TTouch for Asthma Relief: People & Horses

*This article first appeared in the “TTEAM Connections” Newsletter

Recently I received a query about whether or not TTouch can be effective in relieving asthma in people, and if so, how would one go about it.  The answer is yes. We have had considerable success with relieving asthma in people – with the ear work, TTouch on the feet, and on the upper back, in a short period of time.

Three specific cases of severe asthma attacks that I have experienced in people come to mind, but for now I will only write about the horse related experience. In all cases we have fount the ear TTouch has brought the quickest and most effective relief for people as well as horses.  I recommend people with asthma practices Heart Hugs on a regular basis to calm themselves.

One situation I remember as though it were yesterday, happened more than 20 years ago. I was teaching a week-long course for horses on the East Coast of the U.S. A young rider, in her late 20’s, brought her mare to the training with her groom because she herself had such terrible asthma, she could not groom her horses or spend too much time around them, other than riding them.

On the third day of the training she was so impressed by what her groom had told her about the change in the mare that she had to come to see for herself.

So that she could feel what her mare was feeling, I did some TTouch on her upper back and was interested to feel how little movement there was in her ribs. I had her do some Lying Leopard TTouches on her upper chest area and showed her the ear work; I told her she could do some of these TTouches herself when she felt shortness of breath.

That very evening she had an asthma attack around 11 pm.  She had already used her inhalator less than an hour before and could not use it again so soon. The attack was so bad she felt that she should go to Emergency but did not want go so late at night. She remembered my advice about the circular TTouches on her chest and began to apply them alternating with Ear TTouches.

To her surprise and relief she was able to stop the asthma attack and actually slept through the night.

What I love about TTouch is how it empowers people to help themselves. What I would add today is the Heart Hug to relieve her anxiety and bring herself into heart coherence.

Asthma Attack in a Horse

This request reminded me of a case of a horse having what certainly looked like a respiratory attack. Four years ago Roland and I were visiting Magali Delgado and Frederic Pignon at their home in southern France. Our friend, Gabriele Boiselle was with us with another photographer friend of hers, Agnes Galletier. One day we went to visit the 70-mare herd of Magali’s parents, Joleen and Perdo Delgado . Agnes asked if it was possible to bring the 35 year old senior stallion out into a paddock where she could photograph him.

When the stallion came out he saw a mare in a nearby paddock he got  very excited and began trumpeting. Suddenly his breath caught and he became panicked, as though he could not catch his breath. His breath came in deep gasps and his flanks began to heave. He was lead quickly into the stall and Magali’s father, Perdo, who tried to normalize his breathing by rubbing his flank but to no avail.

I had not said anything to this point because Magali’s father had no idea that I have had considerable experience with such an emergency. However, when it was clear that the horse could collapse, I stepped in and asked if I could work his ears. After 4 or 5 vigorous slides from the base of the ear to the tip, the stallion was able to take a deep breath and his breathing suddenly stabilized.  He recovered quickly and regained his composure, much to the amazement of everyone watching.

The gift of the Ear TTouches is that it cannot hurt and in so many cases makes a huge difference in stablizing the animal’s vital signs, minimizing shock, and reducing distress. 

Remembering the simple technique of the Ear TTouch  – doing a circle with the thumb over the base of the ear and sliding out to the tip, can be an incredible tool to reduce pain and stabilize respiration and activate the peristolic action of the gut while waiting for the vet or en route to a veterinary clinic.

I demonstrated the ear TTouches on myself to Joleen once the stallion was stabilized.

Then showed Joleen how they felt on herself.

Ear TTouches are a fabulous tool to remember anytime a being shows signs of distress and you are awaiting medical/veterinarian attention. Besides having many tangible benefits for the individual receiving them, giving yourself a proactive, focused thing to do helps you stay calm and maintain composure, even in stressful situations.


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