TRE and contraindications

 A reader writes:

I am curious if doing this kind of release (Tension Releasing Exercises TRE™) can sometimes lead to overwhelm if the person is not resourced enough? Is it ever contraindicated?


Thank you for your question. Let me answer the last question first:

There are two contraindications and one caution and I mention these in the class, as well it may come up when I do a health history conversation with participants before they take the class: 

1) A person has had abdominal surgery in the past three months,

2) A person is in the second or third trimester of pregnancy

 There is also a caution that these exercises evoke emotions and that is why we teach self-regulation.We teach three different ways that we can rest, take time out, and learn to take the exercises slowly, a little bit at a time. This allows us to integrate whatever emotions arise and give them space to be without having to fix them or change them.



The TRE™ exercises are designed to help us be more grounded. We teach students processes of learning to go at their own pace while doing the exercises, to self- regulate. In the class we invite people to stretch or tire out their muscles to a level of effort of seven out of ten- with a guideline that one is no effort and ten is exhaustion. A person may choose a different number of repetitions for movements on each side of the body or on different days depending on their abilities. They may even check in with their body and choose a much more gentle level of effort depending on how they are feeling that day.


To continue on about your second question on potential overwhelm:

 When students want to do the exercises at home we recommend doing the exercises two or three times a week- not more. When someone chooses to go further and certify as a Practitioner we learn to recognize when we ourselves or a student may be headed towards overwhelm, and what we can do to facilitate grounding first ourselves and then the student.

This is also why we require certification for people who wish to do this work professionally, so that people learn these skills from the inside out before trying to teach another person.  


This piecce was originally written as a prelude to  a three-hour class in Toronto on April 30,2013 and  Chris Balsley’s Friday evening Talk May 10,2013 or Chris’ Toronto Module 1 training May 11-13, 2013      See flyers for current workshops on my homepage <>





About Judy Archer MASc

Judy is a TRE Provider (Tension Releasing Exercises).She is a visual artist, and Family Historian .She has been teaching introductory TRE workshops in Toronto and around Ontario since 2012 . Her background in body-centered therapies: Trager ™ Movement Re-education, Therapeutic Touch, Continuum Movement, Tai Chi and Bioenergetics and Mindfulness Meditation. She teaches TRE via Zoom video conferencing sessions. Her 30 plus years of work experience includes personal growth facilitation, and visual arts. She holds a MASc in Counselling & Human Relations from the University of Waterloo (1975).
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