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Shake it Off

I've shared with you what is happening in your nervous system when we face stress and trauma in our lives. How our bodies automatically take us into the stress response to help us deal with the things we face daily and the things we faced in our past. If our nervous systems are meant to go back into rest and digest, why aren't they?

Chronic Stress

The stress we face today is not the stress of our ancestors. We are facing more stressors that are psychological; things like time management, financial challenges, marital strife, parenting issues, domestic violence and such. Our ancestors faced physical threats of wildlife; weather, animals; things they had to quickly avoid and then the threat was over. Our current day stresses are layered, sometimes one right after the other or at the same time. They are often things we aren't even aware of and things we can't escape. We're talking about you boss man!

Ultimately the body knows what to do. We have all heard the sayings, "shaking like a leaf" or "knees knocking from fear" or even "shaking on the inside with anger." Maybe at some point you have felt that shaking yourself. This shaking or vibration is a natural tremor mechanism our nervous system has to help us release the held tension and hormonal shift that occurs when our body goes into a fight, flight or freeze reaction of the stress response. In fact, this beneficial neurogenic tremor brings us back down to the calmer state of 'rest and digest' in our nervous system where we can heal and allow our body to function optimally.

Yet culturally we find this to be a sign of weakness or illness, something we should control and not let happen. We've stopped our bodies from finishing the actual stress response therefore stopping the final phase that would allow us to calm down and bring us back into a place of balance.

TRE to the Rescue

TRE or Tension Releasing exercises is one way to help restore harmony to our nervous system. Created by Dr. David Berceli, this therapy allows us to reclaim the natural vibration our body inherently knows and allow us to come back to balance.

With TRE:

  • We reconnect with ourselves to become aware of what is going on inside mentally, physically and emotionally.

  • We learn to regulate our nervous system so it runs optimally and it can function properly when we need it.

  • We shake off tight, tense muscles and release deep held tension patterns

  • We become calmer, more focused and feel better in our daily lives.

After all, isn't that what we are going for, a place of balance in our lives? What would it be like to be calm in the chaos, peaceful with our purpose, and have strength with flexibility? We could accomplish more with presence of mind and calmness. We would be kinder and engage with one another. What a wonderful world we would have!

Add in another modality and bam!

TRE is a great modality by itself, but I have found it is one that blends and helps boosts other modalities that also focus on stress management. For example, if you are dealing with old trauma or emotional growth, it pairs well with talk therapy, so I would recommend you get with a counselor. In fact, as you grow and change in your own TRE practice, sometimes it's nice have someone who can help you adjust to the new "you" and help you discover new ways of thinking as you get rid of old coping mechanisms. If you do yoga, TRE is fabulous to add before or after your practice. My clients love to do TRE with their massages. Some choose to do TRE before the massage as the tremor opens the body making the massage more enjoyable. Others like it after, using the massage to open the body so their tremor has space to move. They have learned so much about their bodies. I love it! These are just a few modalities that TRE can be used with but the list is endless. a

The goal is to learn about you and your body. The mental, emotional and physical aspects of yourself as you continue with your TRE practice. The more you learn and listen in to your body, the more you grow. It's figuring out where you are in your nervous system at any given time of the day (stress barometer- see blog Am I on Auto Pilot?) and know how to manage it when you need to self-regulate and move down the chart. Working first with a TRE provider is key to becoming efficient in the process. Then doing TRE regularly on your own and checking in with your provider when needed. Often people who are doing TRE on their own will come back in for a session as they hit a new layer, a repeating tremor pattern or have stronger emotions come up. TRE Providers are trained to support the process and help you safely navigate your healing journey. Group TRE classes are also a great way to socially engage with others and build a community for support.

If you want to give TRE a try, give me a call. I'm setting up groups now and space is limited. With all that is happening in the world, now is the time to start your TRE personal practice.

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