Shake off your tension with TRE®

I am so excited to announce that, after 10 months of training, I am now a certified provider of Tension and Trauma Release Exercises (TRE®) and will be offering this to clients alongside or independently of Nutritional Therapy. Having previously practiced TRE® myself, I feel that this modality has great potential utility for my clients – particularly those whose symptoms are in part triggered by stress.

There are strong connections with the nervous system and the immune system; as there are between the nervous system and the digestive system. When the fight and flight response, orchestrated by the sympathetic nervous system, is active resources are directed away from digestion and chronic stress can negatively affect immune functioning and increase inflammation. Conversely the ventral vagus nerve – a key nerve of the parasympathetic nervous system, supports rest and digest, and the ability to socially engage – and can help to calm down the stress response. I have already been suggesting many of my clients introduce exercises into their daily routine such as gargling and singing loudly that can activate this ventral vagus nerve, helping bring the nervous system back into a place of balance. This can aid digestion and help to support a calmer immune system. TRE® is another tool that could potentially be used here.

What is TRE®?

TRE® is a series of seven exercises developed by Dr David Berceli that help to induce a natural tremor mechanism in the body. This can change patterns of tension – many of which have been there for a long time – and so alter the information being sent from the body up to the brain. If you consider how differently you feel when you screw up your face and fists, compared with when you sit with your shoulders relaxed away from your shoulders and a gentle smile on your face – you can envisage how these patterns can influence our mood and emotions.

What could TRE® do for you?

There are many reports documenting how TRE® can help improve emotional resilience, support sleep and improve well-being. After the practice many people report feeling calmer and less tense.

It is also an opportunity to connect with your innate body wisdom – as your body takes the lead for a change and your thinking brain takes a back seat! I have found that many people that I work with who experience reactions to food or autoimmunity are always busy, try their hardest to get everything right and spend a lot of time doing things for other people. Simply taking time out where you can stop trying to figure out what is going on and be with your body, can in itself be highly therapeutic. In addition, for those of us who have felt let down by our body at times – realising that our body knows what it needs to do can be a powerful experience.

Lastly it is a great practice for becoming comfortable with going slow. The practice helps to develop what we call self-regulation – awareness of how we are feeling and agency to do something about it (often taking a break!). You also start to become much more aware of when you are ‘going quick’ – or activating your sympathetic nervous system – in your daily life. My regular practice has shown me that I was actually a lot more ‘activated’ than I thought (a sign of the sympathetic nervous system taking over) – and has also helped me recognise this in others.

What does a TRE® session look like?

Each session starts with an initial check in and then a short grounding practice. This helps you be present in the moment and more aware of how you are feeling and what you are sensing. I would ask you to report on your current levels of stress and tension, and then I will lead you through the exercises. These exercises are designed to mildly stress your muscles and are not meant to be a huge workout! After that, I would show you how to start and stop the tremors, and then guide you through the same steps. Though you may have an idea of what ‘tremoring’ could look like – we use the term to describe any involuntary movements. These could be anything from yawning or gurgling stomach to larger muscle movements – all of which will denote changes in holding patterns. So long as  you are comfortable with the movements, that is what counts. Throughout the practice I will encourage you to take breaks when you need, will check in with you regularly and make suggestions to help you stay grounded throughout. For some people the sessions will be more focused on grounding and self-regulation, for others they will spend longer actively tremoring. Both approaches are valuable and will be dictated by your experience. At the end we will take time to let everything settle, and then have another check in to see how you feel after the practice.

If you would like to find out whether TRE® would be suitable for you, contact me to book a free discovery call. I will be running individual sessions both online and in person, as well as group classes online as well as in Pyrford and Oxshott, Surrey.

For more info, or to book, visit my booking page.

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