By: Arjuna George Fire Chief (ret) Owner of TREFire.com
In 2020, a significant health awakening prompted me to address my nervous system before my symptoms and overall health deteriorated any further. In my search for tools and strategies to regain my well-being, I discovered a self-care gem: Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE®). After just a few sessions with a certified provider, I felt a remarkable improvement in my well-being. This experience inspired me to become an accredited provider and share this incredible tool with other first responders.
Firefighters face one of the most challenging jobs in the world. Often the first to arrive at an emergency scene, they put their lives on the line to save others. The work is both physically and mentally demanding, taking a toll on both body and mind. Trauma is common in this line of work and can lead to long-term consequences such as PTSD, depression, and anxiety. This is where TRE comes in – a simple and effective tool to help manage the stress and trauma inherent to the job.
What is TRE?
TRE is a set of exercises designed to help the body release stored tension and trauma. Developed by Dr. David Berceli, a specialist who spent years studying the effects of trauma on the body, these exercises involve a series of gentle movements that activate the body’s natural tremor mechanism. This reflex is a natural response to stress and trauma and helps the body release tension and stress. The tremors, shakes, or vibrations are called neurogenic tremors and are an innate part of us.
The Science Behind TRE
TRE’s effectiveness is rooted in its ability to target the body’s autonomic nervous system (ANS), which regulates involuntary bodily functions such as heart rate, digestion, and respiratory rate. The ANS comprises two primary components: the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). The SNS is responsible for the “fight or flight” response, which helps us react to stress and danger, while the PNS is responsible for the “rest and digest” response, which helps us recover and heal.
The SNS becomes dominant when the body experiences stress or trauma, leading to increased heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle tension. If the stress is prolonged or not adequately addressed, it can lead to chronic physical and emotional issues. TRE works by activating the PNS, allowing the body to return to a more balanced state.
Benefits of TRE for Firefighters
- Reduces Stress and Anxiety
TRE helps reduce stress and anxiety by releasing tension in your muscles. The gentle shaking movements activate your body’s natural relaxation response, helping to calm your mind and body.
- Improves Sleep
TRE can improve sleep quality by reducing stress and anxiety. When your body is relaxed, it is easier to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.
- Reduces Physical Pain
The tension and stress stored in your muscles can lead to physical pain. TRE helps release this tension, reducing physical pain and discomfort.
- Increases Resilience
TRE helps increase resilience by improving your ability to cope with stress and trauma. By releasing tension and stress, you are better equipped to bounce back from difficult situations.
- Improves Emotional Well-being
TRE can help improve your emotional well-being by reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety. You feel more relaxed and at ease when you release tension and stress.
A natural solution for firefighters
TRE is a natural solution that can help firefighters manage the stress and trauma of the job while supporting traditional therapy. It’s a safe and effective tool used worldwide. It’s a cost-effective and time-efficient technique that can be easily integrated into a firefighter’s daily routine.
If this self-care tool sounds like a good fit for you, it can be learned in person from a certified TRE® Provider and online. Once you have learned the procedure to open the tremors and can self-regulate during them, you’ll have access to this tool for life to help you manage the stress and trauma of the job or at home.
The power of TRE for firefighters is undeniable. As a natural solution to combat trauma, it can significantly improve the lives of those who dedicate their lives to saving others. By incorporating TRE into our self-care routines, firefighters can experience reduced stress and anxiety. They can also look forward to improved sleep, less physical pain, increased resilience, and enhanced emotional well-being. With these benefits, firefighters are better equipped to face the challenges of their profession. Helping them continue to serve their communities with greater effectiveness and compassion.
Silver Arrow Coaching and Consulting www.silverarrowco.com
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