TRE – Trauma Release Exercise

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TRE - Trauma release excercise image

TRE Stands for Trauma Release Excercise. It is a technique that helps release trauma or tension from the body. For example, people who have experienced traumatic events, such as bullying, accidents, death, abuse, or war, can have difficulty dealing with these events. As we know, negative psychological and social situations can get stored in tension in our bodies. Ask any massage therapist about how stress can be felt physically in the body.

Stress seems like it comes from outside sources, and in a way, it does. But the events trigger emotions inside us. Living with anxiety or trauma symptoms is not a fun way to live. For example, these symptoms can affect the cognitive mind to think, and holding on to fear and anxiety is exhausting. A dysfunctional mind and negative emotions may reduce a person’s quality of life because he cannot function in everyday tasks. Get a better functional mind:

Being Triggered:

It is also common for people to experience being triggered. This may come as a surprise for other people perceiving this behaviour. In their view, suddenly, it “snaps” for a person, seemingly out of the blue. Fight, flight, and freeze are instinctual responses that can be seen in people who either experience a threatening situation or perceive a situation to be frightening. Environmental cues can trigger the “perceived threat” and fire off one of these responses. Learn about the fight, flight and other responses:

Percieved threat, fight and flight, freeze, responses - TRE

A person may get triggered just by thinking of the situation. Your body is like a computer that is meant to process information. A human can also get too much information, so we get “over-processed”. Traumatic events can shock the human body/mind – and too many impressions to process. This will lead to unprocessed material/information circling in the body/mind complex, creating – problems.

Science has shown that people who have experienced brutal bullying have a change in their gene expression. And the theory behind TRE is that “trapped energy” is stored between the muscles in the body. Tense muscles happen because the person is in an “alert mode” to look for danger. And because of the shock, the body has not had time to express emotions and undergo standard processing.

Alert mode, shock, trapped energy, repression - TRE

TRE helps the body exexpress or express different emotions and sensations according to the situations experienced. Half-felt emotions could be nasty and intense and not complete the loop. As stated, the usual way of things is to 1. experience. 2. Feel fully expressed feelings to the end without interruptions, shock, or repressions to the system.

TRE is known as body-oriented therapy.

The treasonous your body since thibecausewhere the tension is stored in the muscles. When the tense muscles relax, there will be a discharge of energy, emotions felt, and the complete processing cycle. The body is also synonymous with “the unconscious mind”. Information gets stored in the body, and things outside your awareness get stored in your body…

Body oriented therapy, tense muscles, shaking, induce tremors - TRE

TRE uses specific postures that will put weight on the tense muscles. When this happens, the tense muscles will start shaking; you will induce tremors. This is a mechanism the body has naturally. Shaking and tremoring are ways for the body to “shake off” horrible things. Animals do it, too; they experience something terrible, shake, and move on. Humans also have this mechanism; just like crying, it is natural. But because society has repeatedly told us that we couldn’t show emotions, implicitly or explicitly,  people don’t always do this.

The reason we don’t all shake:

Teachers and others tell children to “sit still”. Be quiet, be calm, etc. Therefore, shaking your body is something, especially in the West, we have repressed. TRE posture and movement activate this shaking, act and activating automatic body-releasing mechanism. After shaking, you can get material and emotions up to the surface. Emotions are expressing themselves. It can be intense. But this is the last time this issue will process through your body before it’s out of the system forever…

repressed, release, Re-activated, Re-triggered - TRE

It’s better to process it properly and be done with it. Then being RE-activated, RE is triggered hundreds of times in the future by all kinds of cues. If you think about the issue, you will nail that. If you do the exercise and do not think about something specific, your body will only release something ‘randomly’. (probably your most intense issue).

As a side note: It’s crucial to release emotions AND fix things cognitively. Many people think of logical things to do. But emotions are like the glue that stops us from achieving our goals. Look at “resistance”. It’s like driving a car with your brakes on—no, or slow movement. Your emotions are like driving a car with your brakes forth. The feelings need to be released if you want to think, have abundant energy, and be motivated. Cognitive therapy may work for people who have not been traumatized too heavily, but the massive tool is TRE to get to the bottom of issues and to release emotions.

Here is a short video showing TRE:

By the way, The US Army is using TRE to help soldiers release some of their traumas. Here is their official web page:

7 comments on “TRE – Trauma Release Exercise

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  3. Traumas

    If what you are writing here is correct, then this therapy form will revolutionize psychology and help people out of human suffering.

    1. author

      Yes, it will. The Us army has used this therapy form on military veterans that have been in war.
      After doing some session with this technique, they were functional again.


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