By Steve Wells"There's no ghost from the past that we can't shake... There's no history that we can't remake...
There's no destiny that we can't create Have a little faith in us
For all we know the best is yet to come."
- John Farnham, Have a Little Faith (in us)
About 18 months ago I was contacted out of the blue by Bill, a gentleman I'd originally met in the USA back in 2000 at the second Energy Psychology conference. Bill is a war veteran who had suffered clinical depression and had been helped significantly by tapping using EFT to overcome this. He called me to tell me about a new process he'd learnt for treating trauma which involved some exercises designed to initiate a natural shaking process in the body, a process called Trauma Release Exercises (TRE), developed by David Berceli, PhD. TRE worked remarkably to release tension and trauma, he said, and he told me he was doing all he could to support Berceli to get this out to help the world. He said he knew that I was open-minded and hoped I might be able to help.
I listened with cautionary interest as Bill related the basics of TRE, but my ears really pricked up and the hair stood up on my skin when he said these words: "Tapping got me back on my feet but this stuff put the smile back on my face." I agreed right there to find out more, to try it out and let him know once I'd experienced TRE if I felt it was something I could support.
I immediately went online and ordered Berceli's DVD, took it home and - eventually - started experimenting with the exercises. As I've mentioned in a previous newsletter, I have to admit I put off trying the techniques for a while, as the "control freak" side of me was a little worried about engaging in a process which would initiate a shaking or tremoring process in my body. Once I did manage to watch the DVD's and try out the exercises however I found that my fears were misguided as the TRE process was very gentle and empowering, the opposite of what I'd feared.
I quickly became convinced through my own bodily experience that what Berceli has uncovered is something quite important and powerful, and I have since become involved in supporting Berceli's Australian workshops and promoting his work worldwide.
TRE's simple exercises work to relieve the tension held in our core muscles from the traumas and life stresses which we have experienced through our life, and which have arisen from both "little t" traumas as well as "big T" traumas. The experience is different for everyone, but most find it as I did to be very gentle, relieving and empowering. But there was something more to it, something at the time I felt hard to describe, but it felt positive, whatever it was.
I went on to participate in two training workshops with David Berceli last year in Melbourne, and found him to be a wonderful, gentle soul and dedicated philanthropist who is committed to sharing this natural healing process with the world.
I now feel the need to tell you about what happened to me in the first workshop I attended with David, an experience which was both profound and life altering.
I went along to the workshop with the intention of simply learning the pure process David was teaching and not to impose my own ideas onto it (although I already had some thoughts of how tapping might work together with TRE).
Each time I did the TRE exercises in the workshop, the tremors started happening for me, however they never managed to move much further than my hips. Although this is fine and ultimately the idea is to just let the tremors work at their own pace, it seemed to me they had stalled in that area, and the energy was blocked from being able to move through. When this happened for the third set of exercises in a row I had the idea to try something different, and that was when I made my first discovery.
As I stood (or "sat") with my back against the wall, one of the exercises designed to initiate the shaking, I noticed that the tremors I was having were once again concentrated around the top of my legs and didn't seem able to move any further than this. Now before we did the exercises, Berceli had told us about a group of chiropractors in one of his workshops who had been easily able to get the tremors to go right through their bodies up to their necks, a sign that their bodies were clear of tension, thus allowing the energy to pass right through.
As I stood/sat on the wall and noticed the tremors becoming stuck in my upper leg area I decided to try a little bit of fingertip tapping as we use in Simple Energy Techniques (SET). The effect was both instantaneous and profound.
In the very instant I started tapping, the energy of the tremors moved right through my body up to my shoulders. As they did so, I felt them starting to release tension in my back and shoulders. The tapping had somehow opened up a pathway to allow the healing energy of the tremors to flow through my body. Or it settled down my judging mind and inner "control freak", I'm not sure which. The feeling was very pleasurable as I felt the tremors continue to move, more freely now, through my body to the areas of greatest tension and pain.
A little while later I was still standing/sitting on the wall and I began to muse on David's story about the chiropractors. A world trauma expert (I think it was Stephen Porges) was in the room at that time observing David's work. When discussing it later with David later, he'd made this statement: "They were able to let the tremors go right through to their necks because they loved you." When David explained this to us he said that Porges obviously meant that they trusted him, he had rapport with them, and that was why they were able to allow the process to go so far. As I thought about this I wondered to myself, "What if Porges meant it literally? What if it was really feeling the love that facilitated the process?" Stay with me here.
I noticed that the tremors in my body had almost stopped completely at this point, as I was "in my head" thinking about this stuff. I wondered what would happen if I were to access the feeling of love. An image of my youngest son Callum instantly came to my mind. As many of you know, Callum has Down Syndrome, and like many people with Down Syndrome he seems to have a special ability at times to resonate what I can only describe as a state of pure love. That is certainly what I experience many times in his presence...
As I saw my son's smiling face in my mind I started to feel that wonderful loving feeling that he both resonates and evokes in me. And then something incredible started to happen.
Instantly, the tremors started to move right through my entire body in a way that was amazing, rich, and deeply liberating. As the tremors moved through me, they began to release huge amounts of tension from my back, neck and shoulders, and I became intensely present to observing and being incredulous of the process.
I realised that this energy, this healing, this love is always available to us, always present and willing to serve us, it is simply a matter of clearing the blocks that are preventing us from seeing it, feeling it, accessing it.
I moved to the floor and was able to let the tremors continue to move through me and that day I felt that the tremors removed about 95% of all the tension I'd been carrying in my back for many months. I felt revived. And my thoughts took on a clarity I'd not known for some time.
Later that day, I speculated on the experiences I'd had. Seeing my state, a friend said the only thing she could liken it to was kundalini rising, which she'd seen before on a couple of occasions. I don't know about that, but what I do know is that I enjoyed the results for many days afterwards with noticeably less tension and markedly less anxiety along with a feeling of centeredness and positive vitality. And another benefit was that I discovered I no longer needed to do the TRE exercises to initiate the shaking, all I needed to do was lay on the floor, bend my knees up and put my feet flat on the floor and I could simply let the shaking begin. It's now something I do regularly, and especially before my workshops, as a way of getting myself into a clear state and staying in balance.
After my experiences at that first TRE Workshop, I started to experiment with taking others through the TRE exercises and also to explore the many ways that tapping could be combined with TRE to facilitate the release. I found tapping could prevent people slipping into negative emotional states or dissociating, as can happen with some people with severe trauma when doing TRE. I also found that some others who'd learned tapping also found that doing it along with the TRE helped them to get better results. Here's just one example:
"TRE is fantastic - highly recommend it, especially for the amazing insight it gives into the way we are so much more than just our minds. For me it was like meeting a whole other part of 'myself'. When I did the workshop I was concerned that I might be too inhibited to let go and allow the shaking in a room full of strangers, so during morning tea I went off by myself and tapped on this. The result was that, far from slow or Inhibited to learn it, my body was the first to get shaking and the whole experience was extraordinary and surprising. - Beth Spencer, http://www.feelingdelicious.com/
I wondered what might happen if we did this deliberately, if we taught people both techniques, and explored what would happen if we combined them. I already knew results like Beth described were possible, and I was also interested in what more could be gained.
In December I had dinner with David Berceli and Richmond Heath (Australia's only Level 3 TRE facilitator) and discussed my ideas about doing a workshop combining tapping and TRE. I said I wanted to explore how both approaches might work together synergistically, to facilitate more gentle release, and also to help us access more expansive experiences, as had been my experience. Both agreed it was an idea worth exploring, and thus was born the workshop which I'll be conducting this May in Melbourne with Richmond Heath.
This will be the first workshop worldwide combining the power of Tapping and TRE. I'm hugely excited about it (if that isn't obvious) as I've already experienced the benefits of using these wonderful techniques together.
Of course, everyone's experience is different, so I can't promise you'll have the more uplifting or spiritual experiences I had, however I do know that at a minimum you'll learn some powerful new distinctions for relieving trauma, tension and general anxiety and stress using these two fantastic techniques.
A weekend of tapping and shaking! Sounds weird? It will be, but it will be both wonderfully weird and weirdly wonderful. I hope you'll consider joining us, especially if you want to explore new potentials or even if you just have some problems you haven't been able to shake!
PS: For those who can't make it to our workshop, I highly recommend you look into Berceli's work. You can find out more at: http://www.traumaprevention.com
PPS: As future workshops are announced, they will be listed on the Events page of our website.