Trauma Release Exercises (TRE)


When we are stressed out, or feeling anxious, or experiencing trauma, tension occurs in the body. Our posture changes. Our muscles tighten or become tense. We physically feel it. The physical aspects of chronic negative emotions are detrimental to our health and well-being. There are a lot of practices that can alleviate this tension. They are both mental and physical, and many are described on this platform. Even though we focus mostly on mental practices, there are unique physical practices that positively impact our psychology. These are not mainstream and are worth noting. One of those practices is called TRE, which is short for Trauma Releasing Exercises

TRE for me is a lot like EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). It is a bit unusual, but the research seems to suggest efficacy of the practice for stress reduction, relaxation and health improvement. With this platform, we talk about a logical approach to health and wellness improvement. An all encompassing one. One that considers all kinds of techniques from all fields and walks of life. If they work, they work. It doesn’t matter how strange they may seem, or if the science may be a little suspect. Besides, we know the placebo effect is very real. So if you give a technique a try and it works because of the placebo, that’s is a good thing! Gentle reminder to consult your physician or medical professional before taking on any new health-related practices.

The Practice

TRE simply involves a series of body movements and stretches (like yoga) to improve blood flow, mobility, flexibility and posture. Additionally, a key component of TRE involves exercises that activate natural flex mechanisms in the body that cause shaking or vibrations to occur within the muscles and limbs. These movements help rid the body of the built up stress, anxiety or trauma. 

Lisa Wimberger, author and founder of Neurosculpting, also promotes what she calls vagal toning, which is a series of movements or practices that promote healthy activity of the vagus nerve. This nerve sends signals from the body to the brain. The idea is to generate positive energy within the body that signal the brain to relax or that everything is fine in the body. Vagal toning also involves shaking vigorously, humming, singing, blowing raspberries with your lips to soften the jaw, lips, tongue. All of these generate relation or calm signals that travel from the body up to the brain via the vagus nerve. 

So the next time you find yourself stressed to the gills, try to literally shake it off! There are many resources and videos online to walk you through the various techniques like this one here.

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