Tension Releasing Exercises TRE® were developed to help as many people as possible in a crisis area in a short time. They helped earthquake victims, refugees, soldiers, tsunami victims and many more. The exercises reduce the stress people are exposed to in a disaster area. The exercises are easy and quick to learn. You can learn the exercises as a large group e.g. in a gym.
- The exercises reduce the stress people are exposed to in a disaster area.
- The exercises are easy and quick to learn.
- You can learn the exercises as a large group e.g. in a gym.
What is the difference between “Hard Trauma” and “Soft Trauma”?
When people survive a tsunami, bomb attack or car accident, the term “hard trauma” is used in English.
In Western culture, many people live in a socially difficult environment. If, for example, the children grow up in a quarreled parental home or with parents who have massive addiction problems, the children feel insecure and are predominantly anxious. These children or later adults are then quickly irritable, often absent, have sleep problems or perhaps nightmares. Such circumstances are called “soft trauma”.
How do I benefit most from TRE?
- You will benefit most if you do TRE the first few times with a TRE provider, either in an individual or group session. This will help you become more familiar with the process, feel confident and get valuable tips and help. – Alternatively, you can buy the book by David Berceli, Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE):: A revolutionary new method for stress/trauma recovery, and practice alone.
- Do the exercises regularly.
- Develop a sense of when your body needs relaxation.
- Try out what supports you more: practicing alone or in a group.
What should I keep in mind when practicing?
- The exercises should be pleasant for you.
- If you feel pain during the exercises, change your position, your posture or the speed of the vibrations. If that doesn’t help, stop.
- When strong emotions arise, please sit up and drink a glass of water.
- Resist the temptation to exaggerate.
- Do the exercises only in a safe and protected area where you will not be disturbed.
- Wear comfortable clothing.
- Please try to control, “create” and manipulate as little as possible.
- A curious and playful attitude is conducive.
How much time do I need for TRE?
In the beginning you will probably do the whole set of exercises to trigger the tremor. This takes about 1 hour. Later, after a few weeks, when you are more practiced and experienced, you will be able to trigger the tremor without the preliminary exercises. Then you can change the duration and frequency as you wish. As a rule of thumb you can count on …
- 15 min for the trembling/shaking – this is a good time frame
- 3 to 4 times a week is completely sufficient.
Why does TRE make you feel better?
Trembling, vibrating or shaking causes the muscles to relax. This results in:
- A relaxed pelvis and a loose shoulder girdle simply feel good.
- The blood circulation in the muscles increases. This is experienced as an energy boost.
- The brain registers the message “all-clear” and switches from “mammoth hunting” to “mammoth digestion”. It then releases “hedonistic” hormones.
Why do I sleep better with TRE?
When you as a modern adult are under stress every day and are confronted with subliminal fears, anxieties and problems, your body is repeatedly put into a state of readiness to fight or flee every day. But the return to a state of relaxation – i.e. the change from “mammoth hunting” to “mammoth digesting” – is no longer completely successful. And so some of you continue to hunt the mammoth at night. The TRE exercises cause a deep muscular relaxation, so that your body can finally switch completely to “digesting mammoth” and relax: the prerequisite for deep, restful sleep.
Is TRE good for athletes?
Yes, you can successfully use TRE as an athlete.
- High physical performance causes a high level of tension. This impairs the regeneration phase. With TRE you can relax the musculoskeletal system quickly and deeply. Vagal tone and regeneration then begin correspondingly quickly.
- You can relax the deep pelvic muscles (Musculus Illiopsoas). Try it out for yourself.
- TRE helps you to loosen the muscles trimmed for high performance quickly and effectively after each training session.
- Right before a competition you can use TRE to start serene, relaxed and calmly.
“Tension Releasing Exercises and Sport” – an interview with Dr. Melanie Salmon. This video shows a TRE session with an athlete that had been riding a bicycle from Cairo to Cape Town.
Is TRE a therapy?
No. It is not a therapy. However, you can use TRE to accompany:
- Somatic experiencing therapy
- Body therapy
- Body psychotherapy
- Trauma therapy
You can also use TRE to accompany rehabilitation measures in the following cases:
- Rehabilitation after an accident
- Rehabilitation after surgery
- Rehabilitation after pregnancy
TRE exercises reduce the symptoms of anxiety, stress, aggression, nervousness, restlessness, constant alert, burnout and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). TRE causes the deep flexor muscles (M. Iliospsoas) in the body to relax. The general level of tension decreases, while resilience increases. Self-awareness, the felt sense, increases.
Can TRE help me with conflict resolution?
Yes, that is possible. A person who is physically and mentally relaxed,
- is in a position to make far-sighted and rational decisions
- appears calm and serene in its surroundings
- has fewer conflicts
Stress and tension cause that
- thinking is short minded and
- decisions are more affected by emotions and
- all actions are rather impulsive.
Regular TRE training continuously reduces stress in the body. This not only makes you more relaxed, calmer and serene, but you also act more considerate.
“Berceli TRE Exercises to Release Traumatic Stress in Youth: My Life Case Study”
This video shows a study in a socially difficult environment in Cape Town. The affected adolescents and adults report in an interview about their experiences with the TRE relaxation exercises.
What are the contraindications?
- Herniated disc acute
- Mental diseases
- Heart diseases
- High blood pressure
- Thyroid disorders
When taking medication and any form of clinical diagnosis, you should consult your doctor.
Can TRE arouse emotions?
Yes, that is possible. – If you can finally relax after a long period of inner tension, or if you can finally let go of places that have been physically tense or had to be held for a long time, then this can release emotions. This is a perfectly normal reaction. Your body simply does what it needs to do. – Relaxation can lead some people to intense emotions such as vulnerability, sensitivity or a feeling of flooding. In this case, please be careful with yourself, end the exercise immediately and do everything necessary to calm down. Here are a few suggestions. You can …
- stretch your legs and straighten through the knees
- curl up into a ball
- sit up and drink or eat something
- get up and move around
- breathe deeply and regularly
- return consciously to the here and now
All these measures contribute to your grounding. Give your body time to calm down. Be friendly to yourself. If you have problems regulating yourself, ask a friend, therapist or family member to accompany you. It is essential that you acquire this ability. A companion can be very helpful in this.
What is the origin of the TRE exercises?
In shamanism in some traditions trembling or shaking is used to reach the trance state.
In the 1920s, Elsa Gindler used a slight tremor occasionally during gymnastics. She was involved in the life reform movement in Germany in the 1920s. The wives of Wilhelm Reich and Alexander Lowen came to her for lessons. Alexander Lowen used trembling extensively in the bioenergetic exercises he developed with the aim of releasing the emotions stored in the flexor and protective muscles and thus subjecting them to an analytical process.
David Berceli, the founder of the TRE relaxation exercises, studied bioenergetics himself and uses the stress position developed by Alexander Lowen to induce tremors with the aim of reducing physical stress after traumatic events. In contrast to bioenergetics, tremors are learned and explored in a playful way. The body should be able to discharge tension patterns as autonomously as possible.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me in my practice in Berlin or Munich. Here you will find the contact page.