What is TRE®? Unwinding Stress & Returning to Our Center

written by Susan Sanders


You're trying to get out the door & into the car to head to work; your kids are fighting and one of them forgets their lunch. You stop at an ATM to get money for the forgotten lunch and get the kids to school late because, this morning, everyone on the planet needed money from this particular ATM machine. You arrive to work late; your boss is less than pleased, and you're informed that the project you'd been working on now has to be completed two weeks ahead of schedule, so much for the family vacation you'd planned… 

Some version of this scenario plays out for all of us to some degree or another fairly regularly; it's part of living in modern society. How are we to manage the inevitable and unavoidable stress that comes with the territory? Our bodies are actually very well equipped for this task! In times of stress, our nervous systems help to protect us in two ways. The first is the fight or flight response which makes energy available to allow us to, essentially, fight or flee a real or perceived danger. The second is the mechanism that allows for the release of the energy after it's no longer needed. Have you ever gone through a stressful or fearful situation and shortly after the incident your hands start shaking or your knees start to knock? That is your nervous system working to release or discharge energy once it's no longer needed by your body. 

There is a disconnect that keeps the second part of this process from working effectively, though. We are all conditioned from a young age to not show fear or weakness. The shaking (or trembling) that is a normal part of stress release is seen as a weakness, and we're essentially taught to suppress the response. Think back to the last time your hands started to shake...what did you do? Wring your hands, clench and release them, put them in your pockets or out of sight? These actions that stop the shaking interrupt the normal process of release; this prevents stress and tension from leaving the body. The energy that was produced can't be released and is then stored in the body. 

Do you struggle with insomnia, worry & anxiety, PTSD, muscle and back pain, limited flexibility, decreased energy and endurance or relationship conflict? These are some of the symptoms that have been identified as stress related and can be a result of our inability to effectively release stress and tension.  

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

Stress is unavoidable in our daily lives, but can be managed. You can learn to recognize your body's natural stress releasing mechanism, understand the cultural constraints that suppress it and honor the process.

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Susan Sanders is a Certified TRE® (Tension & Trauma Releasing Exercises), Provider. She was first introduced to TRE® in 2013 and began using it regularly to reduce stress and tension in her life. Over time, Susan experienced the healing effects of this process of release and was so deeply affected by the changes she noticed that she wanted to share it with others! Once she obtained certification as a TRE® provider, Susan transitioned out of a career in social services and opened her own practice. She currently conducts workshops, individual sessions & informational sessions in the St. Louis Metro area, Metro East and throughout the state of Missouri. In addition, Susan is a Certified Reiki Master Practitioner and committed to honoring the body's innate ability to heal itself and to create space for that healing to occur.

Susan’s next workshop will be held Saturday, September 28 at 2:30-4:00p. Check our events calendar.