Trauma releasing exercises: my shortcuts

I got off track on my month of doing the trauma releasing exercises every other day. I’m back now.

I was sick with the flu Feb. 19-21. I tried doing them in bed on Sunday, Feb. 20. I just did Exercise 7a, where you lie on your back, soles pressed together, raise your sacrum two inches, and hold for one minute.

Just that was enough to start my legs trembling, but I just didn’t have the energy to continue it for more than a couple of minutes.

Then I was just overwhelmed with too much to do — working at my temp job and moving out of my home of 10 years.

I just did TRE again tonight after a week. I used shortcuts.

I don’t recommend using shortcuts until you have done these exercises often enough to know that doing them the prescribed way will reliably produce trembling. You need to make sure your body “gets” these exercises, that the neural pathways for inducing trembling are in place.

That said, once your body is accustomed to them, I don’t see why you need to go through all the exercises to induce trembling if you can get there more quickly.

The point, after all, is to release tension through trembling, not to do everything “perfectly” or “right,” which can induce a lot of stress in itself!

Caveat: I’m a long-time yogi, so this may be easier than for non-yogis. No matter what, please do not use shortcuts until you’re really familiar with the conventional, prescribed method of TRE.

Here are my shortcuts:

  • Exercise 1: I put my weight on the right edges of my soles for 30 seconds, and on the left edges of my soles for 30 seconds.
  • Exercise 2, second variation: 15 tiptoes per leg, shaking each leg out after.
  • Exercise 3, second variation: 5 dips per leg.
  • Exercises 4 and 5, no changes from the book.
  • Exercise 6: one minute in a deep chair pose (90 degree angle of thighs and spine, feet slightly in front of knees), then raise hips two inches and hold for one minute (*this is when the trembling started tonight*), one minute in a forward bend with palms on floor.
  • Exercise 7: one minute lying on back with the soles pressed together and sacrum raised two inches, one minute with sacrum on floor and knees raised a couple of inches.

The shortcuts probably cut about eight minutes off the exercises, and I spent that time doing more trembling. I probably spent 20 minutes trembling with my soles flat on the floor.

I noticed a lot of release from my quadriceps. Probably stress from moving, from lifting and carrying boxes, being on my feet all day. I had some rocking and some left arm trembling but nothing too wild.

I also had a conversation with Katie going on for the last half of my trembling session! I just trembled as I talked and listened.

Now. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that I believe having done these exercises every other day for half of the month released a good measure of chronic stress from my body, and that made my experience of the flu milder and shorter than most. I had two days of fever, aches, and chills, and no respiratory or digestive distress, at a time when the emergency rooms were packed with flu victims.

Of course, this is my opinion and I could be full of shit. But after reading how beneficial trembling and shaking are for  recovering from injuries, providing pain relief, increasing coordination between musculoskeletal and nervous systems, increasing metabolism, and increasing lymphatic circulation, I believe they were helpful in speeding my recovery.

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