Saturday, May 14, 2016

How Does Stress Stay in Your Body?

A few months ago I got a book called Trauma Releasing Exercises by David Berceli.  The book explains our biological response to fear, specifically with muscle tension & shaking in fearful situations. When animals are scared, they shake & they keep shaking until they're not scared anymore. They literally "shake it off." Humans are the only animals who override the shaking and try to stop it. What happens is that the tension stays deep (in the psoas muscle in the pelvis) and that tension affects the rest of our body AND how we feel; physically, emotionally, & mentally with things like anxiety.  In fact, the TRE program is being used with vets with PTSD and in countries where there have been natural disasters.

The exercises are designed to fatigue the more superficial muscles to get to the deeper muscles to release the tension. What's great about this is you don't have to re-experience any of the former trauma. Your body just shakes it out. It's not just for trauma, but can be for any stress, anxiety, or fear response. As I think about this, I'm reminded of Bruce Lipton saying how 95% of all diseases are caused by stress. We already have a built-in, biological mechanism for releasing the stress response--but we try to override it! 

My experience:
I read the book  a few months ago, but didn't actually do the exercises.  Then last week I mentioned the book to a massage friend. A couple days after our conversation, she called to say she'd tried the exercises and was blown away. She said she'd had pain in her shoulder for months that she couldn't get relief from & that the pain completely released. I'd not thought about the application to pain; I was just thinking about trauma as in emotional. But again, of course this makes sense since trauma affects the muscles and they hold on to tension. So I thought that I should really do a full session. 

I watched this video & then did the exercises:

A session is about 15 minutes & I just lay on the floor and moved however my body wanted to move.  I was not all energized like my massage friend.  In fact, I was exhausted; so I took a nap for an hour & when I woke up, for the first time in forever, I didn't have any tension or aches or pain. I was completely relaxed but alert. Amazing!  Truly a miracle. A couple days later, I did another session and just felt really relaxed, like I've had a massage. Again, no muscle tension!

So here are a few resources to check out:
Trauma Prevention, the official website, for more information. There is a listing of certified TRE practitioners that can take you through a session. It also list trainings you can take.

Here's a link to the books/DVD.   

Neurogenic Yoga was created by a TRE practitioner who combined it with specific yoga moves. AWESOME!!!  AND there's a 3-day seminar June 10-12th at Yogaville.  

And, as Taylor Swift would sing, Shake it off.  ;-)

No comments: