By Invitation Only
The Trager Approach has some interesting and effective principles. One of the hallmarks of our work is to INVITE the tissue to feel softness, never pressing, never pushy. Our world is moving faster and faster, and according to “Moore’s Law” this will continue exponentially (Friedman, 2016). Thomas Friedman, in his book Thank You For Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Acceleration, goes into great detail regarding the toll technology has taken on our physical bodies and social relationships. Moore’s law states: “the expectation that the power of microchips would double roughly every two years”, has come true, and gone beyond that assumption. Many of us have felt the changes that have occurred in our lives because of this exponential growth of computation and artificial intelligence. One of the major consequences of this acceleration, is the length of time it will take our social structures to catch up and protect us from those effects. Depression and suicide in teens is one of those effects. https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/11/14/563767149/increased-hours-online-correlate-with-an-uptick-in-teen-depression-suicidal-thou .
You may be thinking of some of your clients that have benefited greatly from simply slowing down, which is taught and felt during a session. In fact, that may be our greatest gift as practitioners and teachers of this approach. Milton certainly was ahead of his time, as he mentions in Trager Mentastics: Movement as a Way to Agelessness. “Mentastics will help us develop patience”. (Trager, 2007). Patience allows us to make better choices.
For the past 22 years practicing the Trager Approach with clients, I explain to my clients that the session is “by invitation only”. During the session I ask the tissue “how could it be” and teach my clients to ask similar questions that inquire about pain or confusion or anxiety rather than plan a response to a symptom. Even if the first 40 years of my adult life (or theirs) was full of pushing toward my full Self, it can be different now. I was invited to let go. And I did. Little by little, with each session, training, and each encounter with hook up. Is this what our clients come for?
Mentastics and Hook Up (A prashe used my Milton Trager that connects us to something greater than ourselves) allow us to let go of the historical/herstorical/hysterical physical and emotional roles and assaults we may have endured which are etched into our cellular memory. At the time, these memories were needed, self-protective measures, behaviors and movement patterns. Thus, the INVITATION to let go, becomes a suggestion, a choice that we can make. It is up to us. Do we want to hold onto what happened to us in the past, or go softly and openly toward our future? How about just for this moment? Once the freedom is felt, it can be experienced over and over. This is the feeling you can have anytime, just by recalling your session. The stories behind the patterns do not need to be told, in fact retelling our stories often keeps the wounds alive, and healing is never complete. There is a better way. Mentastics teach us to become fully present with the sensations that happen when we relax, allowing our bodies the space and time to be more fully alive. We can then respond to our inner need to let go, and choose a pathway to peace.
Friedman suggests in the book mentioned above, that when we are waiting for someone who is late, we can make a choice to take advantage of the unplanned empty space. Perhaps this is a time for a Mentastics, a breath, hooking up to that vast ocean of pleasantness we learn in a session. I just found a new phrase for it: Grace Space! Perhaps we could schedule that into each day.