In TTouch classes we place great emphasis on Edie Jane Eaton’s concept of listening to the whispers so that our animals do not have to shout to be heard. Some time ago now with my last beardie, Sasha, I had the chance to see how important it is to pay attention to these small signposts.
Before combing him I was in the habit of doing small circles on either side of his spine, and as I did I noticed that when I reached the lumbar area he would sit down. Then I realised that when the comb touched that area the skin contracted. I could also see that Sasha’s skin had become dry and flaky and that he had started to scratch when there was notapparent reason for him to do so.
TTouch physical exploration also threw up signs. I noticed that the lumbar area and over the hips was hot and, when I did leg circles, at a certain point the leg would be pulled in and then go backwards. The other whisper was that Sasha was loading more on his left foreleg.
These things, taken individually, may seem insignificant but I had the chance to consult with a holistic vet who does acupuncture and so I grabbed the opportunity with both hands.
The first consultation revealed that there was an imbalance in the heart and liver meridians: the heart needed to be strengthened and the liver needed to be alleviated. There was excess internal heat and “wind” which was causing internal dryness, the cause of the dry and flaky skin. This also meant that the collagen on the joints was being dried up causing discomfort in the joints. We could see that the right hip was more affected and that was the reason why Sasha was loading more on the left foreleg, the limb diagonally opposite. These imbalances were also affecting his emotional state giving rise to excessive excitement.
During the first session the needles were inserted to strengthen the heart meridian and a “cooling” diet was introduced. Sasha ate very little dried food but even that small amount, sometimes used as a treat in training because it was convenient, was eliminated because dry food dries the organism. Specific foods were prescribed to cool the body.
To help the process along I began to do very gentle TTouch lifts with a rocking motion around the hip area using a wrap. As the days passed I began to see that the range of movement in the joints was improving and the “tic” when I did leg circles was less pronounced.
Every day I spent some time doing ear work because, as we know, the whole body is reflected there, and I paid special attention to the area where the liver is reflected.
During the second session the heart meridian was treated once again but already there was a noticeable reduction in excitability and greater emotional calm. Although there was also a small improvement in the hips, he was still licking the genital area where the liver meridian passes through. He was also sleeping better at night.
By the third session the heart meridian was in balance so the liver/spleen would now be treated. As the liver was too strong, the spleen was weaker. As the improvement in the hips was now obvious the vet decided that there was no need to do an X-ray.
One of the things she suggested was to boil chicken feet to extract the collagen and then feed it to Sasha. However, in this world of “packaging” that we inhabit, it proved very difficult to obtain chicken feet because the chickens come to the shops minus their feet. What seemed like a simple ingredient turned out to be alost unattainable!
The important lesson I drew from this experience is that the whispers do indeed provide us with valuable information indicating the physical and emotional state of our animals ,and we should not let these whispers go unheeded. Of course a “mainstream” vet may not have paid so much attention to them and might simply have prescribed antibiotics, corticosteroids or some other medication which would most likely have covered up the symptoms without getting to the heart of the matter. However, when we can have the expertise of a vet who includes other modalities such as Chinese medicine and homoeopathy in his/her practice then we have the chance to resolve situations at the outset before they become major issues.