Sunday, October 30, 2011

TTouch and Reiki with Jinx: Oct 30

Today I went to work with Jordyn's cat Jinx, who has been having trouble using his back legs. The vet is not sure whether it is a tumor or a disc problem. I have been working with him with TTouch and Reiki to help him to be as comfortable as possible, and to maximize whatever possibility there may be for connecting neural pathways especially in the back end of his body.

I started out doing Reiki with him from a short distance, directed towards the front part of his body, the brachial chakras near either side of his shoulders. I stayed there for a while, and interestingly enough, he turned his body til his back end, the part that has been having difficulty, was facing my hands, so I sent him energy from that position for some time.

After a while, he needed a break, and began to walk up and down the hall. At this point I did some TTouches with him: connected TTouches going down either side of the back, and some zigzag TTouches which wound around his body, down his legs, connecting front to back in a variety of ways. This is to help stimulate whichever neural patterns that may still be there, to help him connect his front and back ends as best he can at this point. He was very receptive to this. I also did some TTouches going down his hind legs, and on the tops of his paws.
Later, he laid down again, and I sent him Reiki first on the front part of his body, then on the back end of his body, around the hips and leg area.
By the end of the session, he was sleepy and extremely comfortable. Thank you Jinx, sending healing thoughts and look forward to seeing you soon. xo

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

TTouch with Pip and Oliver: A Gentle Introduction: Update

A ways back, I worked with Sarah and Chris and their cats, Pip and Oliver. They rescued Pip from a dumpster some months ago, and then, some months later, they rescued Oliver and brought him into their home. So Sarah and Chris had been introducing the cats very gradually to each other, and during the appointment we worked with the two cats using harnesses and leashes, incorporating TTouch, treats etc, to help them get used to being in the presence of each other in a gradual and safe way.

Yesterday Sarah sent me this photo she snapped of the boys hanging out very near each other, which was so wonderful to see!! They are still getting acclimated to each other, but are really coming along well.

This picture was taken on the night of the first time having both cats in the same room without the harnesses and leashes. There were a couple of small skirmishes, but after a while, and TTouches and treats for both cats, Pip and Oliver eventually ended up in the position that you see them here on the couch. After a bit, Pip did try to intimidate Oliver again, so they took him out of the room, but Oliver seemed ok right away, instead of hiding or seeming traumatized.

This was a big improvement for both cats, especially since this was their first try at having both cats without the harnesses and leashes.

The email which Sarah wrote me was written the day after this, and here's how the email ended: "I'm typing this in the living room on the floor between Oliver on the couch and Pip on his back beside me, as I have been for 15 minutes or so, so I'd call that astounding progress!"
Astounding progress indeed, and wonderful work by all involved. Such diligent work done with such sensitivity truly makes such a difference. Thanks, Sarah, for sharing this with me, and I wish you all the best! Look forward to further updates :) xo

Friday, October 21, 2011

Happy Trails to Sweet Camilla

Camilla is a petite, lovely kitty, about 8 yrs old, who arrived at BARC shelter about a year ago with about 18 other cats, after their owner passed away. I gave her a bath when she first came in, and of course became bonded with her from then on. I remember drying her, doing TTouch on her as I was drying her, and then her nestling in a fresh towel when I put her back in her cage, looking like she felt so much better to be nice and clean. She was in pretty rough condition when she first arrived, but thanks to veterinary attention and a lot of love on the part of the wonderful staff, vets and volunteers at BARC, over the months she really blossomed.

I spent a lot of time with her all along the way, but particularly in the beginning, as she was having very bad digestive troubles, so I felt that Reiki energy would be comforting to her.

When you do Reiki regularly with an animal, they grow to recognize the energy, so they respond to it more and more quickly, as they realize that it is something that makes them feel good. Camilla would come right onto my lap and settle in for a Reiki session. Reiki helps facilitate a very intense connection -- your energy merges with their energy, and it is as though you become one being for a time.
Camilla has a very sweet, gentle personality, and even in the beginning at the shelter when she wasn't feeling great, was a real trooper and was always eager to give and receive attention and love. She had quite a fan club at the shelter!
A while back, Camilla was put into a larger cage with another cat from the same household, Animal. They grew close to each other, and when Animal became very sick (sadly, she passed away a short time ago), Camilla laid right next to her and was very comforting to her. It was so touching to see this selfless caring.

I feel a very special heart connection with her, especially because I have worked with her so much over the months. Whenever I came to the shelter, even if other animals needed special attention, I would always make time to connect with her.
Yesterday a kind family came in and fell in love with her, and decided they wanted to adopt her. I was very glad to be in the shelter yesterday - to meet the adopters, and to have the opportunity to say goodbye to her. All the pictures in this post were taken yesterday, minutes befores she was taken home. I spent a few last TTouch and Reiki moments with her, and wished her well.

I told her that I will always feel that a part of her lives in my heart, and for her to contact me any time (I mean telepathically). I will miss her, but am so glad and so grateful that she is in a loving home. Many thanks, as always, to the BARC people for all the love and care they gave to her and give to all the animals. Much love to you, Camilla, and thank you for showing me so much about selfless, unconditional love.

Monday, October 10, 2011

TTouch and Reiki and Cat Sitting with Bonsai and Nilo: Monday

Today was my third day of cat sitting for Bonsai and Nilo, who have been TTouch/Reiki clients of mine for over a year. Bonsai is a sweet, gentle senior Burmese kitty and Nilo is a lovely young Bengal cat who is generally shy except with his person, Kristin, though he has been getting increasingly comfortable with me.

This morning (Monday), Nilo was more affectionate than ever with me. He wanted me to TTouch him while we were in the kitchen, both before and after being fed. I have a feeling it has to do with his person being away. He seems to be missing her a lot -- I can see how attached he is to her. It feels like an honor to be able to suddenly get so much closer to him (both physically and emotionally) today. In Bach flower remedy terms, he is a "Water Violet" personality, which means that he tends to be very independent, and is aloof with most other beings. I can personally so relate to this type of personality. Maybe he senses this.

So this morning I did TTouch with him for quite a while, and it was such a pleasure to see him really relax into the touches. The sun was coming in the window, making it comfortably warm and bright, so of course that made him feel cozy as well. I did chimp TTouches (which use the back of the fingers), abalone TTouches going down body, ear strokes and mouth work. The abalone TTouches use the whole hand and are extremely comforting. The ear strokes are extremely calming, and as the mouth TTouches connect with the limbic system and the emotions, these were all extremely comforting, relaxing TTouches to do with Nilo.
He laid on his side, and then his back, purring up a storm the entire time.

Later, when Bonsai and Nilo were both in the living room, I sent Reiki to both Bonsai and Nilo from a short distance, which felt that it calmed the whole environment, which seemed a very beneficial thing to do, as both cats were missing their owner and I wanted to create as calm a space as I could for them.

Then I did TTouches with Bonsai. I use the lightest of touch with Bonsai as he is an older, very delicate cat. He is more comfortable with Reiki done from a distance for the same reason, and when he has had enough he usually gets up and walks to a different place. So I did Reiki with him for a while from a short distance after the TTouches.

Both cats were very cozy when I left, and that afternoon, Kristin returned. Kristin gave me a lovely call after she returned - she was grateful that all had gone so smoothly and peacefully in her absence.
Thanks all! much love and hope to see you soon.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Pip Meets Oliver: The Sensitive Subject of Introducing Cats

Above: Pip, below: Oliver. Thank you, Sarah Hoppes, for the use of your beautiful photographs which I used in this post. Sarah is one of the guardians of these cats, and is a professional photographer.

Several months ago, thanks to a referral from my wonderful Reiki teacher, Sheryl Berger, I had a session a few months ago with a lovely grey and white cat, Pip, and his people, Sarah and Chris. Sarah and Chris had rescued Pip a couple of months before from a dumpster near where they live. Pip was often very sweet and cuddly with them, but during the middle of the night, he would often howl and rage around, pouncing on them, etc. He had been checked out medically and was in good health. So we were hopeful that TTouch would be of help to him and to his people.

You can read a more detailed account of this session in the following post:

During our session, I worked with Pip, as well as showing Sarah and Chris how to do a number of TTouches. After the session, Sarah and Chris continued to work with him with the TTouches and, especially after a move to a larger apartment, he calmed down a lot. They also said the cat condo I had recommended that they get for Pip worked very well– that he would go in there to calm himself down. (see below)

Now comes the second part of the story. A second cat came into their life, who they rescued from their new neighborhood. He was a lovely 6-month old tabby kitten who they named Oliver.

Sarah and Chris were very sensitive in their process of integrating the two cats; letting the cats get used to each other little by little, keeping them in separate rooms but bringing them together for increasing amounts of time, doing TTouches with them. They were also doing TTouch with the cats simultaneously on either sides of the separating door, feeding them tasty treats at the same time.
Then, on the evening of Hurricane Irene, the two cats were near each other and they were giving them love and TTouch, when Pip suddenly became agitated and tried to jump on Oliver to attack him. So they had to take a step back in the cats’ integration. At that point, they asked me to come and do a session with them to see what would be a good strategy for working with the two cats going forward.
They had been switching the cats’ spaces every so often, and at that point, they had Pip in the bedroom and Oliver in the living room. Oliver had started to hide under the couch, and Pip was often trying to get out of the bedroom, often banging against the door with his body. It sounded like Oliver was terrified of Pip, and that Pip was continuing to be agitated, probably threatened by the presence of Oliver.
I had a feeling that Oliver would benefit from being in the bedroom so he could snuggle with the owners at night and that Pip would be more content in the living room, so I suggested that they switch the cats’ spaces. Also at that point Oliver didn’t have a little cat condo for a private space, so I suggested that they get him one. These changes worked very well. Oliver didn’t try to hide any more, and Pip was not trying to get into Oliver’s space, the bedroom. About a week after they made this change, I had a session with Sarah, Pip and Oliver.
Each cat has a good amount of space, complete with food, litter box, toys and a cat condo to hide out in when they need. Chris and Sarah have been continuing to feed and TTouch the cats on either side of the door. They had been bringing Pip in to Oliver's space using a harness and leash, but had been scared to do that since Pip had tried to jump on Oliver to attack him. The cats seemed very content and not stressed at all when in their own spaces.

I did TTouches (and Reiki) with both cats in their separate spaces. Then we decided to try bringing Pip into Oliver's space. We put harnesses and leashes on both cats, so that it would be a safe, controlled situation.

Sarah was TTouching Oliver on the bed when I brought Pip into his space. I was surprised, as Pip did not strain at the leash or go for Oliver right away (apparently this is what had happened when they had tried this before). I kept the leash loose, and he first wandered a bit, sniffing the other cat's food area etc. Then Pip went up on the bed (where Oliver was), but I kept him a distance away. All the while, I was doing TTouches on him and giving some treats, and Sarah was doing the same with Oliver.

Before today, she said Oliver would try to hide and get away from Pip when they had tried this. This time he stood his ground, doing a little growling and hissing. I took Pip back into the other room fairly soon because I didn't want Oliver to get too stressed or for Pip to try to jump on Oliver. Then we did TTouches on the cats in their separate spaces to calm them, and tried again. This time, Pip more readily went to try to jump on the bed and get to Oliver. Again, Oliver growled and hissed but didn't run away. And I took Pip out once he jumped up on the bed, before he got anywhere close to Oliver.

While it wasn't great that Oliver was growling and hissing, it felt it was a step in the right direction that Oliver wasn't so terrified that he had to scramble, run away and hide -- that he was confident enough to stand his ground. I feel that with more time and more TTouch and more contact with the other cat, the growling and hissing will be less. And when I picked Pip up to bring him back into his space, he wasn't crazy or aggressive with me. I kept my attitude very matter of fact and he was relaxed and chill right away once back in his own space, not straining or clawing to get back into the other space, though of course he was more interested and was lying near the door.

I brought Pip back into his own space again, and spent a good deal of time with each cat to calm them and make them feel good.

Next, we tried a doing a TTouch half wrap (, first on Pip, then on Oliver. As the cats are accustomed to and comfortable with having harnesses put on, they were both fine about putting the wrap on (unlike most cats I work with, who think it is something to play with and attack!). I noticed a small shift with Pip after the wrap was put on. I did some TTouches on him after putting the wrap on.

However, with Oliver, who tends to be more of a scaredy cat, the effect was immediate and dramatic. It really was magical, the transformation was so concrete. He started PURRRING up a storm, stretching out and looking SO comfortable. (below, Oliver is shown with the half-wrap on).

I advised Sarah to definitely use the TTouch wrap, especially on Oliver, when they bring the cats together.

I told her it would be beneficial to use at various other times as well, incorporating the TTouches along with the wrap. I also described to her the importance of intention and positive visualization – something which can sound so simplistic but which can make such a difference.
At the end of the session, both cats were EXTREMELY relaxed. It seems to me that it will just take some time for them to be comfortable with each other.
Sarah and Chris are very dedicated to helping the cats, and are continuing to do a great job with them. In a follow-up call with Sarah a couple of weeks after the session, she said they are continuing to make good progress with the cats. They are using the TTouch wrap, along with the TTouches and some other techniques I advised them to use to make the cats more comfortable with each other. Though Pip still can still get a bit overexcited at times, in general, the cats are becoming more and more at ease with each other. Both cats are also becoming more secure and confident, which helps them to feel more comfortable and less threatened by the other cat.

Thanks so much Pip, Oliver, Sarah and Chris, I wish you all the best!!

TTouch and Reiki with Nilo and Bonsai: Saturday and Sunday

Nilo and Bonsai are two sweet cats who I have had a number of TTouch/Reiki sessions with. Their person, Kristin, asked if I would cat-sit for them and do a session with them over the weekend, which of course I was very happy to do!
Bonsai (above) is a gentle senior Burmese kitty. He has a history of seizures, so is on medication for that. He has beautiful eyes which pull you right into them, he is a very sweet little angel.
Nilo (below) is a gorgeous young Bengal kitty, who generally is only affectionate with Kristin, though I have been connecting with him more and more with each session we have had. He is a very gentle soul, just seems to have a fair amount of wild in him. Each little step of getting closer to him feels like it is a big step from his perspective.

Saturday evening when I went to feed them, they seemed a bit surprised that Kristin wasn't there (though she had told them that she would be away), but happy to be fed, and little Bonsai was such a good sport about the medication. After feeding them and taking care of the litter, etc. I sat and sent them both Reiki from a distance for a bit. I could feel the whole space get very quiet and peaceful.

Then I did a little TTouch with Bonsai, who got very sleepy. Nilo was underneath a table, but he was very comfortable when I went under the table with him and, with my body oriented sideways to him, did TTouches all around his head. He relaxed and stretched out as I worked.

I told them how long Kristin would be gone, when she would be coming back, and that I was going to take care of them and feed them until she came back. I said all this in a slow, quiet voice, and they seemed comforted by this. When I left, they both looked quite peaceful.

Something interesting to note is that Nilo is very considerate of his older, delicate friend Bonsai, and he will let him eat more food first, even though there are two food bowls, as Bonsai tends to eat some from one bowl, then some from another bowl. It is so sweet to see this!
Sunday morning, to my surprise, Nilo was super affectionate and came to me for attention right out in the open when I first arrived. Probably as he was hungry and he knew I would feed him, he was able to let his guard down. I did TTouches all over his head and down his body, even picked him up briefly.
After they ate , I did a TTouch/reiki session with them.

I started out with Bonsai, who was hanging out in the kitchen. I sat a foot or two away and began to send him energy. He is very delicate, so didn’t I want to get too close, especially not right at first. He was in the sun, and got very cozy.

All of a sudden, Nilo jumped from a high place and turned the radio on, seeming to be asking for my attention. He was howling a bit, it felt like he was missing Kristin. So I began to him energy from a few feet away, and little by little he became quiet and started to calm down. I began to say to him, over and over, "you are very loved and very safe". I said this in a slow, quiet voice and could see that this was helping him to relax.
Bonsai came into the living room at the same time, so I continued to say it over and over to both of them. Nilo visibly calmed down, then went to eat more - which was good, as again he had let Bonsai eat a lot of the food first.
Then Nilo came back into living room. Nilo was on one side of the room, and Bonsai was on the other. So I sat between them, sending energy to both, feeling I was filling the room with light and Reiki energy. Bonsai was sitting in a sun patch near the window, and Nilo was underneath a table. Both of them got very sleepy.

Next, I went under the table and did some TTouches with Nilo. Each time I work with him, he is more and more at ease. When he is in a more shy mood, he seems most at ease if I touch him when he is underneath something or in a cozy place somehow. I did chimp TTouches around his head, forehead, and neck area, incorporating some slides down his body. He was purring and seemed quite comfortable.
I gently thanked him and then worked with Bonsai.
I held my hands about six inches away from Bonsai’s body. He is so fragile, I didn’t want to overwhelm him with too much energy. He settled into the Reiki energy, taking a nap for a while during the session. It was lovely to see him so peaceful.
Afterwards I went to clean up in the kitchen for a bit. Nilo was in there on a chair, and was completely at ease as I did a few TTouches with him while he was on the chair. This was interesting, as it was a time when he was not waiting to be fed, so he was comfortable with me in a situation which didn't have to do with food. I felt that this was a big step for him.
When I left, Nilo and Bonsai were both near the window in the living room. They both looked as though they felt quite cozy. Nilo was doing blinks at me, and little Bonsai was curled up, fast asleep. Much love, you guys, see you tomorrow!!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

TTouch and Reiki at BARC Shelter: Gentle Energy With Abby

Abby is a beautiful senior cat at BARC. He was surrendered to BARC after his owner passed away. He is an EXTREMELY sensitive being. He is generally comfortable with human contact but is very frightened by the presence of other cats or dogs, which makes the shelter an especially difficult place for him to be. He has a bit of a skin problem, possibly aggravated by stress.

When I open his cage, I speak to him in a very quiet voice. Especially with a very sensitive cat, I want to create a very quiet space around him, to help him feel more comfortable even in the midst of an environment which is not always so quiet. Reiki and TTouch can help to create that quiet, peaceful space. I start to send him Reiki energy from a short distance away (about a food or so), so that the energy will not be too intense for him. Even when not physically touching the cat, it is possible to feel when the connection with and acceptance of the energy happens. I feel it as an energetic connection, and feel the energy being absorbed by the animal.

As Abby relaxed into the energy, I slowly moved my hands closer to him, and eventually was touching him. I put one hand instead of both hands on him, so as not to overwhelm him. He became very peaceful and laid down to take a Reiki nap. I also did some gentle TTouches around his forehead area, which can be a very relaxing area for cats. And indeed, during that time, I felt a calm bubble of energy around us, and a concentration so that our connection was all that was existing in that moment.