Sunday, November 14, 2010
TTouch and Reiki at BARC: Statler
Statler is one of the dear cats who arrived recently at BARC shelter in Brooklyn after their owner passed away. He is a very gentle, sweet cat but quite shy. Little by little he has been coming out of his shell though. He still hangs out at the back of his cage but now he is actually getting up and starting to move towards the front of the cage when I do TTouch on him.
A couple of the key places that he especially responds to are mouth work (doing little raccoon touches and slides on the outside of his mouth, going all the way back to the jaw) and doing ttouches on the back half of his body, including doing light little raccoon ttouches down his tail. The belly lifts are also very effective for him and usually result in him turning on his side and exposing his belly to me. He also is increasingly responding to ear slides, which he was not so sure about at first, probably because he had a minor ear issue (ear mites, I think) when he first arrived at the shelter.
It is important to stress that a belly lift is such a subtle movement that you hardly see it. With your whole hand, gently lift the belly in an upward motion, then very slowly release. Just a few times of doing this can really open up the breath and relax the digestive system as well.
Also, with the tail work, the pressure is SOOO light, just barely pushing the skin around in a circle as you work your way down the tail, connecting one raccoon touch to the next. As for the touches around the back half of the body, I was doing abalone ttouches (circular ttouches using the whole hand) and clouded leopard touches, as well as doing zigzag touches from the front part of his body to the back, going down his hindquarters too, and from one side of his body to the other. The zigzags really help connect one part of the body to the other.
Now, when I start to do TTouch on Statler, he almost immediately recognizes it as something that will make him feel good, and he is starting to rub his face and body against my hand, walking towards the front of his cage. It is so sweet to see him becoming more confident and more comfortable.