How the Body Shakes to Discharge Excess Stress

How the Body Shakes to Discharge Excess Stress

When I learned about THIS, some things I had seen in animals, and in people, suddenly made a whole lotta sense.

In particular, this explains why shaking sometimes happens after a big shock or accident or very high stress event.  And why this kind of shaking may show up long (like even years) after such an event.

And it may show up as shaking, or as smaller twitching movements.

It turns out that all of this is actually your body being SMART, and making an effort to complete an action to take care of you – so that you can return to a more regulated and at-ease way of being.  (Yes, that would be getting back to the “rest and digest” place that I talked about in my last video, which was about the two quite different branches parasympathetic nervous system.)

Once you know that this kind of shaking or twitching is a normal and healthy body action through which your body is doing its best to discharge excess stress, it is much easier to be more calm when you see it or experience it – and to gently explore and support what your body may be doing.

As a life-long first aid person, knowing about this now helps me view the shaking that may happen after an accident or a shock as this kind of discharge, rather than because the person is “cold”.  (I will of course still keep them warm, and help calm them – but the shaking does not worry me in the same way and I don’t feel I need to try get the person to stop shaking.)

Similarly, when this kind of twitching or shaking shows up when I am doing my Feldenkrais® or Tellington TTouch® work, here too I can work with the person to be aware of it and curious about it, without being frightened by it – and to keep it within a range that feels safe and OK for the person.

So, I wanted to share this info with you, in case YOU encounter this.

Our bodies are truly remarkable eh, in the many ways we are built to be able to respond to the world – and to afterwards find our way back to a place of healthy rest and recovery.

Here is a link to the video by Peter Levine that I mention my video.  The video is called “Nature’s Lessons in Healing Trauma: An Introduction to Somatic Experiencing® (SE™)”.  The polar bear clip starts at 10:53 minutes and ends at 14:10 minutes.

I hope you find this interesting.  I sure do!!  🙂

Happy exploring –

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About the Author:

Violet van Hees is a movement freedom specialist who works with people (and with horses) to release tightness and pain, and to transform body "stuckness" into something that you can work with. We then use what emerges to create new freedom and ease in your movement and in what you do, in ways that feel safe and reasonable - and that work - for you. Violet is a Feldenkrais® Practitioner, a Tellington TTouch® Equine Practitioner, and a BCRPA Trainer of Fitness Leaders. She works with a deep interest in and understanding of biomechanics, neuroplasticity, body response to trauma, energy work, and how we learn.

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