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Tapping for dogs

In a successful experience with TFT, I was retained to work with a Jack Russell Terrier who was dismissed from the Conformation Ring for growling at the judge and biting him when he examined the dog’s feet.

Could TFT cure this problem? I wondered.

After some basic obedience training using positive reinforcement, I found the pup only 80% reliable. By using TFT, I was able to break through that final 20% and he went on to earn his Championship.

I started with desensitizing handling, then had strangers handle his feet while he was on a table. When he growled at them and showed his teeth to the handler, I started TFT.

At first, the pup was not receptive to the tapping. That is to say, he resisted it. I started by tapping him in the middle of his forehead, a technique I have used for many years (prior to my knowledge of TFT) to calm hyperactive dogs. After getting his attention, I used the eyebrow, under eye, under arm, clavicle, and gamut tapping sequence.

At first he looked surprised, and then calm.

After several treatments, the pup seemed to invite the tapping as though aware it was making him feel better.

I’ve also used TFT with other dogs including, recently, two Labrador Retrievers who were rescued from very abusive homes. Both dogs were fear-aggressive, lunging, barking, snapping, then retreating. After working with the dogs for several days, gaining their confidence, I had a stranger approach the dogs to maximize their trauma. I then applied the treatment, tapping the forehead, under eye, clavicle and sternum. The dogs calmed noticeably.

I have also used TFT many times briefly when working with students in classes. As I approach the pups, I signal them with the calming signals and then tap them on the forehead, under the eye, and on the sternum or clavicle, whichever is easiest to find. The only times I do not feel successful are when the owners interfere with or are not willing to try the treatment.

I believe TFT works when the dog is confident in the person applying the treatment. It should not be tried with a dog who is frightened of everyone and who has no “ally” in the room. In this situation, I find that dogs are not receptive to treatment and it is very difficult to tap the appropriate spots. —Lee Wells

TFT and Horses

While visiting a friend’s farm recently, the farmer’s daughter shared with me the story of her 7-year-old mare, who was extremely fearful of people—and especially hostile to men. The horse had been mistreated by its previous male owner. By now, it needed veterinary treatment to trim its hooves—which were overgrown and causing the horse extreme discomfort.

Unfortunately, the local veterinarian is a man and couldn’t get near the horse, even to examine it. Not wishing her mare to be sedated, the farmer’s daughter shared with me her dilemma.

Could TFT help calm this anxious horse, I wondered?

I explained briefly about TFT, then asked the daughter to stroke the horse’s forehead, and tap gently under its eye. I then asked her to tap behind the horses foreleg (as close to where I imagined the arm point would be), then tap the horse’s chest—as close to the collarbone as she could get.

Since it was impossible for me—a man—to get near the horse initially, I asked the daughter to tap out the algorithm instead. As she tapped away to my instructions, I could see the horse calming down from a distance. I entered the field and slowly walked to the animal, repeating the algorithm where the daughter left off.

In just a few minutes, the mare was almost asleep.

I asked the farmer’s daughter to walk away and leave the field. By then, she was extremely surprised to find the horse calm, receptive and unaffected by her departure—particularly when the mare had not been bridled in any way, nor had I used any treats.

Later, as I walked about the field, the horse followed me, nudging me in the back—her fear of people (and men, in particular) completely resolved. Even another male visitor to the farm that afternoon couldn’t change the anxiety-free state of the mare.

Of course, the veterinarian was able to treat her hooves with ease. But getting her to hum a tune while tapping was a different matter entirely! —Brian Ewart as told to Ian Graham

Human Trafficking

Think your way clear of fear

The London Evening Standard – London:

I expected when my marriage broke up last summer that my finances would take a hit, that splitting the CD collection would be painful and that I’d analyse then agonise over the reasons for the split. I didn’t anticipate that a childhood fear of the dark would stand between me and a new life, rendering me unable to sleep or venture out after nightfall.

There didn’t seem any way I could talk myself out of it. Stern words with self weren’t working. I needed help. Then a friend suggested tapping, also known as either Thought Field Therapy (TFT) or Emotional Field Therapy (EFT). After months of broken sleep I was prepared to try anything.

My local practitioner, Suzi Osborne, came round and asked me to think of myself walking down a pitch-black country lane, alone — my idea of hell. My palms were sweating and I felt so anxious I almost wanted to cry.

She took my right wrist in her hand and gently started tapping out a pattern on my forehead, across the top of my chest and inside my right forearm. After a couple of minutes, she stopped, asked me to take a few deep breaths and try to put myself back into that country lane. I could see everything from the previous thought but it no longer made me stressed. That’s the whole idea, Suzi explained. The tapping pattern separates the memory or thought from any negative emotions that used to come with it.

So did I skip out into my garden that night without a care in the world? Well, yes. And I found myself able to walk right to the end — where the big scary apple trees are — without any anxiety.

The technique is also being used by TFT specialists working with US authorities to help New Orleans inhabitants still affected by the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, and with children and adults traumatised by the genocide in Rwanda. Powerful stuff. And in a time when so many doctors seem happy to dole out happy pills and expensive long-term therapy referrals to “cure” our fears and phobias, isn’t a quick-fire, drug-free alternative worth a try?

Creative Commons License photo credit: prudencebrown121