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  • Fe Robinson

Shake it off!

I first consciously came across the phenomenon of my body moving without my deliberate control when I trained in Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Being invited into an altered state of consciousness would often result in tremors, shakes, and movements that were frankly a bit odd, but also hugely relieving and meaningful. I came to value and enjoy them.

Peter Levine’s eloquently explains the important role of shaking, quivering and trembling in releasing trauma from our bodies. As for any mammal, this is a mechanism that we humans can use to literally shake off a difficult, potentially traumatising experience. Deep, spontaneous breathing and a body free to shake as it wants to can relieve and release, leaving you feeling freer and calmer as a result.

These body movements can also be useful therapeutically long after a difficult event. The mind is not a separate thing from the body, it arises from it, they are one and the same. When we are traumatized or distressed, we hold this bodily as well as in our internal representations in our mind. The bodily distress can not be reasoned or thought away, it’s physical! Learning to embrace and welcome, rather than suppress, the tremblings and shakings of your spontaneous body can, in the presence of an attuned and experienced therapist, be deeply healing.

Approaches like Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR), Somatic Experiencing and the Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE) all engage the body all in differing ways to help clients move through and past the trauma they hold in their bodies. What they share is a knowledge of you as an embodied presence with a need to be honoured and recognised in your physical form as well as in your emotional and mental capacities.

If you’d like to explore how psychotherapy can help you shake off the past and feel free to live spontaneously in the here and now, get in touch at or 01325 730021.


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