The Trager Approach


The Trager Approach

Softness, freedom, lightness, ease: these are some of the feelings you can expect from an experience with a type of massage called the Trager approach.

Softness, freedom, spaciousness, lightness, ease: these are some of the feelings you can expect from an experience with the Trager approach.

The late Dr. Milton Trager, originator of Trager Psychophysical Integration, often said that such feelings arise as a result of the manner in which he worked, not necessarily from the moves he employed.


Dr. Trager called this meeting of the energetic spirits and minds “hook-up,” a concept that is the central tenet of the Trager approach. “Hook-up is a state of being. It is [the] the life-giving, life-regulating power that has always been there and will always be there…[Trager] is not a technique; it is something different.”

What sets this modality apart is the fact that certified practitioners are not only trained in anatomy, physiology, and specialized Trager movements but are also–and just as importantly–trained specifically to hook-up.

In a session the most valuable thing a Trager practitioner can give a client is the feeling in their body/mind of what it would be like if everything was as it should be, of what it would be like if they were consciously connected without restriction to the energetic healing force we are all a part of.

As Dr. Trager said, “My work breaks up the psychophysiological blocks that keep the patients locked in their conditions…There can be no relief until the pattern has been broken. Every move, every pressure of my hands, every thought is directed toward the unconscious mind, bringing new feeling experiences of how the affected areas should feel when everything is right.”

Transformative Changes

Trager enhances conscious awareness of holistic integration of body, mind, and spirit. Clients of the Trager approach will learn to recognize and let go of both physical and emotional unconscious holding patterns, reducing stress and chronic tension that give rise to conditions such as repetitive motion syndrome, migraine headaches, insomnia, and back pain.

Trager is especially effective in bringing a measure of relief to people with various neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, polio, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, spinal cord damage, and stroke.

How Trager Works

In a table session no oils or lotions are used. A client lies passively, clothed or partially unclothed, on a well-padded table. The practitioner, who is “hooked-up” with the client, gently rocks, compresses, elongates, and softly bounces the client’s tissue, inviting the body to experience how it would feel if it were without its past holding patterns, free of restriction and pain.

Few people really know what light, soft, free, or ease feels like in their body. Fewer still are consciously familiar with the feeling of connection to the life-giving, life-regulating force that is everywhere. These are signature feelings of a Trager session.


Off the table clients are taught self-care movements called Mentastics. Coined from the two words “mental gymnastics,” clients are taught how to actively replicate the free and easy movements of the passive table session. Usable by anyone, anywhere–whether typing at a computer, wielding a hammer, or pushing your child on a swing–these mentally directed movement explorations are simple and flexible tools to recall and anchor the feeling of hook-up in all areas of life.

Trager is an approach to living, not just a way to fix pain in the body. Those who embrace the Trager approach quickly learn that it works best when applied to all areas of life.

Find a Trager Practitioner

There are well over a thousand certified Trager professionals in 12 countries. To find one in Canada go to or; internationally,

Previous articleIntegrative Medicine
Next articleGreat White


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here