Stressed Woman

Chronic Stress & Tension

What's the cause of chronic stress & tension?

Chronic stress and tension are often the result of the autonomic nervous system being in 'overdrive'. And how did this overdrive of the nervous system come about? Good question.

 

When we have experiences that exceed our window of tolerance, survival strategies such as flight, fight or freeze are triggered. This survival mechanism is controlled by the brain stem (which regulates all automatic processes in the body such as digestion, respiration, etc.) and switches on automatically and instinctively in threatening situations. This can not be stopped by thought processes and cognitive decisions, and what constitutes a threatening situation is different from person to person and depends on the environment we grew up in.

If the stress response of the autonomic nervous system such as flight, fight or freezing gets triggered frequently over a period of time it is in many cases inevitable that we get stuck in the biochemical cocktail of fight/flight/freeze, and this shows up not only in increased Adrenaline and Cortisol levels and chronically tense muscles and chronic stress, but also in recurring conflicts, stonewalling, frustration and pain in our relationships.

Beautiful Nature

“As I often tell my students, the two most important phrases in therapy, as in yoga, are “Notice that” and “What happens next?” Once you start approaching your body with curiosity (...), everything shifts.”

Bessel van der Kolk

 
Working with Chronic Stress

We can free ourselves from chronic stress, but we have to learn how. Because not everything helps permanently. As you already know, the root of chronic stress is actually in the body. Simply put, it is a dysregulation in the autonomic nervous system. So in order to work with it effectively, we need to work with the body.

 

I treat chronic stress, physical tension, sleep disorders, as well as recurring conflicts and other relationship problems in this context. The method I use is TRE®, short for Tension & Trauma Releasing Exercises, developed by Dr. David Berceli.

 

TRE® works directly with muscle tissue in a non-invasive way, thereby accessing the nervous system and brainstem. TRE® helps clients restore balance at the nervous system level as well as at the emotional and cognitive levels. This allows you to not only reduce stress and anxiety, relieve muscle tension, improve your performance and optimize your well-being but also to return to baseline and find a grounded presence again very easily and quickly. And this is a blessing in a love relationship. Your partner will feel the difference in you. When your partner senses that you are 'safe' to be approached again after a fight or a period of stonewalling, guess what, he will do exactly that!

 

The Trauma & Tension Releasing Exercises (TRE®) are a powerful yet very simple self-help method for permanently releasing chronic stress, including chronic tension in the body.  Or make an appointment with me to learn TRE®  so you can practice at home and benefit from it on a daily basis. 

Stress Coaching for Better Resilience

I am passionate about nervous system health and strengthening one's resilience. The world we live in challenges us to the max sometimes. Chronic stress can lead to chronic dysregulation of the nervous system, and this needs to be counteracted if we want to stay healthy. Chronic dysregulation is caused by chronic, accumulated stress that disturbs the healthy functioning of the autonomic nervous system. If this happens over and over and possibly from early on in our lives, the normal functioning of the autonomic nervous system gets chronically disrupted and starts to mal-function. The stress-reaction is held in our body because we have ‘unlearned’ how to release it naturally. But we can re-learn it. I use following methods; TRE®, the abbreviation for Tension & Trauma Releasing Exercises, and a synthesis of Irene Lyon's and Dr. Peter A. Levine's work that I call Somatic Coaching. TRE® works directly with the muscle tissue in a non-invasive way and through this, accesses the nervous system and the brainstem where chronic stress is held. Somatic Coaching uses the felt sense of the body to access the client's physiology along with the limbic system and the neocortex. Together these methods will help you to release any accumulated old stress and become more resilient, and thus you'll be better able to defy challenging and stressful situations when they arise in the future.

Sessions last 60 minutes and cost 80€ per sessions. Also possible online.

Blurred Motion

Somatix - Somatic Coaching

Somatix shifts the center of inner work from the head to the body, enabling you to make lasting, transformative changes. It is a very gentle guided inner journey using the felt sense of the body that allows you to release old unconscious trauma without psychological analysis. Many of us are not aware of being traumatized. This is especially true if it is developmental trauma (rather than shock trauma) that happened during the first three years of our life, of which we have no cognitive memory. The ACE Study has proven that for most people the effect of adverse childhood experiences is still unconscious and that many of us living in first-world countries are affected and - unknowingly - suffer from unconscious trauma. Using Somatix as the healing modality, there is no need to re-live the experience that caused the trauma. In this work, I focus on being present with you throughout the session to guide you with skilled questioning, and you determine where the journey goes.

Sessions last 60 minutes and cost 80€ per sessions. Also possible online.

Cat on a Soft Blanket
 

True human enlightenment will happen when all human beings on this planet have regulated their nervous systems.

Peter A. Levine