TRE™ stands for ‘tension and trauma releasing exercises’.
It’s also known as neurogenic tremors. TRE™ was developed by Dr David Berceli in the 1990s with the aim of helping people and communities release patterns and imprints of tension and trauma through inviting a natural neurogenic tremor initiated and guided by the body, allowing for a gentle gradual and eventually deep release of tension and trauma from our body mind system.
“The human animal is designed to experience, endure, survive, and learn from traumatic episodes,” David says. “If we did not possess this ability the human species would have become extinct.”
We all experience, endure and survive stress and trauma (Greek for ‘wound’), challenging situations, during our lifetime. The idea is that in our modern world we have forgotten – or conditioned ourselves out of – this natural release and discharge mechanism, so our ability to move beyond these experiences and perhaps become more resilient has been compromised. This is what TRE™ aims to offer.
What are the benefits of TRE™?
The most common benefits, listed on David’s website, include:
• Less worry and anxiety
• Better sleep
• Increased flexibility
• Less workplace stress
• More energy and endurance
• Improved relationships
• Reduced muscle and back pain
• Greater emotional resiliency
• Decreases symptoms of vicarious trauma
• Healing of old injuries
• Reduces symptoms of PTSD
• Lessened anxiety surrounding serious illness
• Relief from chronic medical conditions
What happens in a TRE™ session?
The process involves four stages: first a set of movements and exercises that work on particular muscles groups to create a modest amount of tension through those muscles. This tension invites the body’s natural tremor response. Secondly, there is a period of tremoring (and the tension is reduced). Thirdly, we stop tremoring; in fact, one of the first things we do when we learn to begin tremoring is how to stop. Finally we rest and integrate the effects.
Where does TRE™ come from?
David’s work has taken him to some of the most dangerous locations and divided communities in the world. He has witnessed first-hand the effects of trauma on individuals, families and communities, and has himself suffered (and recovered) from post-traumatic stress disorder, which he documents in his book The Revolutionary Trauma Release Process. On one occasion, during the fighting in Lebanon, David was trapped for weeks in a basement along with a number of others who had taken shelter from the bombing. He noticed that everyone had the same physiological reflex response to what was going on around them. He wondered if there might be a process to undo the effects of this reaction, and TRE™ is the result.
Why does TRE make people feel better?
The exercises activate a shaking mechanism, which causes the muscles to relax. Relaxing tense muscle patterns can often reduce stress in the spine, neck, shoulders and pelvis. When tension is released anywhere in the body, the brain registers a reduction in pain signals, producing new hormones that promotes healing.
In 2014, TRE™’s first research project was published in a medical journal. Global Advances in Heath and Medicine featured this article in its September 2014 edition (volume 3, number 5).
In the video below, produced in September 2014, David explains (among other things) how tremoring is documented in the worlds of psychology, neurology and physiology, together with an overview of his own model, TRE™.
I’m not sure I’d categorise myself as ‘traumatised’ – might TRE™ still have something to offer me?
These simple exercises release tension and anxiety and promote relaxation by evoking a muscular shaking process in the body. They are designed to reduce stress and tension as a result of difficult life circumstances, immediate or prolonged stressful situations or traumatic life experiences. TRE (Tension/Trauma Releasing Exercises) can help reduce anxiety, chronic neck and shoulder pain, and lower back problems, and restore a sense of peace and calm to the body and mind.
Since this shaking mechanism in the muscles is part of our natural behavior as humans, everyone can benefit from TRE. This shaking of the muscles, neurogenic tremors, increases the resiliency of the body because it causes deep relaxation that naturally reduces stress levels. It can release emotions ranging from mild upset to severe anxiety whether it is caused by work stress, excessive worry, conflict in relationships, physical stresses or traumas from accidents. Additionally, TRE has been reported to reduce pain, increases mobility, and aid healing of past injuries
It is not necessary to know or to speak about the details of what has happened to us. For example, in my own experience of having been born blind in one eye, I always felt numbness around this eye like it was never truly part of me, almost like a disconnection. Doing TRE I felt movement around my eye socket and started to feel sensations that I have never felt before, the numb sensations started to dissipate and I started to feel like my eye was no longer separate but apart of my body as a whole. I could acknowledge sensations of energy and aliveness, and a real sense of connectedness.
How much does TRE cost?
Single session = $80
Package of 4 prepaid sessions = $280
(equivalent to $70 / session)
Package of 6 prepaid sessions = $390
(equivalent to $65 / session)