How to cure anxiety

Loved this blog post so much, I’m linking to it here! It’s on Tim Ferriss’s blog, and was written by his former assistant Charlie Hoehn.

Note that it mentions the Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE) among other behaviors to release tension and calm the body.

http://fourhourworkweek.com/2014/02/19/anxiety-attacks-2/

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.

The fear of emotional overwhelm

Ann, a new reader of this blog, recently sent me a message on my MaryAnn’s Bodywork and Changework Shop Facebook page that she is doing the trauma releasing exercises, and I thought I would move the discussion here so more people can participate:

hi maryann!

i have just discovered your blog online. thank you for sharing your story and advice to the world. i feel a kinship to you, as i am in the third month of my trauma releasing process.
i practice spring forest qigong (5 yrs)

i have done tre exercises 3 or 4 times a couple of months ago and now i can do them at will.

as fear and anxiety are aspects of myself that i am reclaiming/ integrating… i tend to stop the tremors that seem to want to happen a lot now because my mind wants to understand what is actually happening and will this clear the messages from the subconscious. i have apprehension that the amount i release will then need to be felt consciously afterwards and maybe i shouldn’t do them a lot so i can maintain a balance/ keep up with the processing of the emotions…. or do they just go away?…i saw that you posted to do them as much as they want to come out at first. any thoughts?

i have read that the symptoms come back if you stop…so how do they clear?

maybe they get pushed out in a continual cycle that allows you to consciously release what you can… the release just keeps them suspended for a time?

well, that’s enough thinking… any thoughts?

you are lovely.

heartfelt gratitude.

ann 

p.s. the other day i tremored, kicked, wailed, spoke in about 6 different languages… very grateful i have read waking the tiger as i guess you do need to release the things you would have done when you froze. in the english parts i said “no, i said no!” and i didn’t just “say” it. and at the end of it i went back into english and i said “NO. YOU GET OUT OF ME!” it felt awesome.

A little later, Ann sent the following message:

in re-reading this i could sum it up as : fear of emotional overwhelm 

Well put, Ann. To Ann and everyone else who has ever feared being overwhelmed emotionally, whether by grief, anger, or some other emotion (even bliss), I just want to say that this is very, very common.

We all have emotions. Infants and toddlers seem to have a very full range of them and express them freely and with their whole selves.

And at some young age, we begin to receive messages about emotions: which ones are good, which are bad (or positive and negative, if you prefer), which ones are not okay to express in public, maybe which are not okay to even have, which ones are harmful to repress or bottle up.

Maybe we’ve been on the receiving end of someone’s rage, bad boundaries, or lack of feeling, or have felt/not-felt those ourselves. Maybe we’ve felt emotional pain so strongly we’d do anything to avoid feeling it again, including numbing out for years.

No wonder we get messed up emotionally.

It can feel unsafe to let go emotionally, as if we could die or crumble or never come out on the other side. We fear our own emotions, especially the strong ones, because part of us wants to be in control, and emotions can be very intense.

Ann, it seems to me that needing to experience a balance between release and conscious processing is a belief you have acquired. Try on this belief and see if you like it: allowing the emotion/trembling/etc. to flow through you IS clearing the subconscious. You don’t have to understand it for it to work!

And if understanding does come, it will come AFTER you clear the channels and return to a calm state in which other parts of your brain can come online to create whole-brain insight.

I also imagine you experimenting with releasing as much emotionally/physiologically as you feel comfortable with for a few days, letting your conscious mind work at its own pace, and seeing for yourself what happens. That cannot mess you up—it’s just you discovering what mix of emotion and thought, conscious and unconscious works best for you.

I remember feeling rage about 10 years ago for the first time since I was about two, because it wasn’t acceptable in my family or in much of society. I was alone, remembering something I hadn’t thought about in years, when suddenly I had a different understanding of it that brought up hot, intense anger.

I didn’t know what was happening at first, so I kept allowing it to happen because I was curious—and alone. I am sure I got red in the face. There was definitely an upward surge of hot energy toward my head and a stiffening of my posture. I stopped in mid-stride.

Right after I was feeling the most intense anger, my inner witness was marveling, “So this is what rage feels like! I get it how steam comes out of Elmer Fudd’s ears and the grimace and posture he makes!”

It actually had a very, very cleansing effect. It renewed my self-esteem and motivated me to protect my interests. Afterwards, I felt like I had on a cloak of protection. It was actually near the beginning of my trauma recovery process, but I didn’t know that then.

Interestingly enough, fully allowing that rage to flow through me and feeling it completely took maybe 30 seconds. A very slow 30 seconds, to be sure.

Imagine: I had spent years denying/repressing my anger, and when I let it ripple through me, it only took half a minute of intensity, and the benefits were enormous and lasting.

Lesson 1: Emotions have two components. You experience them in your body, and they change you (you resolve an inner conflict, and then you take action: set a boundary, express a concern, reframe your identity, make a decision, right a wrong, and so on).

Lesson 2: You can allow yourself the experience of feeling the emotion fully without having to take action right away. That can come later. Unless the situation is life or death, you can let it settle before doing anything. That provides time for other less emotional parts of your brain to add their gifts on the wisest course of action for you to take. Meanwhile, you’re not bottling up something toxic.

Lesson 3: This is easier said than done. We’re all here in the School of Life. We mess up, we learn, we forgive, we grow.

So this is the thing. I can’t really tell you what’s right for you, but maybe these lessons can help you get through the labyrinth.

I found this quote on Tricycle Daily Dharma, and it’s perfect for this post:

The ebb and flow of life is not unlike the sea. Sure, sometimes it’s calm and serene, but at other times the waves can be so big that they threaten to overwhelm us. These fluctuations are an inevitable part of life. But when you forget this simple fact, it’s easy to get swept away by strong waves of difficult emotions.— Andy Puddicombe, “10 Tips for Living More Mindfully”

I would be remiss if I did not mention one of the best books I’ve read about emotions and their messages, The Emotional Hostage: Rescuing Your Emotional Life by Leslie Cameron-Bandler. It’s an oldie but goodie that helps you decode the purpose of each emotion and use your emotions to live more authentically.

Comment on “Trauma release heavy heart”

Sometimes a reader responds to a blog post that appeared a long while ago. Today I received a comment on Trauma release heavy heart, originally published on October 4, 2010. I wrote that post after discovering that someone had used those words as a search term and landed on my blog.

The beauty of using search engines is that content can be “new to you” years after it was first written.

So for those who subscribe and read posts as I post them, here’s a recap of that post, if you don’t want to click the link above and read the original (I know, I know, it takes time):

I mentioned that heartbreak can feel traumatic, that time and the kindness of others helps, and that meditation can expand your sense of yourself beyond the heaviness of your heart.

I did bring up some positive things about having a heavy heart: it means your heart center is active and alive, which isn’t true of everyone. Some people have very closed-off hearts.

I mentioned doing EFT, using a homeopathic remedy, crying, and being kind to someone who needs it.

Rubyinparadise commented today:

Lovely post. :) I was just Googling David Berceli’s work and found your blog. I am a restorative yoga teacher, and I am also very interested in the subjects of Radical Acceptance (Tara Brach), vipassana meditation, psoas release, PTSD recovery, inner child healing, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (Marsha Linehan). DBT teaches the skills of emotion regulation, mindfulness, distress tolerance and interpersonal effectiveness. It is used for people with PTSD, Borderline Personality Disorder, and those who simply struggle with such skills, perhaps due to early childhood trauma, chemical imbalance, a highly sensitive nature, or all of the above. I keep stumbling across references to EFT as well, but I haven’t explored that as of yet.

I’m responding to her directly, as I do for most comments, but I think it’s good to share that here is someone else who is interested in how to heal trauma and is exploring various techniques.

I myself am not familiar with radical acceptance, inner child healing, or DBT. I’m not sure about psoas technique. I know the psoas is the key “fight or flight” muscle — I know how to palpate it but would love to learn a release technique beyond the TREs.

I would like to note that sometimes I struggle with how much I really want to put my energy into trauma healing — learning about it for my own healing and potentially to work with others. Does it retraumatize me? I’m looking at that. I’d like for it not to. I get tired of trauma, recovery, healing, and so on.

I was told by hand analyst Rich Unger that my hand says that I am a spiritual teacher in this area, working with people who have been traumatized. Sometimes I feel drawn to it, and sometimes not. Sometimes I just want everything to do with trauma to be over and done with. I want to be well — and so I am, most of the time.

Right now, I feel like occasional writing is enough, providing a healing story for others who may be less far along on their healing path. It helps to have models who can let you know that recovery is possible, because if it’s possible for me, it’s possible for you.

I’d love to hear others comment with stories on their own trauma recovery and healing.

And… I have just ordered a book of yoga poses for trauma recovery. (I bet they involve the psoas.)

I want to work with my therapist/shaman/friend on how I can learn to not be triggered by other people’s traumas. I don’t even know if that is possible. Maybe we just scream together. But I do believe I can benefit from some changework.

It seems that there were some rapid gains from focusing my attention for the first time on processing and integrating my childhood trauma, but after the first couple of years, or even the first nine months, the breakthroughs haven’t come as quickly or been as painless.

I’m grateful that I have a real life now that includes stability, connection, health, fun, growth, reflection, and being grounded. It’s home base. When I foray from it into trauma (whether voluntarily or involuntarily), I have a sweet, safe place to return to.

Not everyone has that. If I could give anyone just that, I would.

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?

My feel-good hack using yoga, spine aligner, breathing, TRE, and more yoga

I’m sharing a little feel-good hack I discovered today.

I used to hang upside down by my knees daily to lengthen my back and let gravity work the other direction. It’s a great way to put space between the vertebrae, lengthen the back muscles, and give the spinal nerves more space.

Well, I don’t have a way to hang in my trailer (until I get a yoga swing and hang it outside from a tree, maybe in the spring).

I’ve been experiencing some little kinks in my back, the kind of thing a chiropractor could easily adjust, but I don’t see mine until tomorrow.

Here’s what I did to release the kinks and energize myself for the day:

  1. To wake up and limber up, I did one very deep, very slow, very mindful round of surya namaskar/sun salutation, dropping deep into lunge and integrating a heart-opening variation of utthita parsvakonasana/extended side angle pose, vir 1/warrior 1, and later adho mukha svanasana/downdog with variations into the sequence. This is my true yoga love, sun salutation with infinite variations, my own custom every-day-is-different vinyasa tailored for my needs.
  2. I laid down on my yoga mat, picked up the spine aligner/ma roller (photo below), and placed the two middle knobs between two vertebrae between my shoulder blades, mid-way up. I breathed 10 breaths, then rolled it down one vertebrae. Repeated this all the way down to L5/sacrum. (If you are new to using this tool, start using it on a bed; otherwise, the discomfort will stop you.) It 
  3. Removed the spine aligner, placed my soles on the floor, and let my legs shake shake shake until all the tension was released, like in the Trauma Releasing Exercises. I hadn’t planned to do that. It just came up that I needed to release.
  4. I returned to yoga and did a reclining spinal twist with knees together that I learned from Eleanor Harris, my long-time yoga teacher. Sorry, not sure of the Sanskrit.

My back feels much better, and my energy is flowing well. This relaxation business is seriously fun and creative!

Why massage, yoga, shaking medicine, and movement make you feel so good

One of the coolest things I’ve learned in my first two weeks of massage school, besides that I actually know something from my years of experiencing bodywork and that my hands love connecting with people, is about fascia.

If you don’t know, fascia is the name for a type of connective tissue, a thin membrane. It is labeled superficial when it is right under the skin and deep when it surrounds, binds, and separates muscle. It’s really all the same — these terms just differentiate the location.

The semi-transparent membrane on an uncooked chicken breast is fascia.

Here’s a new word: thixotropism, from the Greek for touch and turning. It refers to the fascia’s ability to change from one state to another. Fascia has two states: a thin fluid (sol) and a thicker gel. In its thin state, it is fluid, pliant, and elastic, offering a wider range of movement. In its gel state, it is tougher, more inflexible, and restricts movement.

When the body is out of alignment, such as when the head is jutting forward, the fascia supporting those straining neck muscles become more gel-like, stiffer, and supportive.

When you feel stiff, it’s because the fascia is in its gel state.

Through touch, exercise, and/or stretching, fascia “melts” from gel to sol and becomes looser, more flexible, and elastic. This allows the muscles to be manipulated in massage, increases joint range of motion, and frees the body from restrictions in movement.

When you move fluidly and freely in your body, your fascia are in the sol state. And of course, that feels fantastic.

This is at least one piece of the physiology of why it feels so good to get a massage, do yoga, warm up your muscles through work or exercise, and do the movements of TRE and shaking medicine.

They literally transform stiffness into fluidity.

Conversely, this is why it feels bad to sit for prolonged periods, and why we need to stretch after the stillness of sleeping.

If you want to feel free in your body, move, shake — and get massages.

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.

Update on trailer, brainwave optimization, TRE and shaking medicine

My Spartan Carousel trailer is still not here. Southeastern Washington state, usually somewhat desert-y, has had unusual flooding on the Columbia and Yakima Rivers. Although my trailer has been on high ground, the road to it has been underwater. However, it’s finally drying up, and a truck may be able to get in there and start its journey here any day now!

I’ve been having dreams about it for a couple of weeks now. Have talked to a handyman with RV experience about helping me get it operational.

~~

It’s been almost a week since I did brainwave optimization at Neuro Beginnings. What I notice is that my thoughts and emotions seem clearer and I feel more together, sparkly, and capable than before.

Meditation and doing something physically active in nature, like walking or swimming or kayaking, each day seem to be really helping.

I am more aware of my mind than ever, and notice how untamed it often is, and yet it functions pretty well! I work on actively calming it (moving from beta to alpha) several times a day. When I meditate, I surrender from alpha into theta.

I’ve borrowed the book Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain,by David Eagleman, which “navigates the depths of the unconscious brain,” according to the book jacket. I am very much looking forward to reading it after I finish my current book.

~~

I have experienced some spontaneous shaking, i.e., trembling without doing the trauma releasing exercises. A couple of times, I’ve noticed tension in my body and just laid down and shook for 5 minutes. Nice!

If I haven’t had any spontaneous shaking, I do the exercises about once a week. More of my body is involved. If you remember, at first it was just my legs, then my left arm and shoulder, and it has continued to spread.

I notice that I do less of the fine quivering or trembling, although I still experience that in my legs. I do more shaking, rocking, rolling, flapping, circling, twirling — repetitive movements of all kinds.

My body seems to like to do quite a variety of these, not staying in any one pattern for more than 15-20 seconds.

Then I lie still for a while, not knowing if I’m “done” shaking. I discovered that if I straighten my legs, sometimes they still need to shake. So my feet move back in forth, in unison and in opposition, and sometimes my heels bounce!

I’m also noticing that after I’ve laid on the floor and shaken, sometimes when I stand, my body still wants to make rhythmic movements for a while. These seem more dance-like, but it’s more like I am being moved than deliberately moving.

More and more I notice the feeling state I’m in after I tremble or shake. It’s like the channels are cleared out. I feel lighter, more open, more centered. My vibrations feel stronger and higher. I feel very balanced between mind and heart.

It is definitely a good feeling to have, a very pleasant state to be in, a kind of quiet, subtle ecstasy.

I wonder if I’m moving from the trauma releasing exercises into shaking medicine. Will keep you posted on that!

Bodywork and TRE update

Yesterday I learned something: there is such a thing as too much bodywork.

I had an early appointment with Chandler Collins, DC, who did applied kinesiology on me. I’d been having some nerve pain down my outer left leg. He made it feel better. That was about 20 minutes.

At 11, I had two hours with Bo Boatwright. We talked and then did some tablework. We did the stretching myofascial release on my hips, and then he spent a good amount of time doing reiki on my left sacroiliac joint. Just quietly holding. I had some shaking in my left arm. Then a lot of neck work.

That is, if I’m remembering right. You’ve heard of “sex haze”? There seems to be such a thing as a bodywork haze, because when I showed up for my appointment with Fran Bell at 1:30, she took a good look at me and could tell I couldn’t integrate much more.

She taught me an exercise using a stability ball, worked on me, woke me up to being more present. We talked, then she got out her pendulum and had me lie on the table. She checked — my chakras were still, not spinning. (Heck, I can’t tell. All I know is how open they are.)

So she did more work with me on the table, and left me there to integrate it. I dipped down into delta waves for I don’t know how long. My chakras were spinning after that, energy reaching at least a couple of feet out.

Advised me to look at tree trunks and go home and take a nap.

It has hardly ever happened that my appointments line up on a single day like that. A few times I’ve seen two healers, but never three.

You really do need time after bodywork to integrate it and get the most out of it. Take a nap or do simple things — gazing at a landscape, walking at a leisurely pace, making a salad, playing with a child, listening to music — not reading, working on a computer, or watching anything intense on TV or movies. 

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This morning I did the trauma releasing exercises, which I haven’t done for a few weeks.

Wow. I had an entirely new pattern come up. After shaking of legs, pelvis, arms, shoulders, and neck while lying with knees bent, soles on floor, I straightened my legs. Usually that puts an end to the shaking.

Not today.

My legs wanted to shake while lying straightened on the floor. They even came off the floor for a bit. Then they shook with my heels as pivots. My feet and legs rocked right and left in unison, like windshield wipers. They moved pointing out-in-out-in in unison. They moved forward and back in unison. Sometimes just my knees lifted and lowered repeatedly.

Some of these are Trager-like movements. (I’m barely familiar with Trager but remember that. My astrologer mentioned recently that she was certified in Trager and referred me to someone if I’m ready to experience it.)

When my body stops shaking, I lie still, not knowing if I’m done. Usually, more shaking arises.

I like to give my body the space and invitation to release what needs releasing. When nothing is forthcoming, just being still seems to give the deeper tensions time and permission to release. 

It wasn’t intense shaking when my legs were straight. The most intensity came from my arms and my legs with feet flat on floor. The rest of it was mild to moderate.

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I am hoping to start Level I training in TRE later this summer. After completing it, I’ll be able to do sessions with individuals.