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The dog of one of my relatives has fear and anxiety problems. A few months ago the vet suggested micro-massaging the dog. I didn't know what it meant at the time.

Recently I heard about the Tellington TTouch method (TTouch if for Tellington Touch) and realised this was probably what the vet was referring to.

The method appear to be based on a set of touches performed on the dog in some specific ways and it is mentioned that benefits include higher relaxation state, increased learning performances, improved injury healing, etc. The picture shows a TTouch being done on a dog's ear.

It has apparently been used with different animals, including horses, dogs and ... humans. The main source of information seems to be the author's website and a bunch of books from the same person.

What is this method and in what cases could its use be beneficial to the dog mental or physical health? Are there scientific data supporting its benefits?

I'm now reading the book "Getting in TTouch with Your Dog: A Gentle Approach to Influencing Behavior, Health, and Performance" so I might answer part of the question later but I'm also looking for an answer based on sources or references from other authors.

TTouch massages on a dog's ear.

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As a Tellington TTouch practitioner/instructor I have been using this method for many years. I am also a licensed Physical Therapist.

In general, specific types of slower, light pressure touching typically induces relaxation and helps to calm an animal. These effects can be attributed to how the nervous system processes and interprets certain types of sensory input. Tellington TTouch is a method that uses specific types of strokes and circular touches with the intent of helping to both calm an animal, build trust between human and animal, and increase focus or the ability to learn new behaviors.

Decreasing the habitual physiological stress response is the first step in helping an animal learn new, more appropriate behaviors. The TTouch Method also incorporates the use of movement exercises to promote balance, better body awareness, and fluid movement.

The method is based on a philosophy of humane, respectful treatment of all beings with the overall goal of improving the human-animal relationship.

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