TRE® Frequently Asked Questions
Self-regulation is the ability to tolerate and control ones emotions, thoughts, feelings, and sensations independently of external supervision or regulation. Cognitive neuroscience research suggests that successful self-regulation is dependent on top-down control from the prefrontal cortex over subcortical regions involved in survival and emotion.
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 in a way that relieves the pain. If no adjustment and/or modification can be found, stop the process, sit up and get a glass of water.
If you are feeling emotionally overwhelmed and/or uncomfortable, slow down or stop the TRE process until you feel safe and grounded again. Once again sit up and get a glass of water.
If you are doing TRE for the first time, TRE®, LLC recommend 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 you have been doing TRE for a few weeks you can lengthen your tremor time and/or increase your frequency at your own discretion.
Other Special TRE Conditions and Directives:
TRE is a safe and effective stress release technique for most people. Although the exercises appear simple and easy to learn, the deepest value to 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 if you feel anxious, confused and/or concerned. www.traumaprevention.com/findaprovider
*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 make sure they have the knowledge, skills & experience you need for your particular situation. Each provider is independent of TRE, LLC and it is their responsibility to work within their scope of practice and licensure.
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.
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. TRE taps the unconscious part of the brain so one can actually watch TV or listen to music and allow the shaking do all the work.
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 levels of stress 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 a point of chronic illness.
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 is often the signal that stress, anxiety and tension are causing the “sleep mechanism” to not activate properly.
Deep muscular relaxation, which TRE elicit, induces the body to activate the rest/digest, relaxation response of the parasympathetic nervous system that allows the body to sleep. Resiliency can be attained when the individual can work, respond to stress, play, and then rest. If deep adequate rest, and the relaxation response, is not a part of the individual’s daily life, resiliency is compromised.
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 via Skype.
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.
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.
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.
Once you have learned the TRE process and you are comfortable with the process you can do TRE everyday 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.
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 the body is doing exactly what it needs to in order to release held tension.
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 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 are able to 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.