What is Tension and Trauma Release Exercise (TRE®) ?

Developed by Dr David Berceli, TRE® is a self-help technique that deliberately activates our bodies’ instinctive tremor mechanism in a safe and controlled way.  Session by session, these tremors help to release the build up of  muscular tension patterns that have built up in the body during stressful and traumatic life experiences.

trauma-induced-behavious-1024x666Slight trembling occurs naturally in life when our nervous system is over-activated and it has a function – it is our organisms natural way of bringing the nervous system back into a calm and balanced state (homoestasis). In a crisis nearly everyone has experienced trembling (also during high excitement of the positive sort) but the phenomenon has been misunderstood in the medical world and people have come to associate it with weakness. Yet, in many cultures and historically, shaking is known to be a healthy recovery mechanism.[spacer height=”20px”]

Most mammals use the tremor response after a shock experience and this is well documented and understood. Watch to the end ![spacer height=”20px”]

The TRE exercises are designed to activate muscle groups from the ankle upward to the centre of gravity of the body, which is protected by the psoas muscles. When shaking is evoked in these powerful core muscles, it slowly but surely pulsates throughout the entire body travelling along the spine, releasing deep chronic tension.
When tension is released anywhere in the body, the brain registers a reduction in stress signals and lowers the output of stress hormones.

Regular TRE practice helps with:

  • quality of sleep and normalize sleeping patterns
  • stress related headaches and migraine
  • general anxiety
  • anger issues (reactiveness)
  • chronic pain, especially back and neck pain
  • pain and stiffness related to operations and old injuries
  • the tendency to ‘space out’ or ‘go blank’ under stress
  • avoidance habits (such as being fearful of certain activities or places due to negative past experiences)
  • unhealthy habits of self-soothing and self-medication (such as emotional eating, using drugs or alcohol etc.)

TRE® is being taught and used successfully in more than 30 countries for recovery from chronic stress symptoms related to trauma. It is a physical way of releasing tension and does not require you to talk about your experiences. The body ‘knows’ what to do and how to do it – this mechanism being a natural way of stress release. However, every stress and trauma therapy that involves talking and sharing will benefit from the physical release. You are simply much calmer, sleep better and have a better emotional capacity. Long term TRE® is proven to raise physical and emotional resilience.

Disclaimer: If you are currently in Psychiatric care and are taking psychotropic medication, you may still be able to use TRE but you are advised to ALWAYS work with a certified TRE Provider and include your Therapist in the process. The same applies if you are diagnosed with Bi-Polar Disorder, PTSD or Developmental Trauma. If you suspect you may suffer from one of these conditions and are not diagnosed, you are also advised to work with a certified TRE Provider. It is of importance that your TRE experience is a positive one that empowers you and the best way to guarantee this is to work with someone who knows the method inside out and can answer all your questions. 


that every certified TRE® Provider is using TRE® for themselves – the training includes a personal practice under supervision that is deep and empowering. People decide to train in TRE® because of their positive personal experience with it.


You can buy David Berceli’s books, CD and brochure and try TRE by yourself at home.

Dr David Berceli TRE® Books & Brochure

You can learn TRE via Skype (There are TRE® Providers in SA who offer Skype sessions and we will add these offer to their profiles as asap)

You can book  one on one sessions with a certified TRE® Provider. You will need to do between 4 and 6 sessions to learn how to do TRE® on your own. You will be taught how to do the exercises and how to regulate the tremors. The presence of a trained Provider has proven to be of utmost benefit in learning TRE®. Your Provider will also guide you in your long term journey with TRE® after you take over to tremor on your own.

You can attend TRE® group sessions with a Provider. We strive to include the information about group session offers in our Provider profiles, however it is always advisable to contact them and ask. You may also bring a group of interested people from your area together and contact a Provider to facilitate a series of sessions. There are group sessions for beginners that run 4 to 6 weeks with one session a week and group sessions for people who have already learned TRE® and want to progress. Ask the Provider of your choice for options.

You can attend a TRE® Introduction session in your area. Again, we strive to include this information in the Provider profiles.

Eastern Cape TRE® Providers

Free State TRE® Providers

Gauteng TRE® Providers

KwaZulu Natal TRE® Providers

Limpopo & Mpumalanga TRE® Providers

Western Cape TRE® Providers



The course to certify as a TRE Provider is a training track under license of TRE for ALL Inc and David Berceli LLC. The content and syllabus is the same anywhere in South Africa.


The course is laid out over a period of 8 to 10 months and consists of 2 x 3 day workshops approximately 4 months apart and supervision meetings in between. Certification takes place after all practical and theoretical requirements are met by the trainee. You will be registered with TRE for ALL INC as a certified TRE Provider and issued with certificate that is valid all over the world.

In South Africa members of HPCSA and ALLIED HEALTH can receive CPD points for the training course and attendance of TRE Introductory workshops. Other professional groups may apply but we can not guarantee receipt of CDP points.

More Information about CT Training in South Africa and Namibia please follow this link: