shaking tensions off

Yesterday I attended a TRE (Tension, Stress & Trauma Release Exercise) course by Niina Ailovuo (Sielunliike) at Joogastudio Oulu, in Northern Finland.

TRE® (Tension, Stress & Trauma Release Exercise) has been developed by Dr. David Berceli, PhD. TRE® is a series of exercises that aim to release deep muscular patterns of stress, tension and trauma. The exercises activate our natural reflex mechanism of shaking which is our natural way of discharging muscular tension and calming down our nervous system. Shaking after a fight-fright-flight situation is our in-built mechanism we share with other animals that aims to return our nervous system back to a state of balance. I say shaking is natural to us and yet if we see someone shaking it can seem odd or even scary and most often people feel embarrassed by their own body shaking uncontrollably.

The problem with inhibiting shaking after a traumatic event (whatever the cause of trauma) is that our nervous system might not manage to calm down back to normal after the hightened state during the traumatic event or period. A prolonged period of hightened nervous activity is taxing for our wellbeing. TRE® exercises simply decrease the level of physical and psychological stress, tension and trauma that we accumulate in our lives.

Shaking and trembling can happen as part of cranio-sacral therapy treatment too. The difference with TRE® is that during TRE® session shaking is induced whereas in the cranio-sacral therapy treatment shaking usually arises in its own time, but it is not actively encouraged and it is not the main aim of the treatment.

I believe that TRE® provides very good tools for reducing stress in our lives and it can benefit most people, particularly those who work in traumatising situations. My only concern is that sometimes our conscious and sub-conscious minds disagree with each other. Our rational mind might want to process our deep traumas from our childhood, for example, but sub-consciously we might not be ready for it. There might be such deep underlying fears that grind the healing process to a halt or even cause re-traumatisation if actively induced too quickly. I am looking forward to learning more about TRE® in the future and using it as a tool to maintain my health and wellbeing.

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