Trager® Approach

Trager Certification Journey

“Together, we playfully explore the possibilities of bringing ease and freedom of movement to our bodies and discover a more peaceful, graceful life”  


"There is no limit in the development of the mind, as there is no limit to the feeling of the body. Self development is a never ending process . . ."
Dr. Milton Trager® (from the Mentastics® book)


Tammy Jo O’Neal is now Certified in the Trager Approach. Trager, created by Milton Trager, MD®, is a pleasurable, gentle and effective approach to movement education and pshyco-physical (mind/body) integration.

There are two distinctive parts to the Trager Approach. In the first, usually referred to as the ”table work”, your body is supported and gently moved within its pain-free range and natural rhythm. You may remain fully clothed or partially disrobed during this table work.

The second aspect, Mentastics®, involves instruction in the use of self-care movements. Dr. Trager® developed these simple movements to encourage playful exploration of “what could be freer, effortless, graceful and more pleasing” for our bodies. These self care exercises help re-establish the freeing experiences that

Being more intune with our kinesthetic awareness, we can then have a greater sense of how we actually “feel”…a sense of how much muscular effort, proportion, tension, relaxation, spatial orientation, distance and balance we are using to move or support our bodies. This is essential to our posture and habitual patterns that can either create or alleviate muscular tension.

For more information visit the United States Trager Association Website


What is Movement Education?

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Trager Instructor Bill Scholl, Stephanie Artz, Penny Pollock, and Joe Crowe in Austin, TX
We’re standing by Olivia, an olive tree, in Bill’s back yard the day after his level 4 practitioner level training Feb. 26 -28, 2010
I was very honored to be an assistant along with Stephanie (the “tag team”) during this weekend of exploring and asking “what does THIS body have to teach me today” and “what could be easier?”


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Instructor, Roger Tolle and Tammy Jo
after a tutorial in Charlotte, NC


Tammy Jo,




“A type of movement re-education that invites the body to soften and “let go” through the use of touch and movement. The peaceful gentle suggestions given by the practitioner speak to the inside core essence of the client, allowing the messages and changes to come from the inside out, being facilitated by the deep connection between the practitioner and client. A domino affect, like cascading waves emerging, building trust, creating relaxation, decreased muscle tension and ease of being throughout.”

*my favorite response from Instructor Adrienne Stone, PT and Trager practitioner, since 1982

How is Trager® different?

Educate rather than “treat” The Trager Practitioner is taught to hold the space, and “feel” the tissue. We are not there to “fix” you, but to support your process. When we meet resistance or hardness we get softer. We question “How could this be?”

Practitioner self-care Greater self -improvement, self-care, self-awareness, self-development, self-acceptance are the results. We are partners in this experience.

The Practitioner receives a session as it is being given. In the path toward helping you to be more aware of your self, I must be more aware of myself. If I am tense, you feel the tenseness. If I am soft and free flowing in my movements, you feel that. The Practitioner moves constantly in the session, except when pausing to feel the effects of what just happened. In a session, pauses heighten the awareness of the change in tissue. If there is no pause, over stimulation interferes with the learning process.

Body/mind patterns change Our tissue holds the unconscious memory of every thing that has happened to us. On and off the table we are interested in “moving” the client in a new way. As the client relaxes and takes in the new information that comes with increased circulation and energy flow, the unconscious mind reveals forgotten memories allowing them to be integrated into the new you. Mentastics® are taught during each session, and become woven throughout your day. Soon, you will maintain this new feeling of freedom and peace in-between sessions.

Hook-up You will relax more deeply that you normally do, thanks to being gently rocked about 5000 times during a session! In this peaceful state, learning something new is easy and pleasurable. This work is contagious. Once you feel it, you will want to continue. You can hook up to this feeling anytime you choose to recall how you felt.

Profound and life-changing Once the pattern is interrupted, everything about you changes, and this in turn effects the way you feel about yourself, and how you interact in all your relationships. A Trager practitioner encourages a client to communicate with the practitioner during the session. I have found many clients have a very limited vocabulary of how they are feeling. Teaching the “expression of feelings” or “finding our voice” is second nature to a Trager Practitioner. Communication improves over time with a series of sessions. Speaking authentically becomes easier because in session, this is practiced.

Integration and Wholeness sum up the experience of a session. Subtle, deep and profound changes take place in such a way, that you are energized afterwards for days. You will sleep more deeply. Trager is a way of life, a way of being, of being the same person in every role. Taking off the masks we wear to please everyone other than ourselves. Trager helps us to recall the pleasure in our bodies and in our lives.
It is remembering the way it used to be, learning to manifest your own reality, live simply and follow a spiritual path of principles learned by asking the question ”How could it be?”

*borrowed with consent from Judy Fasone, RN, CPT

Leanne Chattey, Certified Trager Practitioner in Santa Fe shows how this approach to healing produces tremendous results for her clients