Research and Studies

While the Tellington Method was initially developed intuitively, the evolving understanding about learning, neuroscience, and cellular intelligence, has helped established scientific grounds for the method.

Over the years there have been dozens of studies looking at the effectiveness of the Tellington Method, and its principles, with some fantastic results.

Click on a study to learn more.

Cattle 2012 Reducing Avoidance and Stress

Gentle touching in early life reduces avoidance distance and slaughter stress in beef cattle

by Johanna Probst, Anet Spengler Neffa, Florian Leiberb, Michael Kreuzerb, Edna Hillmannb of Switzerland


This study investigated the effect of gentle touching applied during the early life of suckler beef calves on avoidance distance on-farm and stress reactions at the abattoir. Twenty-seven Limousin crossbred calves were assigned to a treatment (n = 13) or a control group (n = 14) balanced by sex and day of birth. Gentle touching, using the TTouch© method, began on the second day post partum and was continued on the following 2 days. Additional touching was conducted on 3 non-consecutive days during the following 3 weeks in the home pen. Each treatment lasted for 10 min and was repeated once after 30 min. Individual avoidance distance was assessed 6 times. Following this test, all voluntary approaches towards the test person were recorded. All animals were slaughtered at 10 months of age. Behaviour was observed during lairage and in the stunning chute. Blood samples were taken during exsanguination at the abattoir, and concentrations of cortisol, lactate and glucose were analysed. Samples of the Musculus longissimus dorsi were subjected to cooking loss measurements, Warner Bratzler shear force and meat colour traits. The treatment calves showed smaller avoidance distances (P < 0.001) than the control calves. The treatment cattle showed less avoidance behaviour in the stunning box (P < 0.01), and the cortisol level of the touched animals tended to be lower (P = 0.055). The Warner Bratzler shear force of the cooked muscle was lower in the touched than in the control animals (P < 0.05). In conclusion, the treatment animals were less fearful towards humans and showed less stress-related behaviour at the abattoir. Fewer stress related reactions at the abattoir can be the reason for improved tenderness of touched animals’ meat. We conclude that early gentle touching of beef cattle has long-term persistent effects, reduces fear towards humans, and may increase meat quality.

Visit: Science Direct

Cattle 2013 Lowering Stress Levels

Influence of gentle toucing appried few weeks befor slaughter on avoidance distance and slaughter stress in finishing cattle.

by Johanna Probst, Edna Hillmann, Florian Leiber, and Anet Spengler Neff of Switzerland


The present study investigated the effect of gentle touching applied during the last 5 weeks before slaughter in finishing cattle on behaviour towards humans, stress indicators and beef quality. Three experiments were carried out. Experiments 1, 2 and 3 employed eight Limousin crossbred bulls, eight Piemontese crossbreds (six females, two steers) and ten Limousin crossbreds (three females, seven steers), respectively. In each experiment, half of the animals were equally assigned to a treatment and a control group, respectively. The treatment consisted in a standardised gentle head-neck-region touching and started 5 weeks before slaughter and was continued once a week in experiments 1 and 2 and twice a week in experiment 3 during the following 5 weeks. Avoidance distance tests (ADT) were performed two times in each experiment, once before the treatments started and a second time after handling treatments had ended. Blood samples were taken during exsanguination and concentrations of cortisol, lactate and glucose were analysed. In samples of the Musculus longissimus dorsi, meat colour, cooking loss and shear force were determined. Across all experiments, avoidance distances in treatment animals were reduced after treatment application compared to control animals (interaction of ADT number × treatment: F1,24 = 18.33, P < 0.001). Gentle touching did not affect cortisol or glucose concentrations in exsanguination blood (F1,22 = 2.28, P > 0.1). However, lactate concentrations in exsanguination blood tended to be lower in treated than in control animals (F1,22 = 3.47, P = 0.075). There was no treatment effect on either cooking loss (F1,22 = 1.10, P > 0.1), or meat colour (LF1,22 = 0.09, P > 0.1; aF1,22 = 0.05, P > 0.1; b*: F1,22 = 1.74, P > 0.1), or shear force (F1,22 = 0.02, P > 0.1). In conclusion, gentle treatment in the period before slaughter resulted in decreased avoidance distance towards humans and in a slight reduction of stress at slaughter as indicated by the trend in lower lactate concentrations in exsanguination blood. However, this late-life treatment was less efficient in improving meat quality different from what had been shown for early-life gentle touching.

Visit: Science Direct

Dog 2013 Integrating the Tellington TTouch® Method in Guide Dog Training

Integrating the Tellington TTouch® Method in Guide Dog Training

by Janice K. F. Lloyd and Elizabeth Roe at the School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD 4811, Australia

The Tellington TTouch® method is used to reduce stress and relax animals so they can learn more effectively. It aims to increase an animal’s body awareness and balance by using a combination of techniques that include specific touches, body wraps and leading (movement) exercises. This article discusses the method and its potential role in guide dog training.

 Read More (Note! You’ll need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view it.)

Horse 1985 Stress Reduction Study

Study of the Effects of TTouch® for Reduction of Stress
Bitsa Olympic Center, Moscow, Russia

In a TTEAM and TTouch® 13 day training, 8 Veterinarians, along with riders and trainers participated in a study to measure levels of stress hormones and benefits of TTEAM for sport horses. Twenty horses were included in the study. All of them were worked daily in dressage or jumping training and all 20 had daily blood samples drawn to check the level of stress hormones. Ten horses were TTouched and TTEAMed daily by the course participants, and the other ten were not. The results showed significantly lower levels of stress hormones in the TTEAMed horses.

The following letter is a translation from the Director of the Moscow Soviet Professional Unions Horse-Sport Complex and head veterinarian, Dr. Nina Khanzhina, regarding the study. Conducted over a period of 14 days.

L. Tellington-Jones

Esalen Institute

Soviet-American Exchange

From March 28 to April 10, 1985, the veterinarians of the Moscow Horse Center at Bitsa and the sportsmen and trainers of various clubs and representative teams of the USSR, took a practical study course in the teaching of TTEAM method under the direction of L. Tellington-Jones and the method teachers of D. Thompson and L. Will.

At the same time, the Department of Standard Physiology of the K.I. Skryabin Moscow Veterinarian Academy conducted scientific research on the influence of these methods on the presence of stress hormones (adrenaline and nor-adrenaline). In the experimental group of horses, on which the TTEAM method was applied, an improvement was recorded in the stress hormones.

Furthermore, the horses improved in their outward appearance, and their ability to work increased. The veterinarians noticed that the horses became more calm in behavior, that their capability to give medical aid had increased, and that constraint in movement, caused by injuries, trauma, arthritis, etc. had disappeared. It is possible, in applying the TTEAM method, to eliminate unhealthy conditions in the muscular system and contracted tendons. It is also possible to teach the horse to break bad habits and to improve its capacity to work in sport activities. We express our gratitude to the Esalen Institute for the afforded opportunity to conduct practical courses in the TTEAM method. We hope that this collaboration will continue.

V. Akivis, Director KSK

N. Khanzhina, DVM

First Published in the 1985 TTEAM News International Pp. 14-15

The following is a translation of a 1985 letter from Dr. Nina Khanzhina, Head Veterinarian of the Bitsa Sports Complex:

Dear L. Tellington-Jones,

I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to work with you and to study the TTEAM method. Your method for me is absolutely new and very interesting. To apply the TTEAM method to work with horses opens a vast array of possibilities for veterinarians, sportsmen and trainers. After the horse is in a state of relaxation, it is very easy and simple for a veterinarian to apply medical aid. And this same method is healing for many conditions of horses: colic, myosis, etc.

The experimental group of horses, which we used to conduct the exercises according to your method, have had an improvement in general condition and in jumping technique, as well as a disappearance of constraint and unrhythmical movement. I would like to continue working with you and improve my knowledge, as well as to help horses and people find a common language.

N. Khanzhina, DVM
Head Veterinarian
Bitsa Sports Complex

Back Issue of TTEAM News International 1985 Pp. 14-15

NOTE: TTEAM is an acronym of “Tellington TTouch® Equine Awareness Method.” Since this article was written, the brand name for all the facets of the TTouch® organization is Tellington TTouch® Training.

Horse 1999 EPM. Neurological Study

Tellington TTouch® as a Complement in the Rehabilitation of Horses with EPM and Neurological Deficits

The manual has been given to several veterinarians for the use of their clients and has been found very effective. Additional study and documentation required.

A study of the rehabilitation of horses with neurological deficits, using TTEAM, started through the efforts of Dr. Mark Meddleton and his wife, Becky. Becky’s horse, Jewel, was severely affected by Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis (EPM) and Dr. Mark was trying all the forms of experimental medication. During the times that the medication seemed to be working, Becky decided to try TTEAM to rehabilitate Jewel. Becky applied her basic knowledge of TTEAM and was impressed by what she was observing with Jewel.

Becky and Mark came to a TTEAM workshop at Galisteo Creek Farms in April, 1999 to learn more and to talk with Linda to see if TTEAM would cooperate in a study of rehabilitating horses with EPM. Becky explained to the group that initially she had thought that only the ground exercises would help, but after talking with TTEAM Instructor Carol A. Lang, she tried the TTouch and realized it too was a key element.

To initiate the study, Linda and Carol met with Dr. Mark and Becky at a client’s farm. A neurological exam was performed by Dr. Mark on three horses. TTEAM techniques were shown the horse’s owner and Dr. Mark set up a basic schedule of rehabilitation with instructions the owner was to follow. In a few weeks, Carol met with Dr. Mark and Becky at this client’s farm. Dr. Mark reexamined the horses and both he and the owner agreed that improvement had been made. Carol taught the owner more TTEAM techniques and Dr. Mark scheduled another evaluation of the horses.

In June of 1999, Dr. Mark, Becky and Carol worked with Jewel and Mark’s horse, Dugan, who also had been diagnosed with EPM. Dr. Mark did a neurological exam of each horse. Then, as they did TTEAM and TTouch® with both horses, Dr. Mark, Becky and Carol discussed which techniques were working, the timing of the sessions, the sequence of TTouch® and the work in the TTEAM Confidence Course. They also made a first draft of a checklist for the owners to keep track of their horses rehabilitation program.

Carol accompanied Dr. Mark and Becky on visits to at least three clients who had horses with neurological difficulties. Each owner was shown TTEAM techniques and Becky recommended the rehabilitative process. Dr. Mark’s scheduled follow-up neurological checks in order to track progress. Becky reported that the percentage of improvement of the trial horses was very high and that the owners were very satisfied with the results.

To continue the development of a protocol that Dr. Mark planned to present to the AVMA, Carol met with Dr. Mark and Becky and TTEAM Practitioner, Kirsten Henry several times over the next year. They filmed a video demonstrating how to do TTEAM techniques specifically for rehabilitation of horses with neurological deficits and developed a modified Confidence Course.

They did many trials with TTEAM techniques, in particular the use of wand and lead, the TTEAM body wrap and TTouches.

Carol prepared a booklet of TTEAM techniques to be distributed to participants of the study. Dr. Meddleton reviewed this booklet and made suggestions from his perspective as a veterinarian.

Hoping to receive a grant, Dr. Mark presented this protocol to a veterinary conference in the fall of 2000. The evaluation and advice offered about their study gave Dr. Mark and Becky new insights and direction. However, Dr. Mark’s veterinarian practice was expanding so much that their time for continuing this study was curtailed.

In March, 2002 Dr. Mark reported to Carol that he could not proceed with the study of a protocol for EPM/neurologically impaired horses. He offered to share his and Becky’s work with any veterinarian that Linda might find who would be interested in continuing.

We know that TTEAM has been very effective in helping horses rehabilitate from neurological deficits. We offer this booklet as a guide to TTEAM Practitioners and others who will use TTEAM and TTouch to facilitate their horses’ rehabilitation.

Carol A, Lang, TTouch Instructor
Santa Fe, New Mexico

Purchase the Booklet in our Shop.

NOTE: TTEAM is an acronym of “Tellington TTouch® Equine Awareness Method.” Since this article was written, the brand name for all the facets of the TTouch® organization is Tellington TTouch®.

Horse 2001 Trailer Loading Study

Loading stress in the horse:
Behavioural and physiological measurement of the effectiveness of non-aversive training (TTEAM) for horses with trailer loading resistance.

This study was conducted by Stephanie Shanahan when she was a student at the University of Ontario Veterinary School at Guelph, Ontario, Canada. The research was funded by a grant from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation for Research targeting the Improvement of Animal Welfare. Stephanie won the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior’s ‘Award for Student Excellence in Applied Animal Behavior Research’. Permission to post from Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science.


Resistance to trailer loading in the horse is a common source of stress and injury to horses and their handlers. The objective of this study was to determine whether non-aversive training based on Tellington-TTouch Equine Awareness Method (TTEAM) would decrease loading time and reduce stress during loading for horses with a history of reluctance to load.

Ten horses described by their owners as “problem loaders” were subjected to pre-training and post-training assessments of loading. Each assessment involved two seven-minute loading sessions during which heart rate and saliva cortisol were measured. The training consisted of six 30-minute sessions over a two-week period during which the horse and owner participated in basic leading exercises with obstacles simulating aspects of trailering. Heart rate and saliva cortisol were shown to increase significantly during loading as compared to baseline (P<0.001 and P<0.05, respectively). Reassessment after training showed a decrease in loading time (P=0.01) and reduced heart rate during loading (P=0.001). Seven good loaders were also subject to loading assessment for physiological comparison. Increases in heart rate during loading were significantly higher in the good loaders (P<0.001). Non-aversive training simulating aspects of loading may effectively reduce loading time and stress during loading for horses with a history of resistance to loading.

As most of you know, in the summer of 1999, I conducted research retraining horses with trailer loading problems using TTEAM. So I’d like to give a general outline of what I did and what I was trying to do. In a later issue, I will present some of the interesting case studies that came out of the research.

Horses who are reluctant to load into a trailer are not difficult to find. In fact, it is one of the most common behaviour problems horse people are familiar with regardless of the breed of horse or discipline they are involved in. Unfortunately, trailer-loading accidents are also a common cause of injury to horses and their handlers.

My intention in this project was to scientifically ascertain the effectiveness of a TTEAM training program at improving willingness to load. I also wanted to know if the stress of loading would be measurable physiologically and furthermore, if TTEAM training could measurably decrease loading stress.

We started with 12 horses who, according to their owners, were difficult to load. The horses included a Shire/Thoroughbred yearling, two and four year old Quarter Horses, Arabian crosses, Canadian broodmares and a few thoroughbreds. The oldest horse in the study was 20 years old.

In the initial assessment, the horse had two seven-minute opportunities to load, one with the owner and one with an independent handler who did not know the horse or the purpose of the study. We measured heart rate and took saliva samples to measure cortisol before, during and after the loading. We performed this assessment with all the problem horses as well as with 8 horses who were considered to be good loaders.

In almost every case loading time was not significantly different when the owner or the person unfamiliar with the horse was loading.

One of the “problem loaders” loaded readily and one of the good loaders did not load so we didn’t use them in the study but we did work with both of them anyway.

After the assessment some horses started the training while others waited and had a second assessment before the training. This was done in order to keep the independent handler blind to the training status of the horse.

The training program was based on a wonderful article by Marion Shearer, “Prepare your horse to load”, which was recently reprinted in the May-June 2000 TTEAM Connections. The sessions were every other day for two weeks. It is definitely beneficial for horses (and people) to have a break between sessions in order for the brain to integrate the new information. Every other day is better than every day. Some horses may benefit from more than two weeks of training while others might only need to be asked differently at the time of loading.

Here are some of the most important components of the program we used (for more information, I strongly recommend reading Marion’s article):

Lower the Horse’s Head

Many of the problem loaders had naturally high head carriage. When they were concerned their head would go even higher making it difficult to negotiate getting into a trailer. This is a normal reaction for horses, a part of the flight response. They are raising their head to shift their weight back which lightens their front end so they can turn around quickly and get away from what is scaring them. The problem arises when the handler has no way of asking the horse to lower its head. It appears that lowering the head actually changes the horse’s reaction to a situation. When the head is lowered, a horse is able to move forward to approach and investigate what it is concerned about. This gives the horse the opportunity to realize that the situation is okay. With his nose in the air, a horse is neither going forward nor giving the situation a chance, he is asking to leave.

As part of our training we used as many different ways as we could think of to teach the horses to lower their head when asked. Some of the ways are listed here:

Leading position:

  • Putting the chain up the side of the halter

While standing:

  • A gentle signal and release downward on the chain, or “milking” of the chain
  • Stroking of the horse’s chest and forearms with the wand

While walking:

  • Allowing the horse to walk into the wand which is held in front of the horse midway between the knee and shoulder

Body work:

  • Raising the back with the tips of the fingers pressing on the midline of the abdomen
  • Tail work
  • Mouth work and ear work

These may not lower the head directly but can be very useful to get the horse to pay attention and think about what you are asking when you are stuck

Since we only had a short period of time to work with and the owners were not familiar with TTEAM, we did not teach ALL the possible tools that COULD be useful when working with horses to improve their willingness to load. We focused on a few basic principles and were very happy with the results we got.

The training sessions involved the introduction of these TTEAM techniques at the pace that seemed appropriate for that particular horse and owner:

Leading positions

Cheetah: This was used as the BASIC leading position. The important principles were to habituate the owner to being further away and further ahead of their horse while leading. We emphasized that the horse would better be able to listen if they could see the person leading them. It was also an opportunity for the handler to learn to use the wand to more clearly communicate what they wanted the horse to do.

Dingo: This is considered a very important part of trailer loading problem solving. The horse must learn to go forward from a signal. It seems that horses understand the signal on the croup combined with the signal on the chain very well, but it is important for the handler to learn to coordinate this movement in a consistent manner.

Dance: It is believed that many horses are more concerned about backing OUT of the trailer than getting into the trailer. Imagine backing out of something and not being able to see or feel the ground behind you! Teaching a horse to back one step at a time and to negotiate backing over obstacles, inclines and off bridges makes the horse more willing to load onto the trailer as well as backing out more calmly and safely.

The obstacles we used were whatever combination of poles, planks, tarps and barrels was available. We tried to simulate the different aspects of what CAN be difficult for a horse when trailer loading:

1. Stepping over or onto something i.e. poles raised or piled, bridge, cavalettis

2. Stepping onto an unfamiliar surface that makes noise i.e. plastic tarp, plywood sheet, bridge

3. Walking into a narrow space i.e. poles raised on barrels, tarps hanging over the poles, plywood

4. Walking under a low roof i.e. an arch of wands, a Styrofoam pole, a rolled tarp

The horse would walk up to the obstacle and be asked to halt. If the horse’s neck was above the horizontal, the handler would ask the horse to lower its head and then proceed with the obstacle. It is not necessary to stop EVERY time before negotiating an obstacle. It is useful, however, in order to make every step clear and intentional to practice stopping and moving forward in a controlled manner with the head lowered.

Some of the horses appeared not to know that their limbs were connected to their body. So we used the body wrap to help them get a sense of how they might coordinate legs and body as a unit. For the horses who could not step over a pole without tripping, the body wrap seemed to make a world of difference!

Body work

We also included one session of bodywork for each horse. We were focusing on touches that would help ground, calm and connect the horse. We started with an exploration of the horse’s body, which the owners found FASCINATING. The reactions of the horse fit with the pattern of difficulties that they had with them on the ground and under saddle. All of a sudden they seemed to understand that the horse was not stubborn or difficult but tight or sore or habituated to a particular way of carrying itself.

The touches we used:


  • Python lifts
  • Leg exercises


  • Ear work
  • Mouth work


  • Raising the back
  • Tail work
  • Lick of the cow’s tongue
  • Noah’s march
  • Zigzags


Seven of the ten horses who completed the study loaded in the allotted seven minutes on the final assessment, a very significant improvement from the initial assessment. Three of these seven loaded instantly, in less than 30 seconds, and did so repeatedly during the 14-minute loading assessment.

Of the three horses who did not load:

  • one had fallen when the lead shank broke during the initial assessment
  • another owner had chosen not to participate in the training sessions
  • the third owner had been absent for the initial loading assessment and was so nervous at the final assessment that she was crying.

By analyzing the data we had collected, we were able to show that the heart rate and saliva cortisol increased significantly when a horse was asked to load. While after TTEAM training the willingness to load was significantly improved AND heart rate was significantly lower when they were asked to load. The saliva cortisol measurement was not sensitive enough with the small number of horses we had to show a difference after training.

Good loaders

One of the most interesting things we found was that the good loaders had a higher increase in heart rate when they were loaded onto a trailer than the problem loaders. We don’t have a specific explanation for this. My guess is that even though these horses are obedient enough to load when asked, loading onto a trailer is still stressful, definitely more stressful than standing in the crossties! Conversely, the horse might associate the trailer with going somewhere exciting, like a competition or trail ride, and their excitement is reflected by the increase in heart rate.

We also noticed that the horses who moved around and whinnied the most while they were in the trailer had LOWER heart rates than the horses who just walked on and stood there. That was a real eye opener! How often we forget that freezing is a panic response!

  • “He was just standing there, quiet as could be, and all of a sudden, he just exploded!”.
  • “He’s not scared, he’s just stubborn. He just stands there and doesn’t move.”

Just because an animal isn’t showing overt signs of being stressed, it doesn’t mean he is relaxed.

Discussion and further questions

When I told my childhood coach about my research project, her response was: “I think you should measure the stress of the handler instead of the horse”. And I think there’s some truth to that. I think a key component of the training program was the owner involvement. Learning to communicate more clearly what we want from our horses allows them to feel safer doing things that seem inherently unsafe, like getting into a trailer.

Will horses who have had a bad experience with a trailer benefit from this training?

In this training, we did not use a trailer at any time other than the assessments. There were specific orders that the horses should not spend any time near a trailer during the study. We did this in order to show that the fear of the trailer itself is often not the problem. When a horse is more confident about its coordination and balance and receiving clear communication from its handler, the trailer is suddenly no longer a problem. In some cases however, being in the trailer is much worse for the horse than loading onto the trailer. Some horses will load readily and as soon as they are in the trailer, their heart rate triples and they are sweating profusely. The response to specific exercises will vary from horse to horse because in each case, we don’t know EXACTLY what the horse is concerned about. And there will be some situations in which this training will not be the answer.

What would happen if the good loaders went through the training program, would their heart rates be reduced?

Well, we don’t know. It’s possible. It is possible that doing TTEAM groundwork with these horses because of its many benefits unrelated to trailering may improve the horse’s comfort with trailer loading by improving its balance and coordination.

What about using the Clicker? Why didn’t you use a Clicker?

I didn’t use a Clicker in this project because I wasn’t very familiar with them at the time. Also, the more variables you introduce in research, the less meaningful it becomes. I have since spoken with MANY people (behaviourists, trainers, TTEAM Instructors) who would include Clicker and Target Training in a trailer loading program. I think it’s a great idea. Definitely horses learn very quickly and enjoy learning with positive reinforcement!

Why didn’t the saliva cortisol show a decrease after training?

We’re still just in the beginning stages of applying the use of saliva cortisol to measure stress in horses. The number of horses and the interval of testing we used was not sensitive enough to be able to say whether or not there was a decrease. Though the increase during loading was significant, a lesser increase after training could not be demonstrated.

How significant was the bodywork in the training program?

Well there’s no way of knowing this either since we did not have a group who received ground work without bodywork. But the owners definitely seemed to find it very important. If nothing else, it allowed them to look at their horse in a different way which is an essential part of learning to work with them differently.

Happy trailering, Steph Shanahan

NOTE: TTEAM is an acronym of “Tellington TTouch® Equine Awareness Method.” Since this article was written, the brand name for all the facets of the TTouch® organization is Tellington TTouch®.

Horse 2006 EEG Study of Equine Brain Waves

EEG Study of Equine Brain Waves

by Linda Tellington-Jones

Psychotherapist Robin Bernhard attended a week-long Tellington Training with me near Middleburg, Virginia two years ago and took her new information home to work with her mare, Grace. Grace had a very bad, and often dangerous, habit of rushing under saddle. Robin hoped to improve her mare using Tellington TTouch® and became intrigued with the idea of monitoring the mare’s brain waves to see if a change was measurable.

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Horse 2009 Immediate Benefits of TTouch® Reflected in EEG

Immediate and Cumulative Benefits from Tellington TTouch® Program Reflected in the EEG of An Anxious Mare

Robin Bernhard, LCSW, MEd, Sandy Rakowitz, Jessica Eure, MEd, EdS

Linda Tellington-Jones has created a gentle non-invasive system of bodywork comprised of specialized circular touches, lifts and slides that improves focus, balance and motor function, enhances learning and even promotes trust and communication amongst its users. Over the past 30 years, practitioners have seen both immediate and cumulative benefit from its use in training and healing animals and in healing the relationship between animals and their owners. After attending one of Linda’s 5-day workshops in April 2005, I wanted to see if these techniques could help my injured mare to be comfortable while healing from a ligament injury and help us to improve our ability to communicate so that her balance problems under saddle would not degenerate into rushing out of control.

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Horse 2013 TTouch® Positive Results Documented

Study: TTouch® ‘Positively Accepted’ by Saddle Horses

by Barbara Padalino, PhD, researcher at the University of Bari Aldo Moro Veterinary School, in Bari, Italy

Most everyone — even our horses — loves a good massage, right? But results from a new study by Italian researchers suggest that horses might like the Tellington method — termed “TTouch®” — even more.

Padalino presented her findings at the 9th Conference of the International Society for Equitation Science, held July 17-19 at the University of Delaware, in Newark.

Read an article about the study in The Horse.

Horse and Human 1984 Mind Mirror Study

Study of TTouch® with Anna Wise
Boulder Institute of Biofeedback, Boulder, Colorado

During this study the Mind Mirror showed activation of all four brain waves in both hemispheres, illustrating how TTouch activates both the logical and intuitive parts of the brain.

News from Linda

(Reprinted from TTEAM Connections Newsletter, February 2003)

If you’ve done much work with TTEAM and TTouch® you have most likely discovered the benefits for animals – not only for horses, but also for dogs, cats, small critters, zoo animals and wildlife rescue. You may have discovered improvements in health and well-being, a reduction in stress, and often, miraculous changes in behavior. And in horses and dogs you will have been rewarded by enhanced performance and a more flexible, intelligent four-legged friend. Many, who work with TTouch®, report an unexpected deepening of relationship that gives you the feeling you are Dr. Doolittle with the ability to communicate without words, and understand each other in a way you didn’t think possible.

However, what is often unrecognized or unspoken, are the effects on the mensch. That means you! In this work there is often experienced a transformation in the people using TTEAM and TTouch® as well as their animals. We become more flexible and balanced mentally and physically, as well as emotionally. Many adults report a sense feeling of being smarter and more confident.

In classes of school children practicing TTouch® on their companion animals, teachers and parents describe similar changes – improved ability to focus and concentrate (just like horses and dogs) with heightened confidence and more tolerance. Children with a tendency to lose their tempers or bully other kids increase self-control and another level of understanding that allows them to adapt and be less reactive. I believe TTouch® teaches children what I call “compassionate empowerment®”.

What causes these transformational changes in the two-leggeds? I believe the reasons are two-fold.

1 . TTEAM and TTouch® activate both hemispheres of the brain-resulting in Whole Brain learning. The left side of the brain is commonly referred to as the logical side, and the right side is thought of as the creative or intuitive side, although in reality that is not so. The brain is actually an integrated whole. The left hemisphere is more linear and the right is oriented to spatial issues and understanding the big picture.

You wonder how TTouch® affects the whole brain?

Each time you push the skin in a circle imagining the face of a clock, the intuitive side is engaged, because imagining or visualizing as well as the actual movement have to do with the intuitive. When you “see in your mind’s eye” the numbers on the clock, the logical is activated because numbers have to do with logical thinking.

When you’re practicing leading exercises imagining the “Elegant Elephant’s” trunk as the end of your “wand” or whip, the movement itself, and holding the wand and chain in both hands, affects the right brain. And the logical way of holding the wand and chain in two hands awakens the thinking side.

2. The second indication of this whole brain effect comes from the two studies I did in the summers of 1987 and 1988 in cooperation with Anna Wise of the Boulder Institute of Biofeedback. Working with a “Mind Mirror” developed by her mentor, British psycho biologist and biophysicist Maxwell Cade, produced some fascinating results. The Mind Mirror is an EEG that differs from the traditional EEG in that it used spectral analysis to simultaneously measure eleven different frequencies in each hemisphere of the brain. Unlike the normal EEG it has the unique ability to measure beta, alpha, theta and delta brain waves in both hemispheres of the brain.

We measured over a dozen students to determine their brain wave activity while being TTouched, rubbed, petted and massaged. Surprising was the fact that consistently, whether our students were being TTouched or TTouching a horse or a person, there was an activation of all four brain waves -beta, alpha, theta and delta – in both sides of the brain. When the person being measured was petted, stroked, rubbed or massaged, the relaxing alpha brainwave pattern was present, but never beta – the problem solving potential. Only with the circular touches were the beta brainwaves present.

As you may already know, we have email discussion lists for TTEAM and TTouch certified practitioners that are hosted by Maggie Moyer, Peggy Rouse and Judi Trusky, bless their buttons!! The discussions are often fascinating and educational, and sometimes there is a question directed to me. The following question that arrived over the Internet could be of interest and help to you.

Carol Bryant, a Tellington TTouch Apprentice in Oz (Australia) wrote the following. Stop! I need to know more about the “Mind Circles” you wrote about. What are mind circles? Are the TTouch circles done mentally on animals you are unable to touch and if so, can you tell me a little more about.

Hi Carole, Yes, these are circles done in the mind, directed specifically where you want them. We have some fascinating cases of beneficial effects which are described in my new TTouch book for humans. Until the book is published, just begin by visualizing them. I’ve used these imaginary Mind Circles in the air a few feet away from a terrified, aggressive tiger while visualizing/imagining that they were being done directly on the tiger’s body and I could see a change occur right in front of my eyes. In the case of the snow leopard reported by Dr. Isenbugel in the forward to my Tellington TTouch book, I imagined doing circles on the second snow leopard who was watching me work her sister. The snow leopard I worked on, and the cub mate I visualized working on, recovered overnight from a respiratory disease that the zoo people expected the leopards to die from. You can visualize the circles while in the presence of an animal, or you can imagine you are with an animal that is not in your presence, and have this help. In the memory of Jonathan Livingston Seagull asking why seagulls can fly the answer is: “They think they can.” Enjoy the journey!

So the next time you head out to the barn remember that TTouching your horse a few minutes a day can reduce your stress, clear your mind, deepen the connection with your horse and dog, and make you smarter. That’s why the phrase “The Touch That Teaches” came into being.

Background Information

Follow-up to “News from Linda”

The February, 2003 TTEAM newsletter prompted several people to ask me for more information about the Mind Mirror studies. The most common question was asked about the difference between the Mind Mirror measurements of brain waves and standard EEG’s. Here are some more details.

In the summers of 1987 and 1988 Linda worked with Anna Wise, founder of the Biofeedback Institute of Boulder, Colorado. After monitoring Linda’s brain waves of while working with TTouch and discovering that she was working in the awakened mind state, Anna thought it would be interesting to check out TTouch students to see if they would have these same brainwave states.

Anna had worked with Maxwell Cade in England for 8 years before coming to the United States to continue her work with people using the Mind Mirror to develop insight, healing and creativity.

The following notes are exerts from The Anna Wise Center for Awakened Mind Training website and from her first book, The High Performance Mind: Mastering Brainwaves for Insight, Healing, and Creativity (Tarcher/Putnam, 1996, 271 pages)

There is major difference in EEG machines developed for medical use for diagnosis of brain dysfunction. The use of EEG to understand the pathology of the brain has been very thoroughly explored over the last few decades. The Mind Mirror was developed by Maxwell Cade to study states of consciousness.

“The study of states of consciousness was undertaken by C. Maxwell Cade, a distinguished British psychobiologist and biophysicist and one of the few nonmedical members of the Royal Society of Medicine, and Geoffrey Blundell, an electronics expert in the late 70s. They studied the brainwave states of yogis, swamis, healers, ministers, and masters of many traditions to develop the Mind Mirror series of educational EEGs. The process was interactive – with many revisions to the hardware as Cade and Blundell discovered how to measure brainwave states that correlate to subjective states of mind. What emerged was an “awakened mind” brainwave pattern. Cade continued to find confirmation of this lucid state in the highly evolved minds that he studied, and learned how to help his students develop it. (p. 11)

“The high-performance mind – the awakened mind possesses a potential for using optimum states of consciousness for greater creativity; self-healing; better general health, relaxation, and stress management; solving emotional problems; more productivity in the workplace; understanding and improving relationships; greater self-knowledge; and spiritual development.

This state of mind is clearer, sharper, quicker, and more flexible than ordinary states. Thinking feels fluid rather than rigid. Emotions become more available and understandable, easier to work with and transform. Information flows more easily between the conscious, subconscious, and unconscious levels. Intuition, insight, and empathy increase and become more integrated into normal consciousness. With an awakened mind, it becomes easier to visualize and imagine, and to apply this increased imagination to one’s creative processes in many areas.” (p. 2)

Anna Wise’s Description of the Brain Wave Functions:

“BETA is your normal thinking state, your active external awareness and thought process. Without beta you would not be able to function in the outside world.

ALPHA brainwaves are the brainwaves of relaxed detached awareness, visualization, sensory imagery and light reverie. Alpha is the gateway to meditation and provides a bridge between the conscious and the subconscious mind.

THETA brainwaves are the subconscious mind. Theta is present in dreaming sleep and provides the experience of deep meditation when you meditate. Theta also contains the storehouse of creative inspiration and is where you often have your spiritual connection. Theta provides the peak in the peak experience.

DELTA brainwaves are your unconscious mind, the sleep state, but when present in combination with other waves in a waking state, Delta acts as a form of radar – seeking out information – reaching out to understand on the deepest unconscious level things that we can’t understand through thought process. Delta provides intuition, empathetic attunement, and instinctual insight.”

“Someone in the Awakened Mind brainwave state (specific activation of beta, alpha, theta and delta in both hemispheres) has access to the unconscious empathy, intuition, and radar of the delta waves, the subconscious creative storehouse, inspiration and spiritual connection of the theta waves, the bridging capacity, lucidity and vividness of imagery, and relaxed detached awareness of the alpha waves, and the ability to consciously process thoughts in beta – all at the same time!”

“The work I have done with interspecies communication and brainwaves involves horses and their riders or trainers. I fell into this work by accident when I met Linda Tellington-Jones. The first time she came to me for a brainwave profile I monitored her while working on people. In this state she produced a form of awakened mind brainwave pattern that was heavily weighted with theta brainwaves.

“I was interested to know if her students had a similar pattern, so we set up a test during one of her workshops at a Colorado ranch. I observed that all of the students who had studied TTouch over a period of time tended to have strong theta and delta brainwaves in a normal resting waking state. Six out of the eleven people I measured had near awakened mind patterns in the left hemisphere, and one person had an awakened mind as coherent as Tellington-Jones’.”

Our next step was obviously to attempt to monitor horses’ brainwaves and then to see if we could observe any effect from TTouch. We fond that the basic resting state of the horses was primarily theta and delta with occasional flares of alpha. When TTouch was administered we got an activation of all four categories of brainwaves on the horses. We say that alpha especially was consistently activated during TTouch, as well as some beta.

I simultaneously monitored the brainwaves of Tellington-Jones and a horse she was working on, and found a high level of entrainment occurring between the horse and the trainer.

Perhaps the most startling experience that we had took place while working with a two-year-old thoroughbred mare that the owner thought was crazy. Initially, this horse had scattered brainwaves and out-of-control, high-amplitude flares. She had exceedingly strong theta and delta and not as much alpha and beta as we thought there should be, according to the other horses’ brainwaves. Tellington-Jones then spent some time doing TTouch on her.

Afterward I was standing in front of a group of people talking about our discoveries and discussing this particular horse’s difficulties. I explained that this horse could produce only theta and delta and was unable to produce alpha – whereupon the horse immediately produced strong alpha. When everyone laughed, I said, “O.K., but she can’t produce beta.” When she immediately produced beta, no one laughed, because our mouths were all open! Time prevented us from experimenting further with this particular horse. I still wonder what would have happened if I had said “O.K., but she still can’t produce an awakened mind.” (p. 213)

These studies on multiple horses on two separate occasions were fascinating from the point of view of considering that horses demonstrated an activation of beta – indicating logical thinking in the mind’s of humans.

However, the brainwave studies done on TTouch students were even more interesting to me than the results shown with horses.

The Mind Mirror showed a consistent activation of all four brain waves in both hemispheres of the people doing TTouch and those being TTouched. It is my belief that this explains the reports from people TTouching their horses, dogs, cats, other animals as well as two-leggeds, that they feel more alive, more balanced emotionally as well as physically, more focused, happier. This has been true for both children and adults. So that the time adults spend TTouching their animals is as much benefit to them as to their animals – in addition to the wonderful bonding and opening of the heart that occurs.

It has been demonstrated that activation of both hemispheres of the brain– to include both logical thinking and intuitive knowing– is important for “Whole Brain Learning”. TTouch® can be a powerful tool for this enhancement and at the same time healing for the body, mind and soul.

Anna and I have been in discussion regarding further studies and hope to get together later this year. My vision is to measure the brain waves of children TTouching their companion animals. I believe this would be a powerful tool for Whole Brain Learning and “High TTouch” in this age of “High Tech”. With TTouch children can learn “compassionate empowerment” and a sense of kindness that is sorely needed in our modern world.

Aloha, LTJ


NOTE: TTEAM is an acronym of “Tellington TTouch® Equine Awareness Method.” Since this article was written, the brand name for all the facets of the TTouch® organization is Tellington TTouch® Training.

Human 2000 Is Tellington TTouch® Nursing?

Exploring the Boundaries of Caring: Is Tellington TTouch® Nursing?

M. Cecilia Wendler, PhD, RN, CCRN University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

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Human 2000 Youth, Nature and Critters

Therapy for Emotionally and Behaviorally Disabled Youth: MN LYNC (Minnesota Linking Youth, Nature and Critters) integrating TTEAM® and TTouch® for Youth At Risk

MN LYNC (Minnesota Linking Youth, Nature and Critters) is a therapeutic, non-profit organization that uses the restorative and healing power of animals to help troubled individuals. MN LYNC provides individual, group and family Animal-Assisted Therapy. We specialize in working with youth and adults who have emotional and behavioral difficulties as well as individuals with histories of trauma or who are facing overwhelming life challenges.

Staff members Molly DePrekeL, MA, LP, Clinical Director and Tanya Welsch, MSW, Program Director are participating in the certification program for TTouch® Practitioners for companion animals and MN LYNC Executive Director, Maureen Fredrickson, MSW has been a TTouch® Practitioner for several years. TTouch® is incorporated into the work at MN LYNC. For more information, contact

NOTE: TTEAM is an acronym of “Tellington TTouch® Equine Awareness Method.” Since this article was written, the brand name for all the facets of the TTouch® organization is Tellington TTouch® Training.

Human 2003 - Nursing Studies

Effects of Tellington Touch® in Healthy Adults Awaiting Venipuncture

Conducted by M. Cecilia Wendler RN, PhD, CCRN PhD Dissertation. Dell Publishing, 2003.

Many natural-healing modalities administered by professional nurses are provided without adequate scientific scrutiny. Tellington Touch® (TTouch®), a form of gentle physical touch originally developed for the calming of horses, is an emerging nursing intervention. However, the safety and efficacy of human TTouch® has not yet been established. The purpose of this study, which used a pretest, posttest repeated-measures control group design, was to identify patterns of mean blood pressure (MBP), heart rate (HR), state anxiety (SA), and procedural pain (PP) in healthy adults receiving a 5-min intervention of TTouch® (n = 47) just before venipuncture versus a no-touch control group (n = 46). There were statistically and clinically significant decreases in the TTouch® group in MBP and HR. There were no significant differences between groups in SA and PP. Further research is essential to determine the safety and efficacy of this modality for acutely or critically ill patients. A 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 26:40-52, 2003

Tellington TTouch® before venipuncture: an exploratory descriptive study.

Conducted by M. Cecilia Wendler RN, PhD, CC, RN. Holistic Nursing Practice. July, 2002 Vol. 16, Iss.4. Page 51, 14 pages.

An Investigation of Selected Outcomes of Tellington TTouch® in Healthy Soldiers. M.Cecilia Wendler, RN, PhD, CCRN. Copyright 1999, UMI  Order from UMI Dissertation Services Number:9951501.  Phone: 734-761-4700.

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Human 2003 Therapeutic Intervention Study

TTEAM® and TTouch® as a therapeutic intervention for the socialization of recovering alcoholics through working with horses using TTEAM.

Masters Thesis of Relana Müehlhausen.

Read More , Germany Sports University, Cologne, Germany.

NOTE: TTEAM is an acronym of “Tellington TTouch® Equine Awareness Method.” Since this article was written, the brand name for all the facets of the TTouch® organization is Tellington TTouch® Training.

Human 2007 Changing the World One TTouch® at a Time

Changing the World One TTouch® at a Time — Abridged Version

by Robin Bernhard and Sandy Rakowitz

TTouch® has been changing the course of therapeutic healing with animals and people around the world for over thirty years now. This ground-breaking work, developed by pioneer, Linda Tellington-Jones, is being studied by Robin Bernhard, LCSW, a psychotherapist who owns and runs the Virginia Neurofeedback, Attachment and Trauma Center in Charlottesville, Jessica Eure, Med, Ed.S., a new counselor who specializes in neurofeedback with Bernhard at VNATC, and by Sandy Rakowitz, a practitioner of Energy Healing Medicine and TTouch, who owns and runs One Heart Healing Center for People and Animals, also in Charlottesville.

Both Bernhard and Rakowitz have over twenty years of experience in their areas of practice, and together, they are making headway in the use of this specialized touch to help with people who have suffered from brain injuries. Bernhard and Rakowitz would like to see Charlottesville become a center for TTouch research and training. Just last year, they did a study which showed exactly what they and others have been concluding all along – that this specialized work can improve brain function.

The article “Changing the World: One TTouch® at a Time” written by Robin Bernhard and TTEAM Practitioner Sandy Rakowitz, first published in Echo Newspaper, is now published in the new e-book by Laura Bruno, M.A., entitled, If I Only Had a Brain Injury: A TBI Survivor and Life Coach’s Guide to Chronic Fatigue, Concussion, Lyme Disease, Migraine or Other “Medical Mystery”. This compelling story is also a special resource for Caregivers, Survivors and Treatment Providers. Included in the electronic book is the author’s own inspirational story, 52 Healing Hints, and contributions by 13 other Survivors, Caregivers and Treatment Providers.

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Human 2007 TTouch® Classes for Traumatic Brain Injuries

TTouch® taught to a small group of people who had experienced various kinds of Traumatic Brain Injuries

by Robin Bernhard and Sandy Rakowitz

From June to August, 2007 Robin Bernhard and Sandy Rakowitz offered a series of six classes to teach TTouch® to a small group of people who had experienced various kinds of Traumatic Brain Injuries. The class met at One Heart Healing Center in Charlottesville, VA.

After the series of six classes were complete, the participant’s enthusiasm for the group was so strong that the group decided to continue to meet once a month.

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Human 2008 The Therapeutic Use of Tellington TTouch® for Fibromyalgia

The Therapeutic Use of Tellington TTouch® for Fibromyalgia
by Susanne Kobel, Pyramid Center for Complementary Medicine. Baar, Switzerland

The idea of the study is that fibromyalgia generates fear. You can react on three types: fight, flight, or freeze (according to Skinner). Susanne Kobel thought Tellington TTouch® could be a beginning to reduce the stress of fibromyalgia through the respectful, gentle caring Tellington TTouch® that could improve the self-image.

This translation from German was dictated to Linda Tellington-Jones by Susanne Kobel. It is not a complete text, but will give you an idea of the study. Linda suggests that you look at the graphs and images in the German version. (Note! You’ll need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view it. Get Acrobat Reader here.)

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Human 2008 TTouch® for Healthcare

TTouch® for Healthcare: The Health Professional’s Guide to Tellington TTouch®

Chapter 10 of the TTouch® for Healthcare Book: “The German Experience: Sports Science Rehabilitation from Alcoholic Addictions.” Relana Wachowiak, MA, TTouch® Practitioner 1. Pp. 165-176

Human 2009 Preliminary Tellington TTouch® Study at International Institute of Biophysics

Analyzing Biophoton Emissions and Diagnostic Regulations

This study read test data for four test individuals using regulation diagnosis according to Professor Fritz-Albert Popp as well as biophoton emissions.

The Principal of Biophoton Emission: Biophoton are light quatrants of biological systems, which guide regulations and processes of the body. The International Institute of Biophysics under the leadership of Prof. Dr.rer. nat. habil. Fritz-Albert Popp, made it possible to measure biophotons and study their impact on the system.

The Principal of Regulation Diagnosis: Illnesses always are disruptions of a superior system. Biophotonic around Fritz-Albert Popp has successfully researched this for years and understands its essential elements.

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Human 2010 Well-Being Study

Scientific study of the Tellington TTouch® for You Method demonstrates clinically significant effect on emotional states

On May 15-17, 2010, a scientific study was held in Bad Vöslau, Austria, to evaluate the psychological effects of the Tellington TTouch® Method on the well-being human participants.

The project was planned by Dr. Susanne Liederer, a biologist, in cooperation with Tellington-TTouch Practitioner Tanja Lasser and executed together with Linda Tellington-Jones, PhD.

In this study, 58 subjects were requested to answer questions related to their psychological and physiological well-being prior to, directly after and 3 days after a 20-minute “TTouch-for-You®” session. All subjects were treated exclusively on their backs and arms using a defined selection of Tellington-TTouches.

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Human 2017 Impact of TTouch® Pain Severity of Patients with Angina Pectoris

Impact of TTouch® Pain Severity of Patients with Angina Pectoris
Sadegh Mahdavi Pour and Ali Akbar Vaezi

Introduction: Heart pain may cause change of vital signs, increasing of the heart oxygen need and increasing of mortality of patients with heart diseases. There are many on-medicinal methods for pain control, such as massage, and massage if continues by stimulating thick fibers and local provocation of endorphins prohibits pain transfer, so this study was conducted with the aim of determining the impact of frontal chest massage by the nurse on pain severity of men hospitalized patients.

Published in the World Journal of Pharmaceutical and Medical Research

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