Trauma influences all areas of your life, your mind, and your body. It can reveal itself in physical, emotional, and mental pathways that can affect our well-being.
Even though trauma can have profound effects, there are things you can do to alleviate its influence. One example is practicing TREs, known as Trauma Release Exercises.
Stress makes the body stay in danger mode for a longer period, which can affect your physical and mental health.
This is often linked with symptoms like high blood pressure, chronic pain, fast heart rate, and exhaustion.
Trauma Release Exercises can help our bodies release any deep stress, tension, or trauma through tremors.
These shaking movements can relieve muscular strain to relax the nervous system, allowing the body to find a balanced state.
You’ll learn more about Trauma Release Exercises in this post, as well as a few exercises to try yourself at home.
Before we start, please remember to consult your doctor before starting a new exercise regimen, particularly if you live with injuries or haven’t exercised in a while.
Also bear in mind that these exercises, while beneficial, cannot cure trauma. If you live with CPTSD or PTSD, you will need proper mental health guidance from a certified professional.
Trauma: The Basics
Trauma is an emotional reaction to a frightful or horrible occurrence. This occurs when areas of the brain become stuck in defense mode, also known as ‘fight, flight, freeze’.
Shorter-term symptoms that occur after the incidence are linked with denial or shock. Longer-term symptoms range from flashbacks and emotional outbursts, as well as physical symptoms, like headaches and nausea.
Trauma doesn’t have to be related to extreme events, like abuse, natural disasters, or assault. It can also occur after outwardly less severe events. A close shave with a car crash, or being left out as a child can provoke trauma responses.
It’s important to note that not everyone that lives through a negative incident will experience trauma.
However, for those that do, there are different types of trauma responses. Some people’s symptoms may last several weeks, while others may live with them for years.
Trauma Release Exercises
Trauma Release Exercises were first created by Dr. David Bercelli. His exercises aim to aid the body by releasing deeply held stress, anxiety, trauma, and stress.
These movements do this by triggering a natural body reflex. This is a vibrating or shaking feeling that can relieve muscle tension. This helps the nervous system relax, allowing the body to get back to a balanced condition.
TREs can help lower your everyday stress levels and aid in relaxation. Positive effects include less back/muscle pain, improved energy levels, better sleep quality, and flexibility.
These exercises aren’t difficult, but simple actions that you can perform right at home.
Recovering from trauma involves dedicated mental and psychological work. However, TREs can be used as a tool to help victims of violence, people living with PTSD, and anyone experiencing depression or anxiety.
You’ll find some Trauma Release Exercises to practice yourself in the next section.
Effective Trauma Release Exercises To Try
Here are some Trauma Release Exercises, along with their benefits, for you to try.
Sequence One: Triggers The Nervous System, Beginning In The Feet And Moving Up The Body
- Begin with your feet shoulder distance apart.
- Slightly shift your weight to the side. Use the outside edge of your foot for balance, as well as the inner edge of the foot you’re shifting from.
- Breathe deeply for two to three beats.
- Repeat on the other side, then shake or stretch to recover.
Sequence Two: Aids Weary Salf Muscles
- If you prefer, you can use a wall or yoga block for additional support.
- Shift your weight onto a single foot, then bend the other knee.
- Lift onto your tiptoes for a few seconds, then gradually lower your heel down to the ground.
- Repeat the steps until you feel roughly 70% exhausted.
- Perform the steps again on the other side, then shake/stretch to recover.
Sequence Three: Stretches The Inner Thighs
- Begin with your feet a little wider than shoulder distance apart.
- Hinge at the hips to fold the body forward, allowing your head to comfortably hang. You can bend the knees if you prefer.
- As you hang, breathe deeply for three breaths, keeping your head in the middle of your frame.
- Move your weight to one side, moving your head in line with your knee. Breathe deeply three more times.
- Repeat on the opposite side, then repeat in the center.
- Gradually return to the starting position, then shake/stretch to recover.
Sequence Four: Aids Weary Glutes And Quads
- Start in chair pose. You can use a wall for additional support, or change the movement to match your activity level.
- Shift your weight to your heels.
- Stay in this position until you feel around 70% worn out.
- Shake or stretch to recover.
Sequence Five: Works The Upper Thighs
- Begin sitting against a wall, ensuring that your toes are visible.
- Lower your hips until you begin to feel a burn, then stay in that position until you feel around 70% worn out.
- Shake or stretch to recover.
Sequence Six: Works The Front Of The Body
- Keep your feet around hip distance apart.
- Position your hands on your lower back. You can look up or down.
- Gently bend your knees and move your hips in front, allowing your back to bow slightly.
- Turn to one side, gazing behind to stay in the bow position.
- Breathe deeply for three breaths.
- Come back to the middle, then turn the other way. Breathe in for three breaths.
- Come back to the middle position. Breathe deeply for three breaths, then return to a regular standing position.
As you practice these TREs, you may feel worn out or fatigued. This will help you reach the shaking or vibrating movements that aid in healing.
You may feel more energized after performing the movements, but as you continue them regularly, TREs can help you feel calm and more relaxed overall.
Remember that these sequences may help your body deal with trauma’s physical effects, but you’ll need to work with a certified therapist to manage trauma’s mental influence.