From My Inbox: TTouch Instructors & Practitioners Share Their Knowledge for the Benefit of Shayna

This story sent by TTouch Practitioner-in-training, Tina Leonard, is the type of inspiration that comes across my computer screen so often, and keeps me passionate about sharing this work. The quality of people who are attracted, and the willingness to share and help each other is just profound.

Over the years TTouch has helped so many animals whose loving people were told there was no hope for them. Maybe someday you will have such a situation and remember this story and not give up.

Heart Hugs to you all,


Shayna’s story from Tina Leonard

Monday morning on my way home from a business trip, Bri called to tell me Shayna was having serious seizures and was in the hospital with little hope from the vet. I got home at 12pm and went directly to the veterinary hospital. I was allowed to visit her in her cage at which time I did some TTouches on her. She wasn’t moving. However, at 8:30am she’d been heavily dosed with Phenobarbital to stop her seizures. When I cupped both hands around her face and performed light circles, she flinched. I decided to bring her home. The veterinarian strongly discouraged this. She said I’d just be “looking at a lump,” and if she survives, she’ll be VERY brain damaged. She said she hadn’t moved since she was knocked out. HUMMM. Think the drugs could do that??? It was clear that the vet’s intent was to euthanize her the following morning. That wasn’t flying with us. In my opinion the veterinarian wasn’t giving enough time to properly evaluate Shay, so we insisted she come home. I received a great deal of resistance, but we were adamant, so the vet released her. As soon as she got home, she started drinking water and eating and had awareness of her surroundings and of us (at least as much as she’d had prior to this incident). We’ve always been aware that some brain damage existed from previous seizures.

She still couldn’t walk. Other than being able to briefly raise her head, she was limp. However, I sought support from people in the know: Ella Bittel, DVM; Cynde Van Vleet, level 3 TTouch practitioner; and Kathy Cascade, PT and TTouch instructor/practitioner. Ella encouraged me from the beginning to bring Shayna home from the hospital and then daily provided rehab suggestions and encouragement. Cynde reminded me about Kathy’s discussion about the proprioceptive system: that Shayna needed time to re-establish a connection between her brain and legs and that TTouches help with that. Her encouragement was so important. Kathy assured me I was performing the best TTouches to establish the necessary connections: connecting strokes as well as leg lifts and circles. Again, more encouragement.

Without my association with TTouch, I wouldn’t have known these three amazing women. They helped us save Shayna’s life. We love you.

The following images illustrate Shayna’s progress.

She could hold her head up for moments only

By Wednesday, with help from her dad, she was able to hold her head up long enough to eat. TTouches, resistance training, and acupressure throughout the day.

Soon after, Bri became a task master. He put her favorite sweet potato soup in a pan as incentive and encouraged her to reach for it. Using her front legs, she crawled 2 feet!

Thursday, we took Shayna to a different veterinarian at Desert Veterinary Hospital, for a second opinion. This is a wonderful hospital with an great supporting staff. The veterinarian, Dr. McElroy, found Shayna to be healthy, but with some probable brain damage. As stated, this was pre-existing. Dr. McElroy suggested we take Shayna to a neurologist, have acupuncture, and hydrotherapy. She hoped this would help with the connection between her brain and her legs. However, as soon as we got home, Shayna decided she needed to be more mobile! With our supporting her with a towel under back end, she began to walk, using her front legs only. Notice that her back legs are crossed. She had no back leg control. Again, TTouches and acupressure throughout the day.

This became our daily routine

Friday, more progress. She still needed support, but she found her back legs. They moved in proper sequence.

Saturday morning, she’s walking on her own

Again, there are not enough words to express our gratitude to those who provided rehabilitation support, prayers, and love.
Thank you,

Brian, Tina, and most of all, Shayna

© 2010 – 2011, Linda Tellington-Jones. All rights reserved.

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