When you think of ways to improve your life, I bet shaking doesn’t immediately spring to mind.
But in fact shaking is a legitimate modality for helping people heal from the effects of challenging life events, stress and tension.
It’s a natural response – I bet you’ve seen animals shake and I’m sure you’ve experienced the feeling of shaking in excitement, or fear, before.
Learning to shake on purpose is a safe and effective way to manage life’s stressors (big and small) and restore balance to body, mind and soul.
Intriguing, isn’t it?
Let me explain how shaking works to soothe stress and improve your life!
What is ‘shaking’?
Shaking, or more formally, TRE (Stress, Tension and Trauma Release Exercises) use a series of movements that stretch and slightly fatigue the muscles to induce a natural tremor response in the body. This shaking releases deep muscular patterns of stress and tension, soothes the nervous system, and helps return the body to a healthy state of balance.
Let’s look to the animal kingdom for some answers.
Have you ever noticed your dog shake? Perhaps after a bath or when she’s come in from a long walk?
Or maybe you recall watching an amazing animal documentary where the poor antelope narrowly manages to outrun a hungry big cat, and has a good hard shake on return to the herd?
Our animal friends shake as a natural survival response to stressful and life-threatening events. When faced with stress, the nervous system cranks into ‘fight, flight or freeze’ mode. The brain releases a big surge of chemicals to get the muscles firing and mind focused on the task at hand – staying alive.
Oftentimes, even with the threat over, the chemicals are still hanging around. A good shake is the perfect way to disperse them and reset the whole nervous system.
Predators are everywhere
So, while you’ve probably never had to outrun a ravenous big cat, I bet you’ve experienced stressful situations, possibly even a traumatic event.
The thing is, each of us have experienced ‘lions’ or ‘tigers’ chasing us from time to time.
Yours might look like constant looming deadlines, or dealing with the emotional outfall of a relationship breakdown. For others, physical pain, or financial worries may set the ‘fight, flight or freeze’ response into action.
The brain actually doesn’t interpret the source of the threat, or care if the danger is real or perceived, big or small. The mere feeling of stress is enough to stimulate the same chemical response from the body that’s needed to outrun a real predator.
And that’s where we can get into strife. When the stress chemicals are not released they accumulate in the body and may manifest as a whole host of issues, from sleeplessness and tension to anxiety, depression and other mental health challenges.
Evoking animal instincts
We humans have lost touch with our natural shaking ability. That’s where TRE comes in. TRE reminds us how to shake out stress and tension so we can move forward with ease, joy and grace.
You can learn TRE in a fun and relaxed group environment, or through 1-2-1 tuition. After a handful of sessions, most participants find it easy to use TRE on their own, whenever and wherever it’s needed.
But back to improving your life…
While many come to TRE seeking healing from stress or trauma, the benefits of TRE have an amazing flow-on effect to several areas of life. Here are just 10 of my favourite ways TRE works – it’s magic.
Feel amazing – 10 ways TRE can improve your life:
1. Soothes tension
TRE’s signature shaking mechanism initiates a wave of relaxation. As the shaking sets in, muscular tensions begin to melt. Then, this state of physical relaxation automatically signals the mind to follow, allowing mental tensions to soften and release – ahhhhh….. How good would that feel?
2. Improves focus and creativity
With the mind released from its endless loop of heavy thinking, mental bandwidth for clear and creative thinking becomes available. New ideas need space to come to life. Imagine that sense of clarity and spaciousness! Whatchya gonna create with it??
3. Upgrades your digestion
Our digestive system is governed by the parasympathetic nervous system, aka the ‘rest and digest’ function. TRE’s stress-diffusing qualities allow the sympathetic nervous system (‘fight or flight’ mode) to press pause, allowing the ‘rest and digest’ mode to activate. As the name suggests, this mode is responsible for deep healing, resting and digestion. And we all know, when things are regular, everything in life seems to flow better!
4. Re-routes your pain
Where does stress show up in your body? A clenched jaw, sore back, or tight shoulders? Stress likes to accumulate in a particular area of the body, and often that area becomes a default dumping ground for your pain. TRE manages to re-route habitual stress patterns by helping you become aware of where you’re holding tension so you can shake it off before it takes up residence in its usual haunts.
5. Promotes deep, restful sleep
Do aches, pains and/or an over-active mind have you counting sheep every night? TRE can help. With a clearer mind, relaxed muscles and sense of hope that you have (finally!) found a way to manage your wellness, the positive effects of TRE flavour your slumber with a new found depth and quality. Sweet dreams, friend.
6. Fires-up your energy levels
With TRE on your side, you’ll have more zest and zing in your life. It’s not just because of improved sleep. When you deal with pent-up stressors safely and regularly, you don’t need to invest time and energy on storing them.
7. Enhance your relationships
Whether it’s the workplace, your partner, the kids or your local barista, with TRE under your belt you’ll soon find your social connections flow more easily.
8. Boost your resilience
Think of your body as a container – when it’s full of stress, anxiety and worry, there’s no room for anything else. TRE works to gently loosen the grip and safely dissolve the effects the stresses and strains of daily living have on your physical and emotional body, freeing up space so you can deal with whatever life throws at you – effectively and easily.
9. Cultivates self-compassion
Be honest – have you ever felt really cranky and down on yourself for being stuck in stress, and/or not knowing what to do about it? A regular TRE practice helps you become much more aware of why you do the things you do. This new understanding offers an opportunity to express compassion for your body, which is doing all it can to protect you.
10. Big-time empowerment
As a practical modality, TRE requires YOU to activate your own healing – how cool is that? Working on yourself, for yourself, allows you to better understand how YOUR body works and responds to YOUR actions. While other modalities place you in the passenger seat, TRE throws you the keys! Now that’s empowering! Plus, once you learn TRE techniques, you have the tools for life – what a great addition to your self-care toolkit!
Get shaking and feel great
Are you ready to live, laugh and love life to its fullest?
TRE is easy to learn and applicable to a myriad of everyday situations.
You’ll be lovingly supported by your provider (me!) and you might even have fun too!
Let’s shake off your stress and bring you back into balance, together.
Take advantage of 2 exciting upcoming opportunities to learn more about this fascinating practice:
- TRE Taster Groups are perfect for those who want to learn TRE in the safety, security and community of a group. I’m running 2 sessions at the beautiful Kawai Purapura on Mills Lane in Albany on 25 May. In a gentle, relaxed environment, you’ll learn TRE and other self-care skills to manage your own stress and tension better. Find out more at this link.
- At our Creative Self-Care and Stress Release workshop on 26 May, we’ll be helping mums and t(w)eens practice a variety of simple, effective stress busting tools (including TRE). If you’ve been looking for an opportunity to spend some quality time with your t(w)een, tap into your creativity, have fun and release stress, this would be a perfect day out!
Can’t make it? Stay in touch to find out about future workshops and get stress-busting tips and info delivered fresh to your inbox.