Neurogenic Tremor Through TRE Tension, Stress and Trauma Releasing Exercises According to D. Berceli in the Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder PTSD

Andreas Herold

Tension, Stress und Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE) are a sequence of seven exercises used to trigger neurogenic tremor. The aim of this tremor is to reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD and other stress-induced symptoms. This article describes the basic features of PTSD, the TRE method, the scientific explanatory model, the principle behind the exercises and the main features of self-regulation.

… During a traumatic event, the following are activated as a survival reaction: the psychophysical system (autonomic nervous system ANS, sympathetic and parasympathetic branch) and the neurohormonal system (activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis HPA). These produce the reaction pattern of fight, flight freeze (immobility). The fight or flight response (heightened arousal) is triggered by the activation of the psychophysical (ANS) and neurohormonal system. Immobility, freezing (physical) and dissociation (cognitive, mental) are organized by the simultaneous activation of both branches of the ANS.

… According to Scaer (2007, page 19ff.) (Berceli 2010a, page 3ff.), the tremor mechanism can reduce or inhibit the activity of the amygdala, so that the neuronal networks with trauma content become slowly erased in the procedural memory. The neurogenic tremor appears to be able to erase negative neural nets and form positive neural nets. Scaer confirms that the freeze or immobility response is imprinted forever in the procedural memory unless it is erased by the discharge action.

… A commonly-asked question is how frequently should the TRE exercises be performed, and for how long? In Bercelli 2012, page 102, Bercelli describes that these exercises are natural for the body, and can therefore be performed every day without causing any harm. (…) Once you have started doing the exercises, and you have performed them for the first time, and you have experienced no negative physical, psychological or emotional reactions, they can be repeated every second day. In this way the body will slowly adjust to the tremor and allow the tension in the body to slowly reduce. After a while, the exercises will not have to be done so often, maybe approximately every three days or twice a week. However, if you are performing the exercises less often the body will start to build up stress again and become tense. Therefore the exercises will have to be performed more frequently again.

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