Trager Work


What is it?

Trager Work, also known as the Trager Approach, is a form of bodywork and movement which utilises gentle, rhythmic movements to facilitate the release of stress patterns, either on the mental, emotional or physical levels. It's aim is to achieve integration between the body and mind process.

Milton Trager became interested in the structure and function of the body as a result of his chronic back problem throughout his childhood. He successfully cured himself and used massage techniques to treat others for a range of disorders including chronic pain and neuromuscular problems. He then trained as a physiotherapist and doctor of medicine but continued to use a hands-on approach with his clients in his medical practise in Hawaii. He gradually developed his own approach to bodywork and together with his experience of transcendental meditation, combined his hands-on techniques with a relaxed meditative state which he called 'hook-up'.

Trager believed that physical restriction and stiffness is a learned response - an unconscious mental process that becomes habitual when repeated over time. He had witnessed a dramatic change in a patient who was extremely stiff but under anaesthetic he became completely limp. As he recovered from the anaesthesia, he returned to his original rigidity. Trager was convinced of the affects the subconscious mind has on the body and by directing new messages through touch to release the tension from muscles and tissues, a change in habitual patterns could be achieved.

A Tragerwork Treatment

A Tragerwork session usually takes between 1 - 1-1/2 hours and takes place on a padded table with the client wearing loose, light clothing. The practitioner uses gentle rocking & vibrating movements to invoke a free, light feeling in the clients body. In a meditative 'hook-up' state, the practitioner is more able to sense tension and resistance in the client's body and when areas of tension are located, the pressure is reduced to that area. The client is passive in the process and is encouraged to relax and let go physically and emotionally. Following treatment, simple exercises are given for home use (known as Mentastics) which reinforce the subconscious messages received during treatment.

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