What are Tension Release Exercises?

September 11, 2018


Tension Release Exercises (TRE) are a self help tool. A specialised set of stress relieving exercises that assist the body in letting go of long and also short term trauma, stress and tension. They assist in unwinding the holding patterns and trapped emotional and energetic 'charge' from the muscles, the facia and nervous system in a safe, controlled and self regulated way. They first fatigue the muscles which then enables the body to initiate its own natural tremor response to restore balance and homeostasis. 


The exercises were first developed by Dr David Berceli PHD. He wanted to find a quick, easy and cost effective way to help victims of natural disaster or people affected by war and poverty relieve their symptoms of trauma. People who didn’t have access or finances or time to spend years in expensive therapy sessions. His method of exercises that lead to a self induced therapeutic tremor have been extremely beneficial for thousands people all over the world and they can greatly assist in the diminishment of the symptoms of PTSD. What he also discovered is that they can also be a perfect solution for the anxieties of everyday modern life and all the stresses that that entails. 


The initial 7 exercises fatigue the muscles which then trigger a self induced neurophysiological tremor. Most people don’t realise that tremors can actually be of benefit and assume body tremors are a sign of a pathology or something going wrong in our bodies. This is not always the case. All mammals naturally tremor after shock or highly stressful situations. Babies shake after shock as do dogs and cats. I can remember how much my boxer dog would shake when left alone on fireworks night. It is the bodies way of self regulating. In the wild it is very common for a gazelle to tremor for over an hour to shake off the trauma of escaping from a predator. Humans have this this capacity too but we have trained our bodies to halt the process by stopping the full discharging of the nervous system which includes shaking or tremor.  The trauma (which can be anything from grief or serious injury to a row with a loved one or problems at work) then gets trapped or held in the body. A gazelle doesn’t fret and worry for weeks months or years after a traumatic event because it got rid of the imprint by shaking. Humans on the other hand are effected greatly by trauma because we don't fully release the charge which then often leads to anxiety, worry, stress and depression which then in turn if left unresolved (as I have spoken about in other blogs,) may lead to ill health and disease.


TRE has had such a profound impact on my mental and physical wellbeing. Today was a perfect example of how it can bring me back to balance. I was away from home yesterday at a party with lots of noise and chaos, people I don't know, loud music etc. I then had to navigated my way home through two cities and a long train journey. I felt so depleted and ungrounded when got home. Upon waking this morning I was finding it difficult to concentrate and getting things done felt harder than usual so before I did anything else I took the time to go through the exercises. 

I can really feel now when I am in need of a session and as its something that once learnt, doesn't require a therapist, I just find a spare hour in the day to go down to my basement which is the perfect calm, quiet space and go through the process. About an hour is all it takes, I am transformed. It grounds me. I can literally and metaphorically see things more clearly. It brings me back to myself. I feel so much calmer and feel a sense of stillness that no other therapeutic process I've tried has the ability to do. So much so I wanted to become a practitioner and help other people empower and heal themselves too.


I will be offering one to ones and group sessions in the coming months and I really am so excited to be able to guide you through the process. 


For more information on TRE check out Dr Berceli's website


trauma prevention.com  



In love and wholeness


Ria x








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