On the way to all surrounding pleasantness / part 2

The Connection

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.

About avibahatblog

• מוסמך כמורה לשיטת פאולה • מדריך מתקדם לאינטגרציה מבנית של אידה רולף, ומודעות מבנית של רולף/נולטה. • מוסמך כמטפל וכמורה (Instructor) בשיטת טרייגר. • מלמד את שיטת בחט- טיפול במגע ותנועה. בין לבין למדתי במחלקה להשתלמויות המשך של אוניברסיטת ת"א בתרפיית הגשטלט
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9 Responses to On the way to all surrounding pleasantness / part 2

  1. Very great post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and
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  2. 19225 says:

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  3. joanmullervoettocht says:

    Dear Avi,
    Your posts on hook up make me stop and reflect….so super!!!

    I reflect on the word ‘pleasantness’…….it seems to me we are all (or at least a lot of us are) searching for another term than ‘hook up’ and its effect. When I read your posts and see the videos that go with it, I cannot escape the feeling that something is lost in the translation into English. It almost seems as if the word that you chose in Hebrew contains more layers than the English word ‘pleasantness’.

    Although the word ‘pleasantness’ does enclose some of ‘what I personally experience’ in hook up’, it touches merely the surface of it. Perhaps you want this deliberately, but perhaps maybe not. So, you see, I got stuck, especially after your second post when you talk about the connection.

    I do not have a ‘better’ word for you, I am still searching myself, when you find it, I hope you will write a post about it.

    In the meantime, here is my version of ‘hook up’, I call it ‘Heart’s Energy Flowing’: http://youtu.be/MT3fOSTXugM


  4. avibahatblog says:

    Dear Joan, thank you so much for your sharing.
    I must say that the only words I did not translate are : “All surrounding pleasantness” as it is a term that Milton used and in fact it was very interesting to adapt to it. As you can see in the first film.
    I can share with you that adjusting to the sort of slang ” hook up” is more difficult and really feels like missing the relevant culture that brought him to this term. Therefore it demands more explanations when using it if at all.

    Regarding your wording (‘Heart’s Energy Flowing’)I believe it is much closer to the spirit of this days and yet for so many people it is not self-explaining which demands further explanations as well.

    I would like to share with you my latest sort of revelation for me (funny enough it was strongly supported by the way that one of my students uses the term “my harmony tone”) that comes from the eclectic world of Dorothy Nolte who taught us in Israel the movement part of the Rolf method called “Structural Awareness”
    If you remember this marvelous exercise called the Harmony Tone, it is in a way a hook up process because it has the same effect on the tissues – it relaxes and open them up just as getting connected to the All surrounding pleasantness does, and as opening the hurt is doing partially.
    That which opens the heart muscle – take it to each part of your body and you have the hook up state which the Harmony tone brings you to as well.

    • joanmullervoettocht says:

      Dear Avi,

      Thanks for your response…..About the ‘harmony tone’, in France last summer I got introduced to a book called ‘le guérison du son’ or as it turned out, it was a book from an American professor called Mitchell L. Gaynor, M.D., ‘the Healing Power of Sound. This book is about ‘recovery from life-threatening illness using sound, voice and music’.

      I am now reading this book , because I feel that sound is vibration, as is movement and the entire body of course…..so bringing about harmony through sound is super logical to me. I use sound more and more in my work now. Therefore, the term ‘pleasantness’ is true but doesnot cover the depth of these vibrations to me.


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