The "No-talk" Release of Trauma and PTSD Recovery
TRE for Trauma and PTSD Recovery
When you numb pain, or block emotions, unfortunately you also numb and block potential joy and happiness, because they both work on the same circuits in your brain and body. TRE helps you release the effects of trauma from your body, relieving the symptoms without you needing to talk about or recall the events, opening up the potential for reconnection with your own self and the happiness and sense of peace that can bring.
How can TRE help me in dealing with my trauma ?
TRE provides a safe means of releasing the effects of trauma from the body. It is a non-talking modality, so it can support talk based therapies. The strong positive of TRE is that it allows you to release the effects of trauma slowly, in small, manageable portions, as you feel comfortable. It is not a large cathartic release, which may leave you re-traumatised. Instead TRE is a slow steady release, over time as you feel comfortable and ready, you remain in control at all times and can stop and start as you feel ready.
Why does trauma affect me the way it does, even so long after the actual event ?
Surviving trauma and traumatic events requires us to draw on extraordinary energy reserves and resources that in everyday life we may not usually have access to. Often intense energy is produced as the body prepares to cope with the immediate threat, which may be considered as life-threatening at the time.
In trauma, through the body’s natural protective mechanisms, this tremendous energy can become locked in the body and brain/nervous system. Our body and brain work together to protect us from something that may be extreme painful, physically or emotionally, by freezing or numbing us to the pain, flooding our body with biochemical pain killers, or detaching from the situation and compartmentalising thoughts about it. This occurs without even thinking about it or being aware of the process in a part of the brain (brain stem) that controls our automatic body processes like heart rate and breathing and emotional levels (limbic system).
After the event, it can be like trying to drive with one foot on the accelerator, and the other foot firmly on the brake – tremendously draining on the body, a lot of smoke but gong nowhere.
Why do memories and flashbacks of the traumatic event keep re-occurring ?
The mind and body work together, even without us being aware of it, to help us survive the trauma, and most importantly reduce the pain associated with it. After the event, when we are safe, the frozen, numbed, disconnected or flooded feelings, pain and/or energy from the trauma will re-emerge for release from the body. This may be in the forms of flashbacks, dreams, feelings of being triggered by memories or re-creating similar events. Each time we revisit the trauma state it is actually an attempt by the brain and body to allow an opportunity for release. This release is usually assisted, and can be fulfilled, by bringing new resources that allow us to let go of the trauma state and integrate the traumatic experience .
What about Post Traumatic Stress ?
Post-traumatic stress (We use PTS rather than PTSD here to indicate the moving away from labelling it as a disorder) occurs when a person continues to re-experience these acute effects of a traumatic event long after the event has ceased, often triggered by memories or experiences that remind them of the event and often in situations they feel they can’t control. Again, these dreams, flashbacks, constant replays in the mind, are an attempt by the brain and body trying to deal with the trauma, integrate the experience from it and release the enormous trapped traumatic energy state from the body and nervous system.
How does TRE help me release the effects of trauma ?
TRE uses a series of gentle exercises to tire the leg muscles, and initiate the neuro-muscular shaking mechanism. The muscle shaking is just like when you have done a big workout or training session. During TRE, the neuro-muscular shake is shifted to a neuro-genic (arising from the nerve signals) with rapid muscle vibrations of contraction and relaxation controlled by the nervous system. These neuro-genic tremors, which are like a massage on the inside, allow the body to release the excess adrenal and stored trauma energy, calming the nervous system and return the body and mind to a more balanced state over time.
With TRE the release of the stored traumatic state occurs directly at the brain-stem level where the neuro-genic tremors are regulated by the brain and the nervous system. As the tension relating to the trauma is released from the body physically, your relationship to the memories can change and release the issues leaving you feeling generally calmer, more relaxed and back living and feeling in your body, with calm positive energy and re-connection.
TRE provides a safe, sustainable way of invoking this natural release mechanism, to release the trauma state slowly over time, as you feel confortable. It is self-empowering, and once learnt, you can use it at any time you need to, to calm your body and settle your mind.
A note about TRE for Trauma
Please note While TRE is easily learnt and safely performed by the vast majority of people without need for ongoing professional assistance, for those who have experience severe post traumatic stress TRE is not recommended as a stand alone substitute for professional assistance. However it is a resource that can be used in conjunction with and in order to support and enchance other professional approaches. For people with severe PTS or dissociative dissorders, it may be necessary to initially perform TRE only under direct professional supervision until they have learnt safe and effective self regulation of the bodies release.
How does TRE compliment talk-based therapies ?
Talking therapies are wonderful for helping us understand what is going on in ourselves at an intellectual level and this may assist in reducing some of the symptoms of trauma. However, since they target mainly the cortex, our thinking part of the brain, talking may not always lead to release of the trauma from the body where it is also stored in the brain stem and limbic (emotional) system, often below our level of consciousness. TRE can be enormously helpful with releasing trauma from the body because it acts directly at the brain stem level and nervous system, clearing suppressed energy, calming the revving engine down and at the same time taking the foot off the brake so energy can once again flow smoothly.
Why is it so hard to feel truly happy and connected after the trauma
Trauma events can be emotionally overwhelming, and the memories very painful. For this reason we consciously, or even without being aware of it, may suppress the painful feelings, numbing, flooding, disconnecting from them. This is great for saving us from intense feelings about the past traumatic event, but the downside to this is that happiness, joy and fulfilled enjoyment of life, work through the same parts of our system that we are numbing.
This means that the positive emotions that we are seeking, get faded and numbed as well, possibly limiting our levels of connection to ourselves and those around us. For this reason, to reconnect with ourselves and others it is so important to release trauma effects from the body, freeing up the flow of energy, allowing re-connection and enabling us to feel a true sense of happiness.
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