About Trager Mentastics

Mentastics - Mindfulness in moving

Mentastics® are a series of gentle, playful exercises which are a crucial part of the Trager Approach® to body therapy, a type of bodywork which has been practiced since the 1920s. The Trager Approach® aims to release deep-seated patterns in the client, with practitioners showing their clients how to move freely in comfortable ways which release tension and stress. Mentastics® supplement this by empowering clients to work on their own.The movements involved in Mentastics® are simple, gentle, and very natural. They mimic the stretches and poses used during the bodywork session, increasing flexibility and freeing the client’s body and mind. Clients can learn Mentastics® in private sessions with a practitioner, or they can work with a larger group. The Mentastics® are designed to be performed every day at home, and they are gentle enough to be performed by people of all ages and at different levels of ability.

Mentatics in a Trager session

The second component of the work is called Mentastics; a word Milton Trager coined, which combines mental and gymnastics. Mentastics are the movements combined with subjective monitoring that Milton Trager developed so that he could experience, in his own body, what was happening in the tablework.
These movements are taught to clients so that they can re-create the feeling of their sessions and thus reinforce the changes that occurred during the tablework These movements are gentle and very pleasurable. They are ways of using the gravitational field and momentum to stretch, open and effortlessly move the joint or tissue in question. For this reason, the movements are carefully designed so that the muscles and joints to be addressed are passively affected, just as in the tablework. Also, as in the tablework the client is encouraged to feel the range of sensations produced by the movement. This feeling awareness in the client can produce long-term changes in the client’s holding patterns.

The Trager Approach® works best when the client commits to long term personal change. Regular sessions with a trained and Trager® certified therapist are recommended in addition to Mentastics®. The goal of Trager® therapy is to get clients deeply relaxed, and to recall this state of relaxation on a daily basis with the assistance of the Mentastics®. These exercises are like a form of mental gymnastics, freeing the mind as well as the body.

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