TRE® - (Tension/Trauma Release Exercises).

Is an innovative series of exercises that assist the body in releasing deep muscular patterns of tension and trauma. The exercises safely activate a natural reflex mechanism of shaking or vibrating that releases muscular tension and calms down the nervous system.

It is a simple and natural tool that teaches the body how to turn off the stress response and regulates stress hormones in the body. When this muscular shaking / vibrating mechanism is activated in a safe and controlled environment, the body is encouraged to return to a state of balance, feeling grounded, safe and calm.

How was TRE® discovered?

David Berceli, the founder of TRE, was a social worker whose work took him to various war zones and places of conflict around the world, providing trauma relief workshops and designing recovery programs for international organizations around the world.

David has spent two decades living and working in nine countries. He has lived and worked extensively in Israel/Palestine, Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Yemen, Egypt, and Lebanon.

During these visits he sometimes found himself needing to shelter with others from bombs that were falling around them. It was during these times of intense stress that Berceli noticed something unusual- whenever the bombs fell, all the people within the shelters would involuntarily make the same body gesture- they would curl into themselves in a foetal like position. He noticed that this movement was independent of any age, sex or cultural background and so he posited that this movement was a natural human reflex and has the obvious aim of protecting the bodies most vulnerable places. He also noticed that children within these same shelters would often start to shake or tremor when the bombs were falling. The adults, however did not exhibit this same behaviour. He became curious about with these two observations and started to do more research into the subject.

What Berceli discovered is that this shaking or tremoring response is something that is found naturally within the animal kingdom- animals that have been through any degree of stress or trauma will naturally “tremor” to release this from their systems. He realised that humans also have this same natural mechanism, as evidenced by the children within the group; however, adults are able to override this mechanism by voluntarily choosing to suppress it because of fears that it makes them look “weak” or “out of control”. Berceli then made it his life’s mission to gain a greater understanding of this mechanism within humans as he saw it as an invaluable aid to helping to reduce the amount of stress and trauma that many of us carry around.

David Berceli is now an international expert in the areas of trauma intervention and conflict resolution. This revolutionary technique is designed to help release the deep tension created in the body during a traumatic experience or through chronic stress. He is also the energetic and creative founder and CEO of Trauma Recovery Services. David is unique in that he holds a solid academic and experiential grounding in psychotherapy and therapeutic body-work. He integrates that with a keen understanding of the intertwining dynamics of religion and ethnic customs. This combination has allowed him to develop unique and specific processes that enable people from all parts of the world manage and move beyond personal trauma as well as bring healing and reconciliation between diverse groups.

How does TRE® work.

TRE® discharges the tension in the muscles associated with stress. This often relieves physical pain.
It works on a neurological level to process traumatic memories therefore eliminating symptoms of PTSD. It assists the body to release emotions associated with stress and anxiety leaving one feeling calm and grounded.
TRE® is a physiological process, therefore it requires no talking or rehashing of disturbing events in order to process and move on. During the time that the body is tremoring the participant is fully conscious and is totally in control of what is happening.

Reported benefits of TRE®:

  • Reduction of stress
  • Reduction of anxiety and worry
  • Reduces symptoms of PTSD
  • Reduces physical pain
  • Reduces Muscle & Back Pain
  • Increases Flexibility
  • Improve sleep, energy levels, focus and concentration
  • Greater Emotional Resiliency and ability to cope with life
  • Recover more easily from injuries
  • Build more harmonious relationships and stronger social connections
  • Healing of old injuries
  • Relief from Chronic Medical Conditions
  • Feeling more grounded and present

Who can do TRE®:

TRE® is accessible to all ages. It can be used in conjunction with most other modalities and therapies. It is not suitable for those who are pregnant or who have had surgery in the last 3 months.
TRE® is not intended to replace or substitute any medical advice or treatment. It is recommended that you consult your General Practitioner about any health concerns. The use of this therapy will be guided by the specific needs of the individual client, through assessment and observation. Treatments are usually carried out fully clothed, although tight clothing may have to be loosened. Light, loose clothing is recommended.

TRE® info online

These videos give a simple explanation about TRE®.
Dr Berceli explaining TRE®
The official South African site for TRE:
Recent article about TRE® in the Sunday Times