Releasing Stored Trauma through Trembling (TRE)
We have all experienced a situation that made us feel frightened, threatened or anxious, and as a result of that circumstance, experienced trembling in our body. The tremor is a natural reaction that comes from our nervous system, but many people don't know its true purpose-- it helps us naturally get back to a state of calm equilibrium after experiencing a traumatic event.
Oftentimes, people try to forcibly stop trembling by attempting to assert control. In Western culture, trembling is seen as a sign of weakness. So we use our ego to try to "control it," because we hear phrases such as, "shaking is an indicator of fear.” This analogy has been well engrained into our society, but it is false.
Shaking is actually an indicator of the body's reflex working to relax itself. According to TRE Australia, it is an "understanding that involuntary shaking & tremors are not a ‘symptom’ of stress & trauma, but rather an innate recovery reflex that helps to physically release our body’s stress response to restore our body & mind to an optimal state of health & harmony."
By consciously interfering with this natural process, we are preventing our nervous system from doing its job to recover from the traumatizing/threatening event.
If we actively try to prevent our bodies from shaking/tremoring because we want to be in control, we interfere with our nervous system from fully recovering from a trauma. This direct interference causes the trauma to build up in our bodies and negatively impact our health down the road.
Another example of something that naturally occurs for the benefit our own health and wellbeing but that we prevent ourselves from doing is crying.
As children, we did not have egos that interfered with our crying and were therefore, able to cry freely when we felt pain or threatened. However, the older we got, the more we learned to control our behaviors and instincts to become "socially accepted." As adults, we prevent ourselves from crying through the process of control because our ego has learned from external sources that crying is "weak", "non-manly," and/or an indication of someone who is "overly emotional." All of these assumptions and statements are false. In fact, scientifically, crying is simply the nervous system being overwhelmed and is an emotional state of release/relaxation through the pulsation of the diaphragm and chest cavity.Crying will allow the body to produce the desired release to calm ourselves down.
However, because our ego's interfere with our ability to freely crying when needed, we are holding onto the tension and tightness created by the event that is trying to produce the crying sensation in the human body and therefore preventing it from being released. This in turn will cause the prevention of healing from the traumatic event to occur and will result in blockage that may lead to emotional or physical issues later on in life.
The tremor and crying (as well as laughing) mechanism is simply trying to bring our body back into the state of homeostasis and relaxation.
Releasing Trauma will Improve Your Health, Relationships and Quality of Life:
Chronic tension in the body and high levels of anxiety in the nervous system cause us to withdraw, beginning a process of us going inwards, causing loneliness, isolation, discomfort and eventually disease of some sort.
If we begin to utilize the body’s natural mechanism of tremoring, which originated for us to transition from this inner place of protection/fear and naturally and automatically release the tension, we will be able to relax.
Relaxation in the human organism (organism meaning the mind, body and spirit as one), causes the individual to relax into the body and to feel an easier connection to themselves and within themselves. Establishing and maintaining a healthy relationship within ourselves/to ourselves is important because as we grow in the comfort and security of our inner self, it is in our nature to extend this experience into relationships with other humans, animals, plants and the universe.
Research suggests that just as evolution produced in humans natural defense mechanisms and tendencies, it may have also produced a psycho-neuro-biological based tendency to feel connected to all things. So, the stronger we feel this connection, the easier it is for us to feel inner peace (i.e. buddhism).
If you want to have improved and healthy relationships with others, it is important to first release the tension and trauma within yourself. You cannot establish a connection with others when you are living in a state of contraction/inwards and trying to force yourself into a relationship. Your relationships will NOT work because you have to establish a relationship within yourself first.
In order to have meaningful, healthy and fulfilling relationships with your environment and with other people, you have to first figure out what is inside of you that is inhibiting your relationship with yourself and address all of the components (not just one but the entire emotional, physiological, psychological components) that are preventing a relationship with/within yourself. Once you identify the issue(s) and release them, then you are able to establish a natural pulsation and the human organism is able to move with ease back into relationships in which it feels healthiest and safest.
A 5-minute animation explaining TRE & Why it's Important to Release the Stress/Trauma via TRE:
Examples of Inhibiting Factors:
How to Release Trauma: TRE Exercises
The good news is that we are able to re-establish pulsation by going around our consciousness using tension and trauma release exercises (TRE) founded by Dr. David Berceli PH.D. TRE exercises are a series of simple physical exercises that stretch and gently stress various muscle groups in the body resulting in a gentle vibration/tremor mechanism that causes our nervous system to create and/or re-establish the natural pulsation in the body.
TRE Australia also states that, "TRE is a simple but profound self-care process that can not only be used to ‘release’ stress & trauma after the fact, but just as importantly to prevent stress & burnout by building capacity & physiological resilience in the nervous system through ongoing & regular use."
When using the TRE release exercises for developmental trauma (childhood trauma), long-term stress and/or physical, emotional and sexual trauma, psycho-emotional releases will occur. Sensations such as overwhelming sadness, fear or terror — any and all of the emotions that occurred during the trauma may resurface as a way to finally release itself so that the body can bring itself back into its calm state. Therefore, you may want to see a TRE practitioner to watch over you as a precaution.
However, some traumas are simply neurophysiological (i.e. a fall, sports injury or accident) and there are no psycho-emotional component attached to it. Therefore, you can usually release these traumas and/or contractions in the body quite easily.
Either way, it is entirely up to you and/or your health provider if you would like to perform the TRE exercises at home or in a supervised environment.
An In-depth Video on Tremors, Trauma and TRE:
How to Find a Certified TRE Practitioner:
“The Physical Journey from ‘Muscle Contraction’ to ‘Chi Activation’ to ‘Higher Vibrational Frequencies’" by Dr. David Berceli