the Trager® approach

Healing Through Movement

ABOUT TRAGER

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Each movement is designed with a question, “how could it be?”, “what could be lighter?” and because it is contagious, “you catch it like the measles” as my own daily practice leaves me feeling lighter.

Milton Trager, MD, spent most of his life exploring the effects of soft and gentle movement on the nervous system, which he linked to the unconscious mind. His discovery became known as Trager or The Trager Approach . He began working with children with muscular dystrophy and cystic fibrosis, and his final work was specifically with Parkinson’s disease. He felt this work was particularly helpful with any central nervous system disorders.

A wide variety of clients benefit from this approach, as we teach everyone a way to play with gravity, becoming lighter and more active in your life. This creates a feeling of youthfulness at any age. Through rocking, elongating and softly coaxing movement in every joint, you can recall feelings of playfulness and freedom perhaps not felt since childhood. Experiencing these feelings at a tissue level, rather than intellectually, is powerful and transformational. From this deeply relaxed place, structural alignment occurs, the body works in harmony letting go of compensation patterns, and realizes its full potential once again.

If you have had a recent or past injury that has recently resurfaced and is being stubborn about healing, try the Trager Approach.


MY PRACTICE

My interpretation of this approach is that there are 3 focal points:

  • Mentastics®~ actively participating in an internal dance “what do I feel, how could I move with less effort? What is my body wanting in this moment, and then, in this moment?

  • Tablework~ The client is passive as the practitioner rocks, feels the weight of each part and soothes the mind with repetitious, playful movements.

  • Communication~ Learning to express our needs, and have them met is a hallmark of my practice. I encourage each person to actively participate in the session.

 

In my practice, I use Mentastics movement explorations, to assess movement and postural patterns in the body at the beginning of a session. I use a mirror to allow the client to see what I see when possible. I use props and the wall to create a flat plane of reference for postural misalignments. When proper alignment is introduced, our lives change as we come into balance.

Our bodies are intricately balanced mechanisms that need continual attention. Our emotional and physical feelings and sensations are bits of knowledge we must have in order to make adjustments and decisions that are best for us. In our busy world, our bodies are often the last place we put our attention. When we are in a pattern of neglecting our bodily sensations, we leave ourselves vulnerable to dis-ease and misery. The same is true regarding the neglect of our planet. I encourage everyone to listen to the wisdom of their bodies.

“The mind is the whole thing. I am convinced that for every physical non-yielding condition there is a psychic counterpart to the unconscious mind, corresponding exactly to the degree of the physical manifestation.” Milton Trager

There is a deeply felt desire in today’s world for an experience of quiet, centered wholeness. The primary intention of Trager is to bring both the client and the practitioner into this state of being. By using gentle, non-invasive movements, Trager brings us closer to the possibility of an ageless body and a more peaceful world.

A session usually lasts 60 to 90 minutes. No music, oils, or lotions are used and the client is dressed in loose comfortable clothing. While lying on a padded massage table, the client is passive and each limb is moved to express full joint mobility. This happens only as far as the individual’s movement pattern allows. The practitioner moves the client in ways they naturally move, and with a quality of touch and movement such that the recipient experiences the feeling of moving effortlessly and freely on his/her own.