There is little denying that Americans on the whole lead pretty stressed-out lives. Not surprisingly, finances and health issues top the stressor list. It makes sense that as our Western ways dial-up stress levels, the popularity of Eastern practices like yoga, massage and meditation is rising quickly.  Non-traditional practices offer several key benefits – people can practice in the comfort of one’s home and you don’t require a pricey professional.

If you’re seeking stress relief you may be interested in the Tension Release Exercise (TRE) method. Taught to over 1 million people worldwide, this simple set of six exercises taps into the mind-body connection that empowers people to reduce stress and find inner balance.

The Tension Releases Exercise (TRE) program was developed by Dr. David Berceli during his tenure helping victims in war-torn areas.  TRE’s basic premise is that the mind-body link between people’s emotional stress and their physical state is strong and connected. People literally “hold on” to tension and trauma internally with serious consequences – chronic pain, insomnia, and poor mental health.  Holding on to stress internally overstimulates our central nervous systems which then get stuck in a loop repeating the stress, and often pain, over and over. You may have heard about this mind-body connection or psychosomatic link before?  Dr. Oz has touched on it, and it’s also the key premise of Dr. John Sarno’s hot-selling back and neck pain book: Healing the Body, Healing the Pain.   


Dr. Bercelli learned that activating and engaging the psoas muscle, a long core muscle that connects the spine and hips, releases emotional tension. A guided TRE session begins with a few minutes of six simple exercises, that when done in combination, activates the psoas muscle. When this muscle is activated a light internal tremor, or a roll, begins that releases pent-up tension, stress, and even long-held trauma. TRE is pain-free and relaxing, and also compliments other practices like yoga and meditation.

TRE® (Tension, Stress & Trauma Release Exercise)

TRE is finding a special place within military units as veterans and soldiers are finding the “internal massage” practice helps to release the tension from fighting in highly stressful situations. Once a person has been trained in TRE, they can self-practice the relaxation exercises in any location, including places of war.

If you’re interested in learning more about Tension Release Exercise, Christine Frederick is a trained TRE facilitator. Chris teaches the TRE method in one-on-one sessions at Earth Pulse studio on Harford Rd. Chris offers TRE training to clients who wish to practice TRE on their own, and she also offers clients ongoing guided TRE sessions.

Tiffany Houchins, a client of Chris Frederick’s shares her TRE experience; “After herniating my lower lumbar spine, I was willing to try anything for relief! I had seen a Massage Therapist, Acupuncturist, Spinal Specialist, and a Chiropractor and had gained only temporary relief. I was searching for an ongoing and drug-free program.  As we moved through the TRE exercises actions, I felt no pain. Chris was attentive to my posture and added several modifications that I needed. Afterward, I felt a true sense of relaxation that I had not been able to achieve in the previous six months. I felt blessed to be given tools to empower my current and long term health. Our TRE session was truly a gift.”

To learn more about TRE, contact Chris Frederick at 443.527.2139, or visit her online.

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Laurel Peltier

Laurel Peltier writes the environment GreenLaurel column every Thursday in the Baltimore Fishbowl.