What is TRE® and
how does it work?
In a nutshell, the TRE® process involves doing a set of exercises designed by Dr. David Berceli which target primarily the psoas muscle. The objective is to induce this muscle to tremor, initially by use of a combination of tiring and stretching the muscles in the target area, and then by using postures which introduce an element of instability. However, once a neurogenic tremor is accessed – this means the tremor is involuntary and not induced by conscious manipulation of the muscles – and the body becomes familiar with accessing it, the exercises are not necessary for bringing on the tremors. Practitioners are able to start and stop tremoring on their own.
Allowing the body to tremor is the means by which the body’s accumulated and stored stress – sometimes over years, particularly if there has been a traumatic experience in the practitioner’s part – can be discharged.
How does TRE® affect the system?
Physiologically, there can be both a release of muscle tension as well as a release of any stored naturally produced stress chemicals and hormones. This is why for many, the experience can create an experience of looseness and openness in the body, a feeling of being more physically relaxed after a session. The reduction of stress chemicals in the body can also promote better sleep. For assisting with flushing out whatever the TRE® session has helped release, all practitioners are advised to drink plenty of water after a session.
Mentally, many report feeling more grounded and aware of being present in their bodies (as opposed to having their minds mulling on the past or darting around about future issues) because in the process of experiencing the tremors, practitioners are guided to notice what is happening in their bodies, how the way they adjust their positions and use interventions can cause a change in their tremor experience and allow more parts of their bodies to experience tremoring. This groundedness can have an effect of helping people feel generally more calm, and helps create a better awareness around distinguishing being focused and being distracted.
There can also be a discharge of emotional stress during a TRE® session. Emotions which have been suppressed may be experienced during a shake though this varies from person to person, because individuals may also choose to regulate their experience by taking more breaks during their shake. The opportunity provided by the TRE® session to experience and be aware of these emotions when they emerge without the usual loaded trigger present can be very powerful for reconnecting with emotions as well as for allowing them to be expressed in a controlled and manageable fashion.
The possibility of suppressed emotions emerging is one of the reasons why beginners are encouraged to go through a period of supervised TRE® shakes in a group or 1-on-1 with a certified provider. The provider is there to provide support to ensure that the practitioner feels safe during the TRE® session, learns how to regulate their shake so that they can create a more optimum TRE® experience for themselves.
Dr. David Berceli
Scientist and Innovator who discovered the stress-discharging qualities of the tremor mechanism and who designed the exercises so that anyone can access the mechanism to improve their well-being.
An All-In-One Reset
A TRE® tremor session provides an opportunity for a physical, mental and emotional reset that helps us feel refreshed and restored to ourselves. For some, this ‘back to neutral’ state helps them access internal resources that were previously obstructed by stored stress, so that they can be more resilient in general.
Every Body Tremors Differently
And that is why we wanted to create different possibilities for exploration so that you can find the way to support your tremor and stress-discharging journey in the way that is the most supportive for you.
This is important to us because YOU are the greatest and most important intervention for all of your experiences.
Should anyone NOT practice TRE®?
For safety’s sake – after all, your safety is our #1 priority – here are some situations where, if you have not done TRE® before, you might want to wait before starting or to make sure that you are undertaking your TRE® experience with a provider to help you practice TRE® safely.
If you have had surgery recently, particularly abdominal surgery, you are advised to not start doing TRE® until either 6 months after OR your consulting doctor has given you the go-ahead to resume normal activities.
Immediately after an Accident
Though TRE® can be used to shake off the stresses of having had an accident, if you have been injured, you might want to proceed slowly and cautiously, paying great attention to which parts of your body are ready to discharge stress and tension.
If you are not sure or simply want more support, have a provider present for your shake.
If you are pregnant
Though there are TRE® practitioners who DO tremor during their pregnancies with no ill-effects, if you have never done TRE® before and do not have a baseline understanding of how your body responds to the experience, you are advised to wait until the baby is born before beginning your TRE® journey.
If you’re ready to start your TRE® journey, here are some things you might want to have on hand.
A Yoga or Exercise Mat
As the basic TRE® position requires you to lie down on the floor (see featured image), the mat is to provide you some cushioning. You may also use a futon or mattress if you have that available, though we do not recommend that you shake on an elevated plane (like on your bed) until you have enough experience with TRE® to know how to regulate your tremors and keep yourself safe from falling off mid-shake.
We usually encourage practitioners to have some water immediately after the TRE® tremor session and integration are completed, to provide resource for flushing the body.
A Small Hand Towel
Though props are not generally necessary, a small hand towel can be used for a number of simple self-interventions during a TRE® session, so having one on hand can be helpful and provide more options for managing your experience.
As with all somatic modalities and most other learning, the best way to get to know better what TRE® is and how it works is to get an experience of it. Every body is different and responds differently to TRE®, so come and discover the mystery that is you.
If you are a beginner, you can search for a START session or a Beginner-Friendly TRE4Life GROUP session. Alternatively, if you would prefer some 1-on-1 attention because your own knowledge of your personal history makes you prefer to have a more private arrangement to begin your TRE® journey until you have a handle on how it affects your system – or if you simply have more questions that our FAQ page doesn’t help you with yet – get in touch with us!