Relieving Stress Using the Trager Approach

Wednesday, November 03, 2021, 06:10 PM

What Effects Does Stress Have on the Body?

November 1 to 5 is International Stress Awareness WeekStress can be caused by many factors in our everyday lives, and its negative effects can be far-reaching.

Nadine Feldman, NHPC Trager PractitionerTo help explain the impacts of stress on the body, we spoke with Nadine Feldman, an NHPC practitioner specializing in Reiki, Shiatsu, and Trager®.

"Stress puts a tremendous strain on our bodies, our minds, and our lives, and it can disconnect us from the joys of life," explains Nadine. "It causes the release of adrenaline and cortisol, hormones that can increase our heart rate, blood pressure, and the sugars in our bodies."

Stress is normal and can even be beneficial in small doses; however, if left unresolved, long-term stress can lead to physical and mental health problems, according to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).

"Stress can result in sleep and memory problems, anxiety, depression, weight gain, headaches, muscle tension, and much more," Nadine confirms.

So, how can we address and avoid these problems caused by stress?

Stress Relief and Holistic Health Treatments

Many holistic health practices can help to reduce stress. Nadine’s specialty is The Trager® Approach.

Nadine explains that Trager® can be effective at lowering blood pressure and anxiety as well as reducing muscle tension and pain. "It brings individuals into the present moment so they can develop awareness of tensions in their bodies as they arise and find movements that bring ease into those areas in order to release them," she says.

In a Trager® session, Certified Trager® Practitioners move body parts through their range of motion, releasing the tissue through repetitive movement and gentle rhythmic rocking.

NHPC Member Fawn Sewell performing Trager

Nadine says that these motions allow the nervous system to let go of any habit-formed physical holding or thought patterns, such as those held from an injury. These patterns are created by environmental influences and experiences, which clients can hold on to long after they're needed. Trager® works to release these patterns.

Other holistic health practices that can help reduce stress include massage therapy, reiki, and yoga, as well as simple movement such as taking a walk.

Stress can also be reduced through activities you enjoy. Nadine relieves stress by singing, dancing, and moving playfully throughout her day to help bring herself into the present moment. As a practitioner, releasing any stress or tension in her body increases her ability to be effective with her clients.

Helping to Reduce Stress in the Community

In addition to her regular in-person practice, Nadine dedicates time to help others relieve stress by using self massage.

Nadine created a virtual selfcare class in response to the COVID-19 lockdowns to connect with her clients and her community, and to support the mental health of all participants.

"Knowing the myriad of benefits that people receive from self massage and movement and realizing that COVID-19 was preventing many from that, I created my own weekly Zoom class called Loving Self Care and Gentle Movement," Nadine explains.

"The classes are designed to shine a light on simple ways that we can support ourselves through touch and gentle movement explorations."

Through these classes, Nadine hopes to empower participants to become more comfortable in their bodies and release the anxieties and stresses of their day.

More Resources for Stress

Think about incorporating these alternative health practices into your routine to help reduce stress. Find a practitioner in your area using our Member Directory.

Discover additional stress awareness resources from the International Stress Management Association.

Learn additional strategies for how holistic health practitioners can reduce workplace stress.

Stay tuned for part two of our blog on stress relief!

Recent Blogs