Episode 137: Shake Out Your Stress Using TRE With Nkem Ndefo

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Nkem Ndefo TRE

Nkem Ndefo

Nkem Ndefo is a certified TRE (Trauma & Tension Release Exercise) trainer and provider. She uses this practice to help people get back in touch with their natural instinct to overcome past traumas, tension or stress.

When most of us experience tension or a stress, we don’t allow our bodies to release it. Over time all of these tensions keep piling up, contributing to why you might be feeling stuck. TRE is a natural way to let go of and purge the excess energy from stressful experiences in your past.

For the last decade Nkem has been helping people overcome their traumas and release stress using TRE.

Key UnStuckable Takeaway

Re-establish your connection with your subconscious! 

Too many of us rely on our conscious mind to make all of our decisions. We have banned our feelings from our decision-making process or no longer no how to check in with our gut feelings.

If you are feeling stuck, take some time to explore your feelings. Ask yourself why you react to particular situations the way you do. By becoming more aware of your feelings and how they affect your daily decisions you’ll start getting unstuck.

Quick Action to Get Unstuck

Check in with yourself to start your day!

One of the most important UnStuckable habits is self awareness. Every morning Nkem does an inventory of herself.

First she observes her thoughts. Then she assess her emotions. Finally, she scans how her body feels.

This entire process only takes her about three minutes, spending about a minute on each area. This practice enables her to become more in tune with her subconscious, as well as her basic instincts.

She recommends trying this self-awareness practice when you feel relaxed and around the same time each day, so you can turn it into a daily habit.

UnStuckable Quotes From Nkem

“I could have gone left, and I could have gone right, and as I look back now, I see how it led me here.”

“The tools we use around unsticking ourselves aren’t necessarily the ones best for the job.”

“I’m arguing that ‘will’ is the hammer that’s trying to drive the screw.”

“If we ignore that human nature, we do so at our own peril.”

“By listening to our gut, we had much better clinical outcomes.”

“We learn not to listen to our gut because it’s always alarming.”

“I’m a synthesizer – I take from every experience.”

“We don’t say ‘shake it off’ for no reason.”

“Usually if you’re feeling stuck in one place, it’s probably not the only place.”

More Habits & Actions

  • You can’t always solve a problem using sheer will alone. You have to be more in tune with your unique flow of energy to be guided down the best path for you because raw willpower isn’t enough.
  • Nkem says that many of us stop listening to our gut because we become more externally focused rather than internally focused. Get in touch with your inner self to begin to re-establish that connection with your gut.
  • Let go of the past. Nkem says so many of us hold onto the past, and it causes our gut to be on constant alert. If you want to get rid of stress, anxiety, etc., you have to let go.
  • If you are feeling stuck in one aspect of your life, see if you are stuck in other areas of your life. There may be several places in your life that you need to move on from, not just one.

Nkem’s UnStuckable Lesson

In this podcast lesson, Nkem taught us all about TRE, which stands for Trauma & Tension Release Exercise.

TRE was originally developed to help people overcome traumatic experiences, but they are now being used as a method for relieving chronic tension.

The TRE exercises were developed by David Berceli, Ph.D. He has spent the last 20+ years working in nine different countries, helping people overcome traumatic experiences brought on by natural disasters, as well as man-made ones. He came to realize the Western method of one-on-one treatment was not a feasible approach for the large populations he wanted to help.

While working in a war zone, he observed children shaking in a bomb shelter after an attack. He became inspired to start developing exercises and stretches that would activate this therapeutic tremor. These natural tremors help to unwind any tension trapped in your muscles. 

The practice of TRE enables you to deal with the physical effects of stress and trauma without digging up the emotional connections. TRE practitioners teach you how to control your exercises, so that you have a self-regulated release of your tension.

It may take you a little while to get the hang of it, but once you do, you’ll be able to induce the therapeutic tremors as needed. Some people have shared with Nkem that would go into the bathroom before a big meeting and do a couple of minutes of TRE just to relieve some tension, and clear their heads before the meeting.

Getting Started With TRE

If you are interested in trying out TRE, there are a few places you can visit to get started.

1. If you are in the Los Angeles area, you can visit Nkem’s website for information about her workshops.

2. If you don’t live in LA, also feel free to contact Nkem for a guided session via Skype.

3. You can also visit TraumaPrevention.com to find a local practitioner, as well as access self-guided resources.

Practicing TRE Effectively

Nkem offered us some important advice on how to practice TRE safely and effectively:

1. Stop each exercise just as you start to feel your muscles becoming fatigued.

2. Don’t push as hard as you can, this is not an intense workout. You should never feel more than a slight burning in the muscles.

3. If you look up TRE videos online remember that the size of the tremor is not related to the size of the tension or trauma. You may actually  feel more tingling, warmth or subtle internal vibrations, rather than obvious shaking.



TRE LA on Facebook

TRE LA on Twitter


David Berceli Books

David Berceli DVD

In An Unspoken Voice by Peter Levine

Mindsight by Dan Siegel

Move Your DNA by Katy Bowman

Questions & Feedback

Have a question or feedback for us? Email getunstuck@unstuckable.co or Tweet @unstuckable

Thank you for listening. If you like something you heard in the show, let Nkem, Chris and Stephen know by tweeting us @unstuckable

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Thank you for for your support and let’s get unstuck!