I first came across TRE® while studying sports psychology. The exercises didn’t look complicated, especially for a person who spends most of his time actively.
However, with one of them, my body started shaking. “It is impossible for me to have such weak thigh muscles” – I thought, and yet my legs were flying as if I was about to fly away, I wanted to stop it. – Allow yourself to appear tremors – came from the room. – Trust your body and let it guide you. – I did not believe that this is the point, that this shaking can have any positive effect, and yet I found something interesting about this method. Two years after that, TRE® is a constant part of my training, and even my life. I often use them after physical activity, but also at times when everyday life is fast, stressful, when I have a lot of work or even after a few hours in the car. What’s so special about these exercises?
There was a shaking
More than 20 years ago, an American psychotherapist, David Berceli, observed the behavior of people in places of hostilities. He noted that no matter what latitude, language or culture, all people have the innate ability to deal with traumatic events. Nature has endowed us with tools that allow us to return to balance after a difficult or threatening situation. He noted that children whose bodies trembled during the bombing handled the effects of stress much better than adults who stood motionless at the same time.
All people have the innate ability to deal with traumatic events. Nature has endowed us with tools that allow us to return to balance after a difficult or threatening situation.
Shake it out
It turned out that these tremors are the most natural and genetically inherent in our existence mechanism that releases the excess of energy accumulated in a difficult situation from the body. They are found in all mammals. Perhaps you have watched videos where animals, in a situation of a threat from a predator, freeze motionless, and after the attacker leaves, they rise and begin to tremble. The trembling finally subsides and the animal walks away as if nothing had happened. Life goes on. In the same way, horses, gazelles, dogs, and also humans tremble. Surely you are familiar with the sayings “shakes like an aspen” or “my knees have buckled under me.” We shake in situations of increased stress, e.g. before a public appearance, after an accident, learning about an illness, after childbirth or waking up from anesthesia, but also when we are cold, or in a situation of great joy, elation or excitement. It’s exactly the same mechanism. In a situation of severe stress, the body becomes tense and mobilizes to action, entering a state of fight or flight. When the threat is gone, the body returns to balance precisely thanks to the tremors, which are an innate reaction of the central nervous system. This is important information for the body that the threat has passed and it no longer needs to be on standby.
Tremors are the most natural and genetically inscribed in our existence mechanism that releases excess energy accumulated in a difficult situation from the body.
What are you shaking so much?
Over the centuries, we stopped using this most natural way of relieving tension, and the tremors themselves began to be treated as a sign of weakness, over-sensitivity or even disease. We try to hide every little manifestation of “shaking”, and we often suppress it with various means, treating it as a sign of failure to cope with something. And yet everything that surrounds us is energy, and so is stress. If, in a stressful situation, we do not allow ourselves to discharge the emerging emotion (energy), it will be retained in the body. Each such situation is another dose of energy that remains trapped. As a result, tensions persist in us for years, and their result may be chronic pain or various diseases and disorders. How about going back to the natural mechanisms and trusting the body to know what it is doing?
If, in a stressful situation, we do not allow ourselves to discharge the emerging emotion (energy), it will be retained in the body. Each such situation is another dose of energy that remains trapped. As a result, tensions persist in us for years, and their result may be chronic pain or various diseases and disorders.
8 simple exercises
The TRE® exercises are the result of many years of observation of Dr. Berceli. The method consists of 8 simple exercises, by means of which we trigger neurogenic vibrations in the body, controlled by the exercising person. Thanks to this, in a controlled and safe way, we can release stress, emotions and tensions accumulated over the years from the body.
How it’s working?
The Klavs Tarp physiotherapist points out that the essence of TRE®’s action is “a mechanism that affects the myofascial system and releases tension from specific body structures. This mechanism is self-induced therapeutic tremor (Berceli, et al. 2014). It has many forms, from barely noticeable vibrations, to undulating body movements, to violent, strong shocks. ”
Thanks to these exercises, the body has the opportunity to return to balance, in which all systems work together harmoniously. These vibrations release deep tension patterns, which is difficult to achieve with other techniques that affect the body externally. TRE® is such a body massage from the inside, experienced as gentle and pleasant. There is no perfect and one pattern of tremors, our body knows how to relax. Everyone trembles differently, with a different frequency. How the body shakes, and how, is regulated by the brain stem. Tensions are released at the rate that the body is able to integrate. Sometimes the first tremors only appear after a few weeks, but this does not mean that nothing is happening deep inside the body. Big things usually happen in silence. Over time, as you release patterns of tension, your emotional state improves.
There is no perfect and one pattern of tremors, our body knows how to relax. Everyone trembles differently, with a different frequency. How the body shakes, and how, is regulated by the brain stem. Tensions are released at the rate that the body is able to integrate.
You can read the full article in Magazyn Bieganie, No. 12/2018
Content consultation: Joanna Wołoszczuk, TRE® Teacher, www.tre-trauma.pl
The list of certified TRE® Providers in Poland can be found at: http://tre-pomagamy.pl
- Berceli – “Shake it off. Shake it out. “
- Berceli – “Trust the Body”
- Center for work with the body: www.centrumpracyzcialem.pl