Have You Tried “Shaking Off” Your Stress?

By Sheree Gomes Gupta

With the coronavirus pandemic forcing countries to literally shut down, causing widespread panic and naturally increasing anxiety and worry in an already stressed-out world, there’s no better time than now to give TRE (Tension & Trauma Release Exercises) a try. Created by Dr David Berceli, author of Trauma Releasing Exercises (a kindle edition is available on Amazon.in. Apple users can also download the Stress Less TRE app for home assistance) and CEO, Trauma Recovery Services, this technique involves a series of simple yet effective exercises that activate a natural reflex mechanism of shaking or vibrating that releases muscular tension, calming down the nervous system.

‘’While the body’s biological mechanisms are sensitive to prolonged stress and anxiety, there is a natural way to reduce the stress hormones accumulated in our nervous system. So, if conventional mediation does not work for you, TRE will help you to connect with the ‘mindfulness’ of your body,” says Barcelona-based TRE certified trainer Anna Sólyom.

The technique, she further explains, believes that “we won’t calm down just because we are told to, when the body’s chemicals are pushing us in ‘fight or flight’ mode.” TRE, she says, helps calm the nervous system. According to Traumaprevention.com, when this muscular shaking/vibrating, (non-classified neurogenic tremors) is activated in a safe and controlled environment, the body is encouraged to return back to a state of balance (Now you know why your pet shakes vigorously after a vaccination, or in my case my cat after a bath!)

Additionally, unlike most forms of therapy, TRE sees self-regulation as the ability to tolerate and control one’s emotions, thoughts, feelings, and sensations independently of external supervision or regulation. Self-regulatory collapse is when one’s overwhelming emotions, thoughts, feelings, and sensations cannot be controlled. Which is why these specific exercises work—they focus on releasing the psoas muscle, which connects the lumbar vertebrae to the pelvis. This powerful muscle holds physical, emotional, and mental stress that we carry in our bodies over the course of our lives.

In the wake of COVID-19, most health, fitness and nutrition practitioners are once again reiterating the importance of sleep. “Your immunity is seriously compromised if you’ve not slept soundly for at least 7-8 hours,” says Mumbai-based nutritionist Suman Agarwal. Given the relationship between sleep and stress, TRE, which elicits deep muscular relaxation, inducing the body to activate the rest/digest relaxation response of the parasympathetic nervous system that allows the body to sleep, could be a good option to hardcore sleeping pills which could have side effects.

Sólyom says anyone capable of mild cardio exercises can practice TRE (after consulting with your medical practitioner of course). “It is an easy, safe and effective stress release technique for most people, though I would recommend one practices these exercises with a certified TRE provider. And while many have reported immediate benefits from a single session, to sustain its benefits over time, it’s best to use this as a consistent practice on an as-needed basis,” she says.
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