I have recently been training in coaching programs as well as applied positive psychology. I decided to enter the world of somatic healing even though I had been skeptical of changing the mind with the body. After one session of tension release exercises my doubt changed to acceptance and awe. Yes, a bottom up approach works in helping to regulate the nervous system and even change thoughts. After one session any old ideas about myself stopped flashing in my mind like a movie calling to be watched. I stopped grinding my teeth on the left side of my mouth. I have worn a mouth guard to prevent this for the last few years. In the past, due to dysregulation part of my stress response was grinding. I have broken a few crowns on this side of my mouth. Immediately after this session, as I lay there after eliciting a quiver, this ended, my nervous system felt completely regulated and my body deflated like a balloon in total relaxation.
The TRE technique was created by David Berceli, who observed like Peter Levine that animals shake after life threatening events, but humans see this as symptom of being weak, and fearful. Never completing the trembling as found in the wild of a stress response, we carry this trauma in our physical bodies as well as minds. If you have read through my blog, I have suffered through trauma in my lifetime and periods of long stress , which then manifested as chronic illnesses that I could not seem to recover from, until I found brain retraining. TRE is another form of retraining, working from the bottom  up.
David Berceli is an expert in trauma release and prevention. He created the TRE method after observing communities in Africa and the middle east traumatised by war. After eliciting the body’s natural tremoring response to trauma, the need for psychotherapy and medication were not needed.  Research studies to prove the efficiency are being conducted and can be found here.    When we have a difficult life experience we have worry and anxious thoughts, and possible the fight or flight response. Some of us, like myself, get caught in this fight or flight response and cannot come out, we can’t return to a normal state of resilience. In other words, down regulation the process of the nervous system has been aborted and one is left in the worry, stress, sleeplessness and withdrawal behaviors.
I have found myself to become very resilient through brain retraining and able to down regulate,  but there was a small part of me that still had old memories, old ideas about myself that had been stored as a result of trauma.  I knew my resilience could be even stronger which made me interested in TRE, and decided to give a chance to manipulating the physical to see a result in my nervous system and later my mind. Resiliency is the ability to return to a natural state after a difficult experience. I have not been in my natural state of balance since childhood. Although, I have seen glimpses of complete regulation at times in my life, the dysregulation would eventually return and I would be flooded with self defeating thoughts and painful memories as well as physical symptoms.  Through retraining, it became a more permanent state, and TRE helped to complete the task. However, I also see this as a lifelong process as we pick up stress daily.  TRE exercises are a set of physical exercises to help shake this stress off.
Once I,  with the help of my practitioner elicited a tremoring response,  I could see my mind want to control the situation by saying stop to the quivering. We have been taught that shaking shows “fear”, when it really shows coming out of the fear and is perfectly normal, natural and healthy. I also noticed my jaw releasing and my legs quivering on their own without any directions from me. As this occurred, I began to laugh, and feel more joyful. I let my legs quiver without trying to stop them and my body and mind felt completely peaceful. A few hours after the session, I could see my jaw begin to contract again, which tells me I have more work to do, but I am on the path to discovering a new tool to play with for balance .
If you would like to learn more about TRE watch the video below: