Trager®...What is it like? Well, it’s like…
Have you ever experienced just flopping down in a chair or on a bed, wanting it to totally support you, every last inch of you, deep to the core of you. Can you imagine completely letting go? And then letting go even more than that? Trager is something like that. In the individual work while you are on the table, the Practitioner lifts and gently moves your head, your arm, your leg, and rocks your body, inviting you simply to let it go, to let the weight completely go, to let the rhythmical movement just flow through to other parts of your body. You want to let go, but you are not even conscious how you may not be at some level. The rhythmical movement is seductive, entrancing. Infants love to be rocked. Something ingrained in us loves to be rocked. The rocking, the novel kinds of rhythmical movement, invite letting go at deeper and deeper levels, in a way that our simple conscious desire is unable to do. It awakens our deepest unconscious longings to let go, leading the way to a level of letting go long forgotten. To experience Trager is something like that.
So, that’s my stream of consciousness description of what the Trager experience is like. So now, for my more left brain way of describing it. The Trager Approach is a form of movement education, but as soon as the word education is used, it immediately stirs up the image of being taught a particular way that you should move—first explained in words, then probably demonstrated, and then you consciously try to move in that way. But that’s not so with Trager, even with the active movements we teach to empower you to obtain progressively deeper levels of relaxation on your own. Trager is about conveying a feeling, either through the movement we create in your body, or through the movements we show, suggesting images to help convey the feeling—with the hope that you will catch the feeling, and be able to actively move in a way to let that feeling penetrate to your inner core.
In the Trager tablework, the practitioner gently and rhythmically moves the person’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.
The Mentastics® are the movements we teach people to do for themselves to recall the feelings created while they were on the table, and to further explore these new possibilities for movement in their daily lives. Also, to discover these new possibilities on their own, when they’ve not had the benefit of experiencing the tablework.
Mentastics is a coined expression meaning mental gymnastics.
Mentastics are mentally directed movements that are
gentle, effortless and rhythmical.
Mindfulness in motion is another way of describing Mentastics.
Mentastics do not strengthen muscles or develop aerobic conditioning.
They open up new possibilities for movement which lead to feeling:
enhanced energy and renewed vitality
deep relaxation and peace
a sense of lightness and peace
ease and pleasure in movement
flexibility, coordination, alignment and balance
relief from muscle and joint stiffness, achiness and pain
People of all ages and abilities, from the dancer and athlete to the functionally impaired,
can find pleasure, vitality and well-being doing Mentastics.
There are Mentastics appropriate to every person and every problem.
People with some of the worst body problems,
such as lower back syndrome and stress-derived tension,
begin to get immediate relief doing Mentastics.
Learn more about Milton Trager and the development of the Trager Approach & Mentastics