Dr. David Berceli has come up with a simple way to alleviate the suffering of those who have PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). He offers a suitable method to induce what is sometimes referred to as “neurogenic tremors” in the human body.
His technique is called the Tension Release Exercise or Trauma Releasing Exercises or just TRE for short. It is another excellent way to help re-balance the Autonomic Nervous System and get closer to the root of the problem.
This method has been used with thousands of soldiers, emergency organizations around the world, areas where natural disasters have occurred, and general populations in war-torn and politically oppressed countries. It has been taught as a way of addressing PTSD and more programs are being offered in the United States
“Every day, 22 veterans take their own lives. That’s a suicide every 65 minutes. As shocking as the number is, it may actually be higher.” — Department of Veterans Affairs
The statistics above were taken from 1999 through 2011 in 21 states. That’s a staggering 8030 veterans dying each year! David Berceli has found a method that is helpful for anxiety disorders, PTSD, general stress, and the myriad conditions caused by trauma. It has also been found to help decrease tremors and seizures in conditions like Parkinson’s, MS, restless leg syndrome, and Epilepsy.
On a positive note, athletes are also finding it to be great way to speed recovery after workouts. A common response from most people who do TRE’s is sleeping better and feeling more at peace. The key to the various benefits of TRE is that it is addressing the core reason for these problems and conditions instead of merely chasing symptoms.
Frank B. has one of the most important and inspiring testimonials that I have read. He tells us that, “I have two military sons that have served in Bosnia and IRAQ. Both have returned with strong symptoms of PTSD but were unwilling to seek out professional psychological help. They will not discuss their war time experiences with anyone.”
“After hearing about Dr. Berceli’s Trauma Release Process and learning that physical exercises were the key, not years of verbal dialogue with therapists, I immediately ordered books for my entire family.” — Frank B.
“Although we have all benefited greatly from the exercises it was the psychological improvement of both military sons that was absolutely astounding. Being soldiers, they had no problem doing the exercises and both saw improvements within weeks. What a miracle! They continue to do the exercises and are amazed at the results. I can not thank Dr. Berceli enough for bringing peace back into their lives.”
Dr. David Berceli was looking for an easy way to relieve stress and trauma for humanity. In studying other mammals, he noted that every mammal except for humans has a natural way of relieving tension that is elicited during the fight/flight/freeze response. He discovered that humans have this capacity as well, only we have used our newer cognitive brain to subdue it.
From the sunrise website:
“Tension Releasing Exercises elicit neurogenic tremors to release the body’s tension and the resultant physical and emotional blocks that can be causing tension, anxiety, PTSD, and numerous other symptoms associated with holding patterns.” – Rick Stockwell
Dr. Berceli has developed a technique that elicits these neurogenic tremors in the human body quite effectively. It is said that fear and pain is something encoded in our DNA (if not our subconscious mind) and this method is available for all of us to tap into to find relief. The results in relieving chronic tension, trauma, and trapped physical and emotional patterns in the body can be amazing when experienced for oneself.
As anyone who has researched this method in the past knows this information has been almost non-existent and kept more or less hidden. Recently, Rick Stockwell has taken this program a step further and explains the principle behind this unique methodology in a comprehensive way. He explains that the best way to understand this comes from observing how animals shake their body after a frightening experience. If we own a dog, cat, or bird it may be easier to see how this behavior in the animal kingdom works.
“What they’re doing is something all mammals (including humans) have ingrained in their system as a way of ‘shaking off’ stress, anxiety, and fear. Once they are done shaking, the stress is gone from their body.” — Rick Stockwell
He goes on to say, “I’ll never forget our poor little poodle when we were huddling under an alcove in Utah as a huge clap of thunder rang out and lighting simultaneously struck just outside the alcove. The poor thing shook for almost 2 hours as my wife comforted her. But then she was done. It was out of her system, and she was back to normal. She didn’t hold onto that traumatic experience for years or decades like humans do.”
With this simple explanation, it seems quite apparent that animals have an innate ability to heal a traumatic experience and remove it completely out of their system without the pain of having a higher brain/mind that constantly stores that information.
There are two known positions that we can gather from the all-too-brief YouTube videos. The first is lying down with legs butterflied open and the other is standing with your back up against the wall and sinking down slightly. For some people it may not be wise to do these exercises on your own. If you already have a severe trauma and are isolated (without a good support-system in place) then it is best to err on the side of caution and refrain from these exercises. When it is likely that painful things might come up for you; it is best to work with a qualified therapist to help you get through the heavy emotions together.
Of course, the temptation is always there. Just make sure this is something you can handle all by yourself. If you are an intermediate or advanced yoga practitioner it probably would be alright to explore this healing modality. As always, you are likely to gain more intricate understanding when you reach out for help.
Principle: Two opposing forces are in play here to initiate the body tremors. For instance, when you let your legs go towards the floor (with the natural weight of gravity) and then pull your legs up in the opposite direction, then an automatic shaking begins. You just have to find the right balance for it to work.
VARIATION ONE: Lay flat on your back. Have your feet flat on the ground. Keep your legs and thighs off the ground but at an angle. Allow gravity take the weight of your legs (towards the floor). Next, move your legs in the opposite direction ever so slightly. You should start to feel tremors kick in spontaneously. This tends to be isolated only within the leg area.
VARIATION TWO: Lay flat on your back. Have your feet flat on the ground. Keep your legs and thighs off the ground but at an angle. First, allow gravity take the weight of your legs. Second, move your legs in the opposite direction ever so slightly. This time add a third element. Press your feet towards the ground with just a slight force. This has the most amazing affect of spontaneous gyrations resonating throughout your whole upper body and spine as a continuous shaking occurs.
VARIATION THREE: Lay flat on your back. Have your feet flat on the ground. Keep your legs and thighs off the ground but at an angle. Lift your bottom slightly off the ground. At the same time, allow gravity take the weight of your legs and move your legs up in the opposite direction. This is done ever so slightly. You should start to feel tremors kick in spontaneously. This tends move the lower and upper body side to side.
To get a visual, the first two variations move the body like a dolphin’s tale does – with an up and down motion. The third variation moves the body, side to side, like a shark or fish naturally does.
Note: Years ago when I was working on this method, I could feel the neural network being formed and strengthened along the spine. It was interesting to experience the nerves or channels develop from the bottom of the spine upward towards the head. With all other healing modalities such as standing stake, chi kung or boading-balls… the nervous system would develop from the top of the head down to the base of the spine.
It is quite thrilling once you get the hang of it. And with some contemplation, you can figure more ways to work the other portions of your body and limbs as well.