Active Tremor is a revolutionary form of treatment aimed at balancing the nervous system to enable better human performance. The nervous system is a processor of movement, thought and the surrounding environment.
Our nervous system balance
Our nervous system has both sympathetic and parasympathetic parts. The sympathetic branch is responsible for our “fight of flight” response, and the parasympathetic plays a role in “rest and recovery”.
Although we need both to function properly, it is the sympathetic branch that tends to become over-dominant in circumstances where we are underperforming, run down, stressed or uptight. For most issues, it is beneficial to have less sympathetic and more parasympathetic neural tone.
Nervous system function
The nervous system controls things such as our senses, breathing, body temperature, pain and involuntary reflexes. The body is a complex, adaptive system which involves an “input – processing – output” system. The flow and processing of information is done via the nervous system and brain, which in turn controls all bodily functions.
The nervous system learns to respond to certain stimuli based on its ability to adapt.
When we are born, we are born with two fears – the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. All other fears are gathered through experience.
The nervous system is responsible for the automatic, protective response around an injury or past trauma. For example you might create a limp to favour a sprained ankle yet you don’t need to process how to do it- it just happens automatically! Incidentally, the nervous system also plays a big part in the adaptation to emotional trauma, such as anxiety. This is also automatic, just that it is a compensation for a cognitive trauma instead of an ankle trauma. It’s the same system creating the response – the nervous system!
For most of us navigating our way through life, traumatic events create a list of memories that we do not forget. Our nervous system does a good job at remembering ALL types of traumas whether they’re emotional, physical or a combination. Even when the trauma is long gone, our bodies still produce an emotional response to the memory! That’s why we can still feel anxious just by thinking about an upsetting memory.
The body will respond via nervous system modifications if it perceives a threat. Threats can be real or imagined! An example of a threat is pain! Whether we imagine pain or feel pain, our body will respond by shutting down the neural drive towards that area.
To improve performance and rid our bodies of these dysfunctional memories we must re-program our brains to dissociate the memory from the response.
Re-setting the nervous system balance
So….. we know that the nervous system is the wonderfully automatic and adaptive control centre of our body and mind but what we still haven’t fully grasped is how do we control it! How do we fix these “unwanted” responses?
Nobody wants continued anxiety and nobody wants an ongoing limp – especially after the initial trauma is long gone. Yet the nervous system “learns” to do this. It can also “learn” to feel pain even after the original injury has healed. These responses aren’t always easy to erase.
We’ve all felt the uncertainty of confronting a repeat situation that we remember ended in trauma last time. For example the uncertainty to bend down long after a back injury has mended or the uncertainty as you stand on the blocks ready to dive in for the race of your life.
Sometimes we will re-experience the feeling all over again as we re-live the original event. For somebody who has been in a car accident it is not uncommon to feel neck pain when they get behind the wheel again. Even if the injury is otherwise feeling better, as soon as they’re behind that wheel – suddenly the pain is there. This is the nervous system warning us in advance that the situation is harmful, based on the previous traumatic event. We logically know that we are not in danger yet our body and mind feels anxiety, apprehension and pain even though the injured tissue has healed.
Efforts to treat the nerve tissues as they travel from the spine to the various parts of the body are an obvious but often challenging process for any therapist faced with symptoms indicating nerve involvement.
This therapy, applied successfully to high profile athletes and everyday people, explains to the therapist and client, all the confusions about why something that should be better, isn’t.
As opposed to the psychological efforts to settle the nervous system via inroads into our thoughts and memories, Active Tremor seeks a less confronting entry point via the body.
That’s right! Just as the mind must clear for us to let our brain reset during meditation, we can include our body’s own natural resetting mechanism via active tremor, in which the brain observes the body as it tremors with nervous system “noise”.
The entry point into the nervous system seems to be one whereby our conscious thoughts must be inhibited to one of a director, to one of a listener, to let our subconscious, autonomic nervous system be heard. It is when this happens that we have the opportunity to change things in our favour.