7 Trauma Release Exercises for Physical and Emotional Healing

April 10, 2024


Life can sometimes bring challenging events that leave a mark on us both physically and emotionally. When we go through something hard, it's like our body and mind remember it, and sometimes we need extra help to feel better.

Fortunately, there are ways to release trauma and promote healing. Trauma release exercises (TRE) offer a natural and effective healing method.

In this article, we'll explore 7 trauma release exercises that can help you on your journey toward physical and emotional healing.

Let's get started!

1. Ankle Stretch

This trauma release stretches releases tension that often accumulates in the lower parts of the body due to stress or trauma.

By focusing on the ankle, this stretch can promote a sense of grounding and stability, which is often lost during traumatic experiences.

How to Perform the Ankle Stretch:

First, you must stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms by your sides. Take a deep breath, then slowly lift one heel off the ground as you exhale while keeping the rest of your foot flat on the floor. Hold this position briefly before lowering your heel to the ground.

Repeat this exercise with the other foot and alternate between both feet for a few minutes. As you perform this exercise, focus on the sensation of your foot connecting with the ground and imagine tension being released from your body.

This exercise can be particularly beneficial before bedtime or during heightened anxiety. It encourages the body to enter a more relaxed state.

2. Shoulder Shrugs

The shoulders are a common area of tension and holding for many people, especially those who have experienced trauma. This one of the many exercises to release trauma is designed to release that tension and promote relaxation in the upper body.

How to Perform Shoulder Shrugs

Begin by standing or sitting with your arms relaxed by your sides. Take a deep breath, slowly lifting your shoulders towards your ears as you exhale. Hold this position before releasing and letting your shoulders drop back down.

Repeat this exercise for a few minutes, focusing on releasing tension in your shoulders with each repetition.

You can also add variations to this exercise, such as rolling your shoulders forward and backward or holding the shrug longer. Find what feels most comfortable and beneficial for your body.

3. Child's Pose

This gentle yoga pose is excellent for releasing tension in the entire body, particularly the back and hips, where we often hold stress and trauma. It can also be a comforting position to take during emotional distress.

How to Perform Child's Pose

Start by kneeling on the floor and sitting back on your heels. Slowly lower your torso towards your thighs, stretching your arms before you and resting your forehead on the ground. You can also place a pillow or cushion under your forehead for comfort.

Hold this pose for a few minutes, focusing on deep breaths and allowing your body to relax. You can also gently rock side to side to release any tension in your back.

4. Heart Opener

Traumatic experiences can often lead to feelings of being closed off, both physically and emotionally. This exercise aims to open up the chest and heart area, promoting a sense of release and expansion.

How to Perform the Heart Opener

Start by sitting or standing with your arms relaxed by your sides. Take a deep breath, then slowly lift your chest towards the sky while extending your arms to the side and slightly back as you exhale.

Hold this position for a few seconds before releasing and bringing your arms back down to your sides. Repeat this exercise for a few minutes, focusing on expanding your chest and heart area with each repetition.

5. Belly Breathing

This simple breathing exercise is excellent for promoting relaxation and releasing tension in the body. It can also be a valuable tool to use during times of heightened stress or anxiety.

How to Perform Belly Breathing

Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. Take a deep breath, allowing your belly to expand as you inhale.

As you exhale, contract your abdominal muscles and push all the air out of your lungs. Repeat this exercise for a few minutes, focusing on the rising and falling of your belly with each breath.

Watch out for signs of healing like goosebumps, tingling sensations, or even emotional release during this exercise.

6. Tree Pose

This balancing yoga pose can help promote a sense of grounding and stability, which can be especially beneficial for individuals who have experienced trauma. It can also be a great way to improve focus and concentration.

How to Perform Tree Pose

Start by standing up straight with your feet together and arms relaxed by your sides. Slowly shift your weight onto one foot, then lift the other off the ground, placing the sole against the inside of your supporting leg.

You can keep your hands at your sides or bring them to your heart center for added balance. Hold this pose for a few breaths before switching sides.

7. Body Scan Meditation

This guided meditation is a great way to tune into the physical sensations in your body and promote relaxation and release of tension. It can also help identify areas of the body that may need extra attention and healing.

How to Perform Body Scan Meditation

Start by lying on your back with your arms by your sides and eyes closed. Focus on your breath, taking slow, deep breaths in and out.

Then, starting from your toes, bring awareness to each part of your body, focusing on any sensations you may feel. As you scan your body, imagine tension being released and replaced with a sense of calm and relaxation.

You can also find guided meditations specifically for trauma release online or through meditation apps. Moreover, you can use the free Projector Human Design to help you become aware of your body and mind and promote healing.

Promote Healing With These 7 Trauma Release Exercises

These 7 trauma release exercises offer a powerful and effective way to heal physical and emotional wounds. These simple yet profound techniques can bring about deep relaxation and release tension stored in the body, allowing proper healing.

So why wait? Start incorporating these exercises into your self-care routine today and experience the transformative effects yourself!

Are you looking for more content like this? Then, make sure to check out the rest of our site.


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