President's Message - June 2019


Have you heard this one: ‘How many millennials does it take to make a Trager Practitioner?’………………Three. Hilarious, huh? The point is that some of us are getting a little long in the tooth. And part of the answer to our continuity as an organization and a modality is lighting the Trager fire for curious millennials. As you all know, Trager Practitioners run the gamut from licensed health care professionals in various fields utilizing Trager specifically to address medically recognized symptoms to certain states where unregulated Practitioners assist clients in the Art of Movement Re-Education and Personal Integration. 

Common sense suggests we continue to cast a wide net for potential practitioners and clients for Trager, whether in Theater, Sport, Dance, the Medical Field, and potential untapped demographics. In all these cases, it’s going to be millennials that we’re speaking to. And that raises the question: do millennials respond to the models for education that have accompanied Trager’s developed curriculum? Is there a place for new kinds of learning: online classes, various levels of certification, creative applications, etc, etc. While some of the specific answers regards training and curriculum lie in the domain of the Instructors, the general aspects of these questions should be considered by all of us.

And, there’s other questions: how attractive are we in the marketplace and what is the current state of the stand-alone certification model as more and more, sophisticated students cross-fertilize their training and where stand alone modalities, by and large, mean less to the public than simply the reputation of the practitioner. I am not suggesting we abandon our certification model; I am suggesting we consider the ramifications and limitations of remaining  wedded completely, in a top down fashion, to that model in this new day and age. Especially, in a new world where the name Trager no longer carries sufficient attraction and name recognition to propel most students of bodywork or movement into committing to our stand alone certification program.

In the movement world, longer certifications are still more of a norm. However, in the bodywork world, weekend foundational courses that stand alone OR which can be pursued as a certification track—if the student catches the bug—are more common—and this includes the ability to ‘own’ the ability to convey what they’re practicing to the public outside the tangled web of service mark violation issues. By default, we’re continuing to choose to be almost primarily a top down certification model, which means we are remaining a ’niche’ approach. It can be very effective, it can be lucrative, and, also,  by and large we are limiting our exposure and reach among large, potentially interested demographics. 

I would like to see Trager consider finding a more effective and creative way to live in both worlds simultaneously (stand alone certification and continuing education). And, to make it more attractive to the realities of today in learning for millennials. I know in the Trager world there are strong points of view on this subject in all directions. I’m hoping that this will stimulate some creative, constructive discussion and lead to previously unconsidered ideas.

I hope everyone’s enjoying the transition to Summer.

With zeal for what Milton received and shared,

Joseph Rodin

President, USTA