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TRE (Tension + Trauma Releasing Exercises)

By Tara Shultis, MA, LMT, TRE Practitioner

Photo of Tara ShultisTRE® is an innovative series of exercises that assists the body in releasing deep muscular patterns of stress, tension, and trauma. The exercises are simple, easy to learn and safely elicit a natural reflex mechanism of shaking and/or vibrating that calms the nervous system. TRE was developed over 20 years ago from Dr. David Bercelli's work with large traumatized communities in the Middle East and Africa. His observations led him to understand that this shaking or vibrating is the body's built-in healing mechanism to quiet the mind and release chronic tension.

We learn through social cues to turn off this natural shaking mechanism, but in extreme cases it's nearly impossible (for good reasons) to control the body's natural response to trauma or stress. Perhaps you've experienced the aftershock from a car accident so intensely that you "shook like a leaf". Or, after your body rushed to escape danger, you quivered with fear. This shaking mechanism is wired into our nervous systems to release what is no longer necessary once the body is out of harm's way. We refer to TRE as a self-healing technique because we induce the therapeutic tremor in a safe environment on our own schedule. Once we learn how to safely and effectively elicit the therapeutic tremor on a regular basis, we are more accepting of our body's natural response to stress.

Whether someone has experienced a traumatic life event or accumulated stress over the course of a lifetime, releasing unnecessary tension helps the body and mind return to a more calm and peaceful state. Since its development, TRE has helped thousands of people worldwide in more than 35 countries reduce the effects of stress, tension and trauma. The reported benefits of a regular TRE practice include, but are not limited to:

  • less worry and anxiety
  • better sleep
  • fewer PTSD symptoms
  • reduced muscle + back pain
  • more energy and endurance

Most relaxation techniques rely on conscious control. TRE relies on unconscious control, allowing an individual to listen to music or watch TV while the involuntary muscular shaking process does all the work. As part of Mirasol's integrative approach to eating disorder treatment, TRE expands the client's ability to control emotions, sensations, thoughts, and feelings independently of external supervision or regulation. Once learned, TRE is a self-healing technique and prevents the accumulation of chronic stress, tension and trauma.

During a typical TRE session, whether it's an individual or group session, each client is guided through the series of seven exercises by one of our certified practitioners to safely and effectively elicit the therapeutic tremor. Clients receive individual support to help regulate and modulate the tremor to their levels of comfort and resilience. Clients are asked to rate their emotional and physical well-being before and after each session to determine the overall effectiveness of TRE.

For more information about TRE please visit www.traumaprevention.com

FREE Eating Disorder Support Group!

FREE weekly eating disorder support group for adults struggling with food issues, staffed by therapists from Mirasol Eating Disorder Recovery Centers. Thursdays from 5:30-6:45 pm at 3116 N Swan in Tucson. For more information, call 888-520-1700.

"Mirasol is light years ahead of any other program in the country."