Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises ®
Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises ®
This method of healing trauma is based on doing a series of exercises that elicits the bodys’ natural involuntary tremor response, thereby facilitating the release of tension and stuck energy. Such tremoring brings about a reduction of the inner tension, leaving the individual feeling significantly more physically relaxed, less anxious and more at ease in general. Once the individual has learned this method of self-release over about 2-6 sessions, they will be able to use it for life, being able to shake off stress naturally and safely.
TRE ® is based on the work of Dr David Berceli © who noticed how the body responds in the face of threat. The human body, like that of all mammals, has a built in natural nervous system regulator. In the face of danger, adrenaline and cortisol are pumped out in order for the animal/ person to escape threat (through fight or flight) and preserve life. When the threat is over the wild animal will tremor and shake and release any remaining adrenaline and cortisol. This restores the equilibrium of the nervous system. Therefore the animal is not traumatised even though it’s often living in a predatory environment.
We as humans have the same inherant tremoring mechanism in the body. However, because of social conditioning, and also because we have a bigger more dominant cortex (thinking brain), the logical mind tends to over-ride the instinctual mind, thus inhibiting the tremoring response. Therefore the adrenaline and cortisol remains stuck in the body. A person who is stuck in the flight response will exhibit worry, concern, anxiety, depression, fear or panic. A person stuck in the fight response will exhibit frustration, irritation, anger and rage. And there are associated physiological manifestations: blood pressure variations, excess adrenaline and cortisol, adrenal fatigue, decreased digestion and decreased insulin and immune responses.
When a person or animal is able to take action through fight or flight, there is still a sense of “I can” do something about this. But when there is no escape or possibility of fight, there is a sense of “I can’t” do anything about this. And this state of mind will often characterise the general disposition of the individual. Helpless. The utter powerlessness of a traumatic situation also results in the physiological shutdown of the body. It goes into the freeze. “The deer in the headlights” syndrome. Frozen in time and space. Unable to move. Hormones are released that numb the body and disconnect from it. (In preparation for seemingly inevitable death). Should the animal escape danger, it will tremor the excess energy out of their system thereby restoring the homeostasis of the nervous system.
However, we as humans have lost our natural instinct to tremor and release this energy once the danger is over. Should a person not release this adrenaline and cortisol after a stressful or traumatic time, then the body continues to keep this disturbing and disruptive energy inside, possibly even for life. Characteristics of being stuck in the freeze response are depression, inability to take action, lethargy, hopelessness, helplessness, dissociation (ungrounded), feeling disconnected, numb, suicidal and being stuck in repetitious (often destructive) patterns of behaviour or situations. The freeze is also associated physiological syndromes and symptoms. Because the individual has felt so out of control, they will often have the need to compulsively control, themselves, others’ or situations.
Once they have they released the trauma they will generally feel more in control of themselves again and subsequently become less controlling, and more trusting.
The good news is that with the induced involuntary tremoring of TRE ® it is possible to come out of these stuck states to a state of “social engagement” that is characterised by feelings of safety, joy, ease, peace, happiness, connection, openness and improved health. Improvements can happen relatively quickly (obviously there is variation in between individuals), but if the practice is maintained over time, the individual will be constantly letting go of new stressors, releasing old stuck ways and creating a new life pattern.
For more information please see the following sites:
David Berceli © Copyright, all rights reserved. Dr David Berceli also hold the rights for the Trauma Release Process SM, Tension Release ProcessSM.
Books by Dr Berceli:
“Shake it off Naturally. Reduce stress, anxiety and tension with TRE.”
“Trauma Releasing Exercises”
Link to YouTube by David Berceli:
Links to YouTube by TRE therapist Jessica Schafer: