Learning TRE – What You Need To Know

What are the 7 TRE Exercises?

Dr David Berceli developed a sequence of seven exercises that we now called Tension & Trauma Releasing Exercises®. These are all designed to help gently fatigue and stretch muscles in the lower body to help invite the natural tremoring and shaking through our nervous system. This neurogenic tremoring is what creates natural tension release and helps to regulate our nervous system.

When we practice the exercises, we start from the ankles and work our way up to the psoas muscles.

These exercises are a valuable learning tool, but the goal of TRE is to learn how to tremor, not how to do the exercises. Therefore it is very little help to simply copy the exercises. In the same way that reading the instruction manual of a car tells you little, if nothing, about how to drive, the same goes for the TRE exercises and the therapeutic tremoring.

Image by Christine Wehrmeier, Certified TRE Provider

Can you learn TRE on your own?

It’s not recommended. Although there is a free, pre-recorded video available from the official TRE website as well as a book by Dr David Berceli with instructions, it is recommended to learn TRE with a Certified TRE Provider.

As mentioned above, TRE is not about copying the exercises. Although the exercises taught in TRE are a valuable learning tool, the whole point of TRE is the therapeutic value of the natural shaking and tremoring in our bodies. It is therefore most important to learn to work with the tremors. This requires individual coaching and guidance as most people have never experienced anything like it before.

What you really need to learn

  • mindful self-awareness of your nervous system
  • to understand your own signs of stress and grounding
  • your window of tolerance
  • self-regulation of the tremors
  • how to slow down or stop the tremors
  • knowing when to stop
  • when you’ve had enough
  • when you’ve done to much
  • how to invite more of the tremors
  • how to work with your body to move the tremors etc.

We often do not realise how much stress and tension we have stored in our bodies and if you were to experience some big releases in a session on your own, you might find it overwhelming or even feel out of your depth.

In my experience, no one ever truly knows their bodies as well as they’d like to think, even those who are trained in bodywork or other somatic therapies.

In the same way that you cannot simply learn to drive a car without having had professional instruction to help you gradually build the awareness and coordination, the same applies to TRE.

It is a non-verbal experience that requires learning the language of your own body and to develop a relationship with your nervous system in a way that you will have never experienced before. A certified TRE provider goes through rigorous training and practical experience over approximately one year and can safely guide you through your learning journey, until you are ready to tremor on your own.

How do you learn TRE?

The best way to learn TRE is to sign up for a session or a course with a Certified TRE®  Provider. You can find a comprehensive list of fully trained, accredited and Certified TRE®  Providers from around the globe at the official TRE®  website: www.traumaprevention.com

You will have the option to choose from learning online or in person, as part of a group or in a private session. Some TRE providers offer single sessions, others offer packages. The content is generally the same. The benefit of multiple sessions is the ability to go deeper with your practice.

The great thing is that once you’ve learnt TRE properly, and know how to work with your nervous system and how to self-regulate your tremors, you will get so much out of your practice. You will have a self-help tool that you can use for the rest of your life.


How many TRE sessions do I need to do to learn it properly?

The recommended guidelines are to do your first 3-6 TRE sessions with the guidance of a certified TRE provider so that you learn to self-regulate your tremors and shaking. It varies from person to person, but you can always book additional sessions if needed.

How do I practice TRE?

When you join a TRE session or course, you will be taught the 7 TRE exercises as developed by Dr David Berceli. Once you have learnt to self-regulate and work with the tremors, you will be able to start practicing without the exercises. You will simply work with the shaking and therapeutic movements.

Part of the learning process in your sessions is to help you understand how regularly to practice, for how long and so forth. There are general guidelines for beginners, and it will change as you practice regularly.

Live online TRE courses are a great way to learn with a Certified TRE Provider. Image by Christine Wehrmeier.

How often should I practice TRE?

To begin with, once you’ve established a regular practice with a certified provider, we recommend no more than 2-3 times a week, with only 10-15 minutes of actual tremoring and never two days in a row.

Do you ever get to a point when you no longer need to do TRE anymore?

Sometimes people ask if there ever comes a point when you do TRE and tremor all the stress out of your system and no longer need to do it.

As we experience even mild stress and excitement in the natural course of our daily lives, our bodies always have the need to discharge it. So the answer is no. TRE is something to practice throughout the rest of your life.

Where Can I Learn TRE Online?

You can join me if you like. I run monthly “Intro to TRE” courses over 3 sessions. For more information please visit my TRE page.

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  • Life & MindBody Coach
  • Somatic & Arts Practitioner
  • B.A. Psychology, PgDip Journalism
  • Currently studying Creative Arts Therapy

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