In this episode of The Red Beard Embodiment Podcast, host Alex Green interviews Michael Nissen, a licensed clinical psychologist and certified bioenergetic therapist who has specialized in using TRE (Tension & Trauma Releasing Exercises) to treat patients with multiple sclerosis and other chronic diseases. Their fascinating discussion explores the connections between mind, body, and trauma, and how practices like TRE can help people suffering from debilitating illnesses regain health and vitality.
The History and Theory Behind TRE
Alex and Michael start by providing background on Wilhelm Reich, the controversial yet pioneering psychoanalyst who first developed the concepts of character and body armoring. They discuss how Reich broke with Freud to focus more on the body and energy, becoming the founder of body-oriented psychotherapy. Michael shares how he was influenced by Reich's ideas as a teenager.
Michael's Training in Psychology, Bioenergetics, and Working with Disease
Michael then describes his professional training, first in bioenergetic analysis and later in clinical psychology. He explains his interest in learning more about working psychotherapeutically with disease, leading him to study with a Reichian doctor in Berlin for five years. There he learned techniques for releasing blocked energy and streaming sensations in the body.
Introducing TRE at the Danish MS Society
When Michael returned to Denmark, he got a job as a psychologist at the national Multiple Sclerosis Society. He initially used Reichian and bioenergetic methods with MS patients, but found TRE easier to teach them as a self-help practice. Patients experienced reduced symptoms like fatigue, spasticity, and bladder problems.
Researching the Effects of TRE on MS and Other Diseases
Seeing these positive results, Michael conducted pilot studies on using TRE for MS symptoms like fatigue and spasticity. Additional studies in Argentina and with Danish arthritis patients continued to demonstrate TRE's benefits. While cautious about claiming it can cure diseases, Michael asserts TRE can significantly improve patients' quality of life.
The Future of TRE for Chronic Disease
Looking ahead, Michael believes TRE and other somatic practices could eventually become part of mainstream rehabilitation for chronic illness. But more research and gradual integration will be needed for acceptance. He remains dedicated to advancing and sharing TRE in an ethical, responsible manner.
This thought-provoking discussion sheds light on the immense promise of methods like TRE to help those suffering from chronic diseases. As Michael says, when symptoms improve through releasing body armoring, it demonstrates TRE's power to balance the nervous system. The mind-body connection holds great potential for healing, and TRE offers a way to tap into it.
Book a Free consult here