At our recent TTEAM Training in Middleburg Virginia at FlyAway Stables, Robin Bernhard came to measure half a dozen horses’ brain waves to begin to collect information for a baseline. Below are some of the study parameters. Robin and her team will be continuing assessment of these horses in the future.
All images courtesy of Robin Bernhard, MEd, LCSW
When it comes to understanding horses’ brainwaves there really isn’t much information out there, but we at Tellington TTouch were among the first pioneers to explore the EEGs of horses responding to TTouch and TTEAM experiences. More than twenty years ago, I worked with Anna Wise on informal studies of both students and horses over the course of two summers while Anna was the director of the Biofeedback Institute of Boulder, Colorado. The first horse candidate was an explosive and unfocused Thoroughbred filly.
The following excerpt about this filly was taken from the TTEAM Connections Newsletter, Volume 8, Issue 4 October-December 2006:
In the resting state the Mind Mirror (the EEG device) indicated wildly fluctuating brainwave activity (of the filly). Not unexpected. However, as soon as the circular TTouches were applied, we were totally surprised to see activity of the same four brain wave patterns – in both hemispheres. Beta, alpha, theta and delta were present immediately whenever TTouch was applied – in other words, whenever we pushed the skin gently in a circle and a quarter. However, what particularly interested me was the presence of beta brain waves that are activated in humans whenever analytical thinking is involved.
If we stroked, petted, brushed, massaged, or pushed the skin in more than three circles on the same spot, the results varied dramatically. When the circular TTouch was applied the pattern was consistently activated in both hemispheres. Certainly not perfectly balanced in all four brainwave patterns, but present to some degree.
What really set us back on our heels was the result the following summer when Anna brought a remote device so we could move a horse through the labyrinth. Here we observed the beta brainwave activity whenever a horse stepped around the few steps of each turn in the labyrinth – an indication that a thinking process was activated during this movement.
This information supported our experience, over many years and with thousands of horses that the mental, emotional and physical balance improves markedly when horses receive TTouch or are worked through the TTEAM labyrinth.
Robin conducted a previous brainwave study on her own mare in an effort to document changes that occurred after beginning a TTouch program following her participation in the Middleburg workshop in 2004. The study demonstrated many changes in her horse’s brainwave patterns, both during TTouch and cumulatively over the course of one year.
The brainwave changes were also reflected in my horse’s improved temperament and overall calming. My informal TTouch program at home literally improved the personality of my horse! I am still quite curious about horses brainwave patterns overall and how they might vary based on breed and experience. I am interested to learn how our horses’ brainwave patterns change as they learn new behavior, let go of old symptoms and generally become healthier, happier horses.
I am offering horse brainmaps and 1 LENS treatment at the Middleburg TTouch Workshop for a fee of $40 per horse. I prefer those owners who might be willing to stay in touch with me over the course of the next year or two, and help me to follow-up and document improvements as you apply what you have learned from the TTouch workshop at home with your horse.
Each owner needs to complete an intake interview in writing over the internet and be willing to speak with me over the phone as needed. I would like to plan for participants so that I can create an assessment schedule at the workshop and allow for everything to flow smoothly.
Please contact me if you are interested in participating in this exciting adventure! I will send you an Intake Form, and some information about the equipment and type of biofeedback we will be using. I will include an article titled, “LENS with Animals,” which will describe our procedure and what kinds of outcomes might be expected.
Your willingness to participate in the development of the horse brainwave atlas will help to document new information about how horses learn and the variety of brainwave patterns that are expressed by each individual animal. All proceeds will go to pay for the new QEEG machine that we have just purchased that will help us to document our TTouch and Brain Injury groups and to explore the effects of TTouch on the brainwave patterns. That machine has just been purchased for $15,000!
Robin C Bernhard, LCSW, MEd
Attachment and Trauma Center
1445 Rio Road, Suite 201
Charlottesville, VA 22901