Season 1, Episode 38

38: Transforming Trapped Emotions: How to Release Stress and Trauma with Dr. David Berceli

In this episode we speak with Dr. David Berceli, a renowned expert in trauma intervention and conflict resolution, and the creator of Tension and Trauma Release Exercises (TRE). Dr. Berceli shares his insights on how stress can impact the body, and how this is especially relevant for those struggling with infertility.

He explains that the trauma from a stressful event is not from the event itself, but rather from the sense of losing safety and connection. This loss of safety and connection is particularly relevant for individuals trying to grow their families, as the stress of infertility can be comparable to that experienced by those with a terminal illness or cancer.

Dr. Berceli emphasizes the importance of releasing stress stored in our bodies to mitigate the effects on our well-being and fertility. He also discusses the science behind how chronic stress gets trapped in the body and impacts health, including the hypothalamus pituitary ovarian axis.

Berceli’s expertise provides a unique perspective on the emotional and physical impact of infertility, and the importance of holistic approaches to healing.

 

Key Topics:

  1. Chronic stress and infertility.
  2. Tension and Trauma Release Exercises (TRE).
  3. Emotional component in reproductive medicine.
  4. Strategies for reducing stress levels.
  5. Science behind chronic stress on health.
  6. Role of talk therapy and bodywork.

 

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Read This Episode Transcript

Lorne Brown:

By listening to the Conscious Fertility Podcast, you agree to not use this podcast as medical advice to treat any medical condition in either yourself or others. Consult your own physician or healthcare provider for any medical issues that you may be having. This entire disclaimer also applies to any guest or contributors to the podcast. Welcome to Conscious Fertility, the show that listens to all of your fertility questions so that you can move from fear and suffering to peace of mind and joy. My name is Lorne Brown. I’m a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine and a clinical hypnotherapist. I’m on a mission to explore all the paths to peak fertility and joyful living. It’s time to learn how to be and receive so that you can create life on purpose.

Welcome to the Conscious Fertility Podcast. Today I’m with Dr. David Berceli, and I’m looking forward to sharing what he has to say about trauma and how this potentially could impact fertility and things that you can do to optimize your health and wellbeing. And I’m going to share his bio. And I have his resume, his CV in front of me too, which is quite extensive. And I just want to highlight a little bit about David. What I want to share right away with our listeners is we’re going to talk about stress and trauma, and that’s because our audience, our listeners often share that this journey is very stressful, and I’ve even heard the term traumatic, fertility trauma. And so David has an expertise in the area of trauma, and I have learned that whatever the event is, in this case, trying to grow your family, maybe unsuccessful cycle, IVS cycle, a pregnancy loss, it’s how you process it, and then it’s trauma in the body.

So I don’t think David discerns how you got the trauma. It’s more about it’s in your body, how to release it. What I really want to highlight is we hear so much about stress and how it can impact our bodies and how it’s not good for us, which I think is quite stressful to hear that. The good news is I would never talk about something or bring a guest on if we didn’t have a way for you to help resolve and transform this and to empower yourself. So if you listen through this discussion, I do want to let you know that there’s light at the end of the tunnel, and that’s why I brought David on with us. I do want to just give you a little background about David. He has a PhD in social work and he’s an international expert in the area of trauma intervention and conflict resolution.

He is the creator of tension and trauma releasing exercise, TRE. And this revolutionary technique is designed to help release the deep tension created in the body during a traumatic experience or through chronic stress. He’s also the energetic and creative founder and CEO of trauma recovery services. He spent two decades plus living and working in nine countries providing trauma relief workshops and designing recovery programs for international organizations around the world. He has lived and worked extensively in Israel, Palestine, Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Yemen, Egypt and Lebanon, and he’s fluid in both English and Arabic. David is unique in that he holds a solid academic and experiential grounding in psychotherapy and therapeutic body work. He integrates that with a keen understanding of the intertwining dynamics of religion and ethnic customs, and this combination has allowed him to develop unique and specific processes that enable people from all parts of the world manage and move beyond personal trauma, as well as bringing healing and reconciliation between diverse groups. And I had the privilege to find David’s book published back in 2008 called The Revolutionary Trauma Release Process. David, welcome to the Conscious Fertility Podcast.

David Berceli:

Thank you, Lorne. It’s very nice to be here. I’m looking forward to our talk.

Lorne Brown:

Now, when I invited you to be on the show, you were like, “Why me?” And so I’ll ask a couple questions for you. Does trauma differentiate? Does it matter what your sex is, what your beliefs are or how it happens to you? Can you differentiate the difference between an event and the individual that’s going to have trauma in their bodies?

David Berceli:

Well, when we look at the word trauma, we have trauma with a big T, trauma with a little T. But what I’ve discovered from living in countries all over the world and under very different circumstances is that I believe that the human organism is designed to know that it will experience, during its lifetime, it will experience what we call trauma or chronic stress, anxiety. It will experience that, but I believe we’re genetically designed to know we’ll experience it, we can endure it, we will survive from it. And post-traumatic growth is demonstrating that we actually may potentially be evolving from it. So every human organism on this planet experiences some sort of stressful experience, but is genetically designed to make it through that. That includes the human species.

Lorne Brown:

And in reading your book, you differentiate. You have big T and little T. And so it’s not so much the event, but how you perceive an internalize event that’s going to determine how it impacts the body.

David Berceli:

Yeah, there’s a lot of research that demonstrates the trauma isn’t from the event itself. The trauma is from the sense within myself of whether I’ve lost safety and connection. See, and that’s where the trauma comes in. If you don’t have any place to connect you or any sense of safety, that experience would be more overwhelming than many people who have an experience of trauma maybe go through it together and still stay connected, and then the trauma is less significant in terms of how it affects you. So it’s more about the relationship than it is about the event itself.

Lorne Brown:

And I want to kind of share with you this population, those wanting to grow their families, the research has shown that those that get a diagnosis of infertility, it is no different than the same level of stress getting a diagnosis for a terminal illness or HIV, of a cancer. And you talked about this loss of feeling of safety and loss of connection, that they feel that their bodies are failing them. Often, they get to a place where they don’t want to go out with other friends because they don’t want to hear, “Where’s your kids? Do you have a child yet?” Or if a friend or relative announces their pregnancy, they can’t be friends with them anymore. So it’s having an impact on their quality of life. I was curious if you can share, from the research that you’ve looked at, how does trauma impact our body? What’s the science showing that this can impact our health and wellbeing? And we’ll see if we can kind of connect this into reproductive health, because for fertility, you have the hypothalamus pituitary ovarian axis, which is related to the HPA, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.

So can you share just the impact of chronic stress and how this impacts our body?

David Berceli:

Yeah. Well, it’s interesting because when we’re talking about neurology and physiology, we are including the whole of the organism. So we can actually increase the stress levels just by the way we think. And like you said, if a couple recognizes maybe they’re not able to be fertile at a certain time, but that may not be permanent, may be just that temporary period of time in their life and they’re struggling with fertility, the stress level will increase enormously, and even reduce their ability to actually get pregnant and produce a child. And both couples or both partners would agree with that. Whether it’s a female-female, male-male, male-female doesn’t matter if this stress will now be impacted by both of them together. So here’s the thing we have to think about. If you’re in a living organism, which the human body is, it is designed to actually reproduce, and all stress levels of any type can interfere with that reproduction process.

And that’s what we want to look at, is can we introduce a sense of a whole new way of thinking about, okay, I might be infertile right now or it might be permanent, but that doesn’t mean I have to produce some sense of shame or inferiority or separation from relationship. It should be something we can talk about and accept maturely in our society, which we don’t. So society itself contributes to that sense of isolation or loneliness. Rather than actually accepting it. Okay, that’s a reality, let’s deal with life in light of this new reality that we just found out about. And your chances of both reducing your stress and the traumatic effects this will have, this news will have on your life are greatly reduced. So you know that you can still live very happy and full fulfilled life.

Lorne Brown:

Right. And with the stress, I think it was [inaudible 00:08:28], I heard her say this, but many people say this, your issues are in the tissues. Chinese medicine has said for a long time, over 2000 years, that emotions are the number one cause of disease. And now there’s the Peter Levine book. There’s The Body Keeps the Score, your book talking about how this gets trapped into our tissues. There’s a lot of people that are doing talk therapy. I also know you’re a body worker, massage therapist. Most of the people I’ve interviewed, talked to, there’s a somatic, a body component that seems to be necessary to help the body release this, which is why one of the tools, acupuncture, I use. But I like for example, holotropic breath work is one of my vital I like to do to work through move the energy in my body. I think you mentioned EMDR, and we’re going to be talking about your technique.

I would love you to dive into a bit about what’s happening in the body, what you guys have observed, and why you think it’s beneficial to help this energy, these trapped emotions, whatever you want to call these terms, be released from the body or transformed.

David Berceli:

Okay, so that’s a perfect question and we have to, again, rethink the way we inhabit the human organism. There is no such thing as a separation between neurology and physiology that does not exist. What does exist is the access point, the beginning access point for each person. So I’m a clinical therapist. Some people will come to me and say, “I don’t want to talk. I only want to do body work.” I’m also a body therapist. Some people say, “I don’t want to do body work, I want to talk about it.” But either way, those will end up meeting together. So I could change the way you breathe by doing a meditation practice with you, or I could change your mind to calm down by doing a breathing practice with you. So the neurophysiological pathway is what we call a dual pathway or what these authors that you spoke about are talking about. We can work from the top down or the bottom up. Doesn’t matter which direction we’re going in, eventually the healing comes when those two meet and agree together.

So your psyche or your emotion and your body and your feelings have to agree.

Lorne Brown:

That’s what I was going to get you to clarify. Top down is from your psyche down to the body, and then body up is the body up to the psyche.

David Berceli:

Exactly right. So now, but [inaudible 00:10:47]. I’m trying to help people reframe. You’re in a living organism. In one sense, there is no such thing as a top down and a bottom up that doesn’t exist. It’s a pulsating alive amoeba. It’s a complicated amoeba that we live in. If people were to reframe how they’re living, there would be an automatic understanding or integration of how I’m thinking is producing how I’m feeling, and how I’m feeling is changing the way I’m thinking. And there would be no separation or split. I think that’s what we have to work on in terms of shifting consciousness in the way we inhabit a living organism.

Lorne Brown:

Can you give us any details or the science behind how this is impacting our health? What do we know at this point in time how these chronic stresses get trapped in the body and whether it’s traumatic, like post-traumatic stress disorder. By the way, you’ll have to explain the post-traumatic growth disorder. I’ve heard that before. I like that. But I think I don’t want that to get lost on our audience. I think it’s important to come back to that. But I’d love to you just talk about, like you do in the book, kind of the HPA axis and just some of the things that we’re noticing from the emotional side, how it impacts the body. And the reason I wanted you to kind of just talk about it a bit is in the reproductive medicine world right now, they’re getting better at it, but they kind of dismiss the emotional part.

They understand their stress, but the main concern around stress is quality of life and that people will drop out of an IVFs process due to the stress. And if they just did one more cycle, they’d get a take home baby. They’re not really accepting or into the data that’s out there that stress can impact your overall health, and stress can even impact your ability to reproduce. So can you talk about some of the physiology, the mechanism and the neurobiology that you’re aware of on how this does impact our health, whether you’re trying to grow a family or not, because we all want to be, I’m assuming, happy and healthy.

David Berceli:

We have to recognize that stress affects every part of the human organism in which we’re living. So we have familiar… We’re familiar with the hypo hypothalamus pituitary adrenal axis where that’s a cycling between what’s going on in the body and what’s going on in the brain. The nervous system is involved in that. There’s a lot of research now demonstrating that inflamed parts of the tissue are involved because of just stress levels. You can have inflammation in your body just because you’re under stress. But see, it could be all the weaker parts of the body, and this is where it gets complicated. You could have a weak liver and so the inflammation would go to your liver faster because that’s too weak.

It could be my kidney, it could be my adrenal process, it could be my nervous system. Wherever the weakest point is, and since we’re talking about reproduction, the shame, embarrassment, fear, all of that that’s around the pelvic area, that’s going to produce a weakness, in both the male and the female, around that sense of full life and identity. And so you could have a lot of prostate cancer as an example just because you have shame and fear around the genital area. So we have to recognize that inflammation and the weakest points in our body are what a are affected most by stress and trauma. But for every person, that’s going to be individualized

Lorne Brown:

And then to release this… And the reason I love, I think it was Dr. Joe Dispenza said this really well, and I’ve heard this again, multiple teachers of consciousness, I’ll use that term broadly, use this, when you’re in that stress, when you feel alarmed, when you don’t feel… And I’m paraphrasing everybody, so it’s not exactly how Dr. Joe Dispenza said it. Joe, if you’re listening, this is me paraphrasing it. When you’re feeling alarmed, you don’t feel safe. You go into that survival mode, the sympathetic nervous system and that fight or flight, and your energy is being, or your resources are mobilized for survival to fight or flight, and therefore you don’t have as much resources available for healing and creativity and reproducing. And when you can feel safe and reconnect, then these resources now become available. You engage the parasympathetic nervous system, and now you have more resources available for healing and creativity and reproduction.

So are you aligned with that? And then can you talk about some of the processes that you use to help… In Chinese medicine, we call this, by the way, cheese stagnation. When you have stress and the energy’s not flowing, you call it cheese stagnation. I’ve heard people call it resistance or friction. Yeah, I like the word resistance because I think of electrical system, how when there’s resistance in the systems, electricity doesn’t flow. But if you lower the resistance, it flows. And so when you have mental emotional resistance, in Chinese medicine, for fertility and reproduction, we want to have receptivity and allowing. And when you have resistance, you don’t have that. When I was reading your book and you’re talking about your retention trauma releasing exercises, it seemed like it was lowering resistance. And where I was pleasantly surprised, David, is I wasn’t expecting you to go talk about presence and being in the present moment.

And we’ll talk more about that because that’s kind of what I love in my conscious approach. But if you want to start to tie this all in on how you lower resistance and why your approach allows people to feel some relief and lower that resistance to put them in a more receptive and allowing place or opportunity.

David Berceli:

Yeah, I like that. Okay, so lowering resistance. When we talk about anxiety or stress or trauma, everybody’s familiar with the fight or flight response. That’s a activated sympathetic nervous system. They can run or hide from it, shout and scream, whatever, but we have what’s called the freeze or dissociation or numbness response as well, which interestingly enough is a parasympathetic response. It’s, in a sense, an overstimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system. And so a person can actually go into numbness and dissociation physically in their body, not feeling it, but they won’t even be aware that they don’t feel it. So let’s talk about reproduction. If there’s an inability for reproduction, sometimes that’s already a potential indicator that there’s stress or trauma in the pelvis, either the male or the female doesn’t matter, and that there could be a numbness and a dissociation in there. Certainly if there was sexual abuse, humiliation, or shame in childhood and they grow up that way, we don’t know that we’re numb in our pelvis. We don’t know it until we receive stimulation that makes us aware of that.

So I worked with a lot of women and women maybe who had miscarriages, as an example. But in the pelvic area, and this is what TRE is about. The TRE process actually stimulates initially the pelvic area, and all it does is cause it to begin to activate, so that if there is numbness or dissociation in there, either in the male or female, it will produce stimulation and excitement. And in that regard, it now brings the pelvis back to life, takes it out of a numb parasympathetic response and brings it into the sympathetic response, which is one of its positive attributes, because in the sexual act, it’s a sympathetic nervous system. And so it actually stimulates that to aliveness. And I’ve had a few, not many, but I’ve had a few women say that TRE is precisely what helped them to get pregnant, but it helped them because they didn’t realize how numb their pelvis was from childhood.

And when it brought it into a aliveness, they felt that there was a sense of what you’re calling chi energy or excitement, or there was a a liveness in the pelvis that they didn’t even know was not there. And oddly enough, when I was in China, as I was working with the earthquake survivors there in Sichuan Province years ago, I did go to the National Institute for Chinese Medicine. I taught about 12 doctors there. They were laying on the floor doing my exercises. They got a lot of tremor in their pelvis, travels up the spine and into the neck. And one of them sat up, and it was very wise but simple. He said, “Oh, interesting. You found a Western way to move chi.” It’s exactly what he said to me.

I didn’t think of that, although I’m familiar with Eastern traditions and medicines, but it was very insightful that he would recognize this is chi energy. You just found a way to do it within your cultural context. It takes no thinking. You don’t have to concentrate. You don’t even really have to try. You just have to put your body in a certain position. The nervous system or the chi energy basically activates itself, and that’s what makes it easily accessible to everybody.

Lorne Brown:

And just for our listeners, the TRE method that Dave is talking about is the tension and trauma releasing exercises, just in case our listeners aren’t familiar with that acronym yet. And so this is an easy process, and I remember when I was reading, what got you excited is you wanted to provide the public with a tool that they can apply to themselves, get rapid results in easy to use, in large populations versus having to go see therapists. And this is what this TRE approach is.

David Berceli:

Well, my experience has been mostly living outside of the United States, and usually in cultures that did not have therapy, but they had hundreds, thousands, and even millions of traumatized people because I lived in a lot of war situations or natural disasters, political violence, that sort of thing. So when I was living in these cultures, I realized that I, myself, and all of us were being traumatized, and we were all going numb as a result of it. And there’s dissociative behaviors and relationships that occur as a result of that. So I was thinking there’s no way these people will ever get their two years of psychotherapy to be able to heal their trauma, which is sort of what we call the Western way of doing it. They’re not going to do that. And so then what happened was that I began to watch the way all of us reacted during these stressful or traumatic moments of bombings or shootings.

But in the states, it’s no different than road rage or your house burning down a family member dying unexpectedly. So they’re all the same thing. They’re just overwhelming situations in life. And what I realized after I saw this in multiple countries is every human organism operates the same way. So I could see below culture, below languages, below genders, below race. I saw the human organism, and it fascinated me. When I saw at that level was when I began to see patterns of how the human organism protects itself regardless of what the overwhelming situation is. See, it doesn’t care what’s overwhelming. It just knows when I’m being overwhelmed, this is how I protect myself. In grief, the way it protects itself is it squeezes itself. That’s it. The human organism squeezes in defense, and it opens up and relaxes in safety. And so that’s all we do, is we go back and forth between squeezing and opening. In a sense, we’re a pulsating organism. And what trauma or stress does is it causes us to squeeze tightly and stay in the squeeze, which is what precisely disrupts every mechanism and system in the human body.

And so we have to get it to open up, come out of that squeeze and open up into a place where it can pulsate again and all of the systems come back to light.

Lorne Brown:

And when we have this contraction, this squeezing, then you have eventually tired, lethargic, sore muscles, organs, and tissues, and reproductive system doesn’t get its blood flow, and then the body starts to degenerate. And when you have…

David Berceli:

That’s exactly right. If you live in that state, you are actually killing the very organism in which you are living.

Lorne Brown:

And you mentioned that you can get to that free state where you’re disassociated, so you’re not even aware. But you know my neck is sore and I have pain here and there, but you’ve become accustomed to it and it you’ve numbed out a lot.

David Berceli:

I think that is almost how I see the world living at this point. Almost every person in the planet is living with some increased sense of freeze or dissociation or numbness and frustrated because they know something’s wrong, but because they can’t necessarily feel it, but they know they’re not pulsating with full aliveness. And the ones that are least affected are the ones who are living in the most rural areas that have less access to global news and all that stuff because they’re still out there growing plants or tending to their cattle or their sheep or whatever, and they’re pulsating more normally.

Lorne Brown:

And can you talk about what the body does? It’s an innate ability. So when there is a stressful event, what is our organism, the body doing? You mentioned the contracting. So when it feels a danger, it contracts. What does it do to release this energy? Because yeah, I’ll go there. What does it do to deal with after the trauma? Because you’re not always having full on traumatic situations happening. There’s a situation and then the situation ends. What does the body do? And what are we doing in our world to prevent the body from having that recovery?

David Berceli:

Okay, now this is where it gets a little bit complicated for people to understand, but we’re going to go here because this is precisely what this is all about. I discovered that when I was in dangerous situations, what happened was my body would squeeze forward into what we call the fetal response. But when I saw this, I saw everybody’s body was doing this. So if after shooting or a bombing or whatever, when I would stand straight up…

Lorne Brown:

We just got to let people know where you were when you notice this, because you’re like the shooting, bombing, they’re like, “What? Who is this guy?” Can you give them a little bit of context that you’re having bombs drop around you?

David Berceli:

All right. And I hate saying that, but that’s my experience. But the same thing happens in countries that do not have shootings in bombings. I was living in Sudan, I lived in Yemen, I lived in Egypt, Lebanon, Israel, Palestinian West Bank. I had a lot of experience in the Middle East. During those times, there was conflict in all of those countries. Sometimes there were shootings, sometimes there were bombs. But what that did… The shooting and bombing wasn’t important. It simply showed me how the human organism reacts so quickly to pull itself into a fetal response when it’s scared. People in a car accident, their body will do the same thing. It’ll pull them forward into a fetal response. If somebody’s… Even you see this in sports activities, if you’re going to fall or something, you fall into a ball and you roll your safest. It protects your underbelly. So that’s how the human organism protects itself when it senses danger.

Lorne Brown:

And can I ask you something then, because a lot of our listeners aren’t in that kind of environment where it’s that their body is not at risk of dying, but in their mind, they have a stressful relationship or they have a really difficult coworker or somebody who employs them or they’re about to go through an IVF procedure and they have to have an invasive procedure, or they have an unsuccessful IVF. This is the little T stuff where there is no survival benefit from the stress response, but the body still responds the same whether you’re being bombed or whether you have a deadline at work is That’s my understanding.

David Berceli:

Thank you. That’s a hundred percent correct. I’m glad you clarified that. Think of it like this. When you come home and you lay down on the sofa, as an example, all of a sudden you lay back and you go, ah, and you relax. Well, what you did was you took it out of that fetal response. Even sitting at a desk is producing partially a fetal response. When your boss comes in and he or she is angry, you’re going to actually squeeze the front part of the body without knowing it. That’s why we get so many neck and shoulder pains. The front part of the body is being pulled together, whether you consciously know it or not, because it could be deep inside the structure. You may not see it physically on the outside, but it’s still doing it internally.

Lorne Brown:

Okay, that make sense. Yeah. And so now you have this alarm state, your body goes into this fetal response, and then what we you are going to share is, what does it do to release this and go back into a state of safety?

David Berceli:

Well, when I saw the fetal response so glaringly in the situations I was in and this pulling of the body forward, I thought, well, it does that in a split second. My brain and my body organized so quickly that I could pull together in a fetal response so fast. And I thought, all right, well, that’s not conscious behavior, so it has something to do with the nervous system and what we call subcortical or primitive parts of the brain where the body produces a reaction quickly to protect itself. Even if it’s your boss yelling at you, you immediately squeeze inside without thinking about it. If the body has that ability, it must have the opposite ability to actually release itself without our consciousness. It has to be a subcortical behavior or primitive behavior of the brain and the body to actually release that contracted state. It wouldn’t make sense that the body only knows how to move in one direction because then we would end up living in that state and dying as a species.

Now, here’s where I saw the next event was when I, was sitting with some people in a bomb shelter, but I could still be sitting at home in my house still frightened. I remember as a little kid, my dad would come home and I was scared and my body would start to shake. Now we’re very familiar with shaking, and the body shakes when we’re nervous. Okay? We know that if I was giving a lecture, my voice could be shaking. If I was standing in front of a large audience, maybe my legs would shake. Okay? So we’re familiar with shaking. But look at the narrative. Shaking means I’m afraid, I’m weak, I’m vulnerable, I’m insecure. There’s absolutely nothing positive about the human organism shaking, and yet every human organism on the planet has that mechanism built into it. And it’s there for a very specific reason. It’s to bring us out of the tight contraction in the structure and to lower the adrenal response in the body.

Lorne Brown:

Can you clarify, because you said it’s a narrative that you’re vulnerable, you’re weak. You’re not saying that is weakness. You’re just saying that’s how society looks at shaking.

David Berceli:

That’s how society looks at shaking. There’s nothing positive about it at all. Nobody looks at somebody shaking and say, “Oh look, that’s wonderful. They’re reducing their stress.”

Lorne Brown:

So the judgment is not positive, but you are saying, yeah, this is actually a positive thing happening in the body.

David Berceli:

I’m saying it’s the best thing that could happen to the person. A good example, if you’ve been in a car accident, nobody was injured, even it was a minor accident, but you have to get out, give the police person your ID or your driver’s license, whatever, you might discover that your hands are shaking or your knees are shaking because it was a shock, it was a surprise. And immediately your adrenal response went up, sympathetic nervous system activated, and immediately the body wants to calm itself back down. So it starts to shake itself. Even on positive things. Think of this. You’re getting on a rollercoaster ride and you’re excited. You want to be on the rollercoaster, but you’re standing in line and you’re starting to shake because you’re getting nervous about the anxiousness of riding something that’s both frightening and safe. You could get off the rollercoaster ride and you could be happy as could be, but you could be shaking and laugh with your friends saying, “Look at my legs are shaking. I was so scared.”

All the body knows is the adrenal response. Your adrenaline shot up really high. It does not care why it shot up there. For good reasons, bad reasons, it makes no distinction. It just knows adrenaline is too high. I want to tremor myself and calm back down the adrenal response so I can go back into a parasympathetic response. Every human organism is designed that way.

Lorne Brown:

And I remember in Peter Levine’s book, Waking the Tiger, I think is the title of it, but he said in the animal kingdom after a fight or a threat, the animal would twitch and shake things off. And it was described that you have. This is that idea of when you’re stressed, we talked about you mobilize all those energy to fight or flight, so the resources aren’t available for healing, creativity, reproduction. If the boss is yelling at me, I have all this energy. My body has gone into that state of ready to fight or flight, and we need a way to discharge it. So is this shaking a way the body discharge. Do you agree with that as well, that it’s helping the body discharge this accumulated energy and why exercise can be beneficial as well?

David Berceli:

That’s exactly why it’s doing it. It’s doing it to discharge the excited energy, but it also affects the nervous system, calms it down, and it releases the tension that’s created by the excited charge. There’s no such thing as having excited charge without a consequential tension pattern that’s built in the body. Whether we know it or not, whether we feel it or not is secondary, but it is creating that.

Lorne Brown:

And in our society, we’re constantly building up this charge, but we’re not having an opportunity to release it because when the boss says, “Where’s your work?” or for our audience, you get the call that your cycle was unsuccessful or you’re going to have a pregnancy loss, you’re not able to fight or run. You’re not discharging it.

David Berceli:

Right. That’s perfect. And that’s what this tremor mechanism is for. That’s why it’s genetically encoded in us. You don’t have to fight or run. You can come home to your living room and be in a safe environment and activate this mechanism. It’ll calm you right down. I work with a lot of military. I do this all the time with them because they’re in a situation of war or violence. When they come back to the states, they don’t want to have that excited charge where they express it into their family, their spouse, or partner or their children. And so they need to get rid of the excited charge. And this is precisely how the body is designed. This mechanism, as Peter Levine knows, and teaches it in somatic experiencing. And there’s another book called Why Zebras Don’t get Ulcers. Why don’t they? Animals in the wild will run away or fight the threat. But when they’ve succeeded and the threat is gone, they will stand at the watering hole and tremor sometimes for half an hour, and there are lots of videos of this.

So they don’t carry that stressor. Because they could be killed any day when they’re living in the wild, but they don’t live under that stress every day. They get rid of it immediately after the safety has been introduced. That’s what we should be doing. And we in inhibited that mechanism because we’ve given it a negative narrative, and it has to be restored back to us as something really positive, and it’s bringing the body back to life again from its frozen or dissociated state.

Lorne Brown:

Can you share, if you remember, in your book, you talked about a study with the chicks where you had a control group, you had a group that they were held and was allowed to shake, and a group that was held but not allowed to shake.

David Berceli:

Yeah.

Lorne Brown:

Do you remember that?

David Berceli:

When they did that research? They took a group of chicks, but all they did was they would hold them, and that would put them in a freeze response. They would be frightened. Okay? And then they would put them in the water, but half of the chicks, they would allow them to tremor out after they held them. So they would tremor out that fear of being held and they put them in the water. The ones that were not allowed to tremor actually started to drown, whereas the ones that did tremor had their ability to go ahead and continue swimming, and they were moving along just fine, like there was no problem. So the ones that basically did not tremor were still in a freeze response and they would drown.

Lorne Brown:

So this helps develop resilience, this process.

David Berceli:

Now you’re talking about post-traumatic growth, which we’ll talk about in a little bit, but yes. Resilience, to me, is nothing but the human organism, being able to squeeze when it needs to and let go of the squeeze when it doesn’t need it, and it moves in and out of that many times in a day actually. And that resiliency is that pulsation of the human organism.

Lorne Brown:

And so can you share a bit about your technique, the TRE, and how is it… I guess I’m going to compare it to things that I know. So as I shared, I learned that the breath work, this holotropic type breath work, it kind of bypasses the ego, the conscious mind. Do you have an understanding how the shaking the tremoring affects the nervous system and why it is helping? Because you shared that we see in the animal in the wildly shake, we see it’s in innate, it’s in our genetic code that we shake after a very stressful traumatic experience. What is our understanding of doing this technique? What it’s doing? What it’s bypassing?

David Berceli:

Okay. It does bypass the ego, which is great because we really just use the body. But think of it like this. If my body squeezes itself into a fetal response, which even the listeners should be able to understand what that is, it pulls forward, well, if that’s the position it takes to protect itself, well then the position it should take to be able to activate the tremors would be the opposite of that. So we hyperextend the torso, we push the pelvis… If you’re laying on the floor, you pick your pelvis up and you arch your back. That’s the opposite of the fetal position. Well, now you’re indicating to the body you have safety because you’ve hyper stretched the front of the body. And then when you set it back down… A lot of your listeners might know of the butterfly or the frog position in yoga. And so that’s the position you take. And then all you have to do is close your knees very slowly, and that tremor response will activate automatically, without concentrating or thinking.

There’s no effort. You don’t have to try. It’s because I’m working the same structure that the body uses to protect itself. We’re stretching it out, indicating to the body that safety is introduced, and it will start to tremor automatically.

Lorne Brown:

So I have a question. And again, I can only go from the context. And after our interview here, because we’re going to do a video demo, and now I’m going to go try your technique, but I want to share two sematic types of techniques that I’ve used. So I practice acupuncture, and I’ve seen many times where the person’s received acupuncture. And then out of nowhere, they’ll say, “Oh my God,” and then they just start to cathartic. All these tears come up, the energy moves. And it’s not upsetting. They’re like, “Why am I crying?”

David Berceli:

Right. Right.

Lorne Brown:

So I’ve seen that. When I did breathwork just recently before our interview a couple days ago, I was fascinated by all of a sudden feeling this incredible energy come up from my pelvic area all the way up my spine, and then I just cathartic to cry. Now, if somebody was witnessing it, they would think that I was in terrible pain, that I was being tortured. It felt like it was neutral. It felt good actually to have this come through me, and I was able to observe it as it came through me and I cried. Does this happen in the TRE process? Are people [inaudible 00:37:57]? And sometimes, by the way, the emotions were uncomfortable when I did breath work, but not always. I had to be able to be with it and witness it and observe it go through my body and attach to it and bring the mind back into it.

That took some practice. Does that also happen with TRE, is the same thing? Are you witnessing that where people are just things are tears, laughter? Do they relive their trauma? What can people expect when they do this?

David Berceli:

Well, see, all of that could happen and not happen. Some people will just tremor. That is all. A lot of people maybe who have done a lot of psychological work will understand their trauma. They’ve done all of that cognitive work. So when they tremor, they might break out in laughter saying, “Oh my God, I know what this is. This feels great.” Some people will cry and say, “Oh, thank goodness I’ve been needing to cry for years. This feels wonderful.” Some will laugh and cry. Some will say, “I don’t know whether I’m laughing or crying,” because I’m convinced still that laughter and crying is an ego construct because the organism has no idea that we have called it laughing or crying. It’s pulsation of diaphragm and ribcage. See, so that’s what I think is going on. When you did your breath work or when you do other body work or even sometimes cranial sacral work people are doing, all of a sudden the diaphragm lets go and the organism starts to restore its pulsation. We call it laughing or crying, but the organism doesn’t know that at all.

It just knows that diaphragm has been released and it’s now starting to do what it does naturally, move itself so that it can become flexible again.

Lorne Brown:

And this is activating. Somehow it’s getting involved in the autonomic nervous system. Because I believe, when I was in your book, I think I read that you say that this helps bypass the conscious brain and it somehow interrupts the hypothalamus pituitary access. Did I understand that correctly?

David Berceli:

Yeah, that’s right. Because when you are just using the body, and as soon as you activate the tremor mechanism, the tremor mechanism is really connected to more primitive parts of the brain, the brainstem and limbic system area, and it’s part of the polyvagal nervous system. And so that’s not really controlled by the conscious mind. The only time the conscious mind comes in, like you said, is when maybe… I might have the memory associated with what’s happening in my body or the release. And if you haven’t worked through that memory, then it will come up and you might need to work through it, or if you haven’t worked through the emotions. But we’re starting purely from an anatomical place that then feeds or works with the brain. Here’s where the ego sort of gets a little bit involved, is it now says, oh, I remember that story. I remember why I broke that leg, or I remember why I squeezed my pelvis, whatever.

And so if that story is unresolved, then you might need to revisit that story. But many times you don’t need to because what you’ve taken away the charge from the physical structure, the story no longer has a charge connected to it. It’s just now a memory. It’s only a story, but there’s no big charge that activates the story.

Lorne Brown:

As you’re talking. I just had a that I have to share and be interesting. I got to share with you that I’m thinking of the listeners that have endometriosis, because we recently… Before we recorded today, we had an event and one of the things that was brought up is using pelvic floor physiotherapy because a lot of them went with endometriosis, because of the pain, how the contracting becomes tight, and this helps manage the symptoms of pain, that this technique would be a great way to release that tension and hopefully help manage the symptoms of pain related to endometriosis.

David Berceli:

Yeah, there’s a medical doctor in California who uses this technique and he works a lot with pelvic pain, really brilliant guy. But here’s the thing, this tremor mechanism will activate. In the beginning, it activates in the legs, mostly in the abductor muscles on the inner thigh of the leg, but it’ll go very quickly into the pelvis. Now, that’s wonderful that it can go that deeply and so fast into it. It could be frightening for people if there’s unresolved abuse or or numbness in the pelvis. But if there isn’t, it can produce really pleasurable stimulation to the point where many women have told me they have had orgasm while doing this, and other men who may have had erectile dysfunction, discover all of a sudden, there’s a blood flow that goes into the penis because this works very quickly inside the pelvis at very deep levels. So in that sense, it’s very effective and can be effective very quickly.

Lorne Brown:

So we should have led with that because that was the first thing you mentioned. We’d make sure all the listeners would still be listening.

David Berceli:

That’s true. Well, you can edit that first.

Lorne Brown:

So do you want to share some of the demonstrations? And so you got some videos. Now, we know this is a podcast and people are listening, so I just want to share that we also put all the podcast videos up on my website, lornebrown.com, L-O-R-N-E, brown.com. So Dave is going to explain the short videos, which is great to hear anyhow. And if you want to watch it, the videos will be on lornebrown.com, but also David says there’s hundreds and hundreds of these videos on his website as well, which we’ve added to the show notes.

David Berceli:

Yeah. Okay. So I’m going to show you two videos. And for those people who are listening on the podcast, it’d be really helpful if you saw the videos, simply because it puts a visual to the words that we’re talking about, and then you would understand it much faster at a deeper level. So the first video I’m going to show you is just a guy here in the States. He came to me and said, “I’m just full of anxiety and tension. I need to get rid of that.” Okay? That’s all he said. And I said, “Okay, let’s do that. And so this is the guy who came to me. Now, what you’re going to watch here is he’s going to activate the tremors in his legs, and then we’re going to see them systematically move through his body. Okay? So here’s going on. You see the tremors are in his legs, and now we’re going to watch that will automatically… He’s not doing anything.

He’s not thinking or trying. This is the nervous system activated. It’s automatically going to go into his pelvis and his hips. What that’s going to do is start to loosen the spinal column. So by its very nature, it’s going to start to try up the spine. It’s going to go all the way up to the spine into his neck and out his shoulders and into his arms. But he does nothing. He’s just laying there talking to me. This is the nervous system activated by itself. And you could see that slowly, the body that desperately wants to pulsate back to life actually does that by itself. So here, you see an alive living organism that’s pulsating itself. He’s even smiling because it feels pleasurable, a little bit odd because you’re not ego directed doing it, but you can see this aliveness.

Now, look at the dead state that he was in when he came into my office. And within an hour, this is how his body is pulsating. So you can see the comparison there of how we deaden our bodies and we have no idea. And then when we do a little bit of activation, the body starts to pulsate itself back to life.

Lorne Brown:

And it goes back to what we shared in the Chinese medicine idea of chi stagnation. When the chi does not flow freely and smoothly, there is pain and then disease.

David Berceli:

Yes.

Lorne Brown:

And when the chi flows freely and smoothly, there’s health. And that deadening, the way you described it, there wasn’t a lot of flow there. There’s a lot of blockages. And then you could see the flow question. It looked like, and I understand he isn’t, but it looks like when I was watching your video that he was purposely shaking his legs, but all they do is put themselves in a position, and then body will naturally start to tremor. He did not actually cause the tremor.

David Berceli:

Exactly right. And that’s a little bit hard for people because I keep saying to them, and everybody says this to me, “I’m not doing this, I’m not doing it.” I know they’re not doing it. But if you look at my videos on my YouTube channel, some of those people, you’re going to say, “Oh, they’re just doing that.” Absolutely none of them are doing it. It is happening to them. Some of the visuals that you’d see on my YouTube channel of different people, you could look at it and say, “There’s no way they’re actually doing that. Something is doing that to them in their body.” But a hundred percent of the time, it is the nervous system, central pattern generators, muscle spindle fibers. It’s a whole collection of a number of different mechanisms inside the human body that produces the tremor response.

Lorne Brown:

And now, you got more of another video, I think, but I want to go into our title of our podcast called The Conscious Fertility Podcast. And what I was pleasantly surprised reading in your book is when you talked about presence. And we don’t know each other well, but I think we’re going to become good friends, hopefully, David. In my practice, I play with a approach called notice, accept, choose again, and the accepting part, I’ll use many tools like the Byron Katie inquiry, I’ll use emotional freedom technique, inner child work. They’re usually having acupuncture as part of that process to get them to surrender. And what I speculate is happening is when you really lean into your discomfort rather than run away from your feelings, or rather than trying to feel better, you get better at feeling. It’s counterintuitive, but when you really bring awareness and consciousness to your discomfort, I think it somehow brings you into the present moment.

It’s like a doorway, and you’re tapping into something else. And many of the experts here call it your higher self, your small consciousness. And there’s a big consciousness. And you talked a little bit about presence, and you talked about consciousness too in your book, so this is a space to do that. And the reason… Because you haven’t heard this part yet either, unless you listen to any of the other podcasts, my agenda for having this podcast, I’m very aware of my listeners, they’re looking for anything that’s going to give them an extra chance to grow their families. So that’s why they’ve come in. If that means doing your tremor technique and bring blood flow and release the autonomic nervous system, which the mechanism makes sense, so I’m inviting my listeners to do this, but my agenda was that I wasn’t happy with the state of the world and I subscribed to the idea that you don’t have to go work on the external world. You go work on your inner world through conscious work.

That’s why I call my self conscious work. And when you have that inner work and you have that heart-brain coherence, or you start to realize, you become aware that we’re all connected. You lose that idea of separateness. And when you feel really connected, you’re just going to want to treat the earth better because you feel connected, and you’re not going to want to go to war with somebody because you’re going to feel connected. So I became aware that my listeners that have the infertility diagnosis, their wake up call is fertility. But I see people from all sorts. Some of them, it’s a bad divorce, financial disaster, a cancer diagnosis, whatever, it doesn’t matter. But for our listeners, fertility is their opportunity to go in and heal.

And I think of it going from conscious fertility to conscious conception to conscious pregnancy, to conscious parenting, because a local attachment therapist here, Dr. Gordon Neufeld, I heard him say that, because we are raised by behaviorist versus developmentalist, so we don’t get our attachment needs met, we feel separate in that. So these young kids do cutting, they join gangs, they do drugs, they commit suicide. And that in one generation, if the parents attach to their children, we’d heal the planet. And so I like the idea of the Conscious Fertility podcast because these individuals are going to find a way to get pregnant. And if they use consciousness as part of their process, then when they have children, they will hopefully be those conscious parents and attached to their children because they’ve healed inside. And I got a sense that you may be thinking on that line. When I’ve reading your book. I was like, you’re talking about being present. I heard some consciousness. So do you want to talk a little bit about what you see the world and why you think this is important?

David Berceli:

Yeah, I think you’re right. I agree with you 100%. Consciousness is invaluable. One of the difficulties that we have is when we’re anxious, nervous inside frozen, or maybe numb or dissociated in inside ourselves, it’s very hard to stay conscious in the present moment because our brain is either in the past or in the future, anticipating a threat and protecting itself. And what I discover with body work… You see the body can only live in the present moment. And so the deeper the body is stimulated, the easier it is for person to come into the present moment and connect with their consciousness. So there’s nothing wrong with going out. You hit your foot on a log when you’re walking in the forest. Your brain could have been thinking about something about work or something like that. But the minute you hurt your toe, you’re right in the present moment. Well, this is hurting your toe, but without the pain.

Lorne Brown:

Right.

David Berceli:

It brings you into the present moment, which then makes it safe. And that’s when you explore the consciousness because now they’re connected automatically. And I didn’t tell you to try to connect your consciousness. Your organism knows how to connect itself.

Lorne Brown:

In your own personal life. How has this process changed for you then? How do you think you’re different from who you were in the past? And do you like who you are now compared to you are in the past now that you discovered this? Because I do know some people on this conscious path, the word I hear is the dark night of the soul or shadow work. There is sometimes a period where you’re like, “Why did I start this journey?” So I’m just curious about your journey and where you’re at today.

David Berceli:

Well, I love the phrase, the dark night of the soul, because when you start consciousness, it’s a never ending process. You just go deeper and deeper, whatever, or expand more and more, however you want to talk about it. But it becomes more inquisitive and curious, even the dark night of the soul. Loneliness becomes a curiosity. Feeling not connected to the world becomes a curiosity. So the journey doesn’t stop. But the way you take up, the journey of consciousness changes. And so that changes for me. I sit for hours sometimes trying to remain conscious and stay conscious. Then I have to go into the swimming pool to do it. Then I might read something that’s reflective. So there are multiple ways of staying conscious and in the present moment, but always, and I believe everybody moves in and out of that present state. But somehow that seems to be part of this process of being human, is to explore that movement in consciousness, out of consciousness in the present moment, out of the present moment.

If we could get used to and comfortable with the movement back and forth, rather than demanding that I’d be conscious 24 hours a day, which will do nothing but create anxiety, allow yourself to, oh, I moved out of consciousness. I lost myself for a minute. Isn’t that interesting? Because just the isn’t that interesting is already bringing back to the present moment and consciousness again. So we have to allow that fluidity of being human. We are both energy and matter. We should not try to be one or the other. We are both in dialogue, and so we should appreciate the play of moving back and forth, moving in and out of consciousness. When we learn to appreciate the play is when we appreciate living this life experience, not when we’re demanding it to be one way or the other.

Lorne Brown:

And I’ve shared before on the podcast that when you have this relationship with yourself and having more of that connection to self, self-acceptance, it’s almost like it’s a hundred percent success for everybody, because whether you have a baby or not, you feel whole and complete. You’re okay?

David Berceli:

Yes, absolutely. It’s only a social construct that I should have it or I shouldn’t have a baby, I shouldn’t be able to reproduce, I shouldn’t be able to… Those are all social constructs. What’s your organismic experience on this planet? Appreciate it, love it, support it, get encouragement for it. But our society has these sort of prescribed rights and wrongs, and many of that is what produces the stress and tension that many people live under.

Lorne Brown:

And the individuals though, they come saying, “I need to. There’s a desperation I have to have this baby.” But they go from desperately needing it. And if not, it’s the end of the world. And I understand why.they have this urge like it is real for them.

David Berceli:

Right.

Lorne Brown:

But the shift with this work is that they come to a place where they want the baby, but it’s no longer desperation. And that’s what lowers the resistance. The conscious work. That whole idea don’t be attached to formal outcome. They still want it, but it doesn’t have that sense of desperation and neediness. Therefore, that resistance, which belongs receptivity allowing health is lowered. And so…

David Berceli:

When you have an expectation, you’re already in the wrong road in a sense. If you want to have a child, it should be play and fun and love and relationship, and then allow what happens to happen because you’ve simply had play and fun and love and relationship. That’s it.

Lorne Brown:

And there’s tools…

David Berceli:

[inaudible 00:54:55] child gets produced from that. Yes.

Lorne Brown:

Yes. And there’s tools though, to help us on this journey because we’re on a journey called life here. And my understanding is what the TRE can help with is reducing anxiety, the chronic tension, both physical and mental, that tension, no longer seeing your body as an enemy, right? Your body’s no longer following you, and having that more… You have trust in your body. And this, you believe, then creates a healing response in the body.

David Berceli:

Oh, absolutely. And I see that all over the world in every culture and country I work in. So I know it’s reproducing the same result. The same result is just I feel alive. Thank goodness I came out of my deadness or my numbness. I feel alive. Even when we lived in war, we could feel alive and excited about being alive. Even though there was a threat there, it didn’t inhibit us from saying, I’m so glad I’m alive.

Lorne Brown:

Do you have another video that you wanted to show?

David Berceli:

I have one more, which is showing people how to do the exercise if you want to.

Lorne Brown:

I, yeah, let’s have a sometimes see one, do one, teach one. So for our listeners, you’re going to hear it. And then again, go to the video on lornebrown.com, or go to David’s website as well. And we’ll put that in the show notes where you can find the video to see this as a demonstration.

David Berceli:

So basically, all you do is you’re going to lay down flat onto the floor on your back. Then what you’re going to do is you’re going to lay on your back on the floor, and then put the bottoms of your feet together and allow your knees to fall open. That’s the butterfly or the frog position in yoga. Nice and easy. If you can’t lay on the floor, you could do it on the bed because a lot of people might have back problems or hip problems, et cetera. It doesn’t matter. But then what you’re going to do is you’re very gently going to pick your pelvis up in the air to the degree that it’s comfortable for you because everyone will be different. You don’t want to stress yourself or hurt yourself. You just want to come out of the fetal response, so the opposite. So what he’s doing is he’s stretching the front of the body here.

Now, this guy does a lot of exercise. So if you’re fit and you exercise a great deal, you can arch your back all the way to your shoulders just like he’s done. Now see, that’s the opposite of protecting himself. He’s demonstrating to his body, I’m safe, I’m comfortable, we’re open, we’re receptive, we’re alive. That’s all that this position is doing, basically telling the brain we are safe and free. You stay in that position for about a minute or so. And then what happens is you’re going to just slowly set your pelvis back down onto the floor again. Then you’re going to just let your knees relax open and you’re going to rest there again. A lot of this is just patiently relaxing and giving the organism itself the chance to have a response. Then what you’re going to do is close your knees two inches, and you’re going to hold this position.

That’s it. You hold that. The abject your muscles, which are in the inner thigh, is where you might start to feel some tremoring or some shaking. It could start right here in this position, just as you see in this person here. So it’s going to tremor very gently and slowly. After about two minutes, you’ll close your knees again, another two inches. What’s going to happen is you might experience the shaking a bit stronger in this position, because as you close them, it will get stronger and stronger. You close your knees another two inches and turn your feet so that the bottoms are flat on the floor, and now the shaking is simply continuing by itself. It’s not doing anything. So you move your feet a couple inches apart, keep your knees a little wider apart than your feet, and you can see the organism is pulsating.

Now there’s a good example. He can’t possibly move his hips like that voluntarily. It’s too quick. It’s too deep. You do that. And then all you do, you tremor for about 15 or 20 minutes. And when you’re done, you slide your legs down flat on the floor and you rest, but you could see that it looks like the legs. He might be moving them, but they’re not. That’s the nerves doing that. But it’ll travel through the pelvis and go all the way up to the neck and shoulder we saw in the previous video, and it does it truly by itself.

Lorne Brown:

Now you said about 15 to 20 minutes. Is a normal time period to do this?

David Berceli:

That’s a normal session for people, because what I’d like them to do is start at 15 minutes because that’s sort of like the low number. But if people like it and they have no reactions to it, that they’re frightened or afraid or no emotions are coming out, they could go as long as 25 or 30 minutes and just enjoy the pleasure of their body pulsating itself back to a aliveness. You could watch TV, read a book, listen to music while you’re doing it. It does not need the ego.

Lorne Brown:

And is there any stamina or strength required? When you were doing those positions, if somebody’s feeling tired or it hurts to do it, does that mean it’s being done incorrectly or is it fairly effortless?

David Berceli:

It’s fairly effortless, but then we don’t know people who might have had injuries in their bodies or limitations. So anytime they get pain or they feel that it’s uncomfortable or too hard, don’t do it. Stop immediately because the body’s saying I can’t go there. So what they could do is they don’t have to pick their pelvis up, as an example. They just lay in the butterfly position with their knees open, and they have to lay their little bit longer to stretch those muscles, but then start closing them. Some people, and this would be people might have sexual abuse in their childhood, opening their knees could be way too vulnerable. So then I would have them start with their knees up, get comfortable in that position, and then slowly open the knees to the degree that they’re comfortable, and the tremors will still activate.

Lorne Brown:

And what would be the frequency? If somebody’s doing this for their own wellness, how often would they do it, and for how long? Is it days in a row, and then do you start to taper off and do it less often in a week?

David Berceli:

Well, what we do is we tell people to find their own baseline. So they do it one time for about 15 minutes, just so they could feel what it feels like. Then they wait. They don’t do it the next day because they might not have any reaction. But the next day, they could feel exhausted, or maybe they might feel fear or they could feel pleasure, because we don’t know according to their history. So don’t do it the next day so you can notice what did that 15 minutes do to you, but then do it the following day if you’re comfortable, and do it for another 15 minutes.

So about every two or three days for about two weeks, do this. Because they could do it when they go into bed to just lay down and relax at nighttime. Spouses and partners can do it together in the bed if they want, when they’re just laying down and relaxing so that they don’t have to put a special exercise routine in their life, because we’re all too busy. So lay down in bed just with your knees open. And then so you do that for about two weeks. And you should be able by that time to have regulated, oh, I want to do this more. This feels amazing. I love it, or this caused me to get very sleepy and tired, so I want to just do it a little bit. So people have to move back and forth between self-regulation. And that, of course, is going to be different for everybody.

Lorne Brown:

And I get the sense what excited you about this technique, the TRE, is that it can help shift you from helplessness to being empowered.

David Berceli:

That’s precisely what it does, because I use this with a lot of natural disasters. So in natural disasters, people are frozen. Now, they might not have been hurt in the earthquake or the tsunami or whatever, but there’s a freeze in numbness that there’s something so shocking that they might have just seen or their families experience this. And so now they’re in a state of numbness and don’t know it. And many people will say, “I don’t know what to do. I feel like I can’t make a decision. I can’t bring my consciousness back to understand. How do I get out of this?” And this will almost get them out of it immediately. They’ll go back into their bodies, they reconnected their body with their brain, which is what you need to be in the present moment. And then they sit up and say, “Okay, now I’m connected. I know what I need to do.” And so we’ve pulled the organism back together again with the brain, and now they know how to move forward in life. And this I’ve seen thousands of times working in both natural disasters and war situations.

Lorne Brown:

We’re going to wrap up, and I got a question for you though, regarding the piriformis muscle and [inaudible 01:03:23] muscle. So this is more… My listeners may not be interested. It’s more for my interest. I always think of tension and stress, the channels system that gets aggravated lots along the neck and the upper traps of the shoulders. But you talked about, I think the piriformis and psoas [inaudible 01:03:37]. What’s the connection to that in the autonomic nervous system? And the reason I’m asking is I’m trained in motorpoint acupuncture. And often with people with back pain stuff, I will do the motorpoint on the psoas muscle and it will release. And I don’t totally understand the connection. That’s why I want to ask you. But I was thinking, oh, besides them doing this at home, this may be something for my patients that have some form of chronic stress or trauma in their tissues. Can I help support that getting released and transformed by releasing the psoas muscles?

Because it’s hard to do that with your hands, but with an acupuncture needle, I go into the psoas muscles, and I actually go into the motor point and it will fasciculate. The muscle will release.

David Berceli:

Right.

Lorne Brown:

So I’m curious. You talked about curiosity. This was just my brain going… As I was reviewing some of your book, I was like, I wanted to ask you that question. What do you think?

David Berceli:

Yeah. Think of this. The psoas muscle connects the legs, the pelvis and the lower back, and it’s in the front of the spine. That’s called the fight or flight muscle. That’s precisely what initiates to pull the body forward into the fetal response. It’s connected to the kidney meridian, which is…

Lorne Brown:

Oh, you know a little Chinese medicine. Okay.

David Berceli:

Yeah. And so that’s the whole point, is that that is the fear muscle. That’s the protective muscle. Even in animals, the psoas as muscle is the muscle that helps pull a dog together when it curls up and protects its belly. Psoas muscle is producing that. That’s an autonomic response. We don’t think about that. We don’t even control that most of the time. Unfortunately, in these positions where we sit in at our desk, we are actually squeezing that psoas muscle, it’s contracting, which is activating the kidney meridian and keeping it in a piped state rather than a relaxed state. So we’re almost in a semi fetal position just by sitting in chairs, and that elevates our nervous system.

Lorne Brown:

And so theoretically, do think stretching the psoas could be beneficial for people [inaudible 01:05:36]?

David Berceli:

It’s hugely beneficial.

Lorne Brown:

Okay.

David Berceli:

Hugely beneficial, yes. Now, for a lot of people, that’s a little complicated for them to do, but even the little bit that I showed you with the knees open and pelvis up, you’re actually pulling a minor stretch into the psoas muscle. There are specific psoas muscle stretches to do, but this is one of them. But that’s exciting. Remember when the adductors on the inner thigh start to shake, that’s where they’re closely connected. The attachment of the adductors is close to where the psoas muscles attached into the femur. So it almost informs the femur, not the femur, but the psoas muscle and almost… It’s like the tremor mechanism moves itself from one muscle group to the next muscle group and onward all the way up the spine.

Lorne Brown:

So if you’re looking to feel empowered and being able to do something that you can apply yourself with rapid results, easy to use, where you can reduce tension in the body, and also maybe connect to your higher self and get that circulation blood flow going, which will benefit organs in the body, then I invite you to further look into what David Berceli offers. Again, his book is The Revolutionary Trauma Release Process. That was published back in 2008. And then what are the websites that we can direct them to so they can watch more videos?

David Berceli:

Okay. Instagram is David Berceli, so they could find the shorter videos there. And my YouTube channel is David Berceli also. They’re the longer version, and so if they want to see more of a certain person, because I have people from all over the world that are tremoring and for different reasons. So they talk about why are they doing TRE, and then you watch the tremor mechanism move through their body, and then they sit up at the end and tell you what the end result was.

Lorne Brown:

Great. So we got Facebook, Instagram. We’ll put those in the show notes as well. David, thank you so much for, A, writing your book and answering my call to interview you. I’m really glad that we got this opportunity to meet and talk today.

David Berceli:

I’m glad we did too. This was wonderful. I hope it’s helpful for your listeners. The other thing is, if they want to find somebody to guide them through this process, they would go to traumaprevention.com, which is the website where they can find a practitioner to guide them through it. However, they can quite easily do this at home safely, particularly with their spouse or partner. I support them doing it together.

Lorne Brown:

Excellent. So now we have more resources for you guys. A quick reminder that if you want the Acubalance Fertility Diet, you can download that from our website. And if you’re interested in low level laser therapy, acupuncture, and the conscious work that I do, please check out Acubalance Wellness as well. And again, David Berceli, he’s got his Instagram page, his Facebook page. Those are listed on our show notes. And leave us post. We’re curious if you’re doing this and what your experience is, I would love to know, and I think David would love to know as well. David.

David Berceli:

Yeah, I would really love to know what their experience is, for sure.

Lorne Brown:

Thank you.

Speaker 3:

If you’re looking for support to grow your family contact Acubalance Wellness Center. At Acubalance, they help you reach your peak fertility potential through their integrative approach, using low level laser therapy, fertility, acupuncture, and naturopathic medicine. Download the Acubalance Fertility Diet and Dr. Brown’s video for mastering manifestation and clearing subconscious blocks. Go to acubalance.ca. That’s A-C-U balance.ca.

Lorne Brown:

Thank you so much for tuning into another episode of Conscious Fertility, the show that helps you receive life on purpose. Please take a moment to subscribe to the show and join the community of women and men on their path to peak fertility and choosing to live consciously on purpose. I would love to continue this conversation with you, so please direct message me on Instagram @lornebrownofficial. That’s Instagram, lornebownofficial, or you can visit my websites, lornebrown.com and acubalance.ca. Until the next episode, stay curious and for a few moments, bring your awareness to your heart center and breathe.

 

David Berceli

David Berceli

David Berceli, Ph.D. is an international expert in the areas of trauma intervention and conflict resolution. He is the creator of Tension & Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE).  This revolutionary technique is designed to help release the deep tension created in the body during a traumatic experience or through chronic stress.  He is also the energetic and creative founder and CEO of Trauma Recovery Services.

Dave has spent two decades living and working in nine countries providing trauma relief workshops and designing recovery programs for international organizations around the world.  He has lived and worked extensively in Israel/Palestine, Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Yemen, Egypt, and Lebanon. He is fluent in English and Arabic.

David is unique in that he holds a solid academic and experiential grounding in psychotherapy and therapeutic body-work. He integrates that with a keen understanding of the intertwining dynamics of religion and ethnic customs.  This combination has allowed him to develop unique and specific processes that enable people from all parts of the world to manage and move beyond personal trauma as well as bring healing and reconciliation between diverse groups.

Where To Find Dr. David Berceli

 

Hosts & Guests

Lorne Brown

David Berceli

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