These involve different placement of the fingers on the skin. As with massage therapy, the touches slide from one to another meaning the dog always has at least one hand on their body maintaining contact.
The groundwork is used to engage the dog’s attention and focus and involve slow and purposeful movements around objects or poles with frequent stops allowing the dog to experience their balance.
Another component is body wraps. This is similar to swaddling a baby giving the body security and a big hug. The aim is to provide comfort by making the dog aware of all the areas that the wraps touch. It is a great tool for nervous dogs and can be beneficial for Halloween and November 5th fireworks.
It’s always good to learn new principles and touches which can be adapted to add to our existing massage routines. We’ve never wanted to stop at just using the same few techniques but rather to constantly learn new moves to adapt and add. On Friday Chris went on a massage course designed for expectant Mums. He came back saying “Oooo…I’ve got a great move we can add to the AchyPaw routine”. As expectant Mums tend to prefer massage on their sides, this is similar to working on a dog lying down. We’ve adapted one of the moves to give a good myofascial release of the dog’s pectorals. That’ll go in our toolkit. Then there was the time Chris took a Hands-free massage course. Again, one of those moves we adapted into our exclusive Angel technique which gives the dog a huge long stretch along their entire body and most adore.
We’re going to need a bigger toolbelt soon.