Friday, February 24, 2017

Connecting with Pearlie: Increasing Comfort and Ease for a Sweet Senior Cat

Pearlie is a beautiful senior kitty who I have been working with for a couple of years.  I started out working with her dear sister Lucy (who sadly passed last year), who had arthritis (and later other issues), and soon began working with Pearlie as well.  Pearlie and Lucy's person Kate is a lovely person and an amazing cat guardian, giving them both the best of care - always so thoughtful and attentive to their every need.

Pearlie has kidney issues, as well as arthritis, so whatever I can do to help her be more relaxed and comfortable is beneficial.  I have mostly been working with Reiki, and recently have been incorporating some TTouch and Debono Moves as well.  Reiki can help the body and mind to be as balanced as possible.  TTouch (developed by Linda Tellington-Jones) and Debono Moves (developed by Mary Debono) both grew out of the Feldenkrais Method.  These techniques are subtle, gentle, primarily hands-on techniques (they can also be done off the body).  I have found that these techniques complement each other really well.

Pearlie is a very sensitive cat, so she mostly prefers that I share Reiki with her from a short distance away.  As time has gone on, she has been more comfortable with me being closer, and I have also been able to slowly introduce the other techniques with her, always going with a pace she is comfortable with.

In the last couple of sessions, she has been getting progressively more at ease with this combination, so I wanted to share some of what I did in her most recent session:

Pearlie was settled on the couch comfortably, so I sat near her, said hello and let the Reiki start flowing.  Shortly after making the connection through Reiki, I sensed she was open to me making physical contact with her, so I gradually moved closer and started doing some gentle TTouches on her forehead with the back of one finger (the flat part of fingernail in contact).  She relaxed into this nicely.

She was on her left side, with her right side facing me, so I gently rested my left hand on her side, barely touching her.  I did a slow lift of her muscles, then an even slower release of the tissue (Debono muscle lifts).  I imagined each lift as a supportive movement, and each release creating more space and more relaxation. After each release I would have my hand slightly off her, then would put my hand gently back on her side, just a little further down her back than before.  As I slowly worked my way down her side, she grew more and more sleepy, and I felt her very peaceful. We were both completely one with the movement and the moment, and I felt more ease and relaxation after each release.

When my hand was down around where her hip is, I rested my whole hand over her hip area, and began to imagine my hand doing a very slow circle there (Debono hip circles, which are usually done in conjunction with shoulder circles).   After a while, I started moving my hand in a very subtle circle - barely a movement, done more with my intention than anything.  I did the circles in one direction for a while, then changed to the other direction.  Pearlie was now completely stretched out and relaxing into the movement. 

When I did this sequence the week before, she had begun purring.  At this moment, she didn't, but I felt her totally at ease. 

As she continued to lay in this position, I imagined doing this same sequence on the other side of her body. Then I slowly took my left hand slightly off her body and just let the Reiki flow with my hands still, one near her head and one near her tail.  There was a very sleepy, dreamlike feeling as we shared the energy quietly together.  I incorporate these still moments with the times where I am moving, to let the animal rest and process what we have done.  So we are not actually still - at least not still like a statue - the energy is flowing and the mind and body are processing information.

I then did some clouded leopard TTouches (circular TTouches with the pads of the fingers touching) on the toes on her back paws.  I was barely touching her toes - very light pressure.  Then I lightly held each of her toes, one by one, moving each one a little bit.  This was all to give her system more awareness in her feet, and to remind her feet and toes of the movement potential there.

After that, I paused, letting her system absorb all the work we had done.

Next, Pearlie got up and took a bit of a break, then walked towards the bedroom, checking to see if I would come with her, and settled in on top of the cover of the heater, where it was nice and toasty warm.  Interestingly enough, she laid on her right side this time, with her left side towards me.  As if to say, please work on this side now:)

I did the sequence of the muscle lifts, followed by the hip circles, on her left side.  When I got to the hip circles, she started purring, pretty loudly, which is unusual for her.  Kate told me that often one has to put their ear very close to hear Pearlie purr.  Pearlie stared at me as if to tell me how cozy she was.

Then, as an experiment, I put my other hand slightly above her shoulder, doing some slow circles there above her body as I continued the hip circles.  I had not done this earlier because I felt that putting both my hands on Pearlie's body would be too much.  However, Pearlie was completely comfortable with this and began purring again.  I put my hand lightly on her shoulder, continuing the slow circles for a short period of time with one hand over her shoulder area and one over her hip area.

At that point I let the movement go, and just kept still, continuing to let the Reiki flow.  Then I finished the session, thanking Pearlie, thanking Reiki, Debono Moves, and TTouch:)

Keep in mind that all of this took a bit over an hour, and all the movements were very slow.  If I had sensed Pearlie becoming uncomfortable in any way, I would have stopped the movement, given Pearlie a break and continued the session with my hands off, etc.  It is always important to go with what the animal is comfortable with, so that they feel it as a positive experience, and as something they enjoy and look forward to.

Thank you so much Pearlie!  I love you and can't want to see you again and continue our explorations together:)

And please check out Mary Debono's website for more about her technique, and my youtube channel for some demos of TTouch, etc.:)

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a perfect therapy treatment for the cat! Nice to hear the reiki was flowing all the time whilst doing the TTouch and Debono.