“Tellington TTouch Bodywork is comprised of 3 different “families” – circles, lifts and slides, and extremity work.
The Python Lift is one of the most common “lift” techniques. It was inspired by a Burmese Python named Joyce who lived at the San Diego Zoo and appreciated the work Linda did with her.
Linda met “Joyce” while she was there demonstrating TTouch at a Zoo Keepers Conference. Joyce had been donated to the Zoo and starred in the Park’s educational Critter Encounter show. Each year Joyce would suffer from a respiratory ailment and become sluggish and miserable. She currently had respiratory problems and Linda worked on her with the intention to help relieve congestion and alleviate some discomfort.
The first TTouch she tried was the Raccoon, but this did not seem comfortable to Joyce so Linda moved to the flat-handed Lying Leopard TTouch. She slowed her breathing and kept up very light circles. As she concentrated on the snake, all outside thought disappeared and Linda become focused on listening to what her hands were feeling. Intuitively her fingers moved to a new position under her, supporting the tissue with the whole of her hand and started to make a rhythmic, hold and release pattern, similar to the Belly Lifts, along the length of Joyce’s body.
After a few minutes of work, Joyce began to slide down from her perch on the stool. She moved slowly until she was laying in the center of the circle of the group of keepers watching. As they watched she slowly stretched out completely, all 11 feet of her, to her full length. Thus the inspiration for the Python Lifts.
Python Lifts are a great technique to use on horse’s and dog’s legs and backs as well as people’s legs or arms, and along dog’s backs and legs.
To do a Python Lift gently place your palms on the body part you with to work on. Inhale and as you exhale, gently lift the tissue up, away from the lowest point of gravity. Lift less than you can, you do not want to stretch the tissue. Pause and hold for a beat and then slowly carry the tissue down. Slide your hands down and repeat.
If your animal does not seem to “like” it, try going lighter or slower or simply change the tempo and pressure slightly.
Python Lifts are a great exercise for horses coming off of long trailer riders or stall rest, dogs who are “un-grounded” and people who carry tension in their shoulders or suffer from restless legs or cramping.”
Let us know if you have every tried Python Lifts and if so, what was your experience?