Stress

For the past five years, stress was something I wanted to prevail over once and for all.

I wanted that uncomfortable tension in my body to end, and to have my mind stop spiraling into fear. I knew how devastating the long-term effects can be.

In fact, stress is a factor in the six leading causes of death according to the NIH. An estimated 75 percent to 90 percent of all primary care visits are for stress-related issues.

My journey began…

I bought that new app-enabled wearable device that measures your brain waves (See Muse). I didn’t just rely on modern technology, I sat for five long days at that austere silent Zen retreat in the Sequoias fully equipped with real, authentic bald monks shipped straight from Japan. I even made it a point to go to MNDFL, that trendy, chic new boutique meditation studio in the heart of Greenwich Village, NYC where you could rent out your very own 1 foot diameter cushion for $125 per month.

I found meditating to be somewhere between an extreme sport and navy seal training. When I overheard one of MNDFL’s bubbly socialites with skin made out of lululemon leaving on her way to the blow dry bar say, “I love meditating, it’s so relaxing” I almost cracked.

The good news…I have found something in the alternative healing realm that for whatever reason hasn’t made it, yet onto a billboard on Times Square. It works just as well for stress, as for what it was intended- healing those deep inner wounds.

It’s called TRE Trauma Releasing Exercises, developed by David Bercelli PhD.

“Weird” is the word that comes to mind when observing it for the first time. Joy, peace, safety, groundedness, connection, openness, love, happiness, and curiosity are words that come to mind after experiencing your first session.

So what is it? It’s a way to induce your body to tremor, and to shake that stress off naturally. Shaking is probably not entirely new to you. You may have gently and rhythmically shaked a baby to soothe her, or you may have noticed your chin quivering prior to crying, or you may “Shake it off” daily dancing to Taylor Swift.

In the wild, shaking is something that comes very naturally to animals. After a gazelle escapes the threat of the cheetah, he starts shaking, quivering, convulsing, or vibrating. It’s the body’s biological, natural response of processing and releasing that excess energy, and regaining a balanced, whole, and integrated nervous system.

But modern humans, who may feel rage sitting in traffic, believe that shaking erratically is not deemed as socially intelligent, or appropriate, especially in the workplace. I’d like to disagree.

According to Health Advocate, “Workplace stress costs U.S. employers an estimated $200 to $300 billion per year in absenteeism, lower productivity, staff turnover, workers’ compensation, medical insurance and other stress-related expenses.” That is no joke.

At PIA, wellness is a priority. Josh comes every Wednesday at noon for yoga, The Fully Loaded Juice truck comes every Monday, and Julie puts on fitness bootcamps transforming the otherwise sedentary desk dwellers, into a version of Iron Dan, our CFO by day, Iron Man competitor by night. And once I’m a certified TRE provider, I’d like to host stress free happy hours to share the gift.

By the end of my journey, stress was not something to fight and prevail over one day, but something to let go of- now.

To learn more about TRE watch this video here.

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