Breakout Session Options

We are happy to offer the following options from which you are to choose one. On Saturday of the Conference, there will be one 90-minute Breakout Session Workshop. We ask that you select your choice. Thank you.


Expanding possibilities!

An introduction to reversing paralysis and other neurologic disorders in people and animals using Reflex/Response

This presentation is about using Reflex/Response for paralysis. Explore ways of connecting at a deeper level to change lives and break out of the common ideas of what is possible. Hear stories shared of those profound “Aha” moments when the right connection makes sudden change in clients. In addition to these interesting cases, I will also be showing the work I have done for 12 years with injured animals. See an animal go from paralyzed to walking in 9 minutes! These “clients” are slightly unusual but the approach is the same. Come explore some ways of “reaching the mind” and making new connections with the nervous system. The Reflex/Response aspect of the Trager® Approach has broad applications from paralysis to “stuck” body parts to body awareness to balance and beyond. When my son fell and became a quadriplegic, the R/R work was a gift that offered hope and a way to help. With almost no physical therapy, he hiked 8 months later needing only balance assistance. The ideas presented here can be used for aging pets, family, friends… and are not just for those treating difficult cases.

(No previous RR training is needed.)


Presented by:

Carla Montagno

Carla Montagno has been doing Trager for 36 years and is a former Tutor, Supervised Practice leader, and Tutor teaching assistant in Milton's classes. Previous career was performing in a mime troupe in Paris, including teaching mime at the Paris Opera Ballet and NYU. In 1982 began studying Trager in hope of helping her disabled son, with a special interest in R/R work. In 1994 began applying R/R to rehab for injured/paralyzed pets and wildlife with good results. Now teaching local wildlife rehabbers simple " R/R" for animals (mobility issues, spinal cord injuries, etc). Currently has an active Trager practice in Fresno,CA, including Trager for disabled adults at a day program. Developing a Pilot Class on using R/R for paralysis and other neuro and mobility issues.


TRAGER® for Daily Life (TDL) in action

(You‘ll get it this time!)

Some of you have heard about the TRAGER for Daily Life project, and some of you may know very little about it. We will help you to discover anew, refresh what you do know, and enhance your leading skills in our time together. As Practitioners, you can share the TRAGER principles with small or larger groups. Explore more deeply, or perhaps for the first time, how to help class participants (and your clients) to improve their quality of life, integrating TRAGER movement as a tool to promote balance, grace, lightness, energy, and creative play at the workplace, in stressful environments, at the computer, during domestic tasks, in times of life transition, and so much more. Learn to tailor a presentation to meet specific needs of the participants. Join us as we gather together to Discover, Refresh, and Enhance our leading skills through a question and answer period available resources including handouts, and a brief demo class so that you can see and participate in a TRAGER for Daily Life class in Action given to non-TRAGER conference participants! Expect some fun! You’ll get it this time!

Presented by:

Stephani-lila Murdoch; Linda MacConnell, Amrita Daigle; and Cindy Popp-Hager


Stephani-lila Murdoch

Stephani-lila Murdoch has been a Trager Practitioner since 1985. In addition she is a Trager Tutor, Tutor Supervisor, and Supervised Practice Leader. She has traveled internationally working as a guest therapist and/or Tutor in Namibia, Italy, Canada, Germany, Vietnam, and many cities in the US. She also volunteered extensively for one year to work with first responders, police, EMT, and families of those affected by the 9/11 attack. Stephani-lila was employed at the Gateway Institute in Bethlehem, Pa. as well as a visiting therapist at the Upledger Brain and Spinal cord Clinic in West Palm Beach, Fla. where she focused specifically on programs provided for Vietnam Veterans. Stephani-lila trained for many years with both Milton Trager, innovator of The Trager Approach, and Dr John Upledger, founder of Upledger CranioSacral Therapy and The Upledger Institute. As a Trager Practitioner, Stephani-lila uses her hands to communicate a quality of feeling to the nervous system during tablework and then guides her client to move with that feeling on their own. Her clients often report new feelings of grace and ease, heightened levels of vitality, greater mobility, and deep feelings of peace.

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Cindy Popp-Hager

Cindy Popp-Hager is a Trager Instructor and Anatomy teacher and has been part of the Trager for Daily Life development team since its inception during Trager Theory U process in Germany in 2013.


The Polyvagal Theory and Trauma - Informed Trager

Milton did not have the benefit of the language of neuroscience to communicate his vision. As Practitioners, I believe that we need to be conversant with new developments in many fields, including fascial research, neurobiology and trauma treatments. The Polyvagal Theory is the subject of numerous webinars on brain science, changing how psychotherapists all over the world work with trauma survivors. The Polyvagal Theory, developed by Stephen Porges Ph.D., is a revolutionary framework for understanding the structure and functions of the vagus nerve which serves as a primary conduit for information between the body and the brain and the regulation of the autonomic nervous system. The theory gives us a more complex view of the protective responses of the nervous system, highlighting 3 circuits: social engagement, fight or flight and freeze. This theory focuses on the vital role of building a trusting, safe relationship in order to help clients balance mobilization or shutdown and return to a state of calm. Body-based education is seen as vital to rewire old patterns. In our selfdevelopment as Trager Practitioners, we fine tune our ability to listen to our clients unconscious protective holding patterns, and GO LESS to speak gently to the nervous system. How can understanding the Polyvagal Theory deepen our intention to communicate with the “unconscious mind” through touch and movement?


Presented by:

Kathryn Hansman-Spice, MS, LMT, TRAGER Instructor

First presenting at the USTA Conference in 2006 a powerpoint highlighting TRAGER and Mind-Body Medicine, Kathryn has specialized in integrating the the latest developments in brain science to understand the power of the TRAGER Approach. Her Level V class, called TRAGER Rewires the Brain, explores how Milton’s Trager principles are affirmed by neuroscience concepts. In her extensive study through NICABM conferences and webinars she recognized that TRAGER offers the foundation of body-based education that is now considered a pioneering approach in treatment of trauma survivors. She has completed Level I of Pat Ogden’s acclaimed Sensori-Motor Psychotherapy, which emphasizes the importance of safely bringing clients into their bodies and teaching them to track sensations.



Currently, there is limited research that has been published on the Trager Approach. This workshop will begin with a presentation on research literacy to aid Trager Practitioners in understanding how to read the research literature and look up research. We will also spend some time talking about case studies, as they are the way to begin to get Trager work into the medical literature. We will discuss what goes into a case study and possible questionnaires that may be useful to track client progress. An introduction to research literacy will help Trager practitioners begin to understand what research is. A number of potential questionnaires will be discussed as a means to quantify client changes. How to write a case study (also called case report) will be covered.

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Presented by:

Ross H. Pastel, Ph.D.

Ross Pastel, Ph.D. is a semi-retired neuroscientist who currently teaches research literacy at the Potomac Massage Training Institute.