Massage has long been thought of as a gateway to deep relaxation; it has the potential to induce a sense of calm not only in the body but in the mind also. Not only can massage improve flexibility and enhance the immune system, there is also evidence that it can lessen anxiety and depression. It is thought that a branch of massage, Trager, is a practice that could take these benefits to an even deeper level.
Trager massage, or the Trager Approach as it is otherwise known, is a form of massage that involves specialised touch and movement exercises. There are two aspects to Trager massage: a meditation practice at the beginning of the session (termed “hook-up”) and the massage itself. Throughout the massage practitioners use gentle movements over the body using their intuition to guide them towards movements that feel effortless.
Setting Trager apart from other forms of massage is the addition of Mentastics -‘self-care’ movements taught to the client so that they can be an active participant in the process. In addition, the practitioner and client engage in a dialogue during the massage as acknowledging how you feel throughout the process can bring forward feelings from the subconscious part of your mind to the conscious part, thus inducing a deeper and more noticeable relaxation experience in the body. It is this connection between the mind and body that encouraged founder Milton Trager to create a practice that incorporates the two.
Allowing your mind to actively engage with your body is one way to promote a deep sense of relaxation, but the benefits of Trager massage stretch beyond this. It is thought that this form of massage can help to elevate pain, stress and even some types of long term illness such as lung disease. It is also less imposing than regular massage as it doesn’t involve the use of oils or ointments and so can be performed over clothing.
Trager massage sees itself as a way to potentially overwrite tension and anxiety in the body and mind that may have formed as a habit over time. For this reason, Trager can have long-lasting benefits on a person’s overall sense of wellbeing as well as forming a connection between the body and the mind.
Details of local practitioners and practicing centres can be found online.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/141735806@N08/27050833564″>Massage</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>
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