The Trager® Approach
Body-Mind Work That Moves You
By Pat McKenna
Owner, Clear Horizons
1230 SE Maynard Rd.
Cary, NC 27511
Call Patricia at 919-656-2284
When we think of a body-work session, we usually think of stretching out motionless while the therapist compresses the tissues and manipulates the muscles. That’s pretty much what I expected when, on the advice of a friend, I scheduled an appointment to receive my first Trager session. I was in for a surprise.
I was jiggled, cradled, rocked, and shimmered. My limbs and joints were suspended, bounced, gently compressed and extended in rhythmic motions. It was all quite different from what I thought it would be. For example, imagine lying on your back and having someone shake your leg, as if to be saying “Hello leg”, while giving the limb a gentle but hearty greeting. I found the gentle repetitive movements of my arms and legs, head, neck, shoulders and torso to be exquisitely pleasant and relaxing. With Trager, movements are never forced, so I felt no pain or discomfort as all the tensions in my body dissolved. When the session was done, I felt more relaxed and ‘at home’ in my body than ever before. I actually felt taller, too. I decided that I had to study this art and become a certified Trager practitioner, so I could give this feeling to others.
The Trager Approach was discovered and developed by Milton Trager, MD., over the course of more than 50 years. Trager uses gentle motion in muscles and joints to produce particular sensory feelings – positive pleasurable feelings which enter the central nervous system and begin to trigger tissue changes. These tissue changes are caused by sensory-motor feedback loops between the mind and the muscles, bringing them into harmony.
Dr. Trager equated these feedback loops to natural learning processes. Treating mind and body as a whole, as he always did, he stressed that his patients should come to him ready to absorb a lesson, instead of ready simply to receive a treatment. The lesson he gave was, among other things, that the mind and body are one.
Dr. Trager once said, “I am convinced that for every physical non-yielding condition, there is a psychic counterpart in the unconscious mind corresponding exactly to the degree of physical manifestation. These patterns often develop in response to adverse circumstances such as accidents, surgery, illness, poor posture, emotional trauma, stresses of daily living, or poor movement habits. The purpose of my work is to break up these sensory and mental patterns which inhibit free movement and cause pain and disruption of normal function”.
Trager bonds intent with ease. You wouldn’t think that the two would go together, but they do. Have you ever gotten so involved in a task that you got all tensed up, trying so hard that you weren’t getting anywhere, said to yourself “What could be easier?”, and then broken through the difficulty of what you were trying to do? The high pressure environment we live in day-to-day creates stress. Stress influences our thinking. We learn to be hard on problems. We learn to separate the mind from the body, as if the mind were the hammer and the body the nail. More often than we like, the result is a bruised thumb. It takes a systematic approach to unravel that learned unproductive tension for a more productive application of our efforts, as a whole being.
Trager brings this transformation, both to the client and the practitioner. The therapy involves sensory-motor feedback loops not only within the client, but also between the client and the practitioner before and during the session. This experience has a name – “hookup”. Its purpose is to bring both to a common place of reference to gauge the effect of movements, so the session has maximum effect.
Hookup is also a tool that can be used daily by individuals to remember the linkage between mind and body, recognizing the oneness of these, as they live their daily lives. Trager practitioners teach their clients how to reach this state by applying a technique of movement education called Mentastics®. So when the table work is done, you can take the Mentastics home with you to maintain and reinforce the quality of effortless movement that Trager brings.
Trager is applicable both for people with or without health issues. Trager has been used successfully to treat all kinds of chronic pain, including back pain, headaches, muscle spasms, fibromyalgia, and temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome. It has been used to improve physical functioning in cases of stroke, multiple sclerosis, spinal chord injuries, post-polio syndrome and other maladies. Because it is focused on the elimination of stress, it is generally applicable to all physical conditions which have stress as an underlying causal component.
Trager® and Mentastics® are registered service marks of Trager International. To learn more about The Trager Approach, visit www.tragerus.org.
| Allow two hours for session time
| If you've never experienced Trager before, your first session will be a discovery of a brand new sense of being. Then, knowing what to expect from this dellightful therapy, be prepared to fully "sink in" to your second session. Book two sessions for only ...
To schedule your Trager session, please call Patricia at 919-656-2284. For information about how to reach us, please see the map on the welcome page.
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