Therapeutic tremoring is not enough in itself

I love therapeutic tremoring. It’s as natural as it can be. It reminds me that I am a mammal and am part of nature. It allows the inherent wisdom in my system to take over and I (the conscious me) can take the back seat. It allows deep tension to release out of my body. It tones and relaxes the tissues of my body. It frees up energy from being bound up in contracting muscles.

And yet, it’s not sufficient in itself. For mammals in the wild, it may be and probably often is sufficient. But it doesn’t seem sufficient for us mammals called humans who live in a (often pretty screwed up) culture and were not taught or encouraged to naturally use therapeutic tremoring from early childhood on.

We need to also approach it from the mind side. Tension is created by stressful beliefs and identifications. Releasing tension out of the body certainly improves our well being and how our body functions, and it can even lessen the stress connected with these beliefs and identifications. But it doesn’t resolve the causes of the tension and underlying stress in our life and body.

To do that, we need to bring the stressful stories we have about ourselves, the world, and certain situations into awareness. We need to find them, investigate them, and through that allow them to find a resolution. We can do this on our own, with friends or confidantes, with a therapist, and through a range of different modalities.

How do we (re)learn therapeutic tremoring? The approach I am most familiar with, and find very helpful, is Tension and Trauma Release Exercises (TRE).

And what modalities can we use to help resolve the causes of stress and tension? We have to find one or more that works for us (that we like, resonate with, and get results from), and it helps to have a good guide, at least at first. Again, for me, inquiry complements therapeutic tremoring very well. As do energy healing (Vortex Healing) and heart-centered practices.

Note: Some call this neurogenic tremoring, and that’s accurate although a little too broad. There are many types of neurogenic tremors (for instance shivering to warm up our tissue and body). Therapeutic tremoring is the tremoring built into our body through evolution specifically to release tension and stress, including tension and stress from traumatic experiences.

Conversely, tremoring is a little too specific! When the body releases tension in this way, it can do a lot more than just tremble. We may stretch (often on one side of the body, and then symmetrically on the other side), make sounds, cry, laugh, and so on.

2 thoughts to “Therapeutic tremoring is not enough in itself”

  1. I am curious what brought you to this conclusion? I have experienced spontaneous neurogenic tremors recently as a result of bodywork. I have done a lot of cognitive and body / mind integrative work in the past. My intuition with the tremors is that they are independent of congitive work and seem to be resolving trauma from my body without need for any kind of complimentary mindful or cognitive process. The experiences associated with the trauma are likely pre-memory. I feel that attempting to make meaning of these will just get in the way of the process. I am interested in your thoughts.

  2. Yes, I somehow agree with both views. Especially for early-life / pre-memory trauma, releasing it out of the muscles (with therapeutic tremoring) can help a lot in itself. And even for later traumas, it can help a lot. It releases much or most of the charge out of the issue and that can be sufficient. I also agree that attempting to make meaning out of it can create more stress and confusion and sometimes isn’t required.

    The reason I said that other approaches may be needed as well, is that the trauma is often connected with (created from and/or causing) beliefs and identifications, and it can be helpful to address this component as well. Even pre-memory trauma is often connected with painful beliefs and identities. Through inquiry – for instance, Living Inquiries – we can address this more easily and directly without needing to make meaning or getting lost in stories about it. (The same goes for Vortex Healing which can address this component more directly without going into stories.)

    So yes, releasing it out of the muscles can help a lot and even take care of most or nearly the trauma, but it is also good to check for related beliefs and identities and take care of these. Especially if we can do this more directly and without getting into stories about it.

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