What is Trager ?
“Trager work is one of the least invasive forms of body work, using gentle rocking and bouncing motions to induce states of deep, pleasant relaxation. It helps facilitate the nervous system's communication with the muscles, so that it can be used as a method of rehabilitation - especially by people suffering from traumatic injuries, post-polio syndrome, and other chronic neuromuscular problems.”
- Andrew Weil M.D., Author of Spontaneous Healing, Director, Program in Integrative Medicine, University of Arizona, Tucson
What is Trager ?
Trager is a form of healing bodywork that involves blissful rocking and soft, playful bouncing of limbs and muscles, all done in state of relaxation that is so deep and profound that nearly half of people experiencing it immediately go into a light, healing trance state. By the end of the treatment most everyone succumbs to its trance like rhythms, and is left feeling a profound sense of relaxation, well-being, and pleasure in motion.
Why Choose Trager?
I love getting good bodywork. I have benefited from many approaches, from the subtlety of acupuncture and energy work to the hard, direct approach of deep tissue, physical therapy and chiropractic. I’m trained in, and have worked in many styles of massage, energy based healing and movement training. So why do I prefer using Trager to deal with most of the challenging and simple issues that my clients bring to me?
Put simply, Trager works deeply, quickly, and with less wear and tear on your body. It feels amazing, is remarkably effective and is completely pain free. A vast majority of people I’ve worked on responded best to Trager compared to other forms of bodywork. It causes less breakdown of muscle than deep tissue work or even a typical massage and causes less pain than physical therapy. Trager is wonderfully supportive in dealing with emotional trauma. Trager is more complete, facilitating stress reduction, pain management, trauma support and movement re-education at the same time while leaving you feeling more whole and at peace than you’ve ever felt. The effects are more profound and longer lasting than massage. From my point of view, why work harder to create less benefit?
“My chronic shoulder pain was treated with cortisone injections and many physical therapy visits, but Trager eliminated the pain and gave me more range of motion.” Margaret, business owner
Trager works deeper in your body than massage without the pain of deep tissue or physical therapy. If it doesn’t have to hurt, why not choose pleasure instead? Trager works from inside the joint out creating a pervasive, ever deepening sense of tactile enjoyment and well-being. Massage works from the surface of the body in. This is why the massage therapist has to painfully dig through the surface tissue to reach deeper layers. Even then, no matter how hard a massage therapist works, they still can’t effectively reach inside the joint the way Trager does.
Passive joint manipulations, done in a physical therapy or massage style create very different outcomes than Trager. Joint manipulation in massage is designed to simply increase range of motion, not to restore unconscious, healthy movement patterns. Physical therapy may work from inside the joint but in a way that increases pain and inflammation, which can create maladaptive movement patterns and pain in the other joints that have to compensate. Because physical therapy is done in a medical setting with a prescription for only the original issue, the physical therapist often can’t or won’t alleviate the secondary pain the session has created.
Trager loosens tension in your neck, back, pelvis and hips during the entire session. Unlike physical therapy or massage Trager continuously works almost the entire body throughout the session. From your head to your toes, wherever the Trager practitioner is touching, your back is rhythmically swaying and elongating, allowing tension and pain to evaporate away. By the time a hand is even placed on your back, it’s had close to 45 minutes of rocking and swaying, lulling it into deep relaxation. Then, after most of the tension has already been dissolved by the transformative, healing motion, your back is ready have any stubborn muscle knots to be personally persuaded into letting go, while your back is lengthened and wobbled into even greater flexibility, health and comfort.
The benefits of the treatment last longer because Trager re-patterns the movement centers of the brain for more comfortable, efficient movement. Who doesn’t want to feel wonderful longer? No matter how relaxed you get during a massage, once you get off the table, if you move poorly your tension and pain will come right back unless you change you’re unconscious movement patterns. Unlike massage or chiropractic, the benefits of a single Trager treatment can last a lifetime. I’ve had people who arrived in chronic pain experience immediate relief and leave their first Trager treatment feeling marvelous, going on to enjoy lives free of pain, needing only a treatment every year or two from then on.
Indulging in a treatment as delectable as Trager on a regular basis after we’ve resolved your health issues is a delightful and healthy lifestyle choice, but do you really want to need regular chiropractic adjustments for the rest of your life? Would you rather pay for a massage that feels good for the moment but leaves you in the same condition the next day or get a Trager session that feels wonderful and reduces your stress and pain in the long run?
That we move is conscious; how we move, for the most part, is unconscious. Attempting to change these unconscious movement patterns using just words is slower, more effortful, often not as effective as Trager table work and definitely less enjoyable. Movement coaching in physical therapy and movement classes provides an important key to recovery but sometimes hands on is simply more direct.
Trager gently supports people with emotional trauma, cocooning them in sensations of comfort, pleasure and peace. If you are under stress, dealing with the loss of a loved one, a challenging health condition, or are experiencing other emotional turmoil, Trager is truly balm for a weary soul. For five years I worked for a psychotherapist on her patients who had been severely abused. Trager created an experience so safe and gentle that past traumas would re-emerge blanketed in waves of pleasure. In that open, relaxed state, when a memory surfaced the psychotherapist could more quickly and completely help them deal with long buried issues.
Trager treats the soft tissue and movement patterns that hold your bones in or out of alignment. Does it seem like after getting a spinal adjustment, your vertebrae just pop out of alignment over and over again? If you have been going to a chiropractor who only adjusts you, it might be time to get to the cause of the problem. Your muscles, tendons, ligaments and the way you habitually move will continue to pull your bones out of alignment unless they are changed.
Trager can release the muscle spasms, tension patterns and postural distortions that interfere with the free flow of blood lymph and energy, leaving you tired, sore and unhealthy. Life force, often called chi, animates all living beings. In this healing paradigm, energy flow allows your blood to move: nourishing, cleaning and healing the tissues that make up your body. Your health and life itself depends on this continual flow of blood, lymph and energy. Acupuncture, Reiki, Taoist meditations and other energy based healing work are based on the theory that if you adequately increase the amount of life force going to a blocked area, it will break up the blockage and healing will occur. However, often it’s easier and faster to manually resolve a physical blockage first, allowing the flow to normalize effortlessly.
Trager is gentler for people in pain or in fragile physical states. If you have had a severe trauma, pain, or fibromyalgia, Trager might be just the pain relief you’ve been looking for. For many years I worked in a doctor’s office where the physician had many therapists on staff. When patients were physically so fragile that no one else could work them without creating more pain, the doctor would send them to me.
When you want to achieve your best athletic or dance performance, Trager can make the difference. Tension and old injuries that change unconscious movement patterns interfere with reaching your highest potential. Even trying too hard can get in the way of doing your best. Trager can help.
“After a Trager session, my feet move so lightly and quickly on the court I’m amazed. My endurance has increased and my previous problems with leg cramps have disappeared. Even concentrating is easier because I am more relaxed.” Bob Blace, ranked touring tennis pro