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Sharon Gonzales CST-T, LMT, TRE, Reiki Master


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Tension & Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE)

Tension/Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE)


CranioSacral Therapy (CST), is a gentle, hands-on treatment helpful in releasing stored tension and stress.  CST was developed by an Osteopath.  Gentle touch invites and encourages tension to release, putting your body at ease.  Besides treating the overall body, there is a focus on releasing tension at the head, spine, and tail bone, the structures surrounding and supporting our nervous system.

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Tension/Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE)

All of the information listed below is from the website.   If you would like to watch a full video, featuring the founder of TRE, Dr. David Berceli, PhD, please watch on U-Tube:


TRE® (Tension & Trauma Releasing Exercises): Full Instructions with Dr. David Berceli (OFFICIAL)


What are Tension & Trauma Releasing Exercises?

Tension & Trauma Releasing Exercises (or TRE®) is a simple yet innovative series of exercises that assist the body in releasing deep muscular patterns of stress, tension, and trauma.  Created by Dr. David Berceli, PhD, TRE safely activates a natural reflex mechanism of shaking or vibrating that releases muscular tension, calming down the nervous system.  When this muscular shaking/vibrating mechanism is activated in a safe and controlled environment, the body is encouraged to return to a state of balance.


What does Self-Regulation mean in TRE?

Self-regulation is the ability to tolerate and control one’s emotions, thoughts, feelings, and sensations independently of external supervision or regulation.

Self-regulatory collapse is when the individual cannot control their own overwhelming emotions, thoughts, feelings, and sensations.


TRE Self-Regulation Guidelines:

These exercises should be done only if they are pleasurable and you feel safe and grounded in the process.  If you begin to experience physical pain, adjust your position and/or modify the speed or intensity to relieve the pain.  If no adjustment and/or modification can be found, stop the process, sit up and get a glass of water.


If you feel emotionally overwhelmed and/or uncomfortable, slow down or stop the TRE process until you feel safe and grounded again.  Again, sit up and get a glass of water.


If you are doing TRE for the first time, TRE for All, Inc. recommends you only tremor for a maximum of 15 minutes and only do TRE 3 or 4 times a week.


Once you have learned the skills of “self-regulation” and have been doing TRE for a few weeks, you can lengthen your tremor time and/or increase your frequency at your discretion.

Are there any special conditions or directives about doing TRE alone?

TRE is a safe and effective stress release technique for most people.  Although the exercises appear simple and easy to learn, the most profound value of learning TRE is with a Certified TRE Provider.  Though many people report immediate benefits from a single session of TRE, it is recommended that TRE be used as a consistent practice on an as-needed basis, either alone or in groups, to sustain its benefits over time.


It is imperative that persons with any clinical diagnoses or psychiatric conditions, or persons taking medications for any diagnoses or conditions, consult their medical professional or a Certified TRE Provider* to ensure they learn TRE self-regulation appropriately and correctly.   It is your responsibility to match your needs with the skills of your Certified TRE® Provider.  You can contact a Certified TRE Provider if you have questions or feel anxious, confused, and/or concerned.


Certified TRE Providers have a wide range of professional expertise, skills, and experiences.  It is your responsibility to research the qualifications of the person you contact to ensure they have the knowledge, skills & experience you need for your particular situation.  Each provider is independent of TRE for All, Inc., and it is their responsibility to work within their scope of practice and licensure.


Why does TRE® make people feel better?

The exercises activate a shaking mechanism, which causes the muscles to relax.  Relaxing tense muscle patterns can often reduce stress in the spine, neck, shoulders, and pelvis.  When tension is released anywhere in the body, the brain registers a reduction in pain signals, producing new hormones that promotes healing.


Why is TRE® a revolutionary tool for everyday stress, anxiety, or trauma?

These unique yet simple exercises activate an involuntary shaking in the muscles.  Therefore, an individual does not use the conscious control of their body or brain that most relaxation techniques rely upon. Instead, TRE taps the brain’s unconscious part so one can even watch TV or listen to music and allow the shaking to do all the work.

How do people benefit from periodic TRE® practice, stress management and popular relaxation techniques?

Stress, anxiety, and trauma are common events in people’s lives.  We often experience stress on a daily level, either at home or at work.  The body constantly responds to elevated stress levels by contracting the muscles to “get through the problem.” However, we seldom recognize these contractions until we experience pain, discomfort or illness.  By practicing preventative techniques like TRE, we can prevent stress and tension levels from elevating to the point of chronic illness.

Why does TRE® seem to improve sleep and build resilience?

The body intuitively knows how and when to put itself to sleep.  Difficulty sleeping is simply a symptom that something is out of balance with the body.  Sleeplessness often signals that stress, anxiety, and tension are causing the “sleep mechanism” to not activate properly.


Deep muscular relaxation, which TRE elicits, induces the body to activate the rest/digest, relaxation response of the parasympathetic nervous system that allows the body to relax and self-correct.  Resiliency can be attained when the individual can work, respond to stress, play, and rest.  If deep adequate rest, and the relaxation response, is not a part of the individual’s daily life, resiliency is compromised.


Integrating TRE® into Work and other Health Modalities
How is it used as a therapeutic tool to reduce anxiety, anger, stress, tension and post trauma symptoms?

It can be used as a therapeutic tool because these symptoms can be difficult to manage at times.  They might seem overwhelming.  Using this tool in a therapeutic context allows the therapist to use the body as part of the stress-reduction process without needing to have advanced degrees in body psychotherapy.

Why can periodic TRE® help reduce workplace conflict and facilitate cooperation?

Conflict is caused by stress and tension, whether at work or home.  People who are calm and relaxed do not experience much conflict.  However, remaining in a place of calmness and relaxation is difficult because daily life challenges our relaxed state.  Periodic TRE continually reduces the levels of daily stress and anxiety in the body, giving the person access to a more relaxed state of mind.  The combination of a relaxed body and relaxed mind can lead to a reduction of conflict in all areas of one’s life.

How does TRE® complement yoga, meditation, exercise workouts, and spiritual practices?

Exercise, workouts, and yoga often reduce muscle tension and help increase strength and flexibility. However, many tension patterns and contractions are deep inside the body, often without our conscious awareness.  TRE uncovers these less conscious but obvious tension patterns.  The contractions release tension at this deeper level.  When this occurs, the body takes on greater flexibility and resilience.  This increased awareness of a ‘deeper sense of self’ often extends itself into the realm of the ‘spiritual’ to which many people aspire.  Once there is a deeper felt sense of oneself, there is a natural deeper sense of connection to others and the ‘universe’ or the ‘spiritual’.


More Details for those Ready to Learn TRE®

What is the best way to learn TRE®?

Many people can learn TRE by reading books and/or watching the DVD.  However, some may benefit better if guided through the exercises by a Certified TRE Practitioner.  One might have an immediate result from the exercises and others might not experience the results until after practicing the exercises a few times.  Because the TRE process can be intense and somewhat overwhelming, those who find TRE to be challenging might want to be guided through the exercises by a Certified TRE Practitioner or attend a workshop.  Check out the website for Certified Practitioners in your area, for scheduled workshops or for practitioners who can work with you online.

Why might a TRE® facilitator or online coach be beneficial?

If people believe they have deep traumas that have strong emotional components, they might find it safer and easier to have a private session with a Certified TRE Practitioner who can guide them safely through the exercises and teach them how to self-regulate any emotions that might surface.

How much time is needed to do TRE®?

TRE, like any other new method, might require some time to get used to.  Although the exercises are designed to be easy and simple to follow, for some, it can be like riding a bike, jumping rope or learning to ski — it might take a little practice.  Once the exercises are learned and the shaking is activated a few times, the process will move much faster.  We suggest that 15 minutes of the shaking/tremor release will be enough for one session.  Although some have such a positive experience in this release process that they extend this time for much longer.  Over time some TRE uses have found that they do not need to do the full exercise process and find they are able to activate the release without the full routine.

Can I use TRE® to release stress/tension while watching TV, or as part of another exercise routine?

Yes, in fact for many people allowing the mind to be distracted by another activity allows the body to release tension without any ego/mind/thought interference in the process.  For others the process of focusing on the body can be helpful and healing.  This is a personal decision based on individual preference.

How often should I practice TRE®?

Once you have learned the TRE process and you are comfortable with the process you can do TRE every day if you like.  We recommend that you do TRE at least two times per week.  However, even occasional use of TRE will be beneficial to reducing deeply held muscular tension.

What does strong or gentle shaking mean?

If the shaking is strong it is an indicator that the large muscles in the body are breaking up ‘iceberg-like’ tension in the muscles.  These tension blockages create strong shaking until they break up and the energy can flow more easily.  Finer movements are equally important in reworking our tension holding patterns.  Beware of making judgments about the intensity of your shaking and what this all means.


This process will ebb and flow with varying intensity, and you need to trust that the body is doing exactly what it needs to to release held tension.

Do these exercises cause emotions to surface?

Because these exercises relax tightly held muscles, buried emotions can surface for some people during deep muscular relaxation.  Others report no particular emotional feelings and just experience a physical shaking that leads to reduced stress.  Both situations are perfect.  Each session is unique.  The body simply does what it needs to do.  The goal is to allow this process to emerge naturally.


If you experience emotional feelings while doing TRE, please be very respectful of the process.  If you begin to feel vulnerable, sensitive, overwhelmed or scared and want to stop the exercises, simply straighten your legs and lock out your knees.  Stay in this position for a few minutes.  Or, you may want to curl up in a ball, walk around, or eat something.  The point is to do what is needed to get comfortable again or come back to your present reality, we call this “grounding.” Take your time.  In practicing TRE it is very important to learn “self-regulation” where you shake/tremor from a place of safety and can come in and out of the TRE process.  A few find they want or need a TRE Practitioner to assist them in learning self-regulating skills.  Others may find it helpful to enlist friends, family, and/or therapist in this process.

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