Trager Approach

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A male physiotherapist performing Trager Approach leg treatment on female patient

The Trager Approach is an innovative approach to movement training.

Trager Approach – Psychophysical Integration therapy

Trager Approach, also known as psychophysical integration therapy or simply Trager Work, was created by Milton Trager, M.D.

The Trager Approach is an innovative approach to movement training. Trager Approach is based on the principle that discomfort, pain and reduced performance are physical symptoms of accumulated stress that resulted from injuries, poor posture, anxiety, emotional distress and daily stress. Over his lifetime beginning as a young man, Dr. Trager created the system in an effort to deal with his own persistent back problem, which was the consequence of a congenital spinal deformity. He became interested in how the body coordinated its patterns of motion according to long-term pain or injuries.

The treatment is targeted on lowering these abnormal patterns of motion and reducing neuromuscular pressure by using soft, rhythmic rocking movements. These rhythmic motions can produce a state of deep relaxation, which therapists say enables the body as well as mind to attain a state of harmony and integration.

There are two elements of The Trager Approach; one in that you, the client, are passive and the other in which you are active. The passive aspect is generally referred to as the tablework, and the active aspect is called Mentastics.

Utilizing soft, non-intrusive, natural motions, the Trager approach facilitates relief from deep-seated physical and mental patterns.  This therapy encourages deep relaxation, increased physical mobility, and mental clearness. These patterns could have developed in response to injuries, illnesses, or any kind of physical or psychological trauma, including the stress of everyday life.

During the table work treatment 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 sensation of moving naturally and freely on his or her own. No oils or lotions are used and the motions should never be forced so that there is absolutely no evoked discomfort or pain to the client.

Characteristics of Trager Approach

Relaxation **

Therapeutic ***

Intensity: Minimum – Moderate

Lubrication: no

Undressing: no

Tip: Depends on facility

How to interpret the rating scale

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