Sunday morning: a little trauma release, a fine buzz, then some yoga jazz, and a tribute to a teacher

Long-time readers know I spent some time and energy on learning the trauma releasing exercises of David Berceli and practicing them. (If you’re a new reader, go to the tag cloud in the right panel and click TRE or trauma releasing exercises to see the many posts on the topic. If you want to learn them, I recommend Berceli’s book and video.)

I haven’t written much about them for a while. I still value them very much as a tool for releasing tension.

Sometimes at ecstatic dance, I allow my legs to shake for a little while, which releases leg tension, especially around my hip joint. (Nobody notices or comments, ever.)

Some mornings I wake up and just know I need to do them. I may tremble for 30 seconds to a minute or two. It doesn’t have to last long to be effective.

I imagine that the more you do them and really surrender to them, the less you need to do them. Also, the more you do them, the more aware you become of tensions accumulating in your body, and you adjust sooner — taking a deep, cleansing breath to let it all out, stretching and moving the tense area.

This morning I did them for longer, because my body wanted to keep going. First my legs surrendered to the shaking, then left my arm flapped, then right my arm flapped, then my lower spine hammered, then my upper spine waved, then more legs, and so on. It’s entertaining to witness where the surrendering moves!

Then afterward, the fine buzz inhabiting my body. Mmm.

Walk to my yoga mat. Tadasana, feeling feet, upward energy. Stretching arms up into hastasana circling to anjali mudra several times to warm up, each with my gaze a little higher, a little more backbend.

Then from hips, float down into uttanasana and just hang. Feel my tight hamstrings. Hold. Breathe. They become like rubber bands, surrendering to the stretch. Then extend spine and re-bow.

Left leg back into lunge. Feeling the tight gastrocnemius and soleus. Push heel back and breathe. Right leg back to join it. Breathe length into calves.

Plank, with spread fingers, sturdy column arms under shoulders. Feel strength. Pressing palm and fingers evenly into mat, slowly lowering into chataranga, feeling creaks and twinges in shoulders and elbows.

Once flat, press pelvis and tops of feet into floor and lift up into bhujangasana, cobra. Imagine the fronts of my vertebrae, deep in the middle of my torso, fanning wide open to give and receive and expand my energy. This spine, this flexible column of bone, fluids, muscle, nerve, this backbone. Yes.

Turn toes under. Strongly lift my body up, elevating my pelvis as high as it will go. Push palms and fingers evenly into floor. Push heels back to stretch my soles (I’m hearing my teacher Eleanor Harris now). Lift sit bones to ceiling. Feel strong shoulders. Downward-facing dog, adho mukha svanasana.

“Enjoy your breath,” as my teacher Brigitte Edery is fond of saying. And I do.

Then bring right leg forward into lunge. Then today’s standing sequence: warrior two, extended side angle, reverse extended side angle, triangle, reverse triangle, ardha chandrasana, warrior one, warrior three. Nice standing vinyasa (with room for improvement in the sequencing, I notice), and I am aware of all the different stretches each pose brings where spine meets pelvis meets thighs.

I am pleased with my balance in ardha chandrasana, but I need to put my extended arms on the top of a stool to hold warrior three. There’s always an edge. Today, and probably for a few weeks (or months, who knows?), that’s mine — balancing in warrior three.

Then back to lunge, uttanasana (notice how much deeper my fold is), extending spine, and reverse swan dive up, arms circling into anjali mudra.

Repeat on other side.

I follow with pigeon, a deep twist (thrilling as my shoulders reached the floor), happy baby, and rock to standing.

I am in my body, ready for today, for ecstatic dance, for community, for work, for learning prenatal massage.

Feeling very grateful for my friends, and for my teacher Gabrielle Roth, whose work I knew better than I knew her personally, who was so influential in opening my awareness up to new movements, rhythms, and energies in life, who is in her own life now moving into stillness. She dedicated her life to healing the mind-body split. Amen to that.

Here’s my favorite Gabrielle quote:

After you jump, before you land is God.

I’m going to light a candle and open myself up to God.

Another reader shares his experience with the trauma releasing exercises

Several readers have shared their experiences of doing the trauma releasing exercises of David Berceli here on this blog. Here’s a new report. David writes:

I ordered the video and it arrived yesterday. I tried the exercises for a second time today. I did the preparatory stretches and then did the wall position. Leaning against the wall I just tried to get deeper into my breathing, but for the longest time very little happened. I was having little tremors, but they still felt half-way forced.

Then gradually, after about seven minutes, some real trembling and shaking started. The more relaxed I became the more pronounced they were. I had no control over them at all. I almost felt like shouting down to my wife to come upstairs and see what was happening, because it was so strange. Just overall, rapid involuntary tremors in my legs, through my pelvis and along my torso. They went on and on for at least ten minutes.

Then I tried the lying position and it was less successful. Still, I’m grateful I tried and I’ll keep doing them.

Thank you, David, for writing.

Doing the exercises can generate the release of muscle tension in the form of shaking and trembling, but it doesn’t happen automatically.

It’s great that David kept at it. Tried the exercises a second time and continued to be willing for the trembling and shaking to start after having little “half-way forced” tremors.

There is a step in inducing tremors for the first time that no one can instruct you how to do. Between doing the exercises and involuntarily shaking and trembling, there’s a step that I think of as surrendering. It is a skill, but it’s a skill of “not doing” rather than doing. You have to be able to let go of your need to control your body.

That can be scary, but it can be done.

For some people, surrendering is easy and natural. For others, especially people who have been traumatized and who are carrying tension in their bodies, it isn’t easy or natural at all.

If you are one of these people, I urge you not to give up. Just keep at it and eventually you will surrender and shake.

A reader shares her awesome trauma releasing experience; another TRE video

I checked my email this morning right before work and saw one saying that someone had posted a blog comment. It was in response to my very first post on the Trauma releasing exercises, posted way back in May of 2010, close to two years ago.

Jen wrote:

Learnt the TRE technique from a friend. After my 4th session (last night) I got up and my body started swaying at the hips, then shoulders went mad, neck went into awesome neck rolls (felt a lot like yoga) and then an intense feeling from the centre of my belly, rolling upwards. Went on for at least an hour before I eventually went to bed to sleep. Just the one hand kept doing a little shake.

This morning on my way to work, my neck started rolling. Once at work I was standing telling my friend about this when my entire body started swaying and all morning (at least the last 4 hours) have been spent with my neck going into involuntary neck rolls, shoulder rolls, back stretches. It has finally stopped, but I am just a bit concerned. What does this mean?

I got really excited reading this! The trauma release process is working for Jen very well. To have this response after only four sessions is excellent. Her body is releasing trauma! To have a release from the hara (belly center) like that is very liberating. Maybe her yoga helped.

When I was first experimenting with the TRE exercises, I remember feeling some fear around the idea of “letting go”. What exactly is being let go of, and if I let go (i.e., lose control), will I get my self-control back?

Then once I started shaking, trembling, rocking, and rolling, I wondered: Would I be able to stop? What if it was embarrassing?

I needn’t have worried.

I responded right away:

It means you are unfreezing and coming alive, Jen! Do it as much as you can when it feels right. Enjoy and know it will eventually slow and become “more voluntary” when you’ve released more of your stress. Awesome to hear from you!

She wrote back:

Wow, thanks for getting back to me so soon – you have put my mind at ease. My friend and I were laughing hysterically this morning as it just wouldn’t stop and then we started getting a little worried that it would NEVER stop. But this afternoon has been fine and when it starts again I will know it is normal and let it out!

Keep well
Jen

I haven’t blogged about the trauma releasing exercises for a long time, but I haven’t forgotten them. Once I learned them and began shaking, the process deepened. I released long-held tensions, especially in my shoulders. Every time I did them was different. I did them frequently for a while.

Sometimes nowadays when I am at Ecstatic Dance Austin or at home, I release tension in my legs and occasionally my arms/shoulders. I don’t think about it too much; if the thought pops into my mind, I never second-guess it. I just allow the release to happen. I’m standing, and my legs are shaking or my arm is writhing — something is moving, for sure.

And when I’ve had enough (again, without thinking about it), I dance (or rather, I do a more intentional dance, becaus release is dance) or go onto the next activity.

I’ve considered doing the training to become a TRE facilitator and may still do that when the time and money come together. For now, I’m happy to answer any questions that readers may have based on my experience and what I’ve seen and read of Berceli’s work.

I’m also happy to watch the exercises on video and do the exercises with anyone who wants to try them and prefers to have an experienced companion. There is something contagious about doing them with someone who already releases. It’s like permission to your body. (And a few people don’t need this; in my experience, it’s helpful to most newbies because releasing goes against the grain of what we’ve been taught, to be “in control” at all times.)

Also, I viewed David Berceli’s 2004 video, Mitchell Jay Rabin’s A Better World presents David Berceli Trauma Release, and I don’t think I posted anything about it.

Berceli tells Rabin the story of how he began developing the exercises, which I’ve read in abbreviated form but had not heard from Berceli before.

He was a Catholic missionary in the Middle East, living in Beirut during a civil war in the late 1970s. He was working with war refugees, and he himself became traumatized.

When he came back to the U.S., he was suffering from PTSD. He went to counseling (the only thing he knew to do) for two years, and at the end he realized he was still suffering very severely from PTSD, but it seemed to be more in his body than in his psyche.

That started him on the journey of exploring what PTSD is, how it affects us as human beings, how it affects the psyche and the body differently, and what healing processes need to occur to effect a complete resolution of trauma recovery.

He learned that the body holds in memory the contractions from trauma as a defensive behavior. He studied bioenergetics, tai chi, yoga, and other modalities, but was seeking a quick, body-based method of trauma release that could be taught in any cultural context to a large number of people even without knowing the language. 

Berceli then worked all over Africa and the Middle East with people traumatized by conflicts and civil wars. He discovered that conflict resolution is useless unless the underlying emotions can be released, that trust is impossible as long as the body holds the memory from trauma.

He worked with 150-200 people at a time, teaching the exercises to create neurogenic tremors and release the terror, anxiety, hurt, and fear of trauma, and then people would feel their bodies letting go of trauma behaviors embedded in their musculature.

Berceli relates the same knowledge that Peter Levine discovered and wrote about in Waking the Tiger, that animals don’t get PTSD because when they get out of danger, they shiver and shake and release the trauma from their bodies.

People tend to stifle the trembling after a trauma, and it remains embedded in the musculature. Berceli developed exercises to target the core muscles deep in the body affected by trauma (the psoas major, which impacts the energetic centers of the root and sacral chakras, the dan tien, the hara). Release of the psoas ripples throughout the body.

I love the psoas. It connects the legs to the torso and is the “fight or flight” muscle. We palpated it in massage school, getting to it through the lower abdomen.

I know that doing the trauma releasing exercises has been instrumental in releasing more trauma and defensive armor from my body. TRE has freed up my body and my dance! And in case of being retraumatized, however slightly, these exercises are good to do again.

There are more good stories on this video, even praise of dance as release, release, release. It’s inspired me to do the TRE exercises more frequently. Who knows what else can be released?

Looking back on a year full of changes

This past year held a lot of change for me. The previous year, 2010, was a year of sitting in meditation daily, and I very nearly accomplished that. It was a year of contemplation, exploring my identity, waking up, and getting clear.

The changes in 2011 helped my external life — how I live in the world — match up better with how my energy and identity had changed after all that meditation.

Changes to the blog

This blog had gotten 5,000 views in January and is ending the year with nearly 27,000. Readership really accelerated. I felt like I hit my stride in the second year, and I want to keep getting better. I currently have 156 followers, which includes WordPress and email subscribers as well as Twitter followers.

I redesigned and renamed the blog (from The Zafu Report) at the beginning of 2011 and stuck with the same template, albeit changing the photo often, for the entire year. I broadened the topics from mostly posting about meditation and yoga to posting about wellness and aliveness. I began including posts about healthy eating and reviews of movies that I’ve found inspiring and expansive.

My intent for 2012 is to be more personal in my writing. I noticed that those are the posts that get the most views, likes, and comments, not the reposts. I will still share the juicy information I come across, but I’ll also tell you why it’s meaningful to me. I’d love to have more comments from you.

Selling my house and moving into a trailer

My house was on the market in January 2011, and I closed and moved out in late February. I immediately bought the vintage Spartan Carousel that I’d had my eye on online for months. I put household stuff in storage (what remained after paring down) and moved in with dear friends until I could get the trailer here.

I found my trailer park in March.

First, I waited to get a title from the state of Washington, and then I waited for flood waters to recede so the trailer could be loaded on a trailer and hauled here. That finally happened in June. We got it set up, repaired, installed cork flooring and an HVAC unit, and I moved in in August. A friend donated a washer and dryer, and I got them set up in my shed in October.

Trailer life is good! I am enjoying living here a lot, and it’s great to have a paid-for, portable, recycled, streamlined, vintage home. I’ve had friends do two house blessings here, and I’ve done some landscaping. I’ve seen deer and a fox in the park, as well as lots of birds. My neighbors have been very unobtrusive.

The only sad part is that my cat, Mango, did not adapt well to trailer park life, and he went back to live with my former roommates, who love him, and we all have joint custody. I see him every week, and he still loves me.

It’s also been a bit of an adjustment, moving from the center of the city to the edge. I do more driving. I listen to music and NLP CDs a lot now while I drive.

My intent for 2012 is to install more window coverings, have a deck built, and get a chimenea and some bird-feeders for viewing pleasure. I look forward to doing more landscaping and gardening. I’ll see what my budget allows in terms of further improvements.

Teaching and studying yoga

I taught restorative yoga weekly through July at an acupuncture clinic. Although the class size was small, that teaching experience was invaluable. I worked with private students and substituted at a lunchtime yoga class — the one I took when I was working — and taught a restorative class in a studio for Free Day of Yoga. Did restorative yoga by invitation on a friend’s moving day.

I did two workshops in 2011 with nationally known teachers, Shiva Rea in January and Judith Hanson Lasater in February. In the summer, I began taking classes from Anusara teachers and later picked up a sweaty vinyasa flow class for a more challenging workout. I love working with accomplished teachers — I’m there to learn more about teaching as well as about yoga.

I’m signed up to take Yoga Anatomy with Leslie Kaminoff in January 2012.  I’d love to combine my love of yoga with my love of massage to work on yogis and help prevent and heal yoga injuries.

Practicing changework

I started this year serving as an assistant for NLP master practitioner training by Tom Best of Best Resources/Texas Institute of NLP. That ended in April. I served as program director for the Austin NLP meet-up for a few months and later co-taught an NLP class to women in prison. I attended Metaphors of Money, a workshop with Charles Faulkner, in the fall.

I offered NLP changework sessions this past year, and some of my clients had some wonderful outcomes, reaching major milestones and fulfilling long-time dreams. The sessions played a role in their success, which is pleasing, of course, and my clients already had a lot of resources when I worked with them. It was fun.

I attended two weekend sessions with Byron Katie in which she demonstrated The Work. I use her method of inquiry on myself often and with clients.

I did a lot of reading and personal experimentation with two healing practices, the trauma releasing exercises of David Berceli and shaking medicine taught by Bradford Keeney. Each has tremendous value.

I practiced the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) every day in January as I waited for my house to sell and found it helped keep me calm and centered. I’ve since taught it to others.

Going to massage school

In April, I learned about hands-on healing from giving it, and that steered me toward massage school rather than acupuncture school (although never say never). I began studying at The Lauterstein-Conway Massage School in late June (the same day my trailer arrived!) and finished my academic work in early December. I’m currently working in the student clinic, gaining the required 50 hours of internship to get my license.

Meanwhile, I’ve worked on about 30 friends and family members and about 25 of my fellow students.

Besides my regular classes, I took a workshop on cranio-sacral therapy. I’ve gotten massages from my teachers as a way of learning, and I’ve been fortunate enough to trade Swedish massage for lomi lomi and reflexology sessions. The learning will always continue.

Once I’m licensed, probably in February, I’ll officially start my practice, although I’ve been doing bodywork/changework sessions for gratis for several months.

Continuing my own healing

I continued to do acupuncture with Patrice Sullivan and did my usual spring and fall cleanses, which I’ve posted about before. This year I finally cleared my liver and gallbladder of stones!

I continued receiving applied kinesiology sessions from Chandler Collins and hands-on bodywork sessions from Bo Boatwright to free up even  more health into my body and life.

I began working with Fran Bell, who gave my walk a makeover. I had been walking as if I was still injured long after my injuries had healed. Sometimes it takes help to change habitual patterns. Now when I walk, my body feels good and has energy.

Also in the past year, I resumed my practice of ecstatic dance, which I fell in love with in 1995. My ecstatic dancing was on hiatus for the past three or so years. My body craved yoga and more silence, stillness, and solitude. It’s good to be back. I feel like I’ve found a good community, Ecstatic Dance of Austin.

In May I had the initial assessment for brainwave optimization, and in June I did 10 sessions with NeuroBeginnings. The benefits continue to show up for months afterward. I feel more centered, myself, and content. I imagine 2012 will bring even more health and healing into my life.

Working 

I started the year jobless, living on my savings. When I realized I had no idea how long it might take to sell my house, I decided to do contract technical writing. The day I posted my resume, I was contacted by a recruiter. I worked at 3M for 3 months.

I’ve done some freelance work writing and editing website copy.

I’m holding a space for a part-time job in 2012 for financial security while I get my practice established.

Spiritual direction

In the spring, I joined my friend Thomas in watching a group of Tibetan monks destroy a sand painting they had constructed painstakingly and then walk in procession to release the sand into Lady Bird Lake. Very moving, a reminder of impermanence.

On the fall equinox, I realized that I felt as if I had finally fully arrived, or one might say, as if I fully occupied myself, as though I became fully present. Gratified. It’s hard to know that is even a goal until you experience it.

I joined a book group in the fall, studying the 4th way Gurdjieffian path as taught by E.J. Gold. I plan to continue with that in 2012.

I also began dating someone this fall after four years of not dating. I don’t know the future, but it totally feels very sweet and lovely to be in a relationship at this time with this man!!

My second Saturn return occurred in December. My astrologer said that for Aquarians like me, rather than age, I “youth”. So far, so good!

So that wraps up 2011, the year of big changes. I don’t do resolutions, but I check in with my intentions, many of which I’ve shared here.

Wishing you all many blessings in 2012.

Getting over trauma and moving on with your life: some core questions

I was revising the About Me page of my blog recently, the page where I tell you guys that I’ve mostly recovered from PTSD.

It occurred to me that if I shared a little more about that, it might be very, very useful to someone. PTSD is becoming more common, unfortunately.

What I’m coming to understand now is that it’s not so much what you specifically do to recover, although some ways of healing work better than others.

The bottom line is that you have to want to heal in order to heal. And nothing outside of you can get that wanting for you. It has to come from within, that desire to heal. You begin intending to heal, and healing begins to show up, and from then on, it’s a self-perpetuating cycle. It may be one step forward, 9/10th of a step back, but the spiral has begun.

Others can influence you to expand in that direction, though. For instance, believing it’s possible to heal. Some traumatized people are not in an environment where they hear that message. Sometimes everyone else has been traumatized, and no one has any resources to help. Some people have erected internal defenses that protect them from really hearing that message because suffering has become such a part of their identity that giving it up might leave a frightening void. Who would you be without your story? How can you intend to heal if you don’t believe it’s possible? 

Sometimes just knowing that another person has done it can make it possible for you. I can just encourage you to know that it’s possible to recover, to explore and discover, and use joy and expansion as navigation tools. Use your brain, too. 

What would it take for you to believe that recovering from trauma is possible for you? 

Honeys, so this is the thing about healing from trauma or loss: At some point, you realize that you’ve given enough of your life to suffering about that past event, and you’re still alive and likely have a good number of years left. What do you want for yourself? What do you really want? 

You can ask yourself these key questions:

  • Who would I be if that hadn’t happened to me? For sure, I’d be a lesser person if I had not suffered. At the same time, I grieve because it took me so long to get over it, to even know that I had PTSD and that I even could get over it. I cannot get those lost years of my life back, which makes my life now so much more meaningful. In the years I have left, I intend to make up for the lost time and be as happy and alive and myself as I can be. And, it is worthwhile to imagine your life if you hadn’t been sidetracked by trauma. What would you have gone on to do? I imagine that if I had really had the courage and confidence to develop my skills when I was a young woman, I might have gone to New York and worked in publishing and writing. So…guess what? I’ve worked in publishing and writing not in New York, and blogging was unimaginable back then. In some strange way, experiencing trauma did not derail my life as completely as I thought.
  • What gifts has your suffering brought? Although everyone’s story of suffering is different from mine, I do have a clue about how hard life can be, and it gives me a lot of compassion for people’s suffering, from war, famine, natural disaster, genocide, the many cruelties and tragedies that we all know exist and that some of us have experienced up close and personal — and the way these terrible events can influence beliefs about oneself, one’s fellow humans, and life in general, beliefs that can perpetuate the suffering, sometimes for generations.
  • How has your suffering shaped you? Knowing that one of the worst things that can happen — if you haven’t read About me, the brutal murder of my young sister when I was a child myself at a time when no one knew anything about PTSD — has already happened has helped me to have more courage. I spent years waiting for the other shoe to drop, and then one day I realized it probably never would. And…if it does, guess what? I have experience with trauma and now know so much better how to move through and beyond it.
  • If you choose not to have PTSD, where do you go from there? I recall a day after I had been diagnosed with PTSD, when I realized I didn’t like having it one bit. I actually was pretty clueless about it then. It was like being diagnosed with any incurable condition. I remember thinking to myself in a very surly manner that I want to beat the shit out of PTSD with a baseball bat. I didn’t ask for this, and I don’t want it! The mainstream psychiatric thinking (i.e., Judith Herman, DSM) back then, a mere 10 years ago, was that PTSD was incurable. Once you have it, you always do. Well, a lot has changed — notably, the work of Peter Levine and David Berceli showing that trauma resides in the body and can be released, and brain wave researchers finding signature brain wave patterns for PTSD that can be changed with brainwave optimization. I had to accept that the PTSD was in me, not outside of me, and if I were going to beat the shit out of it, I’d have to beat myself up! And I didn’t want to beat myself up in any way any more — which left me with this option: I’d need to somehow become sane and healthy. I gave up focusing on anyone but myself. I stopped blaming (including myself), and I put my heart and mind and body and spirit into examining and changing and updating my identity and map of reality. Not that that’s ever done and fixed. Now, I’m not immune to trauma. No truly alive person could be because being truly alive means being vulnerable. But I believe I could move through it now and not become stuck there, which is what PTSD is. Stuckness. Developing flexibility is the antidote.
  • What unknown joys await you? Yeah, I know. If you’ve experienced trauma, you may not be able to imagine them now, but they do lie waiting for you to want to experience them. You can just make a space for them now, and sooner or later, they will show up — maybe in your dreams at first, and then in your waking life. For me now, many of my joys are about relating to other people and connecting with them and loving them as deeply and unconditionally as I am able, being appreciated and recognized and accepted for who I am, and being able to use my gifts and talents to be of service in this world.

Serendipitously, a friend just emailed me this Native American quote:

Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way.

These are just some thoughts I wanted to share with you guys today. I imagine I will have more thoughts on this topic, so please stay tuned. And of course, your feedback and comments are welcome.

What if the human species became really good at recovering from trauma and even preventing it when possible? What kind of world might we live in?

A reader shares his TRE/shaking medicine experience

In case you don’t read the comments on this blog but are interested in the trauma releasing exercises and shaking medicine, I’m posting a long comment from a reader as a regular post in order to reach more people.

Thank you so much, Richard, for sharing your experience.

Thank you, David Berceli, for bringing the world TRE.

Thank you, Bradford Keeney, for writing and sharing so much about shaking medicine.

I love the fluid body.

Hey Mary –

Been doing TRE for a few months now (think I commented here before possibly), and have taken a free workshop with one of the London trainers. I also notice I can allow it to come on at will, even standing up – the TRE trainer likened it to a hosepipe, and you can inhibit/disinhibit the flow, e.g. as if you were putting your foot on/off it. The explanation given was that humans generally walk around in constant inhibit-mode, and once you’ve done TRE a few times you gain the flexibility to allow it through. It took me about 4-6 weeks of daily practice to get to that point personally.

Btw, in terms of progress… it’s been plateaus with spurts of growth. Some things have changed drastically, others havent changed yet. The tension in my body has changed, and “getting stressed” now feels different in terms of the intensity and location of the tension that arises in my body.

I notice it never quite goes “how I want”… always how it wants. Some parts just shake for weeks, over and over, the same pattern, then suddenly shift in one session. Sometimes I think some things shifted and it comes back to that location for more, and sometimes new muscles start going at it that had previously been holding.

From what I understand TRE is a wildly individual process; very much a function of your personal trauma, your personal locations of chronic tension, and what emotions are entangled up with all of that. For me it’s very much about the abdomen, chest, and anxiety. For some people it’s depression, anger, etc.

What I do know for sure is a) it’s the only thing that gets me “unstressed” daily on a physiological level (and I’ve tried a lot), and b) I’ve gradually become much more the person I want to be; the person I feel I truly am; since starting with TRE.

Hope you and others are finding similar benefits!
Thanks
Richard

I notice that Richard started out with the TRE exercises and has transitioned to shaking medicine. My distinction is when you can stand up and shake at will, TRE has become shaking medicine.

I have a strong hunch that the vast majority of people need to learn TRE first, to learn how to allow shaking to happen. Once your body learns to trust the trembling and lets it move into various parts besides the legs (and of course that will take different time periods for different people), try it with your legs flat. Try it standing up. Try it sitting.

I agree that it’s like a pipeline you can turn on and off at will.

Eloquently said, Richard, that you’ve become much more the person you want to be, the person you truly are. This is truly energy medicine.

Trauma releasing exercises: the video

I ordered the Trauma Releasing Exercises DVD a few weeks ago and finally found time to watch it.

I recommend it if you are a visual learner and if you want to get up to speed and do the TRE exercises quickly without reading a book or having to find and pay a teacher. You can watch it, learn a bit of the background without too much detail, watch people shaking, and do the exercises in real time along with the demonstration.

One of the beautiful gifts of learning from the DVD is that you can watch and do the exercises with another person and pause when you need to, rewind, fast forward, etc.

One important note: If you have only read the book, the exercises presented here are slightly different. There are some exercises for the feet at the beginning, and more details are provided.

I was just watching the models do Exercise 5 in the book, and David Berceli’s voice-over adds that you can allow your jaw to open as you twist your upper body. I didn’t see that in the book.

The exercises also have different timing, so that where the book says to hold for one minute, the video says to hold for 30 seconds to one minute.

The video also includes testimonials from various professionals — two chiropractors, a marriage and family therapist, a writer/teacher about the psoas and the core, a clinical social worker specializing in trauma, a massage therapist/teacher, and a physical therapist/cranio-sacral therapist.

Neurogenic tremors

I did the trauma releasing exercises tonight. I forgot to do them last night. : ( Lots going on.

I tried a shortcut and did the first exercise, standing on the right edges of my feet, for 30 seconds on each side. I didn’t repeat that 5 times, and it didn’t seem to make much difference. My body is programmed to release now.

I noticed tonight that I had longer pauses between bouts of releasing than I’ve experienced before. I would come completely to a stop, not knowing if they would start again. Sometimes I’d be still for 10 or 15 seconds before they started again.

I had waves of leg shaking, not just quivering.

I did some mild rocking at the same time my legs were quivering. That’s different.

I had one bout of wild releasing from my left shoulder and arm.

After 20 minutes, I straightened my legs, and then they started shaking again! My left arm had one last bout of shaking.

Then I laid on the floor, feeling the energy buzz. It was definitely stronger where I’d been shaking the most.

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I found a video by David Berceli about neurogenic tremors. This video is copyrighted 2005 and posted in 2007, before the book.

Berceli doesn’t talk about the tremors in relation to trauma, but about how they assist in relaxation, pain relief, physiological changes, increased agility, and increased mobility in the pelvic and lower back areas.

You can watch it here. What do you think? Kind of sexy?

Please share this post about the Chronic Stress and Trauma Recovery challenge!

In an effort to reach as many people as possible who can benefit from the Chronic Stress and Trauma Recovery Challenge, may I ask that you please share this post — by emailing it to friend who could benefit and/or by sharing on Facebook, retweeting on Twitter, sharing on Stumbleupon, Digg, Reddit — using whatever social media programs you like?

There’s even a little +SHARE icon below the post that you can use. I’m trying to get some momentum going here!

The all-time daily high for people viewing this blog was 89 views on Feb. 3, 2010 — a year ago tomorrow. Right now I’m at 15 views for today — would love to beat that record!!!

I’m including the links to all my posts about this challenge below to make it easier to catch up on the info.

In order from oldest to newest, please read these three posts:

These posts will get anyone caught up with the challenge, which starts today. You don’t have to do it like I do it, but please try them at least once.

Doing these exercises can help anyone release stress and trauma. If enough people do them, we could co-create a world with more peace and love, and less violence, substance abuse, and suffering. Would you like that?

If you don’t think you can benefit, I ask you to try them just once. If you do these exercises and don’t tremble, I’ll kiss your feet and tell the world!

If you’re in Austin, Texas, I’ll be glad to teach you how and do them with you, at my home, your home, or maybe a more public place.

Thank you for sharing this.