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.
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.
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.