Marianna Frantz, CTP, LMT

Massage/Bodywork Practice

Bodywork Types and Philosophy

"What will occur during my first appointment with you?"

      Prior to our initial conversation, I'll ask you to fill out a questionnaire that will give me a glimpse of your lifestyle as well as basic information about your health and concerns you may have about yourself.  These concerns  may be physical - emotional - social - spiritual.

     I will ask you to join me in planning an approach to working together that will achieve your goals in a way that will feel comfortable for you.  I will contribute to this strategizing by briefly explaining the different types of bodywork I offer.

"How Many Types of Bodywork Are There?"

     I have chosen four modalities as my primary ways of working, although I always stay open to changing my approach  when a client requests some- thing different or when I sense that a change would be beneficial.  It is also possible to blend modalities, and I often do so.


     In a session that features Reiki, I place my hands on the body very lightly and simply hold them there.  There is no pressure - no movement - no manipulation:  merely quiet gentle holding at twelve different positions on the body that my hands shift to in a fixed sequence:  four at the head and neck; four on the front of the torso; and four on the back.  For more information about Reiki, click on Suggested Readings.


     Steady rhythmic movement of the entire body characterizes a Trager session.  Its goal is to set up vibrations in the body's tissues that penetrate deeply simply because of the nature of vibration.  Vibrations ripple through tissue just as water ripples when you throw in a stone. These ripples have a massaging effect on all of the body's parts.  Trager is both gentle and powerful.  Even light compression penetrates deeply. (I like to call Trager "the Zen of bodywork!")  For more information about Trager, click on Suggested Readings.


THERE IS A WAY OF BEING                        CREATING PEACE                   WHICH IS LIGHTER,                                    IN THE WORLD,                      WHICH IS FREER,                                       ONE PERSON                            A WAY IN WHICH WORK                             AT A TIME                                 AS WELL AS PLAY                                            Dr. Milton Trager          BECOMES A DANCE                                                                                       AND LIVING, A SONG.                                                                                     WE CAN LEARN THIS WAY.                                                                                    Dr. Milton Trager  



     Relaxation can be achieved with the use of long Swedish effeurage strokes. Done rhythmically, these strokes can activate the relaxation response and calm the nervous system. Click on Suggested Readings.


     This approach involves direct and active manipulation of tissue.  Using long strong strokes, I knead the tissues; and when I encounter knotted fibers, I focus on "melting" them into release rather than pushing them apart.  In this way tension and discomfort can subside without reactivating the pain or trauma of an original causative injury.  For more information on Deep Connective Tissue Massage, click on Suggested Readings.                                                                                                           







--Arnaud Desjardins



       For effective, long-term body, mind, spirit changes, I believe these concepts apply: Easy does it.  Love your body, and the pain of the unloving will surface to be healed.  Find the edge of pain, then fall back within the safety and encourage growth, release, and ease.

       As you learn to relax, you will become more self-aware and thus more empowered in your life.  We will learn to use the body as a barometer for wellness vs. illness or pain.

      The body/mind/spirit in a balanced state always knows what is best for it.  The body has its own intelligence as to the exact unwinding of traumas and hurts and how to get back to your own particular balance. An important aspect of this bodywork adventure is to trust your body and its processes. As you relax, your body will respond as it needs to during and after the session. 

     Sometimes that will be an heightened alertness or a deeper awareness, or peacefulness or sleepiness (especially if levels of the subconscious are being asked to receive the work). Or you may experience an intense awareness of old memories, a burst of releasing emotions, or a short period of intensification of a particular symptom.  It is important to understand this as the healing process--as the release of previous trauma(s)  completing their own natural cycle of healing and unblocking the musculature memory.

      Participation in the form of feedback during the session and after helps increase one's awareness of the work and therefore, increases the effectiveness. On the other hand, the purpose of bodywork includes balancing our nervous systems and letting go of the mind chatter. So for people who use their heads a lot, that may mean limited feedback during the session and more silence (with or without music). However, feedback regarding pressure, any uncomfortableness, soreness or pain is necessary regardless, and is a client responsibility.  I also provide time after a session for feedback, reflection, suggestions, and follow-up.

    Please report changes in physical or emotional patterns that occur between sessions.  Such feedback is valuable in planning the course of a session or series of sessions and is another client responsibility.

    Good bodywork can be accomplished in any dressed, partially-dressed, or undressed state.  The client has the right to be clothed in a way that makes her/him the most comfortable. Only then can the best relaxation and results occur.  I use draping at all times and uncover only the area I am working on.  Also muscle release can produce exterior coolness necessitating the use of a sheet and/or blanket. 

     If you think you are usually comfortable removing clothes, please don't assume so, as each day and situation is different. Take this opportunity to be honest with yourself and evaluate temperature, your safety level and the issues you have that day.  Because of exterior genitalia, I ask that men leave on their briefs, if they choose to be in the undressed state for the work.

     The issue of safety is very important in bodywork.  The reason I ask for body image information is that the most effective work will happen by beginning in the good safe body areas.  That safety will spread and envelope the painful unsafe areas. I am not of the philosophical school that thinks of the goal as "the joy of pain".  Deep muscle work can only be effective if all surface muscle layers are relaxed first.

      I suggest that each client consider consistent regular work at whatever intervals are appropriate and reasonable for you so that you can progress from recovery to maintenance and  then to preventive care.  The work is accumulative and works best in doses that the body/mind/spirit can integrate at a deep level.



      Fall and winter offer us a time to slow down and reflect, be in our inner caves, and celebrate our deep spirit. AND let us not lose the summer aspects of as a crane winging its way to flight; light and soft as a dancing cloud; feeling ourselves as long tall bodies with strong deep roots.  Dr. Milton Trager developed a way for our bodies to feel and recall these aspects of ourselves--and, indeed, live from that place--no matter the season.



     My comment about there being "no separation between the physical and the spiritual" has its basis in what I experience as I conduct a session.  I feel more than the physicality of the body.  A variety of sensations enter my hands such as heat - cold - ripples of movement - prickly sensations.  Sometimes I feel numerous fibers within a muscle shifting position together in a flowing movement. This can happen whether I'm doing Reiki, Trager, Swedish massage or deep connective tissue massage.

     These healing sensations are not produced by the body's tissues.  They are caused by ENERGY--a non-physical current within  tissue that I call SPIRIT. This energy exists outside the body as well as within it. When I teach the Trager Mentastics to a client, I am teaching them to feel that current of energy by doing subtle body awareness work that can change body habits.

     Recall experiences you have had when you felt that somebody was "in your face."  This is an example of you feeling your own energy, and feeling it invaded. It is not a physical experience--yet you do not doubt that what you are feeling is "real."

     These "real" sensations also are evidence of healing on an emotional level. The field of Body Psychology tells us that the tissues hold the stories of our lives on all levels. The Trager Approach recognizes that by calling the work Psycho-physical Integtration as well as an "approach" to life that can be preventive medicine. Chronic Pain is an example of physical pain that often has  emotional/psychological/spiritual components that we can more easily understand, but all pain and traumas can be worked on from any or all levels.

     This emphasis of Mind/Body Integration was already being taught (ahead of its time) in the early 80's when I attended and graduated from PMTI (Potomac Massage Training Institute) and became a member of AMTA (American Massage Therapy Association).  When I became a practitioner of the Trager Approach and a member of USTA (United States Trager Association), that emphasis and focus on "real" sensations was even more refined by using movement to go deep into the tissues to feel that non-physical current. That is why clients have described my work as "MARIANNA'S AWESOME BODYWORK."

     Bodywork methods help us learn to live in our bodies with more awareness, pleasure, and freedom. It's never too late to release old patterns.  I work with a group of practitioners called Hands-On-Elders offering low cost clinics in the Northampton, Massachusetts area.