Trauma Release Exercises Diary

Trauma Release Exercises Testimonial - Day 20 - Saturday, 30th March 2013

TRE today was the most powerful one yet - my whole body was trembling and moving in spasms. Again, not frightening at all because I could stop it at any point I liked. In fact I had to get up and pick up a parcel in the middle of the last exercise, but it was fine and I could resume the trembling afterwards with no problems.

It seems the trembles are different each time! It is unbelievable in how many different ways the body can tremble. Now I got some very deep trembles along my spine, some movements as if something was being pushed up long my spine, and spasmodic movements towards the end as well. My neck was releasing quite a bit and in the end I thought the heavy feeling I often have around my solar plexus/ heart chakra started feeling better. It's not fully gone, yet, though.

This is also the sixth day on the raw food diet, and feeling good. You can read the diary at the link above.

I am also starting an experiment on grounding today, as my earthing sheet just arrived! There seem to be a lot of quite amazing claims about grounding - and it seems to have a lot of scientific backing. It is meant to improve your sleep, get rid of pain and chronic inflammation, relax you, give you energy, cure jetlag, and undo harmful effects of electrical equipment. I'm curious to see what the effects are on me.

Trauma Release Exercise Diary - Day 21 - Monday 1st April

A variety of good tremors today - mostly the spine releasing.

I feel that the grounding sheet is a useful combination with trauma release exercises as grounding is meant to activate the parasympathetic nervous system - i.e. deactivate the fight-or-flight -mode (stress-mode) and induce relaxation and calm brain states.

Trauma Release Exercises - Day 22 - Sunday 7th April

It's been almost a week since I last did the trauma release exercises. The raw food diet experiment is taking a lot of my time, especially since at the beginning of the diet the detox phase can make you need more sleep.

I lately always feel a bit spaced out after the trauma release exercises, like now, as I've just completed them. I got all kinds of tremors this time, some very gentle ones, some deep stomach-muscle crunching tremors of the spine, at points my shoulders would tension and my head would shake, etc. Some of the exercises are quite hard work these days but it got easier towards the end.

I have also felt some 'cracks' in my bones recently, as if some bones are 'loosening' slightly but in a good way, like they fell into their right places. Not during the exercises, though, just at random times. I don't know if this has to do with the trauma release exercises, the raw food diet, or the grounding. In any case I like it. [Update: Normally this happens when I've eaten raw foods for some length of time.]

Ever since I got the grounding sheets I've been sleeping deeper and having many more and much more vivid dreams than usual. It may be that it has something to do with the trauma release exercises but it seems to be because of the grounding sheets.

I wonder how long you have to be doing the TRE before you start feeling different in the everyday life? I don't think I do yet, apart from the focusing and relaxing influence for some hours after the exercises themselves. It seems like lots is happening but then again, it could be just tremors and nothing else. I think I should read more about the body memory to understand this better. In any case, it may be that I will continue this experiment beyond the 30 days, if I don't feel like I reach a conclusion within that time or if it feels as if my body has more releasing to do.

If you have a good experience with trauma release exercises and/ or grounding, please let me know, I'd be very interested to hear!

[Update: I think that in my case, especially since I don't suffer from any severe trauma, the benefits of the trauma release process are quite gradual, and - just like with herbal healing, the raw food diet or yoga - the benefits increase over time, and regular practice is important to bring them on. Though the changes can even be hard to notice if you are not paying enough attention - due to their gradual nature - I believe that these changes are of a 'deep' nature and able to create lasting change in one's understanding of oneself and life.]

Trauma Release Exercises - Day 23 - Monday 15th April

It's been a week since I last did the exercises, because I have been busy with the raw food diet, and also tired from detoxifying and sleeping a lot.

Somehow it feels good to do the TRE exercises after a longer break, however. It is as if the body would have had more time to continue the work and adjust to the new state. I felt the release was especially good today, even though I did the exercises at the end of the day, after work.

But the release felt somehow unfinished, although I can again breathe better now, straight after finishing. I feel that there is some kind of energy release connected to these exercises, it doesn't feel purely physical. My guess would be that it has something to do with the energy body surrounding and incorporating the physical body. It doesn't feel like just straight-forward exercise, it feels like energies are somehow moving or being released as well.

Now, some 5-10 minutes after doing the trauma release exercises I start feeling very sleepy again.

Trauma Release Exercises - Day 24 - Sunday 21st April

The trauma release exercises today felt really good, enjoyable. I tried to resist exaggerating the movements and to keep them to a minimum, lying still and waiting for the body's next impulse. Generally the movements were more gentle today, with a rapid burst of shaking 'energy' following.

I feel a blockage at the bottom of the ribcage in the front, and instinctively rested my hands on top of this point - I only noticed later that I was doing it. Normally I lay my arms and hands on the sides when doing these exercises. I don't know if the blockage is slowly being released or not, I hope so, although I also feel that it may require some mental work - many imbalances in the body start in the mind. This was also shown in the very interesting documentary movie I watched yesterday, called "The Sacred Science" (which was about Amazonian shamans' healing methods on Americans). It is pretty close to being the location of the solar plexus - I wonder if that is what it is - an energy blockage in the solar plexus?

[Later update: I think this description is showing that I am becoming more in touch with my body's feelings and the felt sense. During my visit to a Traditional Chinese Doctor later, I discussed this feeling with her and she seemed to agree that it was a sign of weak stomach energy. She gave me some herbs to strengthen it and advised to massage the 'stomach chakra' (between the bottom of the rib cage and the belly button) 100 times each day.]

The whole trauma release exercise process so far for me has felt quite gentle. I have had no huge breakthroughs or sudden feelings of release but at the same time something is clearly happening in my body as it's going through these movements and as the shakes change to a different type every time. I want to continue doing the trauma release exercises probably beyond the 30 days, until I feel that the tremors either stop or I feel that some release is achieved. Or if I feel that I reach a plateau and nothing new is happening anymore. As for now, I enjoy the trauma release exercises, although I am doing them only about once a week now.

Trauma Release Exercises - Day 25 - Sunday 25th May

It's been a long time since I last did the trauma release exercises - approximately one month. I fell out of the exercises for two reasons: one, because the raw food diet took a lot of my time and two, I became very busy at work, working evenings and weekends. Now I am off work most of the summer, however, and continuing with the exercises.

I am also now doing part two of the 2013 raw food diet, whose diary can be read here: "2013 Raw Food Diary - Weeks 1-3". Today is day 5 of the diet.

I went running today for 10-15 minutes in the park, and did the trauma release exercises straight after. I didn't get as good tremors as when I was doing them more regularly. I guess my body has to get used to releasing again. I did get some deep tremors along the spine again and my legs kept shaking too. I felt a little relief at some points and I could breathe better again during the exercises.

I think partly the benefits of the trauma release exercises unfold with time. I have had some realisations recently, regarding some hook-ups I carry in my mind. They may just be a result of reflecting more on my thoughts and possible past hurts but it seems to have something to do with this gentle release process of the exercises.

I also realised that possibly my spine is shaking so much because I had a medical procedure as a two-year old child where a bone marrow sample was taken from my spine. My dad recalls the 'operation' as having been quite horrible to watch. So perhaps that's why my spine keeps releasing - from this potentially traumatic event in my childhood? I didn't really think about the connection at all until a couple days ago.

I am currently reading a book which is very interesting, and explains a lot about how and why the trauma release exercises work the way they do. This book is Waking the Tiger, Healing Trauma: The Innate Capacity to Transform Overwhelming Experiences by Peter A Levine. (Follow the link above to read the full book summary/ review on this site.)

I am very impressed by this book already, although I have only read to page 37 so far.

I also finished reading David Berceli's second book, as well as "The Body Remembers: The Psychophysiology of Trauma and Trauma Treatment" by Babette Rothschild. Although both are useful books, I was not nearly as impressed by the trauma theory of either, as I was with "Waking the Tiger".

Of course David Berceli's book gets my highest recommendation purely because of the practical exercises introduced there. Both of David Berceli's books provide anecdotal information, as well as instructions for the very useful exercises, but what is missing is a proper explanation of why the trauma release exercises work. "The Body Remembers" fills in some gaps in understanding the body's relation to trauma, but speaks from a point of view of a psychologist to another, and is, in my view, still limited in its understanding of trauma-body-work. Some of the case studies in this book are fascinating, however.

By contrast, 'Waking the Tiger' by Peter A. Levine was a real eye-opener and highly recommended reading to anyone with an interest in these matters.

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To be safe, please consult your health-care provider before attempting self-treatment for health issues.