In talks, I like to say that TRAGER is about relationships.
Not relating to a spouse or lover, parent or child. A more intimate relationship than that. Not even about relating to your computer! Still more intimate.
Of course, I'm talking about relating to yourself, to your body. Even when you leave your computer behind to take a nap or separate from your lover, you have yourself. You can only operate from inside your body. Even when you're asleep, your automatic systems need to breathe for you and keep everything else in balance.
Also I like to use a list from a couples workshop, about things one can do to improve relationships: listen, respect, extend love, be responsive, don't push, accept, enjoy.
In your relationship to your body, how many of those things might improve the relationship?
R. Spitz, in a classic study on the importance of touch (The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, Vol. 1, 1945, Int. Univ. Press, pp53-74), lists pediatric reports from 1915 that American orphanages had death rates the first two years of life of 32-75%, 90%, and 100%. The identified deficiency was in touching. Recent reports on high losses in orphanages in China reminded me of these old findings. Spitz, in 1945, did monthly studies of two institutions and two control home-care groups. In one institution, an orphanage superior in nutrition and sanitation, care involved little touch. Developmental quotients decreased severely to functional idiocy levels and there were many infections and some deaths. In the other institution, a prison nursery, women deprived of other emotional contact focused on, touched, and played with their babies. There were no deaths, few infections, and developmental quotients increased.
Another recent report was in The Washington Post, June 18, '96 (E. Nakashima, p1). Some children adopted from Russia and Romania have "physical, emotional and learning problems requiring treatment, mostly because they spent their infancy in orphanages that provide little of the human contact that stimulates brain development."
J. Older, in "Touching is Healing," reported that touch was so important that abuse was better than total neglect. He said, "The hugged child will thrive. The abused child will survive. The untouched child will die." See also A. Montague, "Touching."
To be touched, with acceptance
and without demands or tension, brings us into ourselves, allows the automatic
release of holding, and brings better balance to body operations.
In my years of bodywork, I've met one person who said she was rocked as much as she wanted when a child. She was raised in Africa in a culture where children were carried slung to the mother's body.
Rocking and other gentle, rhythmic movements of TRAGER bodywork reach deep levels in the body without stimulating reflex resistance. Unneeded tension is automatically released and needed tension is balanced.
One of the best things you
can do in a relationship is enjoy. Enjoying your body improves your relationship
to your body. TRAGER feels good. Probably, you deserve to feel good. If
not, you may want to explore feeling good for no good reason.
On good authority
"Milton Trager's work will benefit anyone wishing to lead a healthier and more dynamic life." Deepak Chopra, MD, author of "Ageless Body, Timeless Mind."