Do you sometimes feel like an old man or woman at 20-something years old? This might be a result of bottled up stress from school or work that however mental in nature, ultimately affects our entire body. It’s a shame if your body is aging faster than you. Luckily, there exists Tension and Trauma Release Exercises that can help deal with these physical strains and pains properly.
It’s been 30 years since one Dr. Peter Levine observed that wild animals recover from traumatic experiences through spasms and tremors in their core and limbs, as if continuing the flight-or-flight response. Levine identified this as ‘trauma reset’, which is a discharging of stress neurotransmitters, hormones, and other chemicals. After a wild animal acknowledges the trauma on a somatic level, which is distinguishing the body from the mind, then it can proceed to recover from its injuries.
Dr. Levine also proposed that humans have the same need to tremor as a result of stress, tension, and trauma. However, modern society doesn’t like a nervous wreck, but rather encourages a stoic response to painful and stressful experiences—the more unaffected we appear, the stronger people think we are. Thus, we often don’t want to acknowledge or feel our own stress—this results with us pushing ourselves to the point of injury or storing tension in the body.
This tension then spreads to other body parts and even affects behavior and personality. The anecdotal evidence varies: people complain of knots in their shoulders and legs, imbalance between the left and the right sides, an exaggerated slouch or arch in the back—even constipation. People undergoing talk therapy still feel the tension in their body even after several counseling sessions, and can demonstrate hypervigilance and other trust and security issues.