TRE is a set of seven simple exercises designed to fatigue some of the big muscles of the body. The fatigue triggers the tremor reflex. The tremoring of shaking releases tense muscles, stimulates lazy muscles to work more, and calms and soothes the nervous system, especially the Autonomic Nervous system. This is the part of our Nervous System that deals with the fight/flight/freeze responses.
The Trauma or Tension Release system was developed by David Bercelli. He was working in war zones and areas of natural disasters. One day he found himself in a bomb shelter with bombs falling all around. He had two small children on his lap and noticed that they were trembling. He felt he was about to start shaking as well, but stopped himself, feeling that the children would be even more frightened. Other people who were with him said similar things.
The trembling or shaking is the body’s way of discharging the tension that is created when we experience trauma, or the stress and strain that comes with everyday life. Trauma can make us contract into a fetal ball in extreme cases. Fear affects the contractor muscles in the front of the body. Releasing these allows us to be more in our extensor muscles in the back of the body which are associated with good posture and better well being. Shaking can release tension from events that occurred many years ago. The body does not forget, even if our memory does.
Children shake when they are afraid. Animal shake when they are afraid. Adults do too if they don’t repress it. Tremoring is a reflex, hard wired into our nervous system. It is natural and safe, part of our survival equipment. You can’t injure yourself shaking. We don’t want to know the history or the backstory, and it doesn’t tend to produce big cathartic events. We don’t want huge releases of tension. We just want to let a little bit out at a time.
It’s as if you had a pot of soup with a lid simmering on the back of the stove. You don’t want it to boil over. You can move the lid a little, let some steam out, and replace the lid. You can keep doing this, but better is to get a bigger pot, one that can contain all the contents safely. This is what TRE does; it gives us a bigger pot which can safely contain all of our experiences.
TRE can be taught in person, on zoom, one to one or in online groups. I prefer clients to have at least one individual lesson before they join a group. Clients who have done TRE before, not with me, can join a group.
It has just been so useful to attend TRE classes with Jane. Her calm, confident teaching and explanations help connect with this powerful work. You feel taken on a step by step guide of understanding how to let go of some of the often unidentified worries we all carry around. The practice of TRE has been so useful, not only for this letting go of the energy that old hurts, worries and even traumas can store in the body, but the practice can help in preparation before an event or presentation that we might be feeling anxious about. TRE is such a useful skill for the journey of how to be a human who is present, grounded and at ease.