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About Roger Hughes

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Live more at Home in Your Body

A brief summary of how the Trager Approach found me and sustains me and my Practice

In 1999 I attended an Introductory Workshop in the Trager Approach. There was something about the simple beauty and effectiveness in what I witnessed, felt, and what lingered inside me long after that day. Six months later I entered the Professional Trager Training Program! More than 20 years later, Trager and its principles continues to change me and my client practice. I am passionately and deeply rooted in the holistic principles of the Trager Approach, a pleasurable form of somatic movement education and therapy. People seek my services for relief from pain, dis-ease, and from the heaviness of accumulated weights of tension. Trager movement and manual therapy softens and lightens areas of conscious tightness, restriction and equally the unconscious web of compensatory movement patterns. ​ As a new client, you can look forward to arriving and settling into a safe and comfortable space to explore how you would like to feel in your body. In the collaborative process of your session, we will explore how supported movements and informing touch mindfully unravel deep seeded areas of tension. The cumulative effect in this holistic approach is most often reported as feeling lighter, calmer, peaceful, balanced, or feeling deeply connected to you, in your body. And very often simple joy is found underneath the layers of dissolved tension. I graduated from the Chicago School of Massage Therapy in 1995. For the first few years I practiced the art of massage therapy, deep tissue massage, trigger point therapy, stretching techniques, etc. I could find 'pain' easily in any client's body. In the late 1990s my body was chronically complaining with back and neck pain, and inside I was hurting. Receiving the work I was giving had no lasting positive outcome, and in fact I learned to understand, as time went on, it actually fed the pain patterns I was carrying around. If you are looking for touch that teaches you how you can feel, and that can assist you in moving through life in grounded and fluid patterns, the Trager Approach may be worth experiencing at least once!

Roger's Background and Formative Years

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Anatomical study, Charcoal on paper, 39” x 24”, 1984.

Roger was born in 1960 in Montevideo, Uruguay. His Father worked as a Foreign Service officer for the United States Information Service. This afforded Roger the valuable opportunity of growing up and attending schools in Benin, Chad, Haiti and South Africa. He additionally lived in and attended schools in Washington DC, California and South Dakota.

When Roger was born, the attending delivery physician upon examination, was able to accurately diagnose Roger with having a coarctation of the aorta. This was detected by hearing a specific type of heart murmur. fortunately for Roger his Grandfather , a loving and well-admired country doctor, James Vansant in Dewey, Oklahoma, made the firm recommendation to send Roger to see Dr. Michael Debake, a world-renowned heart surgeon in Houston, Texas for a full evaluation.  The successfu surgicaal procedure was performed by world known heart surgeon Dr. Michael Debakey. Ten years later in Haiti, Roger experienced a near death trauma as a result of a bicycle accident. Roger’s personal healing path has developed and evolved around these two life-giving/changing experiences. In order to pin-point the exact area of blockage in the aorta Roger received a catherization the day before surgery. An unexpected bi-product from that successful procedure left Roger’s right arm weakened from spasm to the main artery. Under the advice of Dr. Debakey Roger took up tennis at an early age as a way to strengthen his arm.

In his formal education Roger focused his attention in developing the skills needed to become a medical illustrator. As a prerequisite toward this goal, he attended and completed one semester of pre-med at the Univ. of Pittsburgh. After carefully considering his options and truer passion, he decided to pursue a path solely in Fine Art, as a painter. He continued his higher education in Fine Art at the University of Chicago’s Midway Studios and received an MFA in 1985.

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Trager Mentastics with wind-sock,
Vale, South Dakota, 2014

After graduate school Roger persued his artistic passion as a painter and was over the course of 7 years represented by 3 Chicago art galleries. During this same period he started an art crating and expediting business catering to local, national and international galleries, museums and private collectors. This work was high-paced and labor intensive. Eventually because of a chronic back injury, Roger chose to leave his business behind and begin a studies in the healing arts.

In 1993 Roger enrolled into the professional certification program at the Chicago School of Massage Therapy. This new direction re-ignited his earlier interest in working with the human body.

In 1998 Roger received a certification as a Dr. Vodder Therapist in manual lymph drainage and combined decongestive therapy. In 2002 he received another certification as a Trager practitioner, and in 2010 earned the status as a Trager Tutor. Both of these disciplines are gentle in touch and deeply relaxing to receive.

Current Bio

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Roger Hughes maintains a Trager® practice in Chicago. He is a 1995 graduate of the Chicago School of Massage Therapy and has been a state licensed massage therapist since 1995.
Roger is a Trager Instructor, and a regularly visiting instructor in the Potomac Massage Training Institute's Professional Trager Certification Program in Silver Spring MD. He has also been a visiting Instructor (2022 and 2023) at Northwestern University Graduate Dance Program, directed by Jeff Hancock.  
He has lead introductory workshops in the Trager® Approach throughout the Midwest since 2005. He has great passion for spreading this unique approach to massage therapists, bodyworkers, and other wellness professionals.
Roger is additionally very experienced in working with complex cases involving the 'lymph system' and was actively certified as a Dr. Vodder Therapist by the Dr. Vodder School in North America from 1998 to 2018.
As a volunteer, Roger had the privilege in providing Trager sessions at the Marjorie-Kovler Center for 'Survivors of Torture' in 2012-2013.

Contact Roger directly for access to his professional resume.

My Education 

1985  University of Chicago, Studio Art, MFA
1983  Carnegie-Mellon University, Drawing. BFA, Honors

1995 graduate of the Chicago School of Massage Therapy.
In 1998 received a certification from the Vodder School International as a Dr. Vodder Therapist in Manual Lymph Drainage and Combined Decongestive Therapy. Maintains certification with the Vodder School by attending a 3-day Renewal every 2 years.
2002 received a certification from the U. S. Trager Association as Practitioner in the Trager Approach to Movement Education and Mind Body Integration. In 2010 attained the status as a Trager Tutor. 
Assisted numerous instructors in over 15 'core' Trager trainings. 
Lead 20+ introductory Trager workshops throughout the Midwest since 2005.

Certified as a 'full'  Trager Instructor in 2018.

Aromatherapy Massage

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Roger Hughes




Lincoln Park clinic

Shen Shen Health and Harmony


Housecall Service:

$180 per session (90-minute min.)

Chicago, Plus any parking fees

Chicago Suburbs, please contact Roger for additional information.

Corporate/group services Self-care and Somatic Movement Education workshops, or Professional Trager Trainings please contact Roger directly.

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