It is not uncommon in many cultures to hear phrases such as, “I was so frightened my jaw was quivering,” “I was shaking all over my body and I couldnt calm down,” “When I was giving that speech my legs were really shaking,” “My hands were shaking so bad I couldnt hold anything,” “I was so angry I shook all over.”
The experience of trembling is not only commonplace in our culture but it is a common experience to many mammalian species. This familiar, albeit disconcerting, experience is known as neurogenic tremors.
It is well-known and documented that neurogenic tremors are a common result of a traumatic event.
The tremors are the central nervous system’s innate way of discharging excessive tension through the rapid muscle contraction and relaxation of the tremors to calm the body down from an over excited adrenal state.
Neurogenic tremors induced with TRE
In most cultures these tremors are seen as a sign of weakness and vulnerability, tending to be suppressed or avoided resulting in chronic pain and tension rather than allowing them to organically restore the body to balance.
Tension & Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE)
Tension & Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE) invokes these innate tremors in a controlled and sustained manner to release deep chronic muscular tension from the core of the body where the protective pattern of muscle contraction is created, returning the body to a more calm, relaxed and balanced state. When neurogenic tremors are evoked at this powerful center of the body where the protective organismic contraction began, the shaking reverberates throughout the entire body traveling along the spine releasing deep chronic tension from the sacrum to the cranium.
These exercises are safe, easily learned, have immediate effects, are a natural deterrent to PTSD, can be self applied, and can be integrated into a simple daily routine to help restore healing faster.
We are in the process of creating a TRE-integrated Trauma Recovery Program for Refugees in Southern California.
Neurogenic tremors in nature
Neurogenic tremors are innate to all mammals and are easily observed as a horse sends a tremor through its’ entire body after a fall. Other examples are gazelles shaking after escaping a lion attack, ducks flapping their wings after a fight or the rapid vibration felt holding a scared rabbit or guinea pig.
Here is a video of a polar bear experiencing these natural Neurogenic Tremors after a stressful encounter.
How do the tremors restore the body to a calm relaxed state?
The tremors turn down the central nervous system’s automated and hyper-aroused fight or flight or freeze response by creating a vibration of contraction and relaxation that releases the built up energy and tension held in the muscles and connective tissues of the body. While this shaking is the body’s innate response to calm down the body when it is traumatized or overexcited, it is often seen as a sign of weakness and there for suppressed, leaving the body held in a chronically stressed and tense state.
The tremors release the traumatic experience in the same way that it was created in the body – by the brainstem initiating a discharge of the physical tension associated with the event. The Trauma Release Exercises are designed to invoke the tremors from the deepest core muscle of the body (that flexes us forward into defensive and defeated postures) before spreading throughout the rest of the body.
Is there an emotional response during the exercises?
While some people experience significant emotional release during the Trauma Release process, others may experience no emotional response whatsoever. Some may experience intense memories of a trauma, while others may have no memory or recollection at all while still achieving a significant physiological and psychological release.
- What are Tension & Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE) ?
- David Berceli interview in South Africa about TRE
- Dr. Robert Scaer thoughts on TRE
About Living Ubuntu
We are a non-profit organization with a focus on mind-body issues, specifically health and well-being, and the effects of stress, trauma and compassion fatigue. We seek to increase awareness of the global and local impact of these issues, build a sense of community, and encourage living a more fully embodied life.
Find more more about us at http://livingubuntu.org.