How we perceive and respond to stressful and traumatic experiences will have a direct impact on the quality of our health and on our lives as a whole.
What is TRE?
Designed by Dr David Berceli, TRE is a simple and safe SELF-HEALING technique that helps your body release stress or tension that has accumulated from day-to-day life experiences, immediate or on going stressful situations, or even traumatic life experiences, such as bullying, illness, accidents, violence, abuse, and natural disasters.
How does TRE work?
TRE involves a few simple, easy-to-follow exercises that evoke a natural tremoring mechanism in the muscles. The tremors originate deep in the psoas muscle (hip flexors – that contract in stressful situations), and spread outwards from there up the back and down the legs and arms. If not suppressed or interrupted these tremors will continue until chemical, hormonal and muscular build-up has been discharged – thereby returning the autonomic nervous system to homeostasis or balance.
When the autonomic nervous system is functioning optimally all the other systems in the body are also able to function in harmony. By reducing stress and tension levels within the body healing occurs on many different levels – emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually.
What are the benefits of TRE?
Some of the reported benefits Include:
|Greater sense of calm and inner peace
Feeling more connected to oneself and others
Feeling more empathic and compassionate to oneself and others
Increased energy levels
Less relationship conflict
Less anxiety and tension
Reduced pain – especially people with chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia, back pain etc.
Improved quality sleep
Increased mobility and flexibility
Improved concentration and focus
Reduced symptoms of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
Increased emotional resilience
Decreased symptoms of vicarious trauma (due to exposure of other people’s trauma – especially relevant with emergency workers, doctors, nurses, police psychologists etc.)
Improved symptoms of chronic disorders
Healing old injuries
Increased spiritual connection
Is it important to work with a TRE practitioner?
Because the TRE process can be intense and somewhat overwhelming for some people, I strongly advise working with a TRE practitioner until you are familiar with how your body responds to this process and have learnt how to self-regulate any emotions that may arise. This is especially important for people who are struggling with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and those who feel that they have deep traumas that have strong emotional components.
Where do I begin?
After first sharing some background information and having the process explained, you will be guided through seven simple exercises to evoke your body’s natural tremoring mechanism. If you have any physical limitations the exercises can be modified. During the tremoring process you will be shown how to self-regulate and how to come out of the process should you feel any form of discomfort. It is important that you first become confident with both the exercises and the actual tremoring process before you try it on your own. The time this takes will vary from person-to-person.
How long does each session take?
The exercises take about 15 minutes once you are familiar with them. The actual tremoring can take as long as you feel comfortable. Most people tremor for more or less 20 minutes. It is important to always honour what feels right for your body.
How often should I practice TRE?
If you don’t have any adverse reactions to the TRE when you first start, you should be practicing at least every second day for the first three months. After that, you can reduce the frequency to every three days or twice a week. If you do TRE less than that, your body will once again begin to accumulate stress and begin to tighten up. Once your body has learnt to “switch on” the tremoring mechanism you will tremor whenever you need to release stress.
What time of the day is ideal?
The time of day that you choose depends on how your body responds to the tremors. Some people find TRE calming and so do them in the evenings whereas others find them energizing and do them in the mornings.
How long do I need to carry on with TRE?
As long as you are alive you should be able to tremor. Tremoring is a natural instinctive mechanism designed to relieve stress. Once life’s traumas and deep tensions have subsided (usually takes around three to six months of doing TRE every second day) your body will begin to produce a very fine tremor that feels like a pleasant vibration. You may find that your body spontaneously starts to tremor whenever it needs to.
What is the purpose of these tremors?
Tremoring is an organic, inbuilt mechanism designed to release the huge energetic charge that builds up in the body during the instinctual “fight, flight or freeze” response to overwhelming stress and trauma.
Like other mammals, when we are frightened or experience trauma, our instinct is to shake and tremor, but over time, most of us have been conditioned to block this very necessary healing mechanism. How often have we experienced a situation where someone is shaking after a very stressful or traumatic experience and hearing, “just pull yourself together”, or “have a drink to calm your nerves”, or even given a tranquillizer to stop the shaking? This natural tremoring response is often perceived as a sign of weakness, so we have learnt to suppress it, thereby blocking the body’s instinctive stress-releasing mechanism, protecting us from the long term damage caused by trauma.
TRE – a transformative gift?
When you are supported to process your stress and trauma in an integrated approach like TRE, which includes the body, mind, emotions and spirit, you grow to embrace the trauma, thereby transcending it in the process. The trauma then becomes an incredible learning experience that enriches your whole life.
For more information:
Dr David Berceli’s website: www.traumaprevention.com
Dr Peter A. Levine’s website: www.traumahealing.com