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  • Writer's pictureSylvia

I don't need TRE – I shake when I'm dancing

Hmmm, really?

Shaking it off can mean different things to different people.

Some people love the idea of shaking away their cares and getting loose, moving to music and having fun, but this is a very different experience to the involuntary shaking or tremoring that occurs during TRE.


One of the biggest talking points for those who are new to Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE) is the concept of shaking or trembling. The idea that we can ‘shake off’ physical, mental or emotional pain might seem far-fetched to some and truly remarkable to others.

Some people assume that this shaking and releasing can be replicated in other ways - through dance or expressive movement, for example, which is certainly a good start as movement heals (almost) all wounds, but that’s not what TRE is about.

I've heard so many times that people think they don't need TRE as they are dancing wildly and in this post let's explore what exactly we mean by ‘shaking it off’ and how TRE tremors work to release tension and trauma from the body.

What do we mean by ‘shaking it off’?

‘Shake it off’ is a popular expression that’s long been used in English-speaking countries.

To shake something off means to get rid of it, get over it, forget about it or move on.

We might want to shake off a bad day, a disappointing experience or a rejection. We might talk about ‘shaking off’ a cold or a negative comment.

There’s even a song about shaking it off sung by global pop star Taylor Swift – have I now put an earworm in your head?

We can also use the expression more literally to talk about shaking our bodies to get rid of negative feelings.

This is usually by having a dance or a move and a shake.

If you’re feeling glum or frustrated then putting on your favourite tunes and having a boogie around your home is one way to boost your mood and help you put a negative experience behind you.

While it’s true that ‘shaking it off’ in this way is sure to release both dopamine (which improves your mood) and endorphins (a natural painkiller) and is a great form of exercise, it still isn’t the same as the involuntary shaking that is experienced during TRE.

Let’s take a closer look at what makes the shaking (or tremoring) that happens in TRE different from shaking your blues away to music.

How is the shaking in TRE different?

Tremors are a natural response to extreme stress and also trauma.

Also called ‘neurogenic tremors’ they are an automatic response to help us to get over that shock and it helps us to discharge all the excess stress hormones.

Tremors or ‘shaking’ like this might be seen in people experiencing a high-level of stress or trauma, for example after being involved in a life-threatening event, during a panic attack or a PTSD flashback to a distressing incident, sometimes after childbirth.

These tremors are the body’s response and coping mechanism for dealing with these shocks.

In TRE it’s this tremoring or shaking that we are attempting to replicate, to allow the body to release the built-up tension from muscles that have tightened during the stressful event and to release the excess stress hormones.

During TRE these tremors are initiated by a series of movements that will cause parts of your body to shake or tremble. This happens with no conscious input from you, i.e. you are not deliberately shaking your body but are simply allowing it to happen so that the stored tension and trauma can begin to be released.

And this most certainly is very different from dancing around in the kitchen.

Are the TRE tremors uncontrollable?

When people learn that the shaking during TRE isn’t deliberate they may be concerned that they will feel out of control.

The idea of trembling or shaking uncontrollably is understandably scary for many people and might put them off the idea of trying TRE to help with their symptoms.

However, while the tremors during TRE are involuntary, they can also be stopped at any time by adjusting your position.

As a certified TRE Provider, I am here to guide you through the process, to empower you and to hold space for you so you can learn TRE at a pace that’s right and safe for you. So you can stay grounded during your practice to avoid becoming overwhelmed by the sensations.

Find out more

As you can see, the innate shaking experienced during TRE is quite different to what you might think of as ‘shaking it off’ by moving and shaking your body deliberately or having a dance around and shaking loose.

So if your usual methods of ‘shaking it off’ aren’t quite cutting it for you and you’re ready to explore the most innate way to release stress and tension from your body, I invite you to get in touch to find out more.

You might be surprised by how well you feel afterwards – I hear that from my clients all the time, even from people who feel they know their body very well because they are practising yoga or are (professional) dancers.


I invite you to book your free, no-obligation discovery call and discover how you can bring more harmony into your body - and your life.

Natural. Innate. TREmendous.

I look forward to hearing from you!

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