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Milton Trager, M.D., born in 1908, is the man credited with discovering and developing the Trager Approach, a natural-healing method. Born with a congenital spinal deformity, it is said that he overcame a childhood marked with sickness to become athletic and healthy once more. He so overcame his illnesses that he became a gymnast and a dancer, even training to be a boxer in his late teen years.
Milton Trager may have become aware of potential for a real and useful technique as a late teen, when he moved to Miami Beach with his family and began training as a boxer under Mickey Martin. After each training session, Martin would give Trager a rubdown. One day, Trager offered to provide Martin with a rubdown of his own, as the trainer was looking particularly tired and worn. It is said that the rubdown he delivered was more than just an ordinary massage, delivering both relief and invigoration.
Pleased with the results his hands had delivered to his trainer, Milton Trager went home and performed his rubdown on his father. Though his father had been suffering from chronic and painful sciatica that was not relieved through ordinary measures, Trager said he was able to free his father from sciatica in just two sessions.
Success with treating his father was not the end of this approach for Milton Trager. He went on to explore his method, trying it on people with a full range of diseases and conditions. For example, he used his approach to help people with asthma, polio, multiple sclerosis, and more. He also lent his hands to helping individuals struggling with back pain. It is said that some of the people he helped experienced a measure of relief, but others enjoyed complete freedom from whatever had been ailing them.
Milton Trager experienced such success with his approach that he may have helped a man abandon his wheelchair. His friend had spent four years paralyzed and unable to walk. According to Trager, his approached helped his friend to push the wheelchair aside and walk once more. Despite his success, Trager was not opposed to traditional medicine, and in 1955, he received his Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) from Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara in Mexico.
Milton Trager continued to work with clients after receiving his medical degree, but he wanted to teach others to perform his approach. Eventually, he helped a woman named Betty Fuller to get relief from her neck pain, and she went on to learn his approach, co-founding The Trager Institute with Dr. Trager in 1980. Today, holistic-minded individuals and medical professionals often incorporate the Trager Approach into their treatment programs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who was Milton Trager, MD, and what is he known for?
Milton Trager, MD, was an innovative American physician and health professional renowned for developing the Trager Approach, a form of movement education and mind-body integration. His method emphasizes gentle, rhythmic motions to facilitate deep relaxation, increased mobility, and mental clarity. Trager's work has influenced the fields of physical therapy, alternative medicine, and bodywork, helping individuals achieve greater physical and mental well-being.
What are the core principles of the Trager Approach?
The Trager Approach is based on the principle that the body and mind are interconnected and that physical well-being can enhance mental and emotional states. Its core principles include the use of gentle, non-intrusive movements to release deep-seated physical and mental patterns, the concept of "hook-up" which is a state of deep connection and presence achieved by the practitioner, and the idea that playful, effortless movements can re-educate the body and mind towards more natural and healthier patterns.
How did Milton Trager's background influence his development of the Trager Approach?
Milton Trager's background as a boxer and a dancer provided him with a unique understanding of movement and body mechanics. His personal experiences with bodywork and healing, including overcoming his own physical limitations, led him to explore the connection between the mind and body. This exploration, combined with his medical training, culminated in the development of the Trager Approach, which reflects his holistic view of health and the body's natural capacity for ease and movement.
What are some benefits of the Trager Approach?
The Trager Approach has been reported to offer various benefits, including reduced physical pain, increased flexibility and ease of movement, improved posture, and enhanced relaxation and stress reduction. Additionally, it may aid in the recovery from injuries and contribute to overall emotional well-being by fostering a sense of lightness and freedom in the body.
Where can one receive training or treatment in the Trager Approach?
Training and treatment in the Trager Approach are available through certified Trager practitioners and instructors. The Trager International website provides resources for finding practitioners and information on certification programs for those interested in learning the technique. Workshops and sessions are offered in various countries, reflecting the global reach and acceptance of Trager's methods in the therapeutic community.