In addition to my experience as a Trager Practitioner, I have also been working as a psychotherapist and counsellor at a social service agency in London Ontario since 2000.
As you well know, our emotions are stored not only in our minds but in our bodies. Or as Milton put it:
What keeps the body restricted is not a true physical block, but a mental pattern block. It is the MIND that unconsciously directs the function of the body.
There have been many a time when, during a psychotherapy or counselor session, I have invited the client to do certain movements and/or breathing in order for them to relax, feel their body, ground and eventually gain a different perspective of the situation they perceived as conflictive.
I cannot tell you the amount of times I have witnessed in awe the transformation that a little Mentastics® can do in a counseling session: it is like magic! The face opens up; shoulders drop; the pelvis lets go of the holding, letting the knees come apart naturally; the gait is more grounded, the person begins to breath in a fuller way; and most of all, they begin to experience glimpses of trust, joy and pleasure. Yes!!! The lighter part of the world appears, perhaps for the first time in their life – in front of their eyes – and in their heart!
I asked myself:
How about creating a formal Mentastics class here at the agency, so several people can benefit for the cost of one?
I presented the idea to my clinical supervisor and, after a couple of years; I got her approval to go ahead! (You know how things go in many bureaucracies – anything new tends to need the approval from a series of committees so it takes t-i-m-e.)
Extra, extra! The agency has acknowledged that the mind and the body are connected and that if we let one relax, the other one may also release!
I felt so excited and hopeful! The intake/registration process began almost at once. We currently have 7 members who come regularly to class on Tuesday afternoons. They are all native Spanish speakers, so I am delivering the class in Spanish. Somehow, doing it in Spanish adds an extra flavour to the class.
The students truly anticipate coming to class. It is almost as if they cannot wait for me to open the door to the room where we hold the class; and when they leave, they have the Trager look and cannot stop hugging and thanking me (yum!).
As a Mentastics Teacher, I can tell that they are learning to connect their minds, with their bodies, and that they have tasted what it is like to be in “hook-up” and, most of all, they have had fun, enjoyment, pleasure in both themselves and in each other.Thank you, Family Service Thames Valley for allowing me to share this beautiful approach with people who have suffered from trauma; and thank you Milton and the Trager Community for developing and bringing it forward for us to use!
May we all continue to be present in our process of eternal re-creation.