What are Mentastics&Reg;?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 10 October 2019
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Mentastics® are a series of gentle, playful exercises which are a crucial part of the Trager Approach® to body therapy, a type of bodywork which has been practiced since the 1920s. The Trager Approach® aims to release deep-seated patterns in the client, with practitioners showing their clients how to move freely in comfortable ways which release tension and stress. Mentastics® supplement this by empowering clients to work on their own.

The Trager Approach® was developed by Dr. Milton Trager in the 1920s. Trager saw the value of massage and bodywork, but he felt that it needed to be supplemented with exercises which clients could perform at home. The first part of the approach involves a very gentle bodywork session, in which the client wears loose, comfortable clothing while the practitioner manipulates his or her body. Afterwards, the Trager® practitioner works with the client a series of Mentastics® to work on at home.

The movements involved in Mentastics® are simple, gentle, and very natural. They mimic the stretches and poses used during the bodywork session, increasing flexibility and freeing the client's body and mind. Clients can learn Mentastics® in private sessions with a practitioner, or they can work with a larger group. The Mentastics® are designed to be performed every day at home, and they are gentle enough to be performed by people of all ages and at different levels of ability.


The Trager Approach® works best when the client commits to long term personal change. Regular sessions with a trained and Trager® certified therapist are recommended in addition to Mentastics®. The goal of Trager® therapy is to get clients deeply relaxed, and to recall this state of relaxation on a daily basis with the assistance of the Mentastics®. These exercises are like a form of mental gymnastics, freeing the mind as well as the body.

People who are interested in experimenting with this form of movement therapy can seek out a practitioner in their area. The Trager Approach® is practiced all over the world, and directories of local therapists can usually be found on websites belonging to national associations. Always check with a practitioner to see whether he or she is certified; a qualified Trager® therapist will be happy to show his or her certification and other paperwork. You may also want to meet with a therapist before committing to a session, to make sure that you will work well together.


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Post 1

This sounds like it would be perfect for me. I have recently started getting stiff muscles and arthritis, so I have cut way down on my exercise. I just can't get motivated to workout when I'm so uncomfortable, especially when I know it will cause me pain.

A gentle, easy workout would do wonders for me, both mentally and physically. I'm afraid I've gotten to the point where all I do is lie around and try not to hurt. I have become depressed because of it, and getting active again, even on a small level, would improve my state of mind.

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