TRE – A Loving Perspective
TRE – A Loving Perspective!
What is TRE?
Tension & Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE) is an easy to learn body-centered method created by Dr. David Berceli. It is a simple technique that helps releases stress or tension from the body that accumulate from every day circumstances of life, from difficult situations, immediate or prolonged stressful situations (e.g. anxiety, depression), or traumatic life experiences (i.e., natural disasters, social or domestic violence, PTSD).
TRE consists of six simple exercises that help individuals release tension from the muscles, which in turn relaxes the anxiety of our minds, by evoking a muscular shaking process in the body. The exercises elicit this shaking in a controlled and sustained manner. When evoked in this way, this shaking, also called “neurogenic tremors“, begins to release deep chronic muscular tension held within the body.
I remember telling my physiotherapist about TRE and she was very surprised. In fact, her response was almost extraordinary when she said, “It sounds like the holy spirit, helping you to release”. Though it was somewhat peculiar coming from a physiotherapist from whom I anticipated a more clinical response, it did have me thinking about the power of TRE – a non-evasive natural phenomenon allowing the body to do what it was designed to do naturally…HEAL ITSELF. After commencing my own TRE journey, I have noticed the following:
- More focus
- Birthing of creativity
- Less anxiety
- Coping better under pressure
- More energy
Other reported benefits include:
- Better sleep
- Less worry
- More energy & endurance
- Less relationship conflict & work stress
- Reduced muscle pain & body tension
- Alleviates symptoms of PTSD and helps heal trauma
What is Neurogenic tremors?
I am sure that you may have heard people say, “I was so nervous, my hands were shaking,” “I was so shocked I was shaking all over”, I was so angry, I could feel my body shaking”. This experience of trembling is very common – not only in humans but also in mammals! This well-known, albeit perplexing experience is called neurogenic tremors. It is eminent and recorded that these neurogenic tremors are a common result of a traumatic experience. The ‘trembling’ are the central nervous system’s inherent way of releasing excessive tension through the rapid muscle contraction and relaxation of the trembling to calm the body down from a hyper adrenal state.
Evoking Neurogenic tremors with TRE
In most cultures these tremors are regarded as a sign of weakness and helplessness being suppressed or avoided which results in chronic pain and anxiety rather than allowing them to naturally restore the body to balance.
I attended and introduction session about TRE where my husband and I were fortunate to experience how it all worked. I am sure that you may have heard people say, “I was so nervous, my hands were shaking,” “I was so shocked I was shaking all over”, I was so angry I could feel my body shake”. This experience of trembling is very common – not only in humans but also in mammals! This well-known, albeit perplexing experience is called neurogenic tremors. It is eminent and recorded that these neurogenic tremors are a common result of a traumatic experience. The ‘trembling’ are the central nervous system’s inherent way of releasing excessive tension through the rapid muscle contraction and relaxation of the trembling to calm the body down from a hyper adrenal state.
How do the tremors restore the body to a calm relaxed state?
The tremors turn down the central nervous system’s automated and hyper-aroused fight or flight or freeze response by creating a vibration of contraction and relaxation that releases the built up energy and tension held in the muscles and connective tissues of the body. While this shaking is the body’s innate response to calm down the body when it is traumatized or overexcited, it is often seen as a sign of weakness and there for suppressed, leaving the body held in a chronically stressed and tense state.
The tremors release the traumatic experience in the same way that it was created in the body – by the brainstem initiating a discharge of the physical tension associated with the event. The Trauma Release Exercises are designed to invoke the tremors from the deepest core muscle of the body (that flexes us forward into defensive and defeated postures) before spreading throughout the rest of the body.
Is there an emotional response during the exercises?
While some people experience significant emotional release during the Trauma Release process, others may experience no emotional response whatsoever. Some may experience intense memories of a trauma, while others may have no memory or recollection at all while still achieving a significant physiological and psychological release.
For me, TRE has been the most non-evasive technique. The exercises are simple which evokes an involuntary shaking in the muscles. Therefore, a person does not use the conscious control of their body or brain that most relaxation techniques rely on. TRE taps the unconscious part of the brain so one can actually watch TV or listen to music and allow the shaking to do all the work! RJ