What has been most significant or insightful for you?

I was reintroduced to how amazing our brain is and whatever we have experienced, it’s there to assist in our survival. How it adapts by being mailable with both positive and adverse consequences in how we function in today’s world. Additionally how unconscious we are what runs the show of who we think we are.

I was experiencing flashbacks of many moments in my life and also as a single mother and how I raised my children in today’s society. Many times feelings of perceived helplessness were produced. In resolving these experiences and moments in my life, I’m still rendered helpless if I attempt to ‘manage myself’ purely from a cognitive Neocortex level. At the same time, I now continue also to be inspired by what can be done to extinguish critical procedural memories still active in my physiology to achieve autonomically and brain homoeostasis. In this manner, I am confident the sensory cues my amygdala is picking up as threatening where it activates my nervous system, can be extinguished and a more healthy way of operating as a whole person in an authentic manner is once again possible.

It was also fascinating to me in how endorphins released when exposed to violent media, renders us numb purely as a survival tool. Explained in the book as a paradoxical calming which act as a ‘high’ and a reward conditioning us craving more of the same. It’s scary to think of the effects on our population and perhaps the seemingly uncontrollable behaviours of our aggressive and violent tendencies in society. So stopping the media influence is probably not the answer alone.

I am also fascinated by how ‘just’ mind chatter can be a consequence of the physiological freeze response or state of suspended animation, the last ditch of our physical being to survive perceived threat. So rather than managing ‘thoughts’ our physiology needs to be taken into account if changes are wanted. I come across this with my clients consistently as ruminating thought unable to control. So what is suggested is to complete the freeze sense activated by past unresolved threats to living in the ‘now’ moment in a healthy way. The book explains this is done by ‘ somatic experiencing’- eliciting the ‘felt sense’, at the same time providing an environment for the amygdala devoid of actual threat while revisiting cues for memories of past traumatic events. The amygdala being the part of our mammalian brain that activates our fight-flight response and continues to do so indefinitely unless a completion of this process is achieved. Various aspects are suggested as important to create this environment; attunement, ritual, empowerment and sensory stimulation of both cerebral hemispheres. To conclude this question, I can see how TRE accomplishes all the needed points above as perhaps a means of returning the being to homoeostasis and health.

What do you still wonder about, are curious or feel is unanswered for you?

The book speaks about our bodies being designed to move, and that the brain aims to reward this. The examples given by the beneficial effects on osteoporosis and a decrease of pain by vibrational frequencies was interesting to me. I feel differences when I sit for too long or am active with e.g. Shaking meditation, and how this affects my being. Non-mechanical stimulus perhaps but some benefits are apparent none the less. This leaves me wondering about the levels of frequency TRE would measure and how beneficial it is too specific health issues. Perhaps research is needed in this area as I’m aware there are no specific health claims made.

What will you consciously take forward as a TRE provider?

The possibility of a more balanced and healthy life for anyone, especially in my upcoming work in the Heath mental sector. An understanding of unconscious drives of people’s behaviour and circumstances, more so than before, which leads to more and more acceptance of others. My self-learning and experiences with the reflections gained from the book which I believe gives more credibility as a TRE provider.

Why would you recommend or not recommend this book?

I’d recommend this book only to people that were interested in getting into more of the nitty-gritty of how we function as a whole…health professionals interested in or working in the area of mental health. I found this book although described as simple still thorough and not just a Sunday afternoon informal reading session. Easier than taking a subject at uni but a wonderful introduction for anyone to establish one’s ‘cues’ or that of friends, family or loved ones for the purpose of awareness of self and others, and foundational knowledge of brain and body connections.