Friday, February 10, 2012
TTouch and Reiki at BARC Shelter: Update on Dr. Teeth
Dr. Teeth, who we now call Dr. T (seems to fit her more to a T!), is a very shy cat at BARC shelter. She has been making steady progress though, and though she may initially run away, she usually comes back for attention. I have showed some of the volunteers how to TTouch her using a paintbrush, which is a great way to initiate contact with her, until she becomes more familiar with you and is ready for direct contact. A few days ago, when I took these pictures, she was brave enough to remain in the front of the cage as I did TTouch with her.
She used to be very frightened of being touched on her head, and has been getting increasingly comfortable with that as well. I have found that doing some gentle TTouches on her forehead, using my thumb (with the rest of my fingers stabilizing my hand on the other side of her head, as shown here), is very comforting to her.
In case you're wondering, her tongue sticks out at times, probably because she has few, if any, teeth.
On her body, I find that the abalone TTouch is comforting to her. It is a circular TTouch which uses the surface of the whole hand. This can often be a great TTouch for shy animals, but every animal is different so you may have to experiment with a few TTouches to find what your animal is most receptive to. Please visit my youtube site for demos of these TTouches, http://youtube.com/sarahsuricat.
As I began to do the abalone TTouches on her, she began to relax further, stretching her body out and relaxing her muscles on her back further. I was also sending Reiki energy to her at the same time. You can see that my hand is rather red, and that is beause it was emanating quite a bit of heat.
I also found that she is very receptive to being stroked under the chin, and she often will lean into your hand when you do that, which is a big step for her.
And her friend Ice Cream is still providing a lot of comfort to her, so I am sure that is affecting her mood and level of relaxation to a great degree as well. They most often sit next to each other on either side of the bars of their cages, and he still will reach through to touch her.
Best wishes, Dr. T., see you soon!