About TRE® Tension & Trauma Release Exercise
TRE (Tension & Trauma Release Exercise) is an innovative series of exercises that assist the body in releasing deep muscular patterns of stress, tension and trauma. Stress, Anxiety and trauma are part of the human experience. But many people develop coping mechanisms to deal with these that further taxes the body, specifically the nervous system. Each trauma leaves a mark in the body and influence the way we deal with situations from there on.
Created by Dr. David Berceli, PhD, TRE® safely activates a natural reflex mechanism of shaking or vibrating that releases muscular tension, calming down the nervous system. When this muscular shaking/vibrating mechanism is activated in a safe and controlled environment, the body is encouraged to return back to a state of balance.
”Animals that live in their natural habitats often encounter trauma. Once the initial fight, flight, or freeze reaction is over, how do they process the trauma? If a gazelle is attacked by a lion but manages to escape, its entire body will shiver for a while. This trembling is a way of shaking out the excess charge. After the adrenaline has been released, the gazelle returns to the herd, drinking water from the pond as though nothing has happened“ -Dr. David Berceli
For further information about TRE® see the Trauma Prevention website.
Fight, Flight or Freeze?
For human beings, the freeze response can occur when we're terrified and feel like there is no chance for our survival or no chance for escape. It happens in car accidents, to rape victims and to people who are robbed at gunpoint. Sometimes they pass out, freeze or mentally remove themselves from their bodies, and don't feel the pain of the attack, and sometimes have no (explicit) memory of it afterwards.
Lack of recovery from this freeze response results in conditioned association of all sensorimotor information assimilated at the time of the traumatic event into procedural memory, to be resurrected at times of subsequent perceived threat as a primitive conditioned survival reflex. Translation "we are stuck in a glitch" and often are not even aware of it… Do you find yourself reacting to a level 2 threat with a level 10 response?
Who can benefit from using TRE®?
Since this shaking mechanism in the muscles is part of our natural behavior as humans, everyone can benefit from TRE®. This shaking of the muscles, increases the resiliency of the body because it causes deep relaxation that naturally reduces stress levels. It can release emotions ranging from mild upset to severe anxiety whether it is caused by work stress, excessive worry, conflict in relationships, physical stresses or traumas from accidents.
Whether you are a parent/spouse who would like more patience with your family, a victim of violence or accident, a soldier suffering with PTSD, an athlete, or simply a person who wants to become more resilient and just feel better about life, you can benefit TRE®.
My experience with TRE®
My oldest daughter was victim of a car accident before my eyes 7 years ago. It was a traumatic event for our whole family. As a result of this experience, God laid on my heart a renewed thirst to find modalities to heal emotionally and physically. I was introduced to Dr. Berceli's first book, Trauma Release Exercises and it really spoke to me in its simplicity and beauty (his newer book The Revolutionary Trauma Release Process is great and contains most of the information contained in the first book). I could identify with a lot of what he was describing; in myself and in many of my family members. Growing up surrounded by addiction and mental illness I encountered much stress from an early age. All along, my faith and my disciplined lifestyle have been my anchors, TRE® is an easy discipline that supports my emotional and physical wellbeing.
TRE® allows me to experience a much wider range of emotions. I realize now that I spent many years in what I called my "robot mode" but I now identify it as a variation of "freeze", a normal coping response to trauma. That is, I still woke up and got out of bed every day and did my work but with a reduced emotional capacity. TRE® is allowing me to be more present to myself and the world.
TRE® has also really helped my digestion. I have always paid great attention to my diet but still experienced some discomfort from time to time. I always felt "stress" in my gut. The practice of TRE®, by helping me to manage my stress better has had a very positive impact on my digestion as a whole.
What does a TRE® session look like?
We will practice the very simple exercises modified as needed to fit each person's individual needs to allow the body to release tension. Usage of different props and gentle manipulation may be used to further assist the process.
How long will it take to experience benefits from TRE®?
Every person is unique but the more you practice, the more benefit you will reap. Many people experience deep relaxation and clarity after the first session. After 3-4 sessions, most people can develop a good home practice. Afterwards, you can still benefit from small group or individual sessions to get assistance with targeting a certain physical area, specific release and group synergy. My goal is to give you the tools you need to practice the exercises regularly on your own.