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Trauma Releasing Exercises help?


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On a other thread of mine., @prairiewindmomma and @PeterPan and maybe other people told me to try TRE.  So I found a video, ignored the direction to not do it by yourself if you have trauma and followed along.

So, I kinda shook?  It felt like if I’d been skiing and I took one too many runs and my legs were shaky after.  Which makes me think I did it right?  But other than slightly tired legs, and a slightly confused dog there was nothing.  Did I do it wrong?  Anyone have experience? 

I did it again last night, but then I forgot tonight.

 

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This is the video I used and always share because it shows all the steps. 

So yes, it sounds like you got it started. You need to do it again to get more. Try it again tomorrow. You might keep a journal of your symptoms, where they occur, intensity, duration, etc. The changes with each session might surprise you. It won't be static.

In my small experience (with only myself) I find that if you don't *need* it not much happens. However if it starts slowly and you don't get good overall shaking that is connected, top to bottom, head to toes, I would repeat and see if you get more *connection* each time. Have you had an injuries or traumas to any parts of your body? For instance, I recently rolled backwards really badly while sledding. It happened so quickly I don't remember, but my BODY remembers. So when we release it (which I've done both with TRE and with cranial sacral), the body makes that connection that it's releasing the feelings of that moment. It some of it was pretty tricky. Like I went in today and when my cranial sacral person got my (I forget, some bone in my hips, maybe sacrum, I don't know) to drop or release, then the trembling started and the sensory memory came out. It always surprises me even though I've done it for years now.

So yeah, I know people who've had no trauma, nothing like that, and just very little happens. There's just not that much stored in them to come out, lol. But if you know you've got stored up, I would think it's the opposite, that you need to take the time, doing it each day for say a month, to work through the process and let it come out. I think if you make data and log what is happening (body parts, intensity, duration, etc.) you'll see changes.

For me, what happens is there's a progression from a gross level of trembling (large movements, overall, specific body parts) to what I call purring or micro trembles. That's not stuff I've read somewhere, just saying how it happens with me. So for me, the trembling started in my legs and each session I would get more and more up my body as my system broke through, made connections, and was releasing. I logged, like I'm encouraging you to do, and that's what happened, that it worked up. And once it had worked up all the way, from foot to head, THEN it started into micro trembles and nuanced stuff. 

I've done it so long now, I don't even have to do all those set up steps to get it to start. I just lie down, do my legs a certain way, and it will start. That was probably 30-40 sessions in that that started happening. It was actually *really hard* for me to get it to happen at all at first. I think my system was just so dissociated and disconnected. 

So I think keep going, make data, see how it changes. If *less* is happening and you get to a point where basically nothing happens, move on. If *more* is happening, the proceed forward and see what happens.

 

 

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12 hours ago, BaseballandHockey said:

On a other thread of mine., @prairiewindmomma and @PeterPan and maybe other people told me to try TRE.  So I found a video, ignored the direction to not do it by yourself if you have trauma and followed along.

So, I kinda shook?  It felt like if I’d been skiing and I took one too many runs and my legs were shaky after.  Which makes me think I did it right?  But other than slightly tired legs, and a slightly confused dog there was nothing.  Did I do it wrong?  Anyone have experience? 

I did it again last night, but then I forgot tonight.

 

that's what it's supposed to do.   you can increase/decrease the rate of shakiness by the angle of your legs.

 

What are Tension and Trauma Release Exercises®? - All Worlds Health & Pediatrics

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10 minutes ago, gardenmom5 said:

that's what it's supposed to do.   you can increase/decrease the rate of shakiness by the angle of your legs.

 

What are Tension and Trauma Release Exercises®? - All Worlds Health & Pediatrics

But isn’t it supposed to have some other impact?  

Aren’t I supposed to feel different somehow after?  I felt the same as if I walked up a few flights of stairs and my legs got tired and shaky. 

 

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1 hour ago, BaseballandHockey said:

But isn’t it supposed to have some other impact?  

Aren’t I supposed to feel different somehow after?  I felt the same as if I walked up a few flights of stairs and my legs got tired and shaky. 

 

Most people sprout wings after one session.

Doing it for me was self discovery. I was so dissociated and disconnected from traumas that it was a big change to feel myself and find myself. And when trauma memories stored were released, it was very intense. Many sessions left me crying. It was the crying I hadn’t done.

Some people naturally tremble, cry, and release their stress soon after the event. 

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42 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Most people sprout wings after one session.

Doing it for me was self discovery. I was so dissociated and disconnected from traumas that it was a big change to feel myself and find myself. And when trauma memories stored were released, it was very intense. Many sessions left me crying. It was the crying I hadn’t done.

Some people naturally tremble, cry, and release their stress soon after the event. 

Maybe that's why it does nothing for me?  I've done plenty of crying.  During the first months I was also shaking whenever I tried to sleep.  That's gotten better, although I have a long way to go. 

One of the videos I watched basically said that they invented TRE because they noticed that kids tremble and adults don't in response to trauma, and that kids are resilient and don't have after effects from trauma.  Neither of those statements resonated with me, both because I trembled a lot in the first few months after my son died, and because kids aren't always resilient.  My son's PTSD was as disabling as his medical and physical symptoms, which says a lot when you consider that he was receiving ICU level care continuously for the last 10 months of his life.  

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1 hour ago, PeterPan said:

You can have someone apply pressure to the feet to drive it up. Listen to your body.

yoga was one of the best things I ever did to teach me how to listen to my body.  You have to really pay attention to if you are doing a pose correctly or not - and what it feels like to be in the proper position.

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13 hours ago, PeterPan said:

So yeah, I know people who've had no trauma, nothing like that, and just very little happens. There's just not that much stored in them to come out, lol. But if you know you've got stored up, I would think it's the opposite

How does stored trauma relate to stored stress?  I spent a couple of years in a very stressful situation that I dealt with by hardcore ignoring all the stress and related unpleasantness, and then a decade after that doing the same with daily stress (plus a few extra stressful situations), till my daily "resting" stress level was at constant red alert status, and I was also completely disconnected from noticing my stress reactions.  During normal elevated-stress situations, I'd think I "felt fine" while also biting everyone's heads off for no particular reason.  It culminated in my going from "feeling fine" to abruptly sitting on the floor crying as I was trying to pack for a trip (a notoriously stressful thing for me), although I didn't connect it to a decade's worth of ignoring and stuffing stress at the time.  I later started a mindfulness stress relief program because my thighs were so tense that I couldn't sleep, and after a few weeks realized I had *tons* and *tons* of stored stress.  Anyway, I started working on stress relief and started feeling physical and emotional signs of stress again.

But my question is: would TRE be helpful?  I never thought of the original situation as traumatic - it never felt traumatic because I was working so hard to avoid feeling any of it - but upon thinking it over in light of this thread, it probably was.  (It was being severely anxious and depressed and engaging in a slow-motion flunking out of school over not being able to get things done.)  Given that I couldn't handle external demands for years because of the trauma (ha!) of having failed to meet them in school and also that I had reoccurring bad dreams about it for at least a decade, I suppose it does sound like trauma of a sort.  There's been a half-dozen things since that probably qualify as trauma-ish, though I didn't think of them that way because a) I ignored all bad feelings during them (except for the most recent, which was after I relearned to feel stress, and was the most stressed I've ever (consciously) felt in my life), and b) they were all ok in the end, so it seemed like all's well that ends well.

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Chapters 6-10 of 'The Tao of Trauma' might be interesting reading. It talks about what symptoms manifest when each stage of the stress cycle is interrupted. I'd had a stress cough for about a decade when I found this book, and it said stress coughs relate to being unable to protect oneself and one's people. Bingo. Just knowing that has reduced the severity significantly.

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2 hours ago, BaseballandHockey said:

Maybe that's why it does nothing for me?  I've done plenty of crying.  During the first months I was also shaking whenever I tried to sleep.  That's gotten better, although I have a long way to go. 

Yes

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1 hour ago, forty-two said:

How does stored trauma relate to stored stress? 

Trauma is used rather broadly these days conversationally. The counselor and books I was reading defined it as your body thinking it could die. 

 

1 hour ago, forty-two said:

But my question is: would TRE be helpful? 

Free to try. Only problematic if you are hypersensitive for sensory (it can be intense) or had something that would need a counselor to work through (assault, etc)

 It releases stored sensory memory in the body. Doesn’t change the need to talk with a counselor. 

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5 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Trauma is used rather broadly these days conversationally. The counselor and books I was reading defined it as your body thinking it could die. 

Gotcha.  I was thinking in terms of ACEs and such.

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For op the other thing the counselor tried to teach me was that it was NORMAL to let out those big emotions and stresses and to do it. I wasn’t repressed haha but I just hadn’t experienced it. Now if I’m on that edge I roll with it and cry or whatever and let it out. 
 

I also don’t think you’re nearly through grief. You know you, but I was 3 years over my in laws. I don’t think that meant I was doing something wrong. It takes time. Then one day I was ready to take steps (plant a garden, change out the funeral pictures). And they weren’t my child. My in laws list an adult daughter and that was a lot longer.

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6 minutes ago, forty-two said:

Gotcha.  I was thinking in terms of ACEs and such.

Try. It’s free, just an hour of your life. Who knows, could be amazing. It was for me. I did it daily for 40 days.

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1 hour ago, forty-two said:

I later started a mindfulness stress relief program because my thighs were so tense that I couldn't sleep, and after a few weeks realized I had *tons* and *tons* of stored stress.  Anyway

Just a suggestion but you might start TRE and get some cranial sacral. I’ll get releases and trembling with cranial sacral and they can release stuff stored in the fascia making you tight.

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1 hour ago, forty-two said:

after I relearned to feel stress,

Good reason to do TRE if you were dissociating and tuning out your body. 
 

Have you read Levine or Van der Kolk? Levine has a simple tapping exercise I like. My body had stored the sensory memory of walking many miles to church in thin shoes when I was in high school . Not technicalky trauma but stored memories of pain it was ready to let go.

I guess that’s what’s not being said here. A lot of what I did hurt because it was stored pain . Sigh.it doesn’t hurt now but a lot was painful in the moment of release yes

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2 hours ago, prairiewindmomma said:

My .02. . . 

I hope it's OK to quote this much just to make it clear who I'm responding to.   Let me know if you want me to get rid of that too. 

I'm reading you as saying that it's really about what matches your particular needs.  I'm thinking that TRE isn't really going to fill the specific needs I have.  I'll keep looking, including reading some of the things that have been suggested here and on my other thread.  

Part of my issue is that I'm really overwhelmed.  My brain is fogged, I have massive decision fatigue, and I feel like I'm getting so much less done than I used to be able to, and much less than I need to get done.  So, although I need to find solutions, I also need to drop things that aren't working.  

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2 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Trauma is used rather broadly these days conversationally. The counselor and books I was reading defined it as your body thinking it could die. 

Interesting.  If that's the definition used, then I haven't experienced trauma.  I've been terrified, but never for myself.  

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4 hours ago, BaseballandHockey said:

Interesting.  If that's the definition used, then I haven't experienced trauma.  I've been terrified, but never for myself.  

You can definitely experience trauma without your body thinking it might die. Trauma is an emotional and psychological response to stress; it could be a single stressful event or ongoing stress. Police officers and healthcare workers who help a child removed from horrible circumstances often experience trauma, even though they themselves were never in danger. Emotion is the base of trauma. 

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4 hours ago, BaseballandHockey said:

My brain is fogged, I have massive decision fatigue, and I feel like I'm getting so much less done than I used to be able to, and much less than I need to get done. 

Can your doctor run some bloodwork on you? Maybe s/he would find something basic like low D or B or thyroid.

I want to go back to this definition of trauma thing and say I'm not arguing for a definition, only noticing that groups seem to be using it differently. So I googled Levine's definition of trauma and found this article https://lakesidelink.com/blog/trauma-and-trauma-informed-care/peter-levines-approach-to-healing-trauma/#:~:text=One%20of%20the%20leading%20ambassadors,trauma%20heal%20is%20Peter%20Levine.&text=She%20begins%20by%20defining%20trauma,not%20necessarily%20the%20event%20itself.  where they suggested it is an "unresolved autonomic nervous system response." 

The article then explains that TRE is meant to complete the autonomic nervous system response. If you already did the trembling or other forms of release, you already did it. 

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