Deep Relaxation from the Body’s Core
TRE, Trauma Release Exercise, is a method that helps to release and dissolve deep-seated tensions more profoundly and fundamentally than usual relaxation and tension-reducing techniques.
TRE can be described as deep relaxation from the body’s core, where we also work on dissolving emotional pressure, tensions caused by trauma, and also long-term stress.
TRE can also help in relieving muscle tension, pain, sleep problems, stress, inner turmoil, anxiety, etc.
“I have now practiced TRE regularly for approx. 2 months after I took part in module 1 of the course, with that I have been given a timeline before and after TRE. Among other things, I have become more aware of the bodily signals in everyday life and when I do TRE I also found that TRE is a method that I can use to help myself.“.
The Body’s Natural Restorative, Rebalancing Mechanisms
With TRE, we will facilitate the body’s natural tension-regulating mechanisms. Most people have experienced that before, during, or after a stressful or frightening experience; they start to tremble or have various other bodily sensations.
This is expressed in statements such as; “I was so scared that my jaw was shaking,” “my hands were shaking so much that the paper I was holding shooked,” and “when I was going to give my speech, I was so nervous that my knees were shaking,” “I was so angry that I was shaking.”
This shaking and trembling have a name; neurogenic tremors. This is the body’s way of releasing the bodily activation, which sometimes can be very intense, that is put into action due to perceived stress and danger. This and other simlar functions supporting emotional, bodily homeostasis, like crying, help emotionally and physiologically rebalance the body and restore it to a better state of equilibrium.
We can see the same phenomenon in animals; for example, in the video clip of the polar bear, you can see in the video provided in this section.
Here we see a bear that has been scared by a helicopter before being shot with an anesthetic dart by scientists. When it wakes up from the anesthesia, we can see that the bear trembles, shakes, and makes running like movements, activated in its initial attempt to run away.
This is a neurogenic tremor and the animal’s way of completing, thereby releasing, the bodily activity initiated as a result of perceived stress and danger. In the rest of the video, you see participants in a TRE course who learn to use this restorative tremor.
Animals, like the polar bear in the video, do this naturally and continue with the tremors as long as they feel safe. This is also natural for humans and happens in several cultures spontaneously, for example, after a woman gives birth.
Unfortunately, many people today have lost the organic and natural relationship with this mechanism and even their body in general, which leads to us inhibiting ourselves in various ways. We may have been told as children not to cry, to not express our emotions, in addition to a number of other cultural limitations and restrictions on the body’s spontaneous and natural expression.
This can lead to us being mentally distanced from our own bodies and as a result it has made us blind.
Young children, in general, are more in touch with this natural tremor and emotional movement, which can also occur in positive situations, not just negative ones.
In the video at the bottom of the page, you can see an example of a younger girl who is hunting with her father and who is shaking strongly after they have shot a deer.
Here the father behaves calmly, naturally, and relaxed and does nothing to stop the girl’s trembling except for talking to her in a calm way about what has happened.
He thereby creates a secure environment for the girl both in relation to the hunting experience, that it is now over, and in relation to her emotional and bodily reaction to the hunting situation.
TRE and tension-regulation and release
TRE provides a way to learn about our tension-regulating mechanisms and helps release buildt up activation. Many relaxation techniques help us with bodily relaxation by helping relax tense muscles, which is useful and important to know, but does so without releasing the underlying activation, which is the cause of tension.
It is important to also be able to work on a deeper level with the activation. TRE provides this. Through a specific set of exercises which helps facilitate the neurogenic tremors, TRE supports us in releasing the underlying activation from within and removes one of the underlying physiological causes of bodily, emotional and mental stress.
Simple exercises you can do at home yourself
TRE consists of a series of six simple exercises that help you facilitate the neurogenic tremors. This happens in a controlled and safe way and is most often experienced as pleasant and undramatic.
The aim of the exercises is to gently activate the body’s core muscles and facilitate the neurogenic tremors, especially the Psoas in the lower back, pelvis, and thighs. These are an important part of the body’s muscular protection mechanism against stress and threats.
If you have ever been startled, for example, by a loud noise, and felt your body contract, then the core muscles have been involved. When tremors in the core of the body is facilitated and feels safe, the tremor can then also spread into the other parts of the body. This enables the release of tension in deep muscles throughout the body.
TRE can be used both as an independent method and can also be integrated with great advantage with other approaches, such as the Feldenkrais method, various variants of cognitive therapy, talk therapy, Somatic Experiencing (SE), relational work, NLP, yoga, etc.
It is advised that you learn TRE and the exercises and about the process of tremoring from a trained TRE provider. Also, if you have more severe trauma, and in particular complex, developmental trauma, it is advised that you work with a trauma therapist and receives more help and support in the process. TRE in this case can be very helpful, but TRE should not be considered a stand alone trauma therapy, and can best be integrated with other methods in a larger process.
Developed by David Berceli
TRE was developed by David Berceli. David initially developed the method through his work with traumatized people in war zones in the Middle East and Africa, where he has lived and worked for over 20 years.
He quickly discovered that one could also use the method in relation also to everyday stress, self-development, capacity increase etc, and not just trauma.
Today, TRE instructors have been trained in over 70 different countries, and the method has grown rapidly in popularity.
TRE® denotes TRE’s registered trademark. Dr. David Berceli holds the Copyright, Trademark and Service Mark (SM) for all TRE training materials and the TRE process.
All rights to use is reserved and TRE FOR ALL, Inc (TFA) (NGO) holds distribution rights. Also protected are: Trauma Release Process SM, Tension Release Process SM.
TRE website: http://www.treforall.org