In an attempt to identify the significant element in the Trager Approach, the one element that determines the success of the treatment more than any other, we shall discuss each one of them separately. Towards the end of the discussion we will raise the question whether one element can determine the success of a session or does it depend on the harmonious functioning of all of the elements together.
The first station in this quest is the connection. The connection between practitioner and client is one of the most critical missions facing the practitioner. The first touch is designated to create connection between his body and the body of the client – pretty much like an “elongation” of the body, or like too train cars that are connecting so that from that moment on each movement will pass through both bodies as if it was one body.
This kind of connection, demands quite a high skill especially because of our tendency as practitioners to do, to be active, and sometimes instead of our clients.
The practitioner is supposed to create the connection to the client out of a very open touch, that is doing nothing but connecting – as simple as it sounds.
It is best if, after the preliminary connection. The movements will be created by the legs of the practitioner rather than his hands. When the practitioner has learned (each time as a new experience) how to connect and how to move both bodies together as one from the work of his legs, only then should he be developing the movement through his hands as well and yet they always lean and get support from the ground.
The practitioner functions all the time as a bridge and a mediator between the client and the ground. Just as the movement is transferred from the practitioner to the client through the special connection he has created, so the support of the earth should be transmitted through the practitioner to the client. One can say that the practitioner in this case is a teacher for the correct relationship between the client and the supporting earth.
If the connection is not done through the use of the legs so that it is they that transmit it (and not the hands) then the mission has not been accomplished.
When the work of the hands is disconnected from the support of the earth, than immediately the connection that has already been created for the client by the practitioner with the earth is disconnected as well and instead of it a relationship between the practitioner and the client through the practitioner’s touch rises and puts itself in the front.
It is easy to understand if you just think for a moment what is happening to you when someone is moving you. Usually, when someone is moving me, my body reacts: it might contract or be able to release. What determines my reaction is my interpretation of the touch that was moving me; if I felt it was aggressive I’ll contract but if I experienced it as soft and comfortable I soften up. In either way I deal with the interpretation of the touch of someone else – outside myself and not with myself – I am not available to be in the experience of my physical existence.
So this is the heart of this article, it is about the art of the practitioner to keep the relationship between the client and the earth which will serve as the basis for the relationship with himself – his own physical existence. In order that this will take place each touch and movement the client receives needs to be experienced along this line and not in the interpersonal line.
This state demands a great skill from the practitioner to create movement in the client’s body in order to expand his sensation of his own physical existence and of the support of the earth to his physical body. The practitioner plays the role of a delivery person, mediator and a guide. The center of gravity of his attention is supposed to be on that, so that this becomes the nature of the relationship with the client.
Interesting enough in order to be able to create that kind of a movement, the practitioner himself must come from an open place, very accepting and loving. This attitude enables him to be less the subject in the special relationship that is formed through this treatment. In the short video you can see the first part of the formation of the connection by the use of touch.