Jenna Caplette migrated from California to Montana in the early 1970s, first living on the Crow Indian reservation. A Healing Arts Practitioner, she owns Bozeman BodyTalk & Integrative Healthcare. She says, " Health is resiliency, a zest for the journey. It’s about coming awake to the joy of being alive. As a practitioner, its a privilege to facilitate that healing process, to help weave new patterns of health & well-being. “ And by the way, healthier, happier people help create a healthier, happier world.
While walking in Bozeman’s Story Hills on a recent blue-sky morning, a four-legged companion eagerly wrapped his path around mine. I found myself mulling what working with a rescue dog is teaching me about mental, emotional & physical healing. And then I thought, That’s really very similar to both what I’ve been taught and what I’ve learned about healing in general, and in particular for humans. I’m a Practitioner of the Healing Arts — PaRama BodyTalk; Craniosacral Fascial Therapy, Ortho-Bionomy and more.
Sometimes, looking through a slightly different lens helps illuminate things we might not have focused on.
It did for me.
When I got home, I headed right for my computer, have continued to add to my list. And refined it. There is SO much more that could be said. I’m not an expert, nor a professional dog trainer. I have trained in BodyTalk for Animals, have experience working with animals that have been impacted by trauma. And, as is true for many of us, I’ve lived around and loved critters for most of my life.
Here’s that list:
Healing takes time. It just. Does. And willingness. You have to be willing to change.
It takes patience, care and love.
It takes trust.
It takes consistency and repetition to change ingrained patterns at every level.
It takes good food. And plenty of water.
It takes quiet and calm, as well as play and exercise for mind, body and spirit.
It takes commitment, oh my.
It takes respect. You can’t impose an agenda. Though I did sneak in a couple acupressure points, it was 5 months before this dog allowed me to touch him long enough to do BodyTalk Reciprocals, an energetic body rebalancing, and that’s because he had a leg injury. It was 8 months before he consistently accepted hands-on BodyTalk Cortices brain-balancing and Hydration techniques.
Bad habits are a bugger to shift. But, not impossible. You have to be — willing. Introduce something a bit at a time, a step at a time, and resistance is much less.
Change is not a straight-line process. Some days, moments, hours, go better than others. It’s more like a slowly ascending upward-opening spiral, coming back to places that feel the same, but aren’t.
Change is harder the older you are, but possible. It’s never too late.
Sometimes the rewards seem thin. Sometimes incredible. Over time, the cumulative change can be astonishing.
Trauma makes any type of focused attention problematic.
You can’t use a set approach. You can have fundamental skills, a fundamental way of doing things, but have to be present with the “client,” the condition, the moment.
A weave of different approaches, works. The process with this dog has been a team project including a friend who is a trainer and practitioner of Telllington Touch along with another professional trainer. Each of the three of us brings something different to the process. I hold that collective wisdom and have the daily responsiblity to communicate it.
Though of course I have general hopes about outcomes, there’s no real way to know or control how the healing process will express for this dog. It’s one day a time and keep on keeping on.
There’s a lot of folks in and around Montana working with dogs who for one reason or another have been put up for adoption. I have a new respect for them.
It’s an amazing and daunting process. It is helped by people who recognize that a dog on a leash wearing a haltie or harness might need some space. And, by safe and welcoming open spaces, where they can be found.