What is working in the Trager approach?
1. Is it the Hook Up?
2. Is it the connection?
3. Is it the wave/rocking?
4. Is it the support?
5. Is it the open questions?
6. Is it the rhythm?
7. Is it the joyful and playful attitude?
8. Is it the invitation for living in the body here and now?
9. Is it the learning of new ways of how to listen to the body – the Mentastics? (Mental gymnastics)
10. Is it the learning how to choose a sensation rather than being chosen?
11. Is it the learning of Recall?
12. Is it the special relationship that is created in the session in which there is an important
role of the inspiration from the practitioner but no attempt of fixing and amending or
any kind of a doctor-patient attitude in which all depends on the doctor?
13. Is it the approach of mutual investigation and mutual work according to the
information that is being transmitted to the client?
14. Is it the combinations of all of these elements? Or, of some of them? And is there a
crucial element without which it will not work?
Another way to relate is through the opposite question: what element is essential and without which the whole program will not work?
What is Hook Up?
Dr. Milton Trager chose this wording to describe a process that leads him to the feeling/sensation he had when he was giving a session.
According to his experience this feeling always exists – an all surrounding pleasantness.
In order to get this sensation, one needs to reconnect to one’s own body and the first step in this process is recognizing the physical existence – recognize the mass of the body and the weight of our body on the earth.
In order to recognize the physical existence we start by shifting the weight in standing from two legs to one leg. This makes the sensation of the weight in the foot stronger. We continue the process by pushing the earth in order to shift the weight to the other leg. Our attention is mainly in the contact between the foot and the floor because in that area there is pressure. This pressure we interpret to weight and it is the basic sensation of physical existence.
But the sense of pressure is working in both directions: in the direction up from the pressure point and in the direction dawn:
In the direction up, I feel my own physical existence – my body leans on the ground and as a result of this recognition, it is loosening up and something in the muscles lets go. The reason for this is the notification and the absorption of the information that the physical body is totally supported by the floor/ground.
In the direction down I now feel the existence of the floor. When I stand on a wooden floor, the sensation is very different from the sensation of standing on a stone floor, and when I stand barefoot it feels different from when I wear shoes!
The physical existence has a clear expression in the weight that creates pressure on the earth, But it also has a more detailed sensation as for instance: light or heavy, soft or hard, airy or concentrated, pleasant or unpleasant and so on. It also contains all the in between degrees of sensations.
In Dr. Trager’s Hook Up, there is a conscious direction of choosing a specific sensation- the sensation of pleasantness which he knew how to recognize everywhere.
To hook up to the all surrounding pleasantness means to identify the pleasantness that is within every single thing: in the floor, in the walls, in the air and in every existing thing that I recognize around me. The sensation of pleasantness is something that happens inside me, and in the same way as when something pleasant happens in me when I meet someone or something that I love, so when I knowhow to identify the pleasantness in all and everything, every meeting with everything that exists can become a meeting with the sensation of pleasantness within me. So to identify the pleasantness outside in everything is to create this sensation in me in every meeting.
The main thing that happens within my body when it is pleasant is that my body opens up and softens. Just like in love – the channels are open and the whole world is absorbed in a different way – things are absorbed from an open and non-defending place, from an enjoying, happy and receiving place.
This state has a long term influence on what is happening when I come in touch with someone else: my openness is transmitting receptivity, it is transmitting something that is making the receiver happy and it invites him to experience pleasantness as well – a process that creates in him openness as in me – a release of muscular tension and opening of streams inside his body.
This is the greatness of the Trager approach; it is teaching us to meet the world from an open place, from a place where everything is pleasant, soft and full of hope and happiness.