Sunday, December 19, 2010

Mayor's Alliance Cats: Dec. 13

When I went to see the Mayor’s Alliance cats today, I saw that Cheeks had either been adopted or fostered, and there were several new cats.

Above is Bree, who has been there for a while. She s a very playful cat, so I generally will just do a few TTouches at a time with her, as she can get over-stimulated pretty quickly. I tend to use the back of my hand to do the TTouches with her, as this is a less-stimulating way to touch her. I think part of this too is that when I let her out of her cage, she is often more interested in letting off steam than being TTouched :)

Charles is such a super-friendly little guy, and he loves attention of any kind. He's a pretty active youngster, so I will do some little chimp TTouches down his back, let him go, then try a few more TTouches, let him go, etc. He is generally purring the entire time you have contact with him.

There was a new little gray kitten Cleo, who was very sweet, purring the entire time, as I did ear slides, abalone on body and a few mouth TTouches.

Pattie, who has always been shy but not hesitant about being touched, flinched every time I moved my hand towards him today. Each time I would start to reach in, he would get ready to swat. I got in a few TTouches and left him alone. I did talk to him quietly and offered him Reiki. He seemed to crave touch, as he would start to come towards the front of the cage or stretch out on his side as I did this, but again, if I started to reach in, he was very startled. So I had to take a step back and offer Reiki from a dhort distance away, speaking in a soft, reassuring voice.

Max II (below), Andy and Jack (one of them is pictured above, not sure from the sign indications which is which) are three young cats who are in the same large cage. They had recently arrived, and seemed a bit traumatized, so I went slowly, trying to gauge how much contact they were ready for. Max II was lying in the back of his cage, stretched out with one of his paws sticking down through the hole into the lower level of the cage. He was shy, but gentle, and I spoke to him softly, telling him he was in a safe place and doing some little raccoon TTouches on his forehead and around other parts of his head. The forehead can be a very calming area to work on an animal who seems emotionally traumatized. I also did a few TTouches down his body, keeping the first session with him short so as not to overwhelm him. Andy and Jack are two little tabby and white cats, it wasn’t clear which name went to which cat. The smaller of them is more shy, and was huddled in the back of the cage. I tried some raccoon TTouches on his head, and noticed that he started to breathe more fully. Gradually I worked in some TTouches on his body, then went to his pal, who looked a bit skeptical. I started with him using the back surface of my finger (my fingernail actually) to do some circular TTouches on his head, and saw him slowly start to let go and get very sleepy. After a few TTouches on his body, I let them be.

Johnny (above and below), who was a bit shy the first time I saw him as he had just been neutered, is totally friendly and sweet. I let him out of his cage and did abalone and clouded leopard TTouches, as well as ear slides. I also did Tarantula pulling the plough (I will have to get a video of this up, it’s hard to describe but it is a touch where you are walking your fingers down the back, sliding your thumbs along, which are at right angles to the fingers.

Max is a sweet cat, who is very eager for attention but can get over-stimulated sometimes. I imagine especially for the younger cats it can be so hard to be contained in a cage, that when he gets let out of the cage he needs to run around and let off some steam first. I do TTouch on him a little bit at a time, doing a few clouded leopard TTouches down his body, giving him a break, etc.

Serena is a shy cat I have been working with for a few weeks. She still prefers being touched with long-handled things like a paintbrush, but she is getting more at ease each time. Today she hissed at me at first when I opened the cage but the minute I started to do some circular touches on her with the flat paintbrush, she began rubbing against it, purring and drooling, very comfortable. Little by little I started working my hand down the handle of the brush and was able to get in some TTouches with my hand – some clouded leopard and abalone TTouches on the body and a few raccoon touches on the head. I would just do a few touches with my hand, then go back to using the brush, as that is what she is still most comfortable with. But it is great to see her really coming along. Afterwards, she always goes to her food bowl and starts munching away.

Tiger is a very affectionate, sweet cat with a gentle, quiet energy. She especially responds to slow abalone TTouches down her back. Abalone TTouches are circular TTouches which use the whole hand, so they are warm and comforting, whereas the TTouches which use less of the hand are more focused and can be more intense.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

TTouch with the Mayor's Alliance Rescue Cats: Dec 6

When I went to see the Mayor's Alliance cats today thru Tavi & Friends' TTouch in Rescue program, it was especially nice to see the shyer ones really coming along.

Pattie seems much more comfortable today. I did a little energy work with her, and she soon started rubbing herself against me and purring. She then came to the front of the cage, where I did abalone, zigzag and clouded leopard TTouches. It is great to see her feeling so much more comfortable, especially as she had been so frightened a couple of weeks ago, her body sometimes shaking.

Charles was really craving attention, pawing against his cage. He was really pleased to get out. He is very affectionate and I did zigzag TTouch, abalone, and octopus TTouch. He rubbed against me and purred. When I put him back in his cage he went to his food bowl and ate with gusto.

Johnny (above and below) is completely friendly. He came out of his cage, purring and rubbing against me. I did abalone, zigzag and Tarantula Pulling the Plough. TTouch.

He is such an elegant little being, when he sits up straight, he looks like a little sculpture!

Serena still will hiss when you first open her cage, but once you touch her with the paintbrush (using the tip, side, or side of the handle of the brush to do circles and strokes), she becomes comfortable and starts purring and rubbing against the side of the cage and coming to the front of the cage. I got in some TTouches with my hand, but am being careful to only do a couple of these at a time and then go back to using the brush, as she is not too sure about these touches yet.

Max is very gentle and sweet. He is very sensitive to noises. I did ear TTouch, abalone and zigzag TTouches with him, which he found to be very calming.

Tiger is a very gentle soul, and responds best to TTouches using the whole hand, which are warm and comforting.

Bree can get ver overstimulated, so with her I just TTouch her a few touches at a time, then give her a break. I mostly did the chimp TTouch with her today, which uses the back of my fingers.

TTouch and Reiki with Bonsai and Nilo

A couple of months ago, I did a TTouch/tabling event at Whiskers Holistic Pet Store in NYC, and I raffled off a free TTouch session. Kristin came by my table, entered the raffle and said she was lucky at these things and sure enough, she ended up winning the free session. Since then, I have had four sessions with her and her two cats, Bonsai and Nilo. Bonsai is a sweet 15 year old Burmese cat who has had problems with seizures (he's taking medication for this) and Nilo is a 5 year old Bengal cat with a lot of wild in him. Nilo is a very one-person cat and only likes Kristin. He also often pees outside of the litter box. Kristin has been feeling that Bonsai has become more low-energy and more removed from her lately, perhaps a side effect of the medications he is taking. Both these cats are absolutely stunning-looking, and so appealing each in their different ways: Bonsai has a lovely gentle, sweet energy and Nilo is very inquisitive and hyper-aware of all around him, like a little wild cat.
In my first meeting with them, Bonsai settled very easily into the TTouches. I showed Kristin how to do some of the TTouches so that she could do them on both Bonsai and Nilo. I wasn't able to touch Nilo, but I did engage him using two of the long TTouch wands, and did some of the TTouch circles on the floor near him. While I worked on Bonsai, he sat a little ways away and was very interested, but just not ready to be touched by me.
After this first session, Kristin told me that Bonsai had been extremely calmed by the TTouch, and that he slept in the bed with her, something he had not done for a long time, which was great to hear. (below is Bonsai)

The next meeting, I showed Kristin a few more of the Ttouches on Bonsai, and how to do some circles and strokes on him with a jelly scrubber (here's a link to how to use the jelly scrubber) and soft brush, which he responded to also. Then I did some TTouch and Reiki with Bonsai. His lower back and tail felt tight, so I did some TTouches around that area, and when I offered him Reiki, this area of his body also was emitting the most heat, so thought I put my hand in several positions, I spent more time with my hands in that area. I felt a very strong connection, almost like my hands were glued there. He got extremely and laid on his side, very relaxed.

After the session with him, he ate some treats which I had put out for him previously, and went to curl up on his cat bed, something he apparently had not done for a while. Again, Nilo had been observing all of this from a short distance away. Right as I was about to leave, I leaned down to say goodbye to Nilo and he came and touched me with his nose. I felt that with patience, I would make more contact with him soon.

The next session, I did seem to be slowly making more contact with Nilo. He came up to me several times, touching my hand with his nose, and I was able to engage him a bit using the TTouch wands, doing a few circular TTouches on him. I also connected with him with Reiki, sending him Reiki energy from a couple of feet away. I crouched down with my body sideways to him while we were both in the kitchen area. He stayed quite still, then relaxed as I did this. Though this was just for a matter of a few minutes, this seemed like a lot for him, as he is a very sensitive cat.

With Bonsai, I offered him Reiki for quite a long time. Again, I felt a lot of heat coming from his back end, so I focused my attention there. I felt him become deeply relaxed. When this happens, I also feel my own energy change, like it drops down a level and even the thoughts in my head feel like a record being played at a slower speed. Then I did some abalone TTouches and clouded leopard TTouches down his body and even down his legs a bit, as well as some mouth work.

In our most recent session, a few days ago, at first I felt the energy with both cats to be a bit restless, and so I began by doing a few circular TTouches at a time on Nilo, who still was keeping his distance from me, hiding under furniture. So I would do a few TTouches with him, then do a few TTouches on Bonsai, who was nearby.

Then I gave Nilo a break and began to focus on Bonsai. First I did some TTouches on his body and head, and offered him Reiki for a short time. Then I tried a technique which I learned in Margrit Coates' hands-on-healing workshop where one gently and slowly follows the energy down one side of the back (a few inches from the spine, parallel to the spine) and then the other side of the back, not pressing down on the back but, using such a light touch, following the energy. Hard to describe in words -- will have to put video up sometime soon. At any rate, all of a sudden felt the energy s h i f t down to the lower, slower level I was talking about earlier in this post. Very interesting. All of a sudden Bonsai and I were completely focused and connected with each other at the same time. I did energy healing on his brachial chakra (over the shoulder area), heart and base chakras. Bonsai because VERY settled at this point, so extremely comfortable.

I did the energy healing going down the sides of his back again, then Reiki with hand positions starting at his head, then slowly moving down his back. I was feeling a very strong connection and a lot of heat - and waves of energy going back and forth between us. After we finished this, I did a bit of TTouch around his mouth area, and felt we were done. It was a bit hard to move my hands away from him though, we felt so connected. Bonsai followed me into the next room as I went to see what Nilo was up to.

I began to work with Nilo with a wand again - but this this time I wrapped a piece of Ace bandage around the narrow end of the wand (contrary to the end we were taught to use but had to follow my intuition). When I touched Nilo with this and began to do the TTouch circles, all of a sudden I saw him react like "hey, this is different - hm, I think I like this". And I felt a real connection to him and saw him start to respond to the circular touches. He became really comfortable and began to rub his head against any surfaces that were nearby. I gave frequent breaks - would do the circles for a couple of minutes then stop for a few minutes, then start again. Bonsai was nearby so I did a few TTouches on him while I gave Nilo breaks.

THEN - I actually was able to work my way down the wand and did a few brief ttouches on Nilo with my hand - hooray! I just got in a few touches before he was on the move again, but I tried the same procedure a few times. He became extremely comfortable with the wand/ace bandage TTouches and was ok with a few hand TTouches after that. I feel that gradually he is beginning to trust and that I will be able to get closer and closer as our sessions progress. I love how much cats can teach us about patience.

After this, I was speaking with Kristin about what had happened, and asked if it was all right to take some pictures of the cats and to post about them on the blog. After I took apictures of Bonsai we began to look underneath the furniture for Nilo, as that is where we were used to finding him. He wasn't there.

All of a sudden I noticed that Nilo was on top of a bookcase (see below) and he was staring at me - probably had been doing so the whole time we were talking! Very funny.

Below you will see Nilo making a "cozy face" to me. What a nice holiday gift to me it was to feel such lovely connection with both these cats, and I felt I had particularly made a real breakthrough with Nilo.

TTouch and Reiki are not presto-chango fixes for helping animals, but the shifts that can happen as a result of these modalities can be deep and lasting. Wth time, I believe these modalities will give Bonsai a lot more relaxation, body awareness and comfort and will give Nilo more trust and less stress, which hopefully will help lessen the peeing outside the box and make it more possible for him to connect with people other than Kristin.
Happy holidays Kristin, Bonsai and Nilo, look forward to more adventures with you soon! xo

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My Journey with and Thanks to Kermit - Who Just Got Adopted :)

Hi folks! I feel a special type of connection with all of the animals who I work with. TTouch and Reiki (and other similar modalities) help you to connect with an animal in a way that feels not only physical but mental and spiritual. It is as though there are permanent invisible lines of connection that go from the animal right into your heart.

Certain animals, just like certain people, touch you in a particularly strong way. That is how I feel about Kermit, the sweet senior kitty pictured above and below. He was one of a bunch of cats who arrived at BARC shelter recently after his owner passed away. When I arrived at the shelter the day after the cats had been rescued and brought to the shelter, Kermit was completely hidden under his cat bed, curled up in the back corner of his cage. Of course he was the first cat for me to work on that day. I did a long TTouch session with him (giving small breaks to him in the midst of it), during which he came out from under his bed and ended up in the front of the cage. After several TTouch sessions with him, as well as a bath and combing out and love from me and other BARC staff and volunteers, Kermit was always in the front of his cage, ready to come out and sit on someone's lap for a cuddle. When we gave him a bath and were combing him out, it was as if he knew we were trying to help him, he was so trusting and cooperative.

You could feel so much love pouring out from him, it was incredible to see and experience. If you look into his big eyes you can feel love and gratitude that touches you so much in your heart.

It was a truly moving experience to see him turn around so quickly from being so terrified to being so willing to trust all these new people around him. I felt he had probably been through some tough experiences before his previous owner had rescued him. Yet once he came around, he was so open and ready to greet even someone completely unfamiliar.

While he sat on my lap, sometimes I would do TTouches on his head and ears, and then all the way down his body, and he would really stretch out and relax. Other times, if he seemed like he wanted to receive something gentler and to be very still and cozy in my lap, I would offer him Reiki energy healing. Kermit also received so much love from all the BARC staff and the many wonderful volunteers who come to the cat loft. He was always so happy to come out and connect with a person in such a loving way.

One day recently, I was happy to hear the news that Kermit was soon going to a loving forever home. I am always particularly moved and thankful when someone adopts an older cat, as they are much harder to adopt, even when they are very friendly cats like Kermit. I know that Kermit must have charmed his new people as much as he did everyone else at the shelter.
Here I am giving him a kiss. All the best to you Kermit! I'll miss seeing you at the shelter but am so happy for you and you are forever in my heart. Thank you for all you have taught me about gratitude, love, and true appreciation of the moment.

TTouch and Reiki at BARC Shelter: Update on Statler

Statler is one of a bunch of cats who arrived at BARC shelter in Brooklyn after their owner passed away. Statler was extremely shy at first, remaining frozen in the back of his cage, but after some weeks of TTouch and Reiki, plus much love from other BARC staff and volunteers, he is really coming around.

Statler still likes to hang out at the back of his cage, but once you open the cage, he starts to come to the front and now he even will come and bump his head against my head, which is so sweet.

I found that the place where he still holds tension is in the back half of the body, so if I do some circular touches around this area, plus some zigzag TTouches connecting the front of the body to the back (usually going all the way to the tail and then stroking down the tail very gently), he instantly becomes more comfortable, and will begin to roll on his side or back or start walking to the front of the cage, rubbing his head against the cage as he goes. I even hear or feel him purring quite often. He also responds to ear slides, and to little raccoon touches around his head and mouth area.

He is an absolutely gorgeous cat, and it is such a pleasure to even see the expression on his face open up, which you can especially see in the closeup above. His gaze goes right to your heart! Hoping for a furrrever home soon for this kitty..... xo

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Hands-On Healing Class with Margrit Coates

Hi folks, this past weekend I had the beautiful experience of taking an advanced class in hands-on healing for animals with Margrit Coates. I had taken another class with her in March, which I found to be so helpful, and for me added another way of helping the animals I work with in the shelters and privately (in addition to TTouch and Reiki). In this class she showed us other ways of working which gave another level of connecting with the animals to help balance their energy. Hearing her speak and watching her work was such an inspiration. She has such a kind, gentle energy, and we saw each and every animal respond to her as she worked with them. Above, you see her working with a lovely dog named Spirit. Her hands truly are magic.

Not only did we work on connecting with animals in the class, Margrit also showed us how to do remote healing, using a photograph of the animal we wanted to connect with. It is very easy for people to be skeptical of this process but I can tell you that it is very powerful, and I did feel a shift in the animal (actually the sweet BARC kitty Animal) who I connected with when I next saw her in the shelter. Once I tuned into her energy as I looked at her photograph, I felt like I was in the shelter with her. It was really quite something. My friend Eileen, who is a wonderful animal communicator and healer, was also in the class and said she noticed a real difference with her cat Duff when she got home.

Above and below you see pictures of Ryley (and Margrit working with him below). Ryley is a sweet senior Maltese, who has very serious heart disease. His loving owner Tracy found Margrit while searching on the internet for someone to help him, as he was doing very badly - panting, lethargic, his heart pounding, he wasn't eating much, and would barely even raise his head. Tracy was so afraid she was going to lose him. She emailed Margrit, sent her a picture of Ryley and she did the long distance healing on him. What happened next was so miraculous. Tracy said, "The morning after Margrit did the healing (I didn't know she had done it overnight because of the time change overseas) he bounced up, ate breakfast, played with his toy and wasn't panting anymore. It really was amazing. I'm not saying he doesn't have heart disease anymore but he certainly has his will to live back and doesn't seem to be suffering anymore. That's all I can ask for. " When we saw Ryley at the class, as you can see in the pictures, he was bright and alert, and he was interested in everything that was going on. I am sure the work Margrit did on Ryley in the class was extremely helpful as well. The healing work seems to pull everything into balance and focus, while being extremely relaxing at the same time.

Thank you so much Margrit, for all that you do with the animals, and for your generosity in sharing the lovely work that you do. Please check Margrit out on her website (click on her name in the first paragraph to go to the site). She is on Facebook as well.