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  • Writer's pictureKarla Johanna Schaeffer

TRE® - Self-Healing Mechanism that is Built into All of Us.

We all have a self-healing mechanism built into us. I would like to explain to you what this is and how you can use it.

It is important to understand that when we are exposed to an acute stress or panic situation, the body responds.

When stress levels are high, the body responds instinctively and not with the mind. Our brain stem, the oldest part of the brain, responds with an instinctual reaction.

When perceived 'danger' is present, stress hormones are released, putting the body on alert. Energy levels are ramped up, the heart rate increases, our muscles tense - we are on full alert.

During stress, during overwhelm and during panic attacks, an overexcitation takes place in the body.

This activation saved our lives back then when we had to run away from wild animals or fight them off. This is no longer the case today. Nowadays, this very biological process in our everyday lives, which for many of us means 'continuous alarm', leaves us stuck in a high-voltage loop.

When this stress reaction of the body is constant, it makes us weary, tired and sick and we experience for example panic attacks amongst other things as a symptom.

It's not just the demands of our modern day jobs and families that activate the alarm system. I believe that deep-seated emotions such as fear, guilt, grief and shame also create an inner field of hidden, chronic stress.

It is a fact that our immune functions are weakened when stress hormones like cortisol keep the nervous system in a constant state of emergency. It is also a fact that many of our mental abilities are impaired when stress hormones rise in the body.

What to do?

So how can we counteract this physical automatism when it's not the wild animal that triggers the physical state of emergency in us but just the ex-husband whose name appears on the cell phone display, or the business email which arrives early at 7 a.m.? Or simply a fearful thought, which however also triggers the whole instinctual process in the body and puts it into the state of emergency.

I want to introduce you to the neurogenic tremor, the self-healing mechanism I talked about at the beginning. With neurogenic tremors we can release deep muscle tension and stress symptoms in the body.

The point is that we have a stress level in the body that cannot be released by will alone. Therefore, we approach it on a deeper level, through the autonomic nervous system.

We do this by using the natural tremoring mechanism in the body like a relief valve. We literally shake off our tension and discomfort.

Through neurogenic tremors, the body can reduce stress hormones, release muscle stiffness, relax the nervous system, and return itself back to natural balance.

We thus discharge tension and empty ourselves of stress.

Quite literally, we simply shake off our stress. We give that high energy a channel to discharge.

You may already know this muscle tremoring from yoga exercises or sports.

TRE® (Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises) uses this mechanism in a very deliberate and controlled manner. The effect is a liberating release. You learn to perceive and regulate arising sensations and feelings.

It is highly recommended to learn the exercises under supervision. Because ask yourself, when was the last time you really shook allover?

Shaking - more than weakness and loss of control.

Maybe you can observe this at home, small children still shake when they are afraid. Or when they are angry. Something comes up and it is let out. When a situation overwhelms the organism, children still react with the body's natural way to release this tension.

We as adults on the other hand, have long since learned to suppress this bodily function as much as possible so as not to appear weak, overwhelmed or lacking confidence.

This article is also not a call for uncontrolled shaking. But an encouragement to use the neurogenic tremors in a protected space under initial guidance and in a controlled way to dissipate the stress energy. And to free ourselves.

The neurogenic tremor is not a symptom, but the healing process.

Dr. David Berceli developed the shaking exercises TRE® to release muscle tension from the psoas muscle - often called "muscle of the soul" - that large muscle that connects the upper body to the thigh bones. This strong and deep muscle stores physical, emotional and mental stress that we have accumulated throughout our lives and continue in our bodies. This is exactly why it is so interesting to modern trauma research, most notably shaped by Peter Levine and Bessel van der Kolk.

In fact, with this body therapy, we can process and resolve many things that we may have been carrying around for years.

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