Developed in the latter half of the twentieth century by Dr. Milton Trager (1908-1997), the underlying philosophy behind the TRAGER Approach rests upon the theory that in order for the body to become liberated and tension-free, it must first learn to experience the feeling of effortless and easy movements. Stemming from this belief, the TRAGER Approach is a bodywork technique which uses gentle rocking, cradling, sculpting, shimmering and lengthening of the body, which releases deep-rooted physical and psychological tensions and promotes relaxation, increased flexibility and alertness.
TRAGER work is based on the premise that discomfort, pain, and reduced functionality are physical symptoms of accumulated tension resulting from accidents, weak posture, fear, emotional blockages, and daily stress.
The TRAGER Approach uses the natural rhythm of the body’s weight and structure to help rediscover ease, comfort, fluidity of movement and freedom from restriction. TRAGER work does not cause pain. The method is invitational, teaching by positive experience; searching out comfort, affirming existing abilities, initiating the development of improvements in function and an increased potential for health and well-being. Results can be transformative, the benefits long-lasting.
TRAGER is an educational model as well. Part of the session can include explorations in movement to find what is comfortable, easy and freeing. Clients are encouraged to utilize these movements for self care reinforcing the sensory experience of comfort and ease, bringing the mind and body into communication.
In a TRAGER session, the client rests on a padded table and the practitioner moves the client’s body in such a way that the person actually experiences the possibility of being able to move that freely effortlessly and gracefully on their own.
Recall is another component of this work. Recall is learning how to remember the pleasurable sensations and feelings you had during the tablework, an exercise designed to promote relaxation. You can use recall when you are out in the world. Remembering the feelings you experience during a TRAGER session, allows your nervous system to become quieter. Your body responds by slowing your breathing and your heart rate ~ and you feel better!
TRAGER work is effective in a variety of applications, including musculo-skeletal diseases, back and neck problems, athletic performance, balance problems, neurological dysfunction and physical injuries. Practitioners may refer to themselves as C.T.P. (Certified Trager Practitioner) once they have completed their professional training.
HEADACHE STUDY ~ What New Research Confirms
In a study conducted by researchers at the University of Southern California, the Trager Approach reduced headache frequency. Twenty-nine young adults with migraine or tension headaches were slotted into one of three groups. One group received a Trager session once a week for 6 weeks; another saw a doctor once a week for 6 weeks to discuss symptoms; the third group did nothing. (All three could use pain medication as needed.)
After 6 weeks, the Trager group reported a 27.5 percent reduction in headaches, the doctor group noted a 3.7 percent reduction, and the control group had a 13.5 percent increase. In addition, people in the Trager group cut their use of pain meds by 44 percent, the doc-visit group's use of meds dropped by 19 percent, and the no-treatment group's use rose by 25 percent.
TRAGER is fun. It is non judgemental. There are no right or wrong movements. We seek to find what works best for you. Trager work is cumulative, the more you do and/or receive, the easier it is for your body to learn new to be more free and comfortable.