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Lisa Nicolello

Tellington Touch Therapy

Recently attended a one-day workshop on the Linda Tellington-Jones TT.E.A.M. and TTouch method. This was exceptional!! Following is what I have in the way of upcoming clinic information for "small animals". Unfortunately there are not as many of these, as the main focus is on horses. I have a list of practitioners throughout the U.S. if anyone (club or individual?) would be interested in hosting a clinic. I will be trying to set up something in the So. Calif. area early next year with the practitioner who gave the recent workshop.

Following are excerpts from the TT.E.A.M. workshop handout (reprinted by permission of TT.E.A.M.) that give the his- tory/background on this method as well as some of its uses. Because the main focus for this method is horses, they are referred to most often, but since the method is equally applicable to dogs just read dogs for horses.


In 1965 Linda and Wentworth Tellington wrote a monograph called "Physical Therapy for the Athletic Horse". This work demonstrated the work of equine massage to speed up recovery after intense competitions, endurance riding or the cross country phase of combined training.

Influenced by the four-year professional training with Israeli physicist, Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, Linda changed her emphasis from massage. Feldenkrais developed a gentle method of manipulating the human body to improve athletic performance and increase function in cases of chronic pain, spasticity and paralysis. Dr. Feldenkrais was particularly interested in increasing learning ability by activating unused neural pathways to the brain and thereby expanding a person's potential to learn.

Linda realized what applied to the human nervous system would work as well for the equine nervous system. She began to experiment with non-threatening manipulations of the horse's body that would increase a horse's ability and willingness to learn, in less time and without resistance.

In her search, Linda discovered that pain or tension in the horse's body could cause the kind of resistances that are commonly labelled as intentional or unchangeable. Horses thought to be born nervous, stubborn or mean could change dramatically in a short time when they were taught with precise exercises from the ground instead of from the horse's back. By affecting the horse's nervous system, the fight/flight reflex could be overcome and a horse could be taught to think instead of reacting instinctively.

From 1975 to 1980 Linda spent nine months each year in Europe teaching hundreds of amateur horse owners to work with their problem horses and to ride with awareness. She developed learning exercises which became known as Tellington-Jones Equine Awareness Method, TT.E.A.M. At this point the T.E.A.M. work concentrated on ground exercises and riding with awareness. However, Linda's explorations showed that work on the horse's body could not only overcome resistance, but also reduce stress, improve performance, and often relieve back pain, lameness and unevenness of gait.

The Tellington Touch or TTouch resulted from Linda's search to find an easy method to teach people how to work on a horse's body. Meanwhile, the intent of the work expanded to include awakening cellular function and releasing cellular memory of discomfort or pain due to injury or tension as well as the activation of neural pathways. She developed various touch techniques and gave them descriptive animal names to make learning fun and easy.

The TTouch techniques for first aid offer animal owners an invaluable tool. For exam- ple, hundreds of case histories in emergency cases of colic, illness or injury demonstrate the value of TT.E.A.M. work of the ears to keep a horse out of shock or to bring a horse out of shock while waiting for the veterinarian.


TT.E.A.M. training promotes the partnership between you and your horse and creates a new training approach for optimal performance and health. TT.E.A.M. offers new solutions to common behavioral and physical problems.

TT.E.A.M. is based on the premise that most resistance comes from tension or lack of balance or discomfort in the horse's body.

With the TT.E.A.M. approach, a series of Ground Exercises enable a horse to override old patterns and to learn without fear or force. Using a variety of obstacles like the labyrinth, ground poles, plastic, etc., these exercises result in obedience, self-control, focus, self- confidence, balance and coordination.

The Tellington Touch finds areas in a horse's body that indicate tension, fear of contact, soreness or discomfort that limit the ability to cooperate or perform. Specific hand movements are taught to reduce tension and to release discomfort and pain or the fear of pain. The TTouch has been used extensively to speed up healing and recovery from injury and illness in horses and in all animals, including humans. Attitude and behavior also can be changed with the TTouch.

The TT.E.A.M. methods are applicable to more than horses. . . . TT.E.A.M. can change aggressive dogs, fear biters, timid dogs. Fear of the veterinarian or groomer, car sickness, injuries or disease such as arthritis or hip dysplasia, and gait irregularities are instances where TT.E.A.M. can help. Performance in the show ring or agility can be improved by applying TT.E.A.M.

Presently, TT.E.A.M. is used in 22 countries by amateurs, professionals and veterinarians. A unique aspect of TT.E.A.M. is that it can be applied by anyone, regardless of his or her experience, for any breed of horse and to all disciplines of riding and to all other species of animals.

The TT.E.A.M. work is not difficult to learn and it brings quick rewards. Using these methods, you can achieve results in just one session with your animal. You can learn how to build communication, trust, respect and, most important JOY with your animal.

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