When I googled ‘involuntary shaking’ I only got results of medical conditions. That’s exactly how we see things we have no control over. We need to cure it, suppress it with meds and supplemental vitamins.
Meanwhile, shaking is a protective mechanism
Whether we want it or not, shaking sneaks into our controlled lives. Voices tremble, chins shake. We shake during moments of shock, trauma or severe stress: when we need to speak publicly, when we learn about our best friend’s death, after giving the birth.
But it’s not just us. All mammals have this mechanism built in. We can spot our pets shaking when they’re stressed; for example, dogs during a thunderstorm. Wild animals tremble after being attacked by a predator or… by a human, for that matter:
The shaking mechanism allows animals to literally shake off the stress. Perhaps we consider ourselves superior over animals, but today, let’s check to see what can we learn from them for a change.
- In order to deal with something, we need to know how it works. So what happens when we experience severe stress?
- A ‘how to’ guide for getting an instant relief
- A first-hand story of TRE (Trauma Releasing Exercises)
What happens when we experience severe stress?
(based on Peter A. Levine’s ‘Walking the Tiger’ and ‘In an Unspoken Voice’)
When stress is extreme, our brain qualifies it as life-threatening. A massive amount of energy is being released and a ‘fight or run’ mode turns on. However, when neither fighting nor running is possible, a natural reaction of freezing kicks in.
It’s nothing more than a survival mode, an old ‘play dead’ trick. It has developed to either fool the predator or to numb our last moments if we were attacked and killed. The huge amount of energy released before freezes inside us and we turn to stone, or feel like watching the situation from outside the body.
When the stressful situation is over, this enormous energy stays in the body, unreleased. Animals let it out through uncontrolled muscle trembling, children might add screaming and crying. But adults are afraid of uncontrolled reactions.
We try to suppress them with tablets or stimulants. And so the energy stays in our bodies for years causing somatic conditions. It can also come out when we least expect it in moments of sudden violence or PTSD.
According to Dr Levine, the issue is not precipitated only by the trauma caused by an extreme situation, but rather, the unreleased energy created by the trauma.
And, just to be clear, yes, I am positive that a divorce or a breakup can be a traumatic experience. It’s a life change that disrupts our lives. It’s an earthquake that brings down everything we’ve built.
We need to release this huge, pent-up energy. And we can do it with the help of the TRE method (Trauma Releasing Exercises).
TRE (Trauma Releasing Exercises): how to get an instant relief
One of reasons I recommend TRE is that you don’t need to recollect the traumatic experience. The memory is in our muscles. That distinguishes TRE from other therapies in which you need to go back to painful moments, re-live them, and express emotions (i.e. protest, shout or cry). Such re-living of experience is of great worth, but it is often combined with fear and resistance. It takes rather long to overcome the resistance and get ready for the re-living moment.
Meanwhile, when we shake, all toxic energy leaves ‘by itself’!
Another reason is that this method is available right away, for everyone, free of charge. You can do one session, you can do it everyday for some time, or for your entire life. It depends on you.
If it is your first experience with shaking, give yourself some ‘margin of error’. The first time hardly anything may happen. It is hard to let go of the control. So try at least a few times.
Now, to the point. The movie link below introduces TRE. The second one shows a step-by-step instruction:
Here’s a certain brave mum, who has a reason to be stressed all the time, demonstrating step-by-step instructions:
How did I shake. A first-hand story of TRE (Trauma Releasing Exercises)
My first try was about five years ago and it didn’t work at all… I laid on the floor waiting for the big shake to come and nothing! I read about such great results but I just laid there like a doormat.
Today I know that the warming up exercises are essential–they tire your muscles and make the shaking so much easier to start (initially, I followed a bit different method without the exercises).
Then, I went to a body therapy workshop. I shook a bit there, but just couldn’t let the control go. Back at home I tried again and then the real shake started…
I remember one very long and intensive session. When I was shaking, suddenly I recalled an incident from my childhood when I was judged unfairly. Why did this memory come out, I have no idea. But I felt all this tension shaking out of my body; everything that made me angry and hurt back then… all this was coming out through this bizarre trembling… Weird and yet so… right…
Most often though, I shiver with an empty mind. I drift away while my body trembles in weird movements and spasms.
And later, peace of mind comes… and this pampering sense of security wraps you up like a blanket…
Which I wish for you, too!
So what’s the one thing you can do today?
Release all that stress that has built up in you–just SHAKE IT OFF! It is weird, but works miracles 🙂 Go on, try!
Oh, and one more thing
Check how to make TODAY the best day ever since you broke up!