An exploration of Tension Release Exercise

DISCLAIMER: We are not certified TRE® practitioners. The system was developed by SOMEONE in the USA to help sufferers of PTSD. It has not been approved by any medical authorities and this blog post is for information and your own exploration.

Nid decided to follow the TRE® procedure for two months to see how it impacted her. Nid has a highly sensitive nervous system and has always struggled with such strong tremors in her body. She was interested to see how her body and moods responded to the process. Below is her experience.


What is TRE?

TRE® can also be called “Trauma or Tremor Release Exercise” and is the process of releasing tension that is stored in the body to create deep relaxation in the body. Small tremors seen in the body can be a sign that the body needs to release the excess tension that could have been caused by a trauma, stress or tension. Therefore, not processing your daily stresses can build these tremors in the body. If you are someone with a sensitive nervous system it can be a useful tool for maintaining balance.

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TRE® itself is a series of set exercises that have been developed to induce the tremors. It is done with those trained usually to support those who might find it very frightening, or need additional support for other reasons. They have an app that you can download for £9.99 to be guided through. You can discover more on their site here

The approach is to physically exhaust the lower legs and up into the pelvic floor and diaphragm. These are the main muscles that are activated in fight, flight or freeze reactions. If the body has not fully released the tension in these muscles, then it will hold the pattern until it can release. 


How did I find it?

  1. First, I discovered that my legs are really strong. I added in a 20 minute leg workout before doing the TRE® exercises to help induce the tremors, but within a week I was struggling to get much tremor from the leg exercises. If you don’t tremor much that is ok.

  2. I adapted the TRE® exercises to use my stability ball and more abdominal exercises. I did the workout 3 times each week for 2 months. Below are photos of the sequence that I would do. Adapt a workout that works for your body’s triggers.

  3. Most days I struggled to tremor much. The movements were tiny and mostly around my inner groin area. This makes sense because the TRE® approach is to exhaust the legs up into the pelvic floor. Work legs up to diaphragm to exhaust the body.

  4. I noticed a lot of breath changes due to the diaphragm tremors, but once I used my calm resonant breath (6 seconds in and 6 seconds out), this stopped the tremors.

  5. My butt got really firm. My hip issue got much better and my ankle felt more stable. There was a lot of change in my life both physically and emotionally, and the practice helped me feel more grounded during this time. It’s great for hyper-mobility, lower limb and core building and grounding work.

  6. I am happy to keep this in my mix of workouts. Perhaps once a week is enough for me depending on the rest of my week. It clears to unnecessary tension in my body.

Here is what I did for my TRE® workout

Repeat the below sequence 2- 3 times

These are mostly leg exercises so use the following tips for healthy alignment:

  • Keep all 3 points of the feet grounded to the floor - big toe, pinkie toe & centre of heel

  • Middle of knee aligns with third toe on each foot

  • Keep hips level and in ‘neutral’ position throughout movements

  • Keep the range less to protect the knees

  • Heel raises - keep the weight on all toe knuckles

  • Abdominals - imagine holding an orange between chin & chest before lifting head

  • Neutral spine is used for all these positions. This follows the natural curves of the spine in an S shape.

  • Low back issues? REMOVE the reverse curl exercise

  • No stability ball? You can do all of these exercises without the ball but the ball adds challenge to the deeper stabilising muscles of the body.

Standing squats x 30 + Heel Raises x 20

Standing squats x 30 + Heel Raises x 20

Wide plies x 30 (add twist for fun)

Wide plies x 30 (add twist for fun)

Lunges x 20 each side (add twist for fun)

Lunges x 20 each side (add twist for fun)

Wall 1-leg squat x 20 each leg

Wall 1-leg squat x 20 each leg

Supine Bridge Squat x 30

Supine Bridge Squat x 30

Supine Bridge Squat 1 leg x 20 each leg

Supine Bridge Squat 1 leg x 20 each leg

Supine Bridge Squat heel raises x 30

Supine Bridge Squat heel raises x 30

Supine Bridge Squat ball squeeze x 30

Supine Bridge Squat ball squeeze x 30

Abdominal crunches x 30

Abdominal crunches x 30

Obliques x 20 each side

Obliques x 20 each side

Pilates 100s x 100

Pilates 100s x 100

Abs with arm circles x 20

Abs with arm circles x 20

Reverse curls holding ball x 30

Reverse curls holding ball x 30

Backbend stretch x 30 seconds

Backbend stretch x 30 seconds

Quadruped glute pushes to sky x 50 (ball behind knee)

Quadruped glute pushes to sky x 50 (ball behind knee)

Then follow with these holding positions.

The below timings are maximum times. Rest between each exercise.

Supine Bridge Squat x 3 - 10 minutes

Supine Bridge Squat x 3 - 10 minutes

Butterfly bridge x 3 minutes

Butterfly bridge x 3 minutes

Butterfly x 2 minutes

Butterfly x 2 minutes

Knees parallel x 1 minute

Knees parallel x 1 minute


How can we help you?

If you’re interested in exploring how to balance your nervous system then get in touch with us. Our team work with the nervous system in a variety of ways:

INTEGRATED SESSIONS WITH NID

Pilates, Fascia Release or Yoga. Movement shifts things without the need for words. Plus, keeps the body healthy.

Meditation and yoga nidras are a fabulous way to ‘defrag’ the mind, clear the clutter, reorganise and retrain with a peaceful heart. Compassion and loving-kindness practices make the largest emotional shifts, but can be a hard leap when you feel so low.  

Reiki healing can release energy in a calming way. Sometimes it isn’t necessary to ‘know’ the origin, but just to feel it leave.

YOGA THERAPY WITH MOLLY (UK ONLY)

Breathwork can ease the anxious mind and take the thoughts away from the negative cycle swarming through.  

Movements can move energy and when curated in the right sequence this approach can be very nourishing and compassionate.

Molly is known for her abundant gentle and compassionate approach. She is firm and patient holding a supportive space for healing.

NUTRITIONAL CONSULTATIONS WITH MEGAN

Clean brain-gut connection to build connection to intuition. Assess your eating habits, your nutritional input and lifestyle to ensure that you are investing in yourself to your best.

Megan specialises in nutrition and emotional changes for a compassionate guide with lifting energy in the gut.

Her sessions will support finding clarity in how to make food choices that will sustain you for a happier life.