Trager Indepth

Trager practitioners manually initiate specific movements in the client's body to facilitate the reprogramming of the motor centre of the brain.

Voluntary movements are generated through the motor centre in the brain and the nerves that coordinate the activation and release of muscles. Learning voluntary movements is a process of repetition until the coordination of the neuromuscular system has established a habituated pattern. Once the pattern is established, the person often looses the consciousness associated with the learning process.

Most of these neuromuscular patterns are useful and efficient. Sometimes they get distorted, as in the case of developing poor postural habits or compensations for injuries that remain active after the injury has healed.

Trager movements create passive reverberations throughout the client's body. This provides kinaesthetic modeling for more efficient neuromuscular coordination. With the practitioner using kinaesthetic modelling to show how the client's body can be organized in motion, Trager movements have bypassed the client's habituated movement pattern, introducing a new option to the client's neuromuscular system. The motor centre of the client's brain now has an option to choose using the distorted pattern or the more efficient coordination. Repeatedly, the more efficient pattern is chosen.

Trager movements improve the client's movement integration by engaging the interwoven system of muscles with movements that travel from where the Trager practitioner is initiating the movement into the entire client body.

The gentle rhythmic quality of Trager utilizes another feature of the motor centre of the brain. There are eight times as many pleasure transmitting sensory feedback loops as those loops transmitting pain messages. The quality of Trager touch and movements flood the brain with pleasure messages. A release of muscle tension usually results. The client experiences relaxation.

This experience of relaxation can be developed as a reference for feeling better. The client is encouraged to articulate this experience, giving words to the awareness of their body. This engages both the verbal center of the brain as well as the motor center. When the client deliberately remembers the awareness of their body feeling better, the memory triggers the motor center to recreate the experience of feeling better.

Trager supports an accurate proprioceptive experience. Sometimes a discrepancy between the condition of the body or where it is in space can develop. The client may be repeatedly misjudging their movements resulting in accidents. There may be an emotional response to the client's body that is not based in actuality as in anorexia.

The combination of touch and movements that are within the pain tolerance of the client and the passive reverberation of the movements throughout the client's body, helps the client develop a more accurate proprioceptive sense of themselves. Frequently, clients express an awareness of peace within themselves at the end of a session.

Trager movements look simple and are deliberately created by the practitioner to feel easy. The results can be profound.