Self Help

Shake It Off Naturally Reduce Stress, Anx - Phd, David Berceli

Author Photo

Matheus Puppe

· 56 min read



Here is a summary of the key points about SHAKE IT OFF NATURALLY: REDUCE STRESS, ANXIETY, AND TENSION WITH (TRE):

  • The book introduces Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE), a series of exercises developed by Dr. David Berceli to induce therapeutic tremors in the body.

  • These tremors are believed to release muscular tension patterns stored in the body from stressful/traumatic events and help down-regulate the autonomic nervous system.

  • The exercises are designed to fatigue muscles that counteract the body’s fetal response to danger, leading to a spontaneous tremor and release of tension.

  • Various chapters explore the physiological and psychosocial benefits of TRE, including treating stress, anxiety, trauma, pain, attachment issues, and more. Contributors include doctors, physical therapists, massage therapists.

  • Sections cover the neuroscience and anthropological basis for therapeutic tremoring, physiological effects on fascia, pain, MS, and more. Psychosocial applications for psychotherapy, military personnel, coaching are also discussed.

  • The book provides illustrations and instructions for performing the basic TRE exercises. It aims to introduce Dr. Berceli’s method for safely inducing the body’s natural trembling response for therapeutic purposes.

Here is a summary of the key points about the role of the body in trauma from the provided text:

  • The body keeps a record of traumatic experiences even when the mind may forget or suppress the memories. Unresolved trauma can be stored in the body in the form of chronic tension, pain, and somatic illnesses.

  • Helplessness is a universal state for trauma victims. Trauma causes the body’s stress response system to become dysregulated. Trauma therapies need to empower victims by helping them regain control over their bodies and symptoms.

  • Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE) were developed as a way for people to gain self-empowerment over trauma symptoms through a series of guided exercises that elicit trembling and shaking in the body. This shaking appears to be a natural mechanism for downregulating the nervous system and releasing tension stored from traumatic experiences.

  • TRE can be a useful self-help approach for trauma recovery in addition to other therapies. Learning to elicit and complete the body’s natural shaking response on one’s own can help trauma survivors gain a sense of control over their symptoms.

  • The trembling or shaking response is still not fully understood scientifically but seems to be a genetically encoded mechanism in the human organism. It can be triggered during both stressful and happy experiences, indicating it may serve an adaptive function in processing strong emotions and regulating the nervous system.

The book explores the body’s natural tremor response as a way for the nervous system to regulate itself and reduce stress and tension. While tremors are usually seen as pathological, this book proposes they can be a physiological mechanism.

Medical perspectives typically view tremors as symptoms of neurological disorders or mental health conditions. However, this book theorizes that self-induced tremors through exercises like TRE may activate the autonomic nervous system in a way that down-regulates over-arousal and allows the body to relax.

Experts quoted support the idea that tremors can be a normal neurological process, and that isometric tremors in particular provide afferent feedback to the brain that helps restructure stressful memories and sensations into a context of safety.

The book aims to educate readers that tremors at certain frequencies may represent a natural neurophysiological process of regulating muscle control, rather than always being pathological. It explores the idea that repetitive self-induced tremors could induce long-term functional changes in the nervous system that reduce stress and tension in the body.

  • Neurons can undergo short-term changes when modifications like phosphorylation change electrical properties at synapses, modulating activation in response to stimuli. Repeated stimuli within a short time allow these changes to become permanent via new gene transcription and molecular consolidation.

  • Tremor research goes back over a century, with pioneers like Kellogg using vibrating chairs and platforms. Russian scientists in the 1970s studied vibrational stimulation on gymnasts. This became known as biomechanical stimulation (BMS).

  • BMS research showed positive effects of low-amplitude, low-frequency vibration on bone density, pain relief, and healing. It developed into whole-body vibration (WBV) as an exercise intervention.

  • Vibration therapy evolved for therapeutic uses in rehabilitation, injury healing, and increased mobility/strength. Devices targeting different body parts incorporate these principles.

  • TRE tremors elicit a hardwired reflex pattern that discharges the freeze response stored in procedural memory. This achieves extinction of conditioned sensorimotor responses from trauma without reexperiencing specific events.

  • TRE may inhibit the amygdala and provide optimal conditions for forming positive neural networks and dissolving negative ones tied to trauma. Physiology confirms its mechanisms are consistent with effective therapy more broadly.

  • Dr. David Berceli has extensive academic and professional experience in social work, theology, neuropsychology and trauma treatment. He has a PhD in Social Work from Arizona State University, and additional graduate degrees from Fordham University and SUNY.

  • He is certified in fields like neurotherapy, psychoneurology and field traumatology. He has lived in nine countries and developed TRE training programs in 35 countries.

  • Dr. Berceli has worked in natural disaster areas and with at-risk populations like police, fire, and military personnel.

  • The chapter discusses how trembling, shaking and tremoring are present in healing practices around the world, not just as pathological symptoms. It focuses on the San people of southern Africa as a case study.

  • The San regularly hold communal healing dances involving singing, dancing, clapping and collective trembling/shaking believed to share healing spiritual power. These practices can induce strong whole-body tremors and transfer through touch.

  • The dances are a holistic practice for curing physical, psychological, social and spiritual well-being of individuals and the community. They have ancient roots depicted in southern African rock art.

Here are the key points about how TRE could benefit anthropologists conducting fieldwork:

  • Fieldwork involves inherent stresses like unpredictable dangers, cultural misunderstandings, fatigue, loneliness, etc. This can lead to symptoms of PTSD.

  • TRE acknowledges anthropologists have bodies that engage daily in stressful fieldwork. It provides stress-reducing tremors to release tension.

  • TRE exercises are inconspicuous and similar to common stretches, so they likely wouldn’t offend cultural norms.

  • The tremoring mechanism can be triggered subtly without exercises once learned.

  • Anthropologists could practice TRE discretely in bedrooms/camps morning and evening as part of their routine to manage fieldwork stresses.

  • TRE may help prevent or reduce negative impacts of fieldwork like post-fieldwork trauma by providing a self-care tool anthropologists can use in the field setting.

So in summary, TRE shows promise as a practical, discreet self-help method anthropologists could utilize during stressful long-term fieldwork engagements to better manage stresses and safeguard their mental health and well-being.

  • Tension and Trauma Release Exercises (TRE) involve controlled movements that are proposed to induce self-induced therapeutic tremors (SITT).

  • SITT remains unclassified under current tremor classification systems but shares similarities to enhanced physiologic tremor.

  • SITT has unique activation, topography, frequency, and amplitude patterns compared to other tremor types.

  • Locally or whole-body applied vibration has been shown to have beneficial physiological effects similar to what SITT may provide.

  • Pilot studies suggest SITT has positive effects on well-being, anxiety, and burnout. Qualitative evidence also points to benefits for trauma-related issues.

  • The author, Nkem Ndefo, is a nurse and holistic health practitioner who founded TRE Los Angeles. She chairs a global TRE research group and advocates for using TRE to help with trauma recovery.

  • In summary, the author proposes categorizing TRE-induced trembling as SITT and reviews the hypothesized physiological and psychological benefits, though more research is still needed.

  • The article discusses central pattern generators (CPGs), neural networks in the spine that can endogenously produce rhythmic motor patterns without external sensory input. CPGs underlie many rhythmic movements like walking, swimming, breathing.

  • Tremors are an example of involuntary rhythmic movements. They have been extensively studied and categorized based on features like frequency, activation threshold, association with neurologic conditions.

  • The biological mechanisms generating rhythmic movements and tremors are not fully understood but involve CPGs. Early studies in isolated invertebrate nervous systems provided evidence that CPGs can autonomously produce rhythmic activity.

  • Subsequent research showed CPGs are localized circuits in the spinal cord and brainstem that coordinate complex movements through reciprocal facilitation/inhibition between neurons, without requiring input from senses or higher brain centers.

  • While sensory feedback contributes to coordination, CPGs demonstrate rhythmic motor patterns can be endogenously generated by the central nervous system alone through these network properties. This explains how complex behaviors like locomotion are efficiently organized.

  • Understanding CPGs provides insight into neurological mechanisms underlying involuntary tremors and generation of rhythmic motor patterns in general.

  • Spinal central pattern generators (CPGs) in the spinal cord can produce basic locomotion patterns like swimming without input from the brain.

  • Sensory feedback from muscles modulates and adjusts CPG motor output to respond to environmental changes.

  • CPGs likely underlie tremors and other rhythmic movements seen in trauma release exercises (TRE).

  • The brain and sensory inputs can activate CPGs and modify their patterns, but are not needed to generate the basic rhythms.

  • CPG activation in one spinal segment can trigger others, propagating movement up and down the spine.

  • Interoceptive awareness and the brain’s salience network, which detects threats, are involved in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). TRE may help restore these through CPG-driven movements.

  • TRE movements resemble those driven by CPGs, like swimming. The brain modulates CPG output but does not generate the basic patterns.

  • Sensory feedback is important for timing motor outputs to environment. The brain integrates sensation and emotion.

  • Spontaneous tremors may emerge when defense systems deactivate, like freezing. Guided exercises may access unresolved tensions through specific positions.

  • Brainstem systems regulate arousal levels and may promote recovery from adversity. TRE may engage these to release trauma-related tension patterns.

The passage discusses the idea that awareness of patterns of body tension can provide insight into how negative emotions are “armored” or suppressed at a young age of development. It notes that disturbing feelings may have been deemed intolerable early on.

It questions why the iliopsoas muscles in particular would be relevant for retaining trauma-related tension. The iliopsoas connects the upper and lower body and could be involved in fight or flight responses. However, its precise role in traumatic experiences is unclear.

The passage then discusses debates around whether traumatic triggers activate tension patterns via subcortical or cortical brain regions. Studies suggest both pathways are possible, depending on circumstances. Traumatic memories may be stored implicitly in procedural/striatal networks rather than explicit hippocampus-based memory.

Focusing attention on body tensions during therapies like EMDR is proposed to access these implicit memories via a prefrontal cortical gateway to striatal networks, rather than explicit episodic recall. The periaqueductal gray, central to fight/flight responses, is also likely involved when trauma is severe enough to provoke defense mechanisms.

Here is a summary of the key points about word-based therapies from the passage:

  • Rapid sequences of movements are controlled by subcortical loops that run through the basal ganglia, as described by Alexander et al (1990) and McHaffie et al (2005).

  • Emotional arousal from trauma biases memory storage towards the striatum-dependent habit memory system rather than the hippocampus-dependent cognitive memory system, as shown by Packard & Cahill (2001). This bias can be increased in lab animals by administering anxiety-provoking drugs to the amygdala.

  • The periaqueductal gray (PAG) region of the midbrain controls defensive fight, flight, freeze and other survival responses even without the cortex. It generates the basic emotional states of fear, anger and grief that accompany these responses.

  • Both high and low arousal freeze states involve stillness of the body but may differ in muscle tone levels, which are controlled by different columns within the PAG.

  • The ventrolateral PAG column promotes parasympathetic dominance and low arousal states, but can also mediate freezing with increased muscle tone via connections to the cerebellar pyramis.

  • The PAG, through its projections to motor neurons, controls movements of the iliopsoas and other muscles important for emotional behaviors and defensive responses. Projections from a specific region of the lateral PAG column relay through the nucleus retroambiguus.

  • The emotional motor system has both medial and lateral components originating in the PAG and hypothalamus. The medial component sets whole-body muscle tone levels via projections throughout the caudal brainstem and spinal cord.

  • The nucleus retroambiguus is involved in controlling breathing patterns and basic vocalizations, but not the muscle tension changes seen with trauma release exercises (TRE).

  • The ventromedial tegmentum and projections from nuclei like the locus coeruleus and A11 dopaminergic neurons are more likely engaged during TRE and have access to spinal cord motoneurons.

  • Emerging from a shutdown state recruited by the ventrolateral periaqueductal gray involves specific sequences of tremor, breathing changes, and analgesia mediated by various brainstem areas like the retroambiguus and ventromedial tegmentum.

  • The parafascicular nucleus of the intralaminar thalamic group likely contributes to basal ganglia involvement in maintaining the tremor through non-hippocampal memory sequences.

  • Imaging studies of TRE should focus on midline and intralaminar thalamic nuclei, basal ganglia, cerebellum, and brainstem areas involved in activating spinal cord motoneurons and maintaining/developing the tremor, particularly the ventromedial tegmentum in the caudal pons and medulla.

  • The periaqueductal gray projections engage motor systems like the basal ganglia and specific nuclei, while the ventromedial tegmentum system is involved in resetting body states after threats through projections to the spinal cord. Tremoring may be part of naturally resetting after trauma.

Here is a summary of some key points from the passage:

  • Body tremoring through TRE (tension and trauma release exercises) may activate the body’s innate relaxation response to reduce stress and tension in the muscles/fascia.

  • When the body senses danger, it contracts the muscles/fascia into a defensive state. Tremoring may help release these contractions and restore relaxation.

  • Past traumatic experiences, even physical injuries, can cause lingering muscle tension that is not fully resolved. Tremoring may help complete the relaxation response and release this lingering tension.

  • Anecdotal examples are given of TRE helping to reduce back issues like herniated discs and compressed vertebrae, allowing cancellation of back surgery in one case after 6 months of TRE.

  • Tremoring is proposed to have physiotherapeutic benefits like improving mobility, range of motion, healing injuries, and pain relief by activating the body’s natural relaxation and tension release mechanisms.

  • The body’s trembling is framed as a parasympathetic relaxation response rather than a sign of continued nervous system arousal, helping to reframe tremoring in a more positive light.

In summary, the passage explores how tremoring through TRE exercises may activate the body’s innate mechanism for releasing muscular tension and completing the relaxation response, with possible benefits for reducing stress, injuries, and physical tension or pain. Anecdotal examples are provided to support these claims.

  • The author experienced favorable results incorporating Therapeutic Tremor Release (TRE) into their bodywork practice called Integral Bodywork.

  • Seeing clients tremor allows better assessment of structural integration and areas not yet integrated.

  • Clients with an active TRE practice can “jump start” their body’s awareness and release tension faster through bodywork sessions.

  • Allowing clients to tremor on the table during bodywork directs the energy of release through tremoring rather than as pain. This makes deep tissue work less uncomfortable.

  • Combining TRE with techniques like Zero Balancing that work at the bone level also release tension and direct energy through tremoring.

  • In summary, incorporating TRE provides new benefits to bodywork by facilitating release through tremoring rather than pain, allowing deeper work in fewer sessions and providing new insights into structural integration.

  • Tension Release (TRE) activates a self-induced therapeutic tremor response known as the tension release (TR) mechanism. This appears to be mediated through the fascia and releases tension in the body.

  • The TR tremors range from light vibrations to strong jerking movements. Regular TRE practice can help guide one’s body through a self-growth process utilizing this mechanism.

  • The TR mechanism is tied to the fascia tissue. Fascia is the connective tissue that surrounds muscles and organs. It plays an underappreciated role in movement and structure compared to muscles and bones.

  • Vibrations are an inherent part of our physiology. Our cells vibrate, and certain medical research shows vibrational changes associated with disease processes. The TR mechanism represents a physical reality of vibration in the body.

  • The author’s first experience with TRE involved laughing, coughing, and sensations of the body shaking without effort. It felt good and released tension. He later recognized a past patient exhibiting similar tremors, now understood as the TR mechanism.

  • TRE activates the body’s natural restorative response through the fascia-mediated TR mechanism. The summary outlines the author’s experience and perspective integrating TRE into his clinical physical therapy work.

  • The author initially worked with Mulligan joint mobilization but became interested in TRE after encountering it. He explored TRE personally and started noticing it was present unconsciously in some clients during physical therapies.

  • Observing tremors in clients without TRE introduction convinced the author of its universal potential. Going through the TRE process himself helped understand and engage with it as a therapist.

  • The author became fascinated by fascia and how addressing it could help clients recover health over time rather than just pain relief. He learned about the anatomy trains concept which views structure and fascia holistically.

  • TRE is believed to impact biotensegrity and hydration of the fascial system by releasing tension. This allows for greater flexibility and symmetry of structure.

  • TRE is not the primary intervention but can be introduced when trust is built as a self-treatment tool. It produces a temporary release of tension that may include instability, tension or pain.

  • TRE can affect deep myofascial structures better than manual therapy and make changes more comfortable for clients. It serves as a gateway to broader structural understanding and self-treatment.

  • TRE (Trauma Release Exercises) primarily activates the deep front line of connective tissue in the body, known as the core. This line runs from the feet, up the legs, pelvis, chest and throat.

  • Movement in these deep tissues affects physical sensations and emotions arising from the body’s inner cavities. Clients may feel anxious, afraid or overwhelmed during TRE sessions.

  • Emotions are accompanied by confusion, shame and lack of constructive expression in Western culture. Vulnerability is seen as weakness.

  • The author balances outer muscle structures before introducing clients to TRE’s activation of deeper tissues. This provides a framework to slowly release tension and address any fears.

  • Fascia and muscle have different roles - fascia provides space for muscle contraction and movement. Emphasis should not be on what muscles can do but on the quality of ease and efficiency provided by healthy fascia.

  • Practices like mindfulness and yoga cultivate “being” rather than just “doing.” TRE similarly aims to increase body awareness and “bodyfulness.”

  • The scientific challenge is to empirically validate practices not rooted in Western “doing” culture. TRE is well-suited for investigation due to its physical, tremoring nature.

Here is a summary of the key points about TRE and fascia release from the provided text:

  • Fascia is a strong, connective tissue that forms sheets surrounding and binding together muscles, bones, and organs throughout the body. It plays an important role in distributing tension and maintaining structural integrity.

  • TRE (Tension and Trauma Release Exercises) is a technique that involves gentle trembling movements that are thought to release stored tension and stress held in the fascia.

  • The TRE tremors help override compensatory movement patterns accumulated over a lifetime that have resulted in tightened fascia and restricted mobility. This allows the body to reintegrate and rediscover a more natural alignment.

  • Releasing fascial tension through techniques like TRE is believed to have mental and emotional benefits as it helps integrate cognitive function with natural bodily sensations and instincts. It promotes a state of “bodyfullness.”

  • Fascia can become impaired, compressed, and restrict movement over time due to aging, injury, poor posture, repetitive stress, etc. Techniques like TRE aim to restore fluidity and flexibility to the fascial system for improved health and vitality.

In summary, the text discusses fascia and how TRE uses gentle tremors to reduce built-up tension in fascial tissue, allowing the body to regain its natural structural integrity and movement patterns for enhanced well-being.

  • As we age or experience injuries, our fascia can develop adhesions which restrict mobility. Fascia connects muscles, and adhesions affect both muscle function and movement.

  • Stress causes the brain to activate the sympathetic nervous system, releasing stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol which get stored in fascia. This stiffens fascia and compromises the immune system.

  • Myofibroblasts in fascia aid healing after injury by laying down collagen. Too much collagen from severe injuries or surgeries can fuse fascia layers, further restricting movement.

  • Fascia contains mechanoreceptors that detect sensations like pain and pressure. Massaging fascia through techniques like Rolfing can stimulate these receptors and affect mood hormones like serotonin.

  • Tremors from TRE (Trauma Release Exercises) seem to follow fascia lines or “trains” in the body, releasing contractions in these lines. Observing tremor patterns can provide insight into fascia weaknesses from past trauma. Combining TRE with fascial massage techniques can help the body physically and emotionally release trauma stored in the fascia.

Here is a summary of the key points regarding pain and TRE from the provided text:

  • Pain is a complex experience generated by activity in the brain, not just a direct response to tissue damage. The brain can create pain sensations that do not align with actual physical injury.

  • Chronic pain persists for more than 3-6 months and often serves no protective purpose. The nervous system can become sensitized and the brain gets stuck in painful patterns/habits.

  • Tremoring through TRE has the potential to reset sensitized neural pathways and stimulate neuroplasticity. This may help alleviate chronic pain by changing dysfunctional brain activity patterns related to pain.

  • Neurons change in response to persistent danger signals, leading to over-sensitization in chronic pain conditions. Tremoring may counter this by providing good news to the brain through neuroplastic changes.

  • While experiential evidence supports TRE’s pain-relieving effects, clinical research is still needed. The theoretical framework outlines how TRE-induced tremors could disrupt chronic pain patterns in the brain by stimulating neuroplasticity.

In summary, the text discusses pain as a complex brain-generated experience, explores how chronic pain develops via neural sensitization, and proposes how TRE tremors may help reset dysfunctional pain pathways through neuroplasticity changes in the brain. More research is still needed but the theoretical explanation provides insights into TRE’s potential pain-relieving mechanisms.

  • Tissue damage does not necessarily correlate with or explain chronic pain. MRIs and imaging cannot predict or measure pain.

  • Pain is a complex experience involving the whole person, their brain, nervous system, immune system, past experiences, stress levels, sense of safety, etc. It is subjective.

  • The brain creates a “neurotag” or pattern when it assesses something as dangerous. This involves nociceptors detecting threats like tissue damage, inflammation, poor blood flow, or nerve damage.

  • When nociceptors are activated, danger signals are processed by the brain in the context of one’s whole system. The brain decides if something is unsafe based on its interpretation and previous experiences. This creates the conscious experience of pain.

  • Chronic pain is often a “mistake” by the brain/nervous system where alarm systems remain heightened even when the initial threat is gone. Cutting nerves has not stopped chronic pain because the brain, not just tissues, drives prolonged pain. Tissue damage alone does not explain chronic pain.

  • Nerve grafts initially led to improved sensation and movement in patients’ hands, but they all redeveloped the same pain despite the healthy new nerve.

  • The pathology had migrated centrally to the spinal cord. “Angry nerve cells” in the cord had become hyper-excitable and were causing the pain.

  • Tissues usually heal fully within 3-6 months, but pain persists beyond this period. This indicates the brain has not turned off its “alarm system” and the nervous system remains sensitized.

  • Phantom limb pain provides another example - the brain’s map of the body can cause pain where tissue is not actually damaged. In chronic pain, the brain signals danger even after tissues have healed.

  • TRE (Traumatic Release Exercises) may help break fixed pain patterns by retraining the nervous system to accurately feel the present state of the body. Generating new sensory signals through movement can turn off the brain’s alarm response.

  • It is important for pain rehabilitation programs to educate patients that pain serves a protective purpose but may persist after tissues have healed, and that patients are not “broken.” Feeling the body more through exercises like TRE can help remap the brain’s understanding.

Here is a summary of the key points from the article:

  • The article describes using Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE) as a therapeutic approach with people who have multiple sclerosis (MS) in the Danish Multiple Sclerosis Society.

  • TRE is a body-based method that activates the body’s natural tremor mechanism to help release physical and emotional tension. This can aid self-regulation abilities.

  • Living with a chronic disease like MS can negatively impact self-regulation and make people more vulnerable to stress, trauma, and emotional difficulties. The diagnosis itself can also be traumatic.

  • Anecdotal experiences using TRE with MS patients show benefits like decreased stress, depression, anxiety, improved body awareness, acceptance of the disease, and better family relationships.

  • TRE seems to help address both the physical symptoms of MS and the psychological impacts of dealing with the disease long-term.

  • The biopsychosocial model is mentioned - disturbed communication between the nervous and immune systems may play a role in MS onset and progression, and stress/trauma could potentially be contributing factors.

  • More research is still needed, but TRE provides a complementary approach to help MS patients manage their condition from a mind-body perspective. The standard medical model may not adequately meet all their needs.

  • This passage discusses the potential benefits of trauma release exercises (TRE) for people with multiple sclerosis (MS).

  • It notes that getting an MS diagnosis and disease exacerbations can cause post-traumatic stress symptoms, so stress management strategies are needed. TRE may offer a realistic solution.

  • People with MS often develop tension patterns from life stressors and trauma, both from childhood and resulting from the MS diagnosis/progression. This extra tension impacts their psychology and MS symptoms.

  • TRE is presented as an easy and low-cost method that can help MS patients self-regulate and release chronic tension, stress and trauma stored in their bodies. This may help improve their physical, emotional and mental well-being.

  • The passage provides background on the use of TRE with over 400 MS patients in Denmark, noting reported decreases in MS symptoms and stress/trauma reactions after using TRE. It argues TRE warrants further study for its potential benefits for stress management in MS patients.

Here are the key points from the case stories:

  • TRE was effective in treating depression and anxiety in clients with MS by activating the body’s innate self-regulation and healing responses. Tremoring helped release stuck physical and emotional tensions.

  • Immediate improvements in sleep, cramps, spasms and mood were seen after just 1-5 TRE sessions. Clients were able to reduce or stop medications.

  • Childhood traumas resurfaced and were able to be processed and integrated through the tremoring response, reducing depressive symptoms long-term.

  • Gaining confidence in their self-regulation abilities empowered clients to improve lifestyle factors and engage socially again.

  • Somatic shocks from medical treatments for MS relapses resolved quickly with 1-2 TRE sessions, preventing potential chronic depression.

  • TRE allowed stored trauma memories to surface calmly for processing, where they may have otherwise contributed to undiagnosed depression.

Overall, TRE was an effective non-drug approach for various MS-related mental health issues by mobilizing the body’s natural healing responses through tremoring. Clients experienced immediate as well as long-lasting improvements in physiological, emotional and social functioning.

  • The workshops aimed to help wheelchair users with MS gain more control over their bodies using TRE (tremor therapy). This population has limited options and could benefit from methods to stimulate self-regulation.

  • Participants included 20 wheelchair users with MS and their helpers in each workshop. Helpers also showed signs of stress from assisting those with MS.

  • It was uncertain if TRE could work given the damage to participants’ central nervous systems from MS. Different strategies were tried based on individual conditions.

  • Many participants were initially skeptical but found they could activate tremors, even those paralyzed below the diaphragm. Observing helpers tremoring first helped via mirror neurons.

  • Benefits reported included relaxation, tension release, renewed hope/confidence, heat/warmth sensations, and emotional release even without tremors.

  • Short-term results suggest TRE may help reduce MS symptoms like cramps, tension, pain, regain sensation. It also reduced depression, anxiety, and improved acceptance, activity levels and body relationships.

  • While MS cannot be cured, TRE could be a beneficial self-regulation tool alongside other therapies to improve MS management.

  • The author, a urologist, experienced a sudden episode of tachycardia (rapid heartbeat) where his heart rate reached 220 beats per minute. He was hospitalized and diagnosed with abnormal nerve activity causing the rapid heart rate.

  • He was prescribed medication to block the overactive nerves, but still felt anxiety from his heart constantly feeling like it wanted to race.

  • In the months prior, he had experienced some shorter episodes of tachycardia associated with stress, as well as feeling his heart pounding harder with mild exertion.

  • Around the same time, he had a bad viral illness following a mandatory flu shot. The illness lingered for weeks with fevers, fatigue, congestion, muscle aches, and pink eye.

  • He also noticed issues with food digestion and undigested food in his stool.

  • After being introduced to TRE (Traumatic Release Exercises), the author found it helped reduce his stress, anxiety and heart issues. He incorporated TRE into his medical practice to help patients dealing with trauma, stress and chronic pain/illness.

In summary, the author experienced cardiac issues linked to stress and abnormal nerve activity in his heart. He discovered TRE was effective at reducing his symptoms and became a proponent of using it therapeutically with his own patients.

  • The author was experiencing symptoms of chronic stress like rapid heartbeat, poor sleep, digestive issues, and memory/cognitive problems after age 50.

  • Their doctors prescribed medications to treat the symptoms but not the underlying cause, which the author hypothesized was chronic fight-or-flight stress response.

  • This was leading to increased stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, impairing the immune system, digestion, sleep, and brain function.

  • The author tried tension and trauma release exercises (TREs) which helped reduce stress and associated symptoms by turning off the chronic fight-or-flight response.

  • TREs helped improve energy, sleep, digestion, cognitive function, immunity and social engagement for the author.

  • The author uses mind-body techniques including TREs in their urology practice, finding they help chronic pain patients by reducing hypersensitive nerves and muscle tension/spasms caused by prolonged stress response.

  • Relieving this chronic stress response through techniques like TREs can help many medical conditions by moving the body into a healing state.

  • Neurogenic yoga combines yoga postures, breathwork, and meditation to prepare the body for self-induced therapeutic tremoring (TRE). This aims to enhance the benefits of both yoga and TRE.

  • Yoga uses postures and breathing techniques to reduce stress hormones, relax the nervous system, and improve well-being. But it can take a long time to see lasting results.

  • TRE triggers an innate tremoring response that involuntarily releases deep muscle tension without effort or control. This can provide faster relief of symptoms.

  • Integrating yoga and TRE may yield quicker results than yoga alone in reducing stress, pain, tension and trauma-related symptoms like anxiety and depression.

  • Some anecdotal reports found immediate reductions in leg swelling, pain and limitations after a single neurogenic yoga session combining yoga and TRE.

  • The authors believe neurogenic yoga may offer trauma survivors a missing piece to help reconnect with their body and further reduce PTSD symptoms by combining voluntary yoga movement with involuntary tremoring release.

Neurogenic yoga helps people develop self-regulation and a feeling of safety in their own body. This is particularly helpful for those with childhood trauma who may never have felt embodied or safe. The practice focuses on mindful movement, breath awareness, and empowering participants to stop or slow down if feeling uncomfortable. This gives trauma survivors a sense of control they may have lacked during their traumatic experiences.

One participant remarked that for the first time, they felt truly safe in a room full of others and by themselves. Neurogenic yoga allows the body to relearn control through gentle movement. It fosters a relationship with the body as an ally rather than something that causes pain.

The yoga portion brings practitioners into the present moment to counter dissociation from trauma. Self-induced shaking can then integrate the lessons of presence and regulation. Case examples show how neurogenic yoga’s effects carry over into improved everyday life, relationships, reduced pain and stress. While helpful for trauma, it also benefits those with general stress and tension seeking wellness without specific trauma history. Neurogenic yoga is a mindful, self-regulated practice allowing the body’s natural processes to safely emerge.

  • The author is a yoga therapist who has integrated TRE (Trauma Releasing Exercises) into her yoga therapy practice.

  • She found that while yoga therapy provided benefits initially for clients, many would reduce their home yoga practice over time and symptoms would return.

  • She believes stress and trauma play a role in maintaining illness. Reducing yoga practice allowed the nervous system to become charged again.

  • Through her experience, she realized the root issue may be clients’ underlying trauma or “story.” Cutting back on yoga therapy didn’t fully address the trauma aspect.

  • Integrating TRE allows trauma to be directly addressed and released. This provides empowerment and helps prevent relapse when yoga therapy is reduced. TRE is a beneficial complement to addressing stress and trauma alongside yoga therapy.

  • The person was initially teaching yoga therapy to help clients with stress, anxiety, depression, and trauma. While it helped some symptoms, 1-2 hours per day of practice was needed to maintain progress and some clients didn’t want to commit that much time.

  • The underlying issue was often a “story” or fear associated with the trauma/stress. Yoga alone didn’t provide the tools to fully address this.

  • The person learned about Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE) and saw how it could help release physical tension patterns in the body related to trauma. TRE also helped teach self-regulation skills.

  • Integrating TRE into yoga therapy sessions helped symptoms lessen more quickly, in 3-6 months versus 1-2 years previously. It addressed issues on a physiological level through the body’s natural tremor response.

  • TRE could easily be integrated into a daily lifestyle and other activities. It helped establish balance and homeostasis in the body.

  • The person now teaches clients skills like boundaries, containment, and self-regulation to safely process trauma releases from TRE. They have seen positive impacts on both physical and psycho-emotional health.

  • The author is a practicing body-oriented psychotherapist (Bioenergetics therapist) with over 30 years of experience.

  • They first met Dr. David Berceli, creator of TRE, at a Bioenergetics conference in 2005 where he presented his work. The author was skeptical at first but had a personally powerful experience doing the TRE exercises.

  • They stayed in contact with Dr. Berceli and invited him to give workshops for their Bioenergetics Institute in Germany. The author helped Dr. Berceli develop TRE training programs and got invited by Dr. Berceli to be a member of the global leading team.

  • For body-oriented therapists like Bioenergetics, TRE provided a non-psychotherapeutic way of working with the body that focused more on involuntary movements rather than emotional interpretations. This helped therapists broaden their perspective.

  • The author discusses how TRE can be integrated into diverse therapeutic contexts, including body psychotherapy and other approaches. It provides benefits like releasing “innocent traumas” through involuntary body movements.

  • The client experienced involuntary movements during a TRE session that looked like fighting or kicking something off. The therapist initially interpreted this as fighting something invasive.

  • Surprisingly, the movements were later connected to a motorcycle accident the client had, where the bike was partially on top of her body.

  • After the session, the client’s physiotherapist noticed improvements in her lower back and pelvic area.

  • The therapist learned that what surfaces during TRE is context dependent and related to what is safe for the client to integrate. The body has a wisdom about what and where to release.

  • Clients who practice TRE at home often increase their ability to self-regulate difficult emotions arising in therapy. This helps protect against re-traumatization.

  • The therapist introduced TRE exercises to two clients with childhood sexual abuse histories. One enjoyed them at home, while the other only felt safe doing them in sessions. Both benefited in their therapeutic process.

  • Most therapists offer TRE as a self-help tool for clients to practice at home alongside therapy. This empowers clients and strengthens the therapeutic relationship. Practicing TRE in groups is also common.

  • Regular TRE practice seems to strengthen autonomy, self-confidence, and ability to build trustful relationships, which are important for traumatized clients.

  • TRE (trauma releasing exercises) involves inducing involuntary trembling and shaking movements in the body through gentle movements and exercises. This allows the body to release stress and tension held in the muscles.

  • TRE is thought to work by triggering the body’s natural trembling response, which helps release shock and trauma held at a deep biological and physiological level before memories and feelings can be verbally processed.

  • It may help down-regulate post-traumatic hyperarousal, release dissociation, reintegrate sensations, and support re-building self-identity by experiencing the body differently.

  • Therapists report TRE helping clients feel more relaxed, reduce tension, weaken the hold of trauma responses, and increase self-efficacy. It supports the psychotherapeutic process when used alongside it.

  • TRE is seen as particularly helpful for anxiety, PTSD, somatoform disorders by helping reframe physical symptoms and rebuild trust in the body’s self-regulation abilities.

  • More research is still needed to evidence the hypothetical mechanisms, but observation of client outcomes has been encouraging so far. TRE is considered a useful complementary method in psychotherapy.

  • TRE (Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises) involves activating the body’s natural tremor mechanism to release chronic muscle tension and constrictions.

  • This process allows the body to access and release specific myofascial tension patterns related to past trauma or stress. The trembling, shaking and movements help integrate and relax tightened tissues.

  • Over time, TRE helps the body systematically release any restricting tension patterns that disrupt flexibility, mobility and symmetry. This restores the body’s natural neurophysiological balance and homeostasis.

  • On a psychological level, TRE aids in re-establishing intra-personal attunement and harmony within oneself. This strengthened sense of self and internal safety then facilitates healthier inter-personal relationships.

  • By addressing trauma and stress on physical, neurological and emotional levels, TRE promotes integration and coherence across the whole person. This flexible, integrated state is more conducive to well-being and positive relationships.

  • TRE is proposed to activate the autonomic defense response, allowing the body to naturally restore its own sense of self, internal safety and balance. This intra-personal process supports healthier inter-personal attachment and relationships.

  • TRE (Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises) is an effective complementary practice that can be incorporated within existing treatment facilities and agencies working with trauma populations.

  • An “agency-based” approach involves training agency staff in TRE through a condensed certification program so they can teach TRE to their clients.

  • Benefits of this approach include building a support network of trained clinicians within the agency, providing self-care for clinicians to manage secondary trauma, and empowering clients with a self-care tool.

  • Examples are provided of agencies incorporating TRE successfully, including a treatment facility for men with substance abuse, a VA hospital, and a residential program for at-risk adolescent girls.

  • Outcomes of incorporating TRE within agencies include improved sleep, reduced anxiety, increased resilience for staff, and greater self-regulation for clients.

  • TRE shows potential for military, police, firefighters and other first responders in reducing stress, improving sleep and physical health based on workshop experiences. A Defense Centers of Excellence report supports TRE for reducing hyperarousal.

So in summary, the passage advocates for incorporating TRE within treatment agencies through an agency-based training approach, and provides examples supporting its effectiveness for staff and clients dealing with trauma or high-stress work.

The USAMRMC (US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command) heads various initiatives to protect soldier health and equip them against disease and injury on the battlefield. It oversees research projects and is headquartered at Fort Detrick, Maryland.

In 2015, it approved a $500,000, 2-year study testing TRE (trauma releasing exercises) as an adjunct PTSD treatment. The study had not yet posted results to the public CDMRP website at the time of publishing.

Various veteran organizations like Huts for Vets, One Maps, and Vital Warrior have incorporated TRE training for active military and veterans, led by certified instructors. Anecdotal reports find it reduces anxiety and improves sleep.

The Theresian Military Academy in Austria also certified instructors to teach soldiers independently. A chaplain in Afghanistan reported positive experiences using TRE with soldiers for stress and trauma related to their duties.

Here is a summary of the key points from the article:

  • The author has trained over 10,000 people in TRE (Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises) across various contexts including as a coach, therapist, military trainer, and in personal areas like martial arts and yoga.

  • TRE can be used for tension reduction, enhanced performance, recovery from injury, increased flexibility, and creating mindfulness. The intention or focus may differ depending on the application.

  • TRE has been successfully used with high stress/high threat professions like the military, police, and first responders. It helps increase resiliency and alleviate PTSD symptoms.

  • Constant high stress/high threat environments where danger never lets up can cause toxic stress symptoms like sleep issues and IBS. TRE helps down regulate the nervous system in these cases.

  • TRE is also useful in high stress/low threat environments like hospitals and corporate jobs to reduce daily stresses.

  • It can be applied in low stress/low threat areas like exercise and yoga to improve flexibility and heal injuries.

  • A key benefit is TRE does not require retelling traumatic stories and instead targets the physical body’s response, whether the trauma was real, imagined, exaggerated, or denied.

  • Regular TRE practice can increase resilience to stressful environments by helping manage the fight or flight response.

  • TRE (Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises) can serve as an effective life coach by allowing the body to guide the tremoring process without ego control. This builds self-awareness and patience.

  • The body provides a natural coaching through physiological cues like tension levels, giving feedback to find balance between ego desires and bodily needs.

  • Practicing TRE sharpens coaching instincts by developing awareness of one’s own mental and somatic states, helping read clients more accurately.

  • It teaches patience and keeping ego in check by following the body’s rhythm rather than rushing the process. This balances ego and body.

  • By experiencing opposing forces like relaxing fatigue that play harmoniously, TRE maintains the yin-yang balance of one’s organism.

  • Overall, TRE can help relinquish excessive control to live a more balanced life through balanced communication between ego and body. It acts as continuous self-coaching and meditation through a kinesthetic bodily process.

  • The article describes the writer’s experience with stress, trauma, and limiting beliefs stemming from childhood experiences with basketball and perceptions of judgement from others.

  • This manifested as physical symptoms like pain, fatigue, anxiety, and depression that negatively impacted his life and relationships.

  • He began using techniques like TRE (Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises) which involves controlled shaking/tremoring movements to release tension in the body.

  • After his first experience with TRE, he noticed immediate and dramatic improvements in his emotions, thoughts, energy levels, social comfort, and motivation.

  • Continuing TRE practice led to sustained benefits like reduced anxiety, healthier beliefs, improved communication, more efficient thinking, and an enhanced ability to participate fully in life.

  • The writer now uses techniques like FasterEFT and TRE in his coaching practice to help others resolve painful emotions, trauma, and limiting beliefs through physical-mental-emotional shifts.

So in summary, it describes the writer’s personal transformation out of stress/trauma using techniques like TRE, and how he now coaches others using similar somatic-focused methods.

  • The author runs an adolescent health program in Brazlândia, Brazil which provides biopsychosocial services to teens and their families.

  • Many of the issues presented were related to psychosocial problems at home or in school. A weekly parents support group was started but did not fully address mental health needs.

  • Mental health issues like abuse, violence, poverty could negatively impact adolescent development according to the WHO. Referrals for therapy were limited due to lack of services.

  • TRE (Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises) was introduced in 2010 after an event with over 120 people led by Dr. David Berceli. The author became a TRE facilitator.

  • Weekly TRE groups were started for teens and families in the program as well as the community. This helped address mental health and reduce stress without need for lengthy therapy referrals due to limited local services. TRE provided an accessible option to promote mental health.

The passage describes the implementation of TRE (Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises) in Brazlândia, Brazil starting in 2012. Local health professionals were trained to lead TRE groups for the community.

Over the years, weekly TRE group meetings were well-attended, with over 700 people participating in 2013 and over 800 in 2014. Participants reported improvements in conditions like insomnia, pain, anxiety, stress, fibromyalgia, depression and PTSD, leading to better quality of life.

Two clinical case studies are described, showing how regular TRE practice helped reduce symptoms for an anxious adolescent and a woman suffering from depression and fibromyalgia.

Two testimonials provide examples of specific issues helped by TRE - premenstrual tension and reduction of painkiller use.

The conclusion states that beneficial effects were observed over the 5 years of TRE practice in Brazlândia. Regular practice appeared to lead to more significant improvements. The cases and testimonials illustrate positive outcomes for stress, mental health and quality of life.

  • Dr. Marcelo Amaral started a health program for adolescents in Brazlândia, Brazil located 50 km from the capital Brasilia. Brazlândia has around 70,000 residents with some living in poverty. Violence levels are high.

  • The program offered biopsychosocial counseling to adolescents. Over 10 years, it has expanded with trained TRE providers incorporating the method into group sessions for the community.

  • TRE sessions helped improve conditions like insomnia, anxiety, depression, muscular tensions and calmed hyperactive adolescents. However, some people did not comply with practicing TRE due to various reasons like lack of commitment or wanting a quicker solution. Compliance was an issue seen in other programs too.

  • Dr. Amaral observed violence deeply impacts people’s health and TRE allows the body to reorganize after trauma by inducing tremors in a way that other methods do not achieve. There is a relationship between trauma, violence and mental disorders.

  • TRE has potential for public health systems and prevention due to being easy, low-cost, body-based, without side effects and suitable for groups. More research is still needed but results are promising for conditions it can benefit and how effects last.

  • The text describes a health service for adolescents in Brazlândia, Brazil that takes a biopsychosocial approach to care. The service includes two pediatricians, a social worker, two nurses, and has added other health promotion activities over time.

  • It observes that most issues brought by adolescents and families involve psychosocial problems, like family conflicts, mental health issues, stress, violence, etc. This is different than typical pediatric care for younger children.

  • To address the systemic/family dimensions of these issues, the service introduced a regular parents’ guidance group in 2005. However, many families still faced serious mental health problems due to high stress, trauma, poverty, etc.

  • Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE) were introduced in 2010 as a way to help relieve stress and promote mental health, since specialized psychological/psychiatric care was not widely available. Large community TRE events and regular groups were held.

  • By 2013-2014, over 700 people participated in 31 regular TRE group sessions offered that year, providing mental health support without waitlists or costs. TRE helped address psychosocial and mental health needs in the community.

  • The summary discusses findings from 91 meetings of the Transcendental Meditation (TRE) practice with a total of 846 participants.

  • Regular TRE practice helped improve symptoms like insomnia, muscle pain, anxiety, stress, fibromyalgia, depression, panic attacks and post-traumatic stress disorder, leading to an important enhancement in quality of life.

  • Two case studies are presented. Carlos, a 17-year-old student, saw reductions in anxiety levels, improved sleep and less frequent panic attacks with regular TRE. Laura, 42, experienced relief from depression, fibromyalgia pain and improved mood with 6 months of TRE.

  • Two testimonials describe benefits like reduced pre-menstrual tension, better sleep without medication, less body pain and increased energy and well-being from consistent TRE practice.

  • In conclusion, many positive effects were observed over 5 years of TRE in Brazlândia. The case studies and testimonials illustrate how regular practice helped relieve symptoms for many participants.

The author discusses trauma and mental health in Colombia, which has suffered from over 50 years of internal armed conflict. This prolonged violence has resulted in over 6 million victims in the past 30 years alone according to official data.

The author was interested in Trauma Release Exercises (TRE) as a self-directed method that works through the autonomic nervous system to reduce the effects of stress and trauma. Given Colombia’s national trauma from the long-running conflict, the author sees potential for TRE to help lead the country towards greater peace on a large scale. If TRE can provide benefits to populations in reducing stress and trauma, it could be an important process for Colombia.

The author is hopeful about TRE’s ability to begin moving Colombia, as a nation of people, towards the peace that Colombians speak of. However, more research would still be needed to fully understand and quantify TRE’s impacts at a national level for mental health and conflict resolution.

  • The author sought out TRE years ago as a way to help Colombians heal from trauma and violence, in the hopes it could facilitate peace and reconciliation.

  • TRE offered a simple, easily accessible method for trauma recovery that could be spread throughout communities. The author wondered if teaching victims to promote inner peace through vibration could help transform emotional injuries from conflict and build confidence in peace.

  • In 2013, Dr. Berceli introduced TRE training in Colombia. The author took responsibility for continuing its promotion. The challenge was to help Colombia heal from its collective trauma through community-based somatic practices like TRE.

  • The author trialled TRE in Putumayo, a conflict-affected region, training 40 victims/survivors and community leaders to become facilitators. Participants of all ages found relief from pains and improved mental wellbeing through the vibrations.

  • Case studies showed chronic pain relief, return of joy in living, and PTSD symptom resolution in children and adults after practicing TRE. The method seemed effective in improving physical and mental health for victims of violence and conflict.

  • TRE (Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises) is being used in a community-based pilot project in Colombia to help individuals and support national reconciliation.

  • The project is run by El Alumbrador Foundation, a Colombian non-profit, in partnership with the University of Caldas’ Center for Conflict, Violence and Social Affairs Studies (CEDAT).

  • The pilot project teaches TRE to three groups: 1) young former combatants reintegrating into civilian life, 2) displaced women, and 3) social work students assisting with rehabilitation.

  • The goals are to help participants personally through TRE and introduce it as a tool to support reconciliation among Colombians impacted by over 50 years of armed conflict.

  • TRE is being introduced at a time when peace talks between the government and armed groups seek to end the war, as a new experience and technique for emotional recovery at a national scale.

  • The author, Pedro Rojas, was motivated to bring TRE to Colombia to provide victims of conflict a way to cultivate inner peace and negotiate non-violent resolution from a changed brain state through the relaxation response activated by TRE exercises.

  • Rojas sees TRE as a way to transform rehabilitation processes and help Colombia heal its collective trauma by teaching communities to self-heal through regular vibratory movement.

The author proposed a pilot project to introduce TRE (Trauma Release Exercises) to communities affected by violence in Putumayo, Colombia. TRE was developed as a self-help technique to help relieve stress and trauma.

The author collaborated with Andrés Cancimance, a social worker from Putumayo who had experienced the violence in the region firsthand. They felt TRE could help victims in their recovery by teaching them tools they could use independently.

In 2013, they conducted a project with 40 victim volunteers from the Valle del Guamuéz area over 5 weekends to teach TRE and train some as community facilitators. The project was extended due to security issues. In the end, 7 people were certified as the first Colombian TRE facilitators.

Working with full families introduced the benefits of TRE across age groups. Not all volunteers completed the program due to violence or lack of incentives. But those who stayed consistently reported positive impacts on their bodies and mood from practicing the exercises. This first experience helped establish the foundation for further TRE training and support for victims of Colombia’s conflict.

  • The author describes how his voice helped him overcome difficulties with mobility as a child. Singing gave him a sense of freedom and connection to others.

  • He pursued careers in acting, classical singing, and voice/speech therapy to further develop his vocal abilities. He also studied bionergetic analysis to ground vocal expression in the body.

  • Through bionergetics, he discovered TRE and was drawn to its simplicity, depth, clarity and calming effects.

  • Practicing TRE’s tremor mechanism helped him connect to an inner place where he could be in relationship with others while also maintaining self-respect. It acted as a “reset button” on a bodily level that led to cognitive awareness.

  • The tremor continually “integrates diffuse body sensations” and reinforces presence. It allows him to actively create a space to simply be, both within himself and in relation to others through his voice work.

  • In summary, TRE helped ground his voice work more fully in his body and heightened his calming presence, which are central to his career and human interactions.

  • The brainstem, limbic system, and neocortex work together through the tremor mechanism to promote adaptation and change from internal processes to the external environment. This helps integrate stress and increase sensitivity, perception, resilience, self-awareness, expressiveness, and flexibility.

  • The tremor mechanism can help resolve tensions stored in the body and bring old patterns/facial movements to the surface to be released. However, it can also make one more sensitive to emotional impacts from the environment.

  • Connections with others have deepened through maintaining slow speech rhythms, modulating voice, gentle eye contact, and softer facial expressions. This relates to the Polyvagal Theory about social bonding and using higher cognitive processes to maintain positive connections during stress.

  • The tremor mechanism allows entering a state of “grounding” or “stage presence” through voluntarily inhabiting a centered sense of self that is ductile, quiet, and listening. This creates a container space for one’s own feelings and perceptions from which to relate to others.

  • Resonance phenomena like that seen between tuning forks demonstrate how feeling states can resonate between people and prevent isolation or disconnection through bonding and safety.

  • The link between facial muscles, heart/lung regulation, eyes and ears allows using facial expressions to calm down. Hearing, voice and their circuitry play an important role in communication and emotional regulation through listening. Misunderstandings can still occur due to various interferences.

  • Effective communication relies on both sending and receiving messages accurately without distortion. However, emotional factors can interfere with correctly analyzing what is heard.

  • Our voice quality and reaction to what we hear depends on how well our internal and external selves are connected. Optimal self-listening through bone conduction is important for voice modulation.

  • Tension and stress can affect self-listening and introduce distortions. The tremor mechanism in TRE may help relieve tensions in the ear/jaw area and facilitate better self-listening.

  • Vocal production involves neural pathways related to emotions, stress regulation, and social bonding. How we use our voice influences these systems in ourselves and our communication partner.

  • Chronic stress can negatively impact the neuromuscular systems involved in breathing, vocalization, and speech. This impairs voice quality and expression over time.

  • Emotional imbalances like anxiety and depression also color our voice. Trauma and life experiences get physically embodied and influence our fundamental relationships and self-image.

  • Pronunciation requires precise coordination of multiple speech organs connected to cognitive and autonomous neural systems. It represents the merging of voice and language into meaningful expression.

  • Effective communication requires distinguishing the literal message from what is actually heard and understood due to potential distorting emotional factors. Self-awareness of our vocal impact can help improve interaction and expression.

The author discusses how working with the TRE mechanism and Polyvagal Theory has contributed to developing a calmer, more present state for him. As a child, singing helped him feel at ease in a way that other physical activities did not. This led him to pursue vocal expression and performance through drama school and further voice training.

He was drawn to Bioenergetic Analysis to better integrate vocal expression into the body. Through Bioenergetic Analysis he learned about TRE, which has brought simplicity, depth, clarity and tranquility. TRE facilitates integration between the brainstem, limbic system and neocortex, resulting in improved sensitivity, perception, stress recovery, self-regulation, expression and flexibility.

It has been a process of reclaiming internal spaces and relating to others in a way more aligned with himself. TRE allows a drainage of tensions that promotes this integration from within outward. This integration translates to a calmer, more present state for interacting both therapeutically and creatively through voice work and performance.

  • The trembling mechanism has acted as a gentle agent of change, bringing up old tensions and patterns. However, it has also made the person more sensitive and the emotional impact of events stronger at times.

  • Paradoxically, the trembling mechanism has also helped dissolve the traces of difficult events in the body, rescuing the person from states of inner shock and restoring their ability to breathe and be present.

  • Understanding Stephen Porges’ Polyvagal Theory has helped make sense of the physical and emotional sensations of safety, calmness and well-being experienced during mindfulness of breath and qualities of social engagement like eye contact and vocal modulation.

  • These social engagement behaviors can calm the nervous system and support health, growth and restoration according to the Polyvagal Theory.

  • The trembling mechanism is allowing exploration of deeper layers of presence and rootedness, both in therapy and performing arts. This exploration is supported by the Polyvagal Theory.

  • The experience of resonance and connection to others from one’s authentic internal state helps avoid feeling isolated or disconnected. Feeling connected to others promotes feelings of security.

  • Our reaction to what we hear from others is influenced by our auditory heritage and how the other’s voice sensorially impacts us in the moment of communication. Mindful listening helps regulate emotions.

  • High quality vocal expression depends on internal creative process being well-connected to the outgoing message through mindful listening and self-awareness.

  • Optimal self-listening of the voice allows proper regulation of bone-conducted sound vibration, especially through the skull bones. This flexibility and precision in using vocal components supports self-listening.

  • The trembling mechanism has a positive effect on physiology related to self-listening by reducing tension in myofascial tissues involved in fight-or-flight reactions like the sternocleidomastoid muscle.

  • The ear is sensitive to air pressure, gravity, and movement acceleration. Exercises that induce trembling help generate rooting and calmness, relieving inner ear pressure and facilitating self-listening and voice modulation.

  • Disrupted self-listening and stress-induced communication can manifest as tinnitus, with strong trapezius and neck/jaw muscle tension - risking ear drum perforation.

  • The lateral line myofascial chain influences the ear region. Exercises targeting fight-or-flight lines including the frontal, posterior, spiral and lateral lines can influence ear state.

  • Trembling facilitates the vagal-regulated middle ear performing its role in modulating emotions, stress, and anxiety via cortical and limbic connections. This supports self-regulation.

  • Precise voice modulation and tone can stimulate the nervous system to generate stability, security and calmness in relationships, including with those experiencing cognitive decline.

  • The text discusses how stress can affect the vocal mechanisms and produce vocal issues like tightness in the neck, vocal fatigue, loss of resonance/harmonics in the voice, and nasal congestion.

  • Under severe stress, the mucous membranes in the respiratory tract (nose, throat, vocal folds, trachea, lungs) can congest, causing temporary or more persistent dysphonia (voice issues).

  • Digestive issues and fatigue from chronic stress can further strain the vocal system. Maintaining intense vocal activity under stressful situations, like teaching, could lead to pathological vocal issues requiring specialized treatment or possibly surgery.

  • Emotional imbalances like anxiety and depression can affect vocal quality and the ability to respond appropriately in daily or high-demand situations.

  • Somatization of current conflicts or childhood trauma can generate conversion disorders, difficulty swallowing, altered vocal self-image, puberphonia, or regulation issues in the voice components.

  • In general, all life experiences will physiologically influence the vocal system. How we manage these experiences could lead to either vocal/speech dysfunctions or a more flexible, nuanced voice.

  • The author sees a paradoxical simplicity in nature’s complex workings, exemplified by a tree’s seemingly effortless yet intricately coordinated growth processes.

  • Their experience with TRE (trembling/tremor therapy) resonates with this image of trees, recognizing our bodies’ innate wisdom in how tension, heart rate, hormones etc. manifest physically and in relationships.

  • Like trees, we are meant to develop roots, grow, blossom, bear fruit and shed old leaves to make way for new growth - physically, mentally and spiritually. We come equipped to weather life’s storms.

  • However, we often fail to recognize and trust our bodies’ emotions, sensations and wisdom, instead denying what our systems are trying to communicate. TRE helps reconnect mind and body through guided tremoring.

  • As a TRE facilitator, the author aims to gently remind people of what they already know within, honoring each person’s unique truths and helping put their parts back together in coherence and peace. Nature provides a simple model of this complexity within each of us.

The author introduces TRE (Tension and Trauma Release Exercise) as an intervention to help address trauma in Israeli society. There are high levels of individual and cultural trauma stemming from ongoing conflict, terrorism, as well as trans-generational trauma from the Holocaust and Jewish refugees.

Historical events like the Holocaust, as well as the daily trauma of conflict and terrorism, mean that almost every family in Israel has been directly or indirectly affected by traumatic events. The author also notes the trauma experienced by the existing Palestinian communities.

The concept of “trans-generational” or “cultural” trauma is relevant, as trauma is known to pass down through generations in communities like Holocaust survivors, Native Americans, and Aboriginal Australians. Research also shows biological evidence that trauma can impact future generations epigenetically.

The author has found in her physical therapy practice that many injured Israelis seem to suffer from unresolved manifestations of stress and PTSD. She believes TRE could help address both individual trauma and potentially help reduce the levels of stress and trauma engrained in Israeli society on a cultural level through its trans-generational effects.

  • Epigenetics is the study of environmental factors that affect gene expression without changing the genetic code. Stress and trauma can cause epigenetic changes that result in certain genes being switched on or off.

  • These epigenetic changes can be passed down to future generations. Studies have shown lower cortisol levels in infants of mothers with PTSD who were exposed to 9/11 attacks during pregnancy, indicating epigenetic changes.

  • Israel has high levels of PTSD due to the ongoing conflict. Symptoms may continuously reassert due to the unending nature of the trauma. TRE offers a self-applied method to potentially reduce stress and PTSD symptoms.

  • Initial research is showing benefits of TRE for stress reduction. The goal is for healthcare systems to adopt TRE as an effective self-help treatment for stress and PTSD symptoms as more evidence is collected.

  • Children and adolescents are most vulnerable to PTSD in Israel. TRE could help address lack of stress interventions in schools and prevent issues like substance abuse.

  • Cultural and historical trauma in Israel can be explained epigenetically and trans-generationally. TRE thus has large potential to impact Israeli society by providing an effective self-help stress reduction method.

So in summary, it outlines the relevance of epigenetics and transgenerational trauma to the Israeli context, and proposes TRE as a method to help address high levels of stress and PTSD symptoms through evidence-based validation and integration into the healthcare system.

  • The article discusses post-traumatic growth, the phenomenon where suffering can lead to personal growth and transformation. Trauma researcher Richard Tedeschi notes this is a core aspect of human experience worthy of study.

  • The author proposes several possible neurological explanations for the experiences people report from Tension & Trauma Release Exercises (TRE). He consulted with polyvagal theory researcher Stephen Porges, who suggested the ventral and dorsal vagus nerves could play a role by allowing safe physiological states without fear or dissociation.

  • Research on compassion found activity in the vagus nerve correlates with feelings of warmth/spirituality. This supports the idea our biology drives social engagement and sacrifice.

  • Neuroscientist Riccardo Cassiani-Ingoni conducted EEGs showing TRE increases beneficial alpha waves associated with relaxation and self-awareness, similar to meditation.

  • The author suggests TRE may help progress trauma to post-traumatic growth by restoring physiological pulsation and a restored commitment to self, others and life through an evolutionary process.

  • In summary, the article explores possible neurological mechanisms for the experiences people report with TRE and how it may facilitate post-traumatic growth. It draws links between polyvagal theory, social engagement, and the relaxation response.

  • The author describes how Trauma Release Exercises (TRE) helped them overcome childhood trauma and stress, improving their focus and reducing back discomfort.

  • They developed the concept of “Endorphin Soup” to describe combining TRE with additional self-soothing techniques to enhance the experience and benefits.

  • The techniques described include acupressure holding over the heart, gentle music or vocal vibration, gentle self-rocking, and effortless laughter.

  • These supplemental techniques are meant to increase vibration, a sense of safety and well-being during TRE practice.

  • Specific instructions are provided for how to gently fuse some of these techniques like laughter or vocal toning into the TRE shaking movements.

  • The goal is to motivate ongoing practice by making sessions more pleasurable through additional endorphin and oxytocin release from techniques like touch, music and laughter.

  • Integrating calming acupressure holds and sounds is said to further opening the respiratory, cardiovascular and immune systems for greater healing effects from the TRE shaking movements.

Here is a summary of the key points about Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE):

  • TRE is a self-administered exercise program intended to reduce stress, anxiety, tension, and mild post-trauma symptoms. It involves gentle shaking movements to release tension from the body.

  • TRE should not be considered treatment or medical advice. It is meant as a possible alternative way to help the body relax after stressful or traumatic events. For more serious issues, guidance from a healthcare provider may be needed.

  • Individuals with medical/psychological conditions or those taking medications should consult their doctor before trying TRE. The exercises may not be appropriate for all people, especially those with serious physical or mental health issues.

  • TRE comes with disclaimers stating it should not replace professional treatment and the creators cannot be held liable for any direct or indirect issues from using the exercises.

  • Proper self-regulation is advised when using TRE. Going slowly and monitoring how one’s body responds is important, as is stopping if discomfort occurs.

  • For some, regular practice of TRE may help their body return to a calm, relaxed state after tension or trauma. But complex trauma cases may require working with a certified TRE provider in addition to medical care.

The key takeaways are that TRE is intended as a possible self-help option, but medical advice should be sought by those with pre-existing conditions or serious issues. Self-monitoring and regulation of the exercises is advised for safety.

Here is a summary of the ion releasing technique instructions:

  • TRE or Traumatic Release Exercises involve shaking or trembling movements to facilitate the release of stored physical and emotional tension in the body.

  • Exercises should only be done for a maximum of 15 minutes, 2-3 times per week when first starting. Self-regulation is important to stop if feeling uncomfortable or overwhelmed.

  • 7 different exercises are described involving movements of the feet, legs, hips and back against a wall to induce mild shaking or trembling.

  • People with certain medical conditions like PTSD, heart/blood pressure issues, pregnancy, etc. should consult a certified provider first before doing TRE on their own.

  • The goal is to find a level of each exercise that induces trembling without pain. Movements can be modified if any pain occurs. Trembling may increase with further closing of knees, changing foot positions, etc.

  • It is a self-help tool to be used for life once skills are learned, but always listening to one’s body and not overdoing the time or intensity of shaking when first starting out.

The passage recommends different options for lying down in a comfortable position after doing Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE). You can let your feet slide down so you are lying flat on the floor. Alternatively, you can roll onto your side and curl up to rest. Or you can lie on your belly. The goal is to choose the position that is most comfortable for your body.

Author Photo

About Matheus Puppe