Trager Approach


Movement Education − Body/Mind Integration

The Trager Approach is the innovative approach to movement education, created and developed over a period of 65 years by Milton Trager, M.D.

There are two aspects of The Trager Approach; one in which you, the client, are passive and the other in which you are active. The passive aspect is usually referred to as the ”table work,” and the active aspect is called Mentastics (mental gymnastics).

Utilizing gentle, non-intrusive, natural movements, the Trager Approach helps release restrictive, deep-seated physical and mental patterns and facilitates deep relaxation, increased physical mobility, and mental clarity. These patterns may have developed in response to accidents, illnesses, or any kind of physical or emotional trauma, including the stress of everyday life.

The Trager Approach has also been reported to ease or manage a wide range of conditions including:

• Back and neck pain • Stress
• Limited movement • Muscle spasms
• Headaches • Poor posture
• Depression • Physical or emotional trauma
• Multiple sclerosis • Cerebral palsy
• Post-polio syndrome • Parkinson’s disease
• Sports and other injuries • Carpal tunnel syndrome
• Fibromyalgia

TABLE WORK − What You Can Expect During A Typical Trager Session
During an initial conversation, you and your Trager practitioner will discuss what you would like to get from your session. Your practitioner will also explain how your feedback during the session contributes to making your session a more effective experience for you. No oils or lotions are used. The client is dressed for comfort and additionally draped appropriately.

During the session the client is passive and lying on a comfortably padded table. The practitioner moves the client in ways they naturally move, and with a quality of touch
and movement such that the recipient experiences the feeling of moving effortlessly and freely on his/her own. The movements are never forced so that there is no induced pain or discomfort to the client.

One of the most potent aspects of the Trager Approach is the ability to recall the feeling of deep relaxation, and how it feels to move freely and easily.

Because many of the effects of The Trager Approach are cumulative, clients most often appreciate and will benefit most from a series of sessions.

As part of your table work session, you will receive instruction in the use of these self-care movements, called Mentastics (mental gymnastics). This allows the quality of effortless movement to be maintained and reinforced after the table work session.

These simple, active, self induced movements can be done on your own during your daily activities. They have the same intent as the table work in terms of releasing deep-seated patterns.

Dr. Trager developed these simple, effortless movements to encourage playful exploration of “what could be freer” for your body.

For many people, Mentastics becomes a part of their life in taking care of themselves, and relieving themselves of stress and tension.

“Milton Trager’s work will benefit anyone wishing to lead a healthier and more dynamic life.”
Deepak Chopra, M.D.
Author, Founder of the Chopra Center for Well Being, LaJolla, CA

“Trager work is an invaluable aid for all singers. It relaxes the throat muscles and positions the larynx for extended range and better breath support. I rely on it.”
Linda Ronstadt, Singer

“Trager work is one of the least invasive forms, using gentle rocking and bouncing motions to induce states of deep, pleasant relaxation. It helps 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, Director of Program in Integrative Medicine
University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ


Bonita Cassel, LMT (MSG003328), NCBTMB