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TRE, anyone?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by njoy, Jun 22, 2014.

  1. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    I'm one of those tms-ers who hops around in recovery. I often practise one system while returning to learn more from a couple of earlier systems, and exploring something entirely new-to-me. Obviously, this can be confusing but sometimes putting two (or three, or more) together triggers a synthesis that works. In fact, I've reached the conclusion we are all heading in the same direction. It's amazing how many people are working on mind/body issues -- in so many different ways. Perhaps it's time has come.

    One recent revisit for me is Dr. David Berceli's TRE (Trauma Release Exercises). My curiosity was piqued (a couple of days ago) by an enthusiastic post on another forum. Then I found I already owned Dr. Berceli's book. In it Bercelli describes his work with trauma survivors (including whole populations in war zones) to "shake off" their stress. His method is based on the way animals shake off trauma while we humans tend tell ourselves to "man up" and pretend we are fine when we're obviously not. The book sounded good at the time but the exercises seemed intimidating and I didn't follow up.

    Well, I'm back and have contacted a TRE practitioner in Vancouver who is going to do Skype sessions with me. So I'll report here on how it goes. Just to prove it's all tms, as soon as I made the appointment with the TRE practitioner I had my first, ever, serious knee pain. Luckily, the practitioner said she can adjust the exercises to accommodate so we are going forward.

    PS: I searched here for more information on TRE from other tms-ers but couldn't find it. If anyone has had experience with this I hope you'll post about it. Meanwhile, here are a few resources:

    http://traumaprevention.com (Dr. Berceli's main web site, I think)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0ZzHhtUEw4 (it's not just war and acute trauma, chronic stress needs to be released, as well - Part One of Two)

    tw, some may recall my interest in IFS (Internal Family Systems) and wonder if I've abandoned that. Not at all -- in fact, I had the most incredible session on the Thursday IFS call (see the subforum for more info) just last week. Life-changing.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson and Ellen like this.
  2. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    I liked how he emphasized in his video the difference between what he called hard and soft trauma. A hard trauma would be something that we would classically think of as traumatic, like a car accident, a rape, or being tortured in a war zone. In contrast, a soft trauma is something, which, while much lower in intensity, can still overwhelm our ability to cope and traumatize us over time. ... things like dealing with an abusive spouse or parent.

    I don't know much at all about TRE, but does it relate to people who talk about the freeze response as an alternative to "fight" and "flight?" Like in the following video:

    Speaking of the freeze response video, it was recorded at an EFT Matrix Imprinting seminar. Like TRE, it's another "experiential" therapy that says that while insight is very important, the best therapy must also incorporate experiences that heal us. Scientific research on new experiential therapies can be hard to find, but a little while ago, I came across a review article demonstrating the effectiveness of EFT style tapping. It's a peer-reviewed article in an APA journal that reviews and summarizes other peer reviewed studies, so while I'm sure it is controversial, it has significant scientific bona-fides. In the conclusion, it says, "A review of current evidence revealed that the use of acupoint stimulation in treating psychological disorders has been examined in a number of studies that met accepted scientific standards. These studies have consistently demonstrated strong effect sizes and other positive statistical results that far exceed chance after relatively few treatment sessions. Investigations in more than a dozen countries by independent research teams have all produced similar results. Speculation on the mechanisms involved suggest s that tapping on acupoints while a presenting emotional problem is mentally activated rapidly produces desired changes in the neurochemistry involved in that problem. If favorable outcome research on energy psychology continues to accumulate — as recent developments would predict — and explanatory models for the observed effects continue to evolve, acupoint stimulation will offer clinicians a technique that can be used with confidence for quickly altering the neural pathways that underlie psychological problems."

    It won't convince everyone, but it's a notable endorsement to find in a prestigious journal!

  3. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, enjoy. I've read your post about TRE and watched the videos and looked at the links you mention and
    think this is terrific new TMS knowledge.

    It was especially interesting to learn about "soft trauma" and "hard trauma."
    It reminded me that I had a lot of "soft trauma" from my boyhood with a father stressed by no work and too much drinking and a mother
    so stressed by work and low finances that she sometimes was suicidal. I lived a soap opera boyhood and didn't realize it, but SteveO
    called it "a perfect storm" for TMS.

    As David Berceli says, I had a lot of anger and violence inside myself because I was and still am a very sensitive person. I had a lot of repressed aggressive behavior inside of me.

    I survived by escaping to the movies as often as I could as a boy and teenager. My heroes were up on the screen... Errol Flynn,
    Gary Cooper, etc. I found better worlds to live in at the movie theaters but when I returned home it was always reality.

    Your post also prompted me to go online and watch some YouTube videos on TRE and the exercises.
    I haven't yet found any site describing the exercises but a few of them say it can include "bodily shaking" as well as meditation, yoga, and Pilates.

    If you can post anything about the TRE exercises, maybe after you meet with the TRE practitioner by Skype, it would help a lot.

    I will get back to your post and the videos and links and think TRE would make an excellent thread that would generate a lot of interest from TMSers because I think TRE is another form of knowledge for TMS healing.
  4. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    So have you tried the exercises, @njoy? What are they like? Do you find them helpful?
  5. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Forest you notice you have Peter Levine From his Somatic Experiencing knowledge and also Robert Smith from his Faster Eft knowledge with the videos that correlate with the Eft Matrix Reimprinting video.
    As Njoy said we are heading in the same direction.:)

    In the echo of EFT Matrix Reimprinting we have something in common with those two guys I named above.
    You actually get the person to notice the experience that they don't like or that bothers them or you can name it the hard or soft trauma, this would be the echo that is frozen in time.
    To be able to rid it with the Eft Matrix Reimprinting you would get them to notice either visually, somatically or through sounds the trauma, then you would "with the reimprinting phase" - tap and then get them to go to a feel good memory as the person in the video stated above " A safe place, like the beach". This in effect exposes them to the trauma and the tapping does a pattern interrupt in the meridian lines and the facing with the traumatic memory builds the memory so it can be tapped away and then swished with a feel good memory over and over till the person is better.

    That was my aim with Paula. If you noticed she didn't like the Dr. and then after the swish she said it wasn't the Dr. as if she didn't realize that she had lost the fear associated with the Dr. -- She went right to something else that was bothering her, she said it wasn't that, it was something else. Often this is how you get to the main trauma with the swish as in the NLP swish. You will discharge the emotions till you get to all of them and then they have no more fear after several hours and many, many experiences later.

    Peter Levines work is facing and building up the trauma to be released and Eugene Gendlin's work has similar effects. I totally agree with you Njoy, we are heading in the same direction. It is so Awesome. tiphata

    I will most definitely look into this Tre and let you know what I think Njoy. I so appreciate you introducing me to the IFS model. I am over joyed to know this knowledge at such an opportune time.
    Bless You
  6. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    Thanks for all the replies. There is so much to comment on!

    Forest, great video. I've never been a fan of Matrix Reimprinting (will have to take another look) but obviously they are on to something. The TRE people show that same polar bear (or a very similar one, lol) shaking. In the youtube videos, people look the same way. The physical exercises just get you started, then the shaking starts. Fully conscious, btw, and people often find it quite pleasurable although a variety of emotions can surface, of course.

    I liked what Karl said about how important it is to "show the body it's over". That makes so much sense.

    Thanks for the link to the studies, too. Nice to see some "proof".

    I haven't tried the exercises, Forest. They are just to get the tremors started by stressing a few muscles a bit. That's my understanding. Then you lie down and the shaking starts and travels around the body on it's own, releasing stress. Pretty amazing. There are youtubes that show it. Looks like fun but a bit embarrassing!

    I haven't met with the TRE practitioner, yet. Tomorrow, probably.

    Walt, I'm not sure TRE is self-help (in the sense that you can learn it from a book) but I hope that's true and will report on what I find. I have already had some interesting experiences with being in a "soft trauma" situation (a disagreement with a family member) and letting myself shake it off. It seemed to help. I didn't shake much but that doesn't mean it wasn't just what I needed. I felt better, afterwards, whereas I would probably have been upset for hours.

    Thanks for your information, Herbie. I'm not sure about the "Paula" reference. Is there a video? Can you post the link, again?

    Re: we are all headed in the same direction. It was Dannion Brinkley who opened me to this concept in his (scary!) predictions about the future of our world. According to him, we are being given the tools we will need to survive extreme trauma.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  7. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I wonder if the religious people called The Shakers were or are practicing TRE shaking.
    Out of curiosity, I'll go a short google search about them.

    I normally don't care for anything that requires working with a therapist of any kind, and prefer self-help.

    We'll all be interested in knowing the outcome of your session with the TRE practitioner.
  8. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Any news on this, @njoy ?
  9. Ollin

    Ollin Peer Supporter

    I bought the video from Dr Bercelli about a year ago and followed the exercises, it's very comprehensive and instructional, easy to follow. And reports on chronic pain relief. The technique is focused on physical energetic release without any psychological work, so for this reason recommended for those who could otherwise be re-traumatised. Of course, for major trauma survivors it's recommended to do under supervision, at least in the beginning. But really it's a self-help technique. They also run regular workshops in many countries. though they are quite pricey, all can be found through the http://traumaprevention.com/. I really like the theory and the research findings make so much sense as to discharging nervous tension after the event. After regular practice, I noticed that some yoga poses triggered the same tremors, and in fact there is a recent TRE-yoga trend.

    Did it help me? Maybe calmed me a bit. But not my TMS symptoms. With longer practice I noticed it really involved my painful muscles and I was hopeful, but nothing really shifted. Still practice it less often now, about once/week, it doesn't hurt anything... But maybe I'm weird, because any intentional relaxation makes my pain worse.
    Forest likes this.
  10. Ollin

    Ollin Peer Supporter

    Regarding EFT - I agree. In the most "scientific" explanation, stimulation of accupoints (calming effect) while focusing on negative feelings and thoughts works by counterconditioning of the stress response. That's how it's believed to rewire neural responses to 'triggering' thoughts/experiences, so they are no longer associated with fight/flight response. Over the last few years I've had many successes with everyday stressors, but I'm work in progress, it's like peeling an onion, more deeper layers of issues get uncovered. And I don't cease to be amazed at some cognitive insights while tapping. It works. I got many references and links if someone is interested I can dig them up.

    Some use it directly on pain, and in some cases it helped me to get rid of newly-appeared TMS symptoms for good. With the old pain it's a lot harder though - too many bad memories, especially from the time before I heard about TMS. I'm currently looking for a suitable EFT pain therapist to guide me. Really need to research because some things people say, like "just accept this pain" or that "it's never 100% emotional" that still trigger me (or perhaps these are the triggers I need to clear, so they don't feel like I'm giving up).

    Matrix Reimprinting as I understand aims at re-interpretting past events to give them new meaning. But I haven't done it yet.
    Forest likes this.
  11. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    I've had 2 Skype sessions with the practitioner and both felt great. I was extremely relaxed for the rest of the day and slept perfectly after the first session (unheard of!) and better than usual the night after the second session. The next day (in both cases) I had interesting reactions -- new stuff came up and I processed it. All good, really. The problem is that I can't seem to do it for myself. It's not just that trying doesn't work but I really, really don wanna. I really don't. NO idea why. Well, okay, something about it scares me. Letting go. Feeling something I have never let myself feel. Maybe that's it.

    I decided to skip the third session (grumpy and depressed which was really just an excuse) and will make it up next Friday. I can also continue, of course, having sessions but I'm not sure I want to do that, either. Again, I don't know why. They aren't cheap but also not all that expensive, either, and I really do need help with anxiety. I have overcome tms in a lot of different forms but anxiety is a tough one. And yes, in case anybody doubts it, I absolutely KNOW my anxiety is tms.

    So what am I hiding from? What don't I want to arise from my subconscious? Am I getting close to something that will never come out (Dr. Sarno says we all have stuff like that)? If so what's going to help tame these intermittent anxiety attacks (sometimes I feel fine and can't even imagine that I was ever all that anxious)? I am determined, as always, but failure is becoming a distinct possibility and that's SO scary. Not as scary as actually relaxing, finally. Apparently not.

    I'll discuss this with the practitioner and see what she thinks. So far, her advice is "take it slow". I am probably going to organize a fall workshop in TRE in my small town so will be able to see her in person for one or more private sessions. Maybe that will help.

    PS: Don't, please, think this is a typical response to TRE. It isn't, apparently
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2014
  12. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, njoy. About anxiety, Dr. Sarno says it's okay to take something to calm us at times, so long
    as we believe in TMS being the cause. I won't take any pharmaceutical, but there are natural ways to treat anxiety.
    My favorites are deep breathing, laughing, and hot milk.

    But I recently watched Dr. Oz on tv and he talked about a herb from India that has been used by those folk and
    others for centuries and he says it's a terrific natural way to relieve anxiety, stress, depression, worry, and even
    helps relieve arthritis and other pain. It's called Ashwagandha and you can read about it doing doing a google.
    It also is recommended by Deepak Chopra and one person said Dr. Andrew Weil also recommends it.

    I bought some online from Swanson for just a few bucks and have begun using it to see if it works. Others
    say it takes two a day for 5 days before they experienced much relief from anxiety, and I'm only in my third day.
    I have felt it has been relaxing me a little. It's hard to know if it's working because I haven't been able to
    slow down on my heavy work schedule which causes me to have headaches.

    Let us know if you know anything about Ashwagandha. Wouldn't it be great if it does work?
    njoy likes this.
  13. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    It certainly would be great if Ashwagandha works. Thanks for posting and I'm looking forward to hearing the results of your experiment, Walt.

    I have never had any luck with herbal remedies for anxiety, even Valerian which works for most people. All SRIs (seratonin re-uptake inhibitors: melatonin, Prozac and many more) make me much more anxious. The only thing that works for me is half a 15 mg oxazapam, I brought about a hundred back from China in 1998 and have used maybe a half of one pill 1 to 4 times a month since then. Only when I haven't slept well for days and am getting desperate. The last thing on this earth I want is an addiction to sleeping pills (my mother was an alcoholic, also addicted to Valium)

    I have only about ten pills left and will probably not be able to replace them since the doctors here are scared to death of them lately. Apparently they will prescribe Seroquel which, according to my sister, knocks her out very effectively. So, we shall see.

    The China experience was interesting because I certainly had anxiety before (born with it, as far as I can tell) but nothing like I experienced there. I truly love China and enjoyed my work there, as an ESL teacher, but I had one class of engineers who had not the slightest interest in learning English except as a part of getting to the West. To top it off, theirs was a morning class and I really do not do well in the morning. I am a night person to the core. So 3 days a week I had to drag myself to an 8:30 a.m. class with a bunch of totally reluctant, cranky people who didn't want to be there. So different from my students in the military university who loved having contact with a westerner and my students at night who had already worked a long day and were interested in having fun, lively discussions about all my favorite topics.

    Suffice to say, those engineers finished me off and (thank God) one of my evening students (a medical doctor) saw that I was in trouble and gave me the oxazepam. Right from the beginning, I only took about a quarter, twice a week, but it saved my life.

    Anyway, I would love to get my hands on a natural remedy. Marijuana is an obvious possibility but it is still technically illegal here so it's a last resort. Also, I have no idea how I'd react to it.
  14. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Some people report at Swanson that they find Ashwagandha works for them better if combined with another herb that Dr. Oz recommends.
    It's called Sensoril.

    Jarrow Formula's Ashwagandha utilizes a special patented form of Ashwangandha extract called Sensoril. Obtained from Ashwagandha roots and leaves, this traditional Ayurvedic supplement is standardized to contain a minimum of 8% withanolide glycosides. Ashwagandha has been used in the Indian tradition of Ayurveda to support musculoskeletal function, joint health and as an overall health supplement. Experimental studies have shown that Ashwagandha is an antioxidant that supports joint health.
  15. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    I've been using EFT acupressure tapping with affirmations before I go for a long bike ride and immediately after I come back. My affirmation reads: "Even though I have sciatica, which I think is because I miss my dead parents, I deeply and completely accept myself". Seems to be working. Less pain in my lower back and hip, more flexibility in my left leg. Self-hypnosis? Maybe. But it seems to work.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  16. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    I've finished my 3rd TRE session and, again, really enjoyed the relaxation. I tremored nicely--wow, it feels great. Don't know if I'll ever get into practicing regularly, though, because something is holding me back. I like doing it with the practitioner, though, and will maybe do more sessions with her. Expensive, when I could be doing them myself.
  17. Ollin

    Ollin Peer Supporter

    It's great njoy that it works for you and you found the right practitioner. Of course, the price tag can be significant, but it sounds like there's more to it for you than the tremoring itself. Being guided by a caring experienced person is healing in itself and it's perfectly normal, we all like being taken care of at some point rather than always having to do it ourselves. So follow your intuition - it always leads you toward healing. If at some stage you decide to take the process in your own hands, that's good too, but for now go with what works best.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson and njoy like this.
  18. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    Thank you for saying that, Ollin. I need that encouragement. :)
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  19. Colly

    Colly Beloved Grand Eagle

    Oh dear… I feel a bit silly :pI tried doing this but I ended up just doing horizontal Riverdance instead. I can't do it involuntarily, and none of the You tubes I watch actually tell you how to do it. Why the mystery?

    The only reason I'm buying into it is because I trust your judgement and experience njoy. In fact getting that vote of confidence from you makes me want to try it even more!

    I might wait until I get to see someone, as trying it on my own just didm't work at all, even with my Irish dance shoes on!
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2014
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.

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