David Berceli’s tension and trauma releasing exercises (TRE) are an amazing tool for helping the body let go of deep, chronic patterns. They are remarkably simple and the process of change they facilitate is very easy to self regulate. The goal of the exercises is to start a self directed temoring process. The tremors are completely natural and release tension and trauma held in the body. Once you have learnt the exercises, and can feel and allow the tremors, you just let the body do its own healing and clearing out of overwhelming experiences. It really can be that easy.

I am currently studying with David Berceli and I am very impressed with both him and the effectiveness of  the TRE process. One of the big draws for me is his huge experience, he has worked in over 30 different countries and with hundreds of thousands of people. He developed the exercises as a way of safely helping groups of people in war zones and natural disasters. I am intrigued by the possibility of working with trauma in groups. His style of teaching, and focus on honouring the responses of the body, are very similar to cranial work. For example, he talks a lot about offering stillness and presence as people tremor. I will be starting to run some groups once a month in London and hopefully some workshops, with Riccardo Cassiani, later in 2011. You can find out more about London groups here: TRE in London and about TRE here: Main TRE website

The next section is copied from a blog by David Berceli. I like it as I recognise the difficulty of trying to get people to sense their bodies. It can be done, and cranial work has much to offer to support body awareness, but TRE is more radical. Once the tremors are occurring there is not much else to do, for client or practitioner, except, maybe, remembering to breathe.

‘Many times clients have come to me telling me that many spiritual books, gurus, guides, coaches, etc., give them mental exercises to try to ‘sense’ their bodies, ‘feel’ the tension inside, ‘imagine’ being calm or ‘focus’ on your tension. This is a true and positive way to guide people to eliminate tension and restore calmness. But for many traumatized people, this cognitive method of directing the brain to observe the body is an impossibility. Their brain’s ability to be this refined in their thinking processes has been disturbed. If they are not able to perform these mental functions, it often leaves the individual feel more helpless and hopeless.

The TRE Process is a way out of this cognitive dilemma. Instead of simply reading a book and trying to use reflective exercises, this book provides an amazing alternative. This book contains physical exercises designed to elicit a natural response in the body that organically leads the individual to deeper feelings and sensations in their body.

What is most useful is that when using these exercises, the cognitive process is actually unnecessary. The individual can actually daydream, watch TV, listen to their favorite music, etc. There is no cognition necessary because the TRE process actually does the work for the person. It releases stress without having to ‘work at it’ or ‘think about it’. As it reduces stress, it allows the individual to begin to physically ‘feel , ‘sense’ and ‘inhabit’ ‘their body without having to try. It is the natural outcome of TRE Process.

By coming into their bodily sensations without having to cognitively try to do so, feelings of defeat, hopelessness and helplessness are replaced by feelings of success, hope and self-empowerment.’

David Berceli Aug 28, 2010 http://www.namastepublishing.com/blog/author/david-berceli