If you just met me, or even if you know me fairly well you might think I am pretty calm, but the truth is my nervous system is often revved up. If you share this experience, know that there is nothing wrong with you. It is how we have been wired and it is not our fault. My nervous system often goes on a crazy chemical rollercoaster ride (increased adrenaline and cortisol, reduced serotonin and other neurotransmitters) even when there is no imminent danger or tiger ready to pounce. When I am in “reaction” mode, my flight, flight or freeze responses may result in my feeling funked out, anxious, enraged or numb.
Fortunately, TRE (Tension and Trauma Release Exercises) is one way we can work with the nervous system in order to develop healthier patterns. Neurogenic yoga, a practice related to TRE, incorporates the therapeutic benefits of yoga. This has been proven to be more successful in reducing trauma and stress than pharmaceuticals in many cases.
TRE and Neurogenic Yoga assist the body in releasing deep contracted patterns of stress, tension and trauma. We tend to contract our bodies when we experience a stressor, which inhibits our natural state of pulsation or flow. By allowing therapeutic muscle tremors (neurogenic tremors) to occur in a safe and controlled environment, tension patterns can release. This results in the down-regulation of the nervous system. The participant practices at his/her own pace and time throughout the session. Reported benefits of TRE and Neurogenic Yoga include reduced anxiety, stress, symptoms of PTSD as well as reduced auto-immune responses. People also report experiencing enhanced energy, endurance and flexibility as well as improved sleeping patterns.
Down-regulating my nervous system has become not only a priority, but a necessity for my health and quality of life, as well as for my relationships and role as mother, teacher, therapist, friend and student. I hope you join me in this practice as we compassionately learn from the wisdom of our bodies, develop intuition, fully breathe, feel, move and heal.
Alyson Adashko Raskin, Ph.D. is a certified neurogenic yoga teacher, certified TRE ® provider, certified kundalini yoga teacher, certified cardiac yoga teacher, children’s yoga teacher, bilingual school psychologist, and advanced clinical hypnotherapist, who has been leading healing body/mind focused classes and workshops for over 20 years.