Episode 13 - Richmond Heath


Welcome to Episode 13 of Triumph Beyond Trauma.

Our guest this week, Richmond Heath, brings a unique perspective to our usual line up of first responders and veterans.

Richmond shares his compelling journey from being a high-performing physiotherapist and athlete to dealing with chronic pain and burnout. Unable to continue his usual physical activities due to debilitating injuries, he turned to alternative methods like mindfulness and meditation for relief.

Richmond experienced a transformative shift during a 10-day silent meditation retreat, discovering the power of spontaneous body movements. This led him to explore TRE (Tension & Trauma Release Exercises), a life-changing practice that has helped him understand and manage stress, trauma, and anxiety.

Richmond's story resonates with many who operate beyond their capacity, including first responders, veterans and frontline workers. He delves into the science behind TRE, explaining how it works and why it's so effective in releasing tension and trauma stored in the body.

Join us for a thought-provoking conversation that offers valuable insights into managing stress and burnout. Richmond's experience serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of listening to our bodies and finding holistic ways to maintain mental and physical well-being.


** Content Warning **

Due to the nature of this Podcast and the discussions that I have with Guests, I feel it's important to underline that there may be content within the episodes that have the potential to cause harm. Listener discretion is advised. If you or someone you know is struggling, please contact one of the services below for support.

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Book: "In an Unspoken Voice" Peter A. Levine

Find Richmond Heath:

TRE Australia

TRE Free Course


Mental Health Resources:

000 - Concerns for someone's immediate welfare, please call 000 (Australia)

RUOK? - Resources https://www.ruok.org.au/every-day-resources

LIFELINE, Crisis Support & Suicide Prevention - 13 11 14 - https://www.lifeline.org.au/

Beyond Blue - 1300 224 636 - https://www.beyondblue.org.au/

1800 Respect, Domestic, Family & Sexual Violence Counselling - 1800 737 732 -https://www.1800respect.org.au/

Suicide Call Back Service, 24hr free video & online counselling - 1300 659 467 -https://www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au/

Blue Knot, Empowering Recovery from Complex Trauma - 1300 650 380 - https://blueknot.org.au/

Head Space, National Youth Mental Health Foundation - https://www.headspace.com/

Black Dog Institute - https://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/

Kids Helpline (24/7, for youth 5-25) 1800 55 1800 - https://kidshelpline.com.au/

Support line for Aboriginal and  Torres Strait Islander peoples - 13 YARN (24/7) 13 92 76 - https://www.13yarn.org.au/

MensLine (24/7)  1300 78 99 78 - https://mensline.org.au/

QLife (3pm-midnight) 1800 184 527 - Anonymous, free LGBTI support - https://qlife.org.au/ 


Rosie Skene

Hello and welcome to this week's episode of triumph beyond trauma. I'm so grateful that you're here,
whether you are out on a walk or a run. You're in the gym, cleaning your house
or commuting to and from work. Thank you. It's so great that you could tune in
and be here with me today.

A bit of tactical yoga, Australia news.

First, we are launching in June and to celebrate, I'll be
hosting a three-day tactical mind-body mastery. If you have heard about my
program, the first responder mental wellness method, you might've even had a
look on the website, but you're still not sure if it's for you. Sign up to join
me for three days during launch week. Where I'll be showing you how the mind,
body, and breath. Can help you to rapidly reduce stress, create calm, help you
to smile and to be the version of yourself that you are the most happiest with.
The three sessions will be about 45 minutes each and each day we will focus on
a different component. I'm so thrilled to be able to bring this to you.


Live online.

The other thing that I wanted to mention is that I won't be
offended at all. If you want to turn up and have the camera off. I know that
joining a workshop event like this can feel a little daunting and can induce a
little bit of anxiety. And I don't want that for you. I want everyone to get
the absolute most out of it. If this floats your boat, please head over to
tactical yoga, australia.com forward slash minds, body . And sign up so you can
get all the details and links to join. I cannot wait to see you there.

If you want to know a little more about the first responder
mental wellness method, my program that specifically curated for first
responders, veterans, and frontline workers. You can check out episode four in
season one of this podcast, or head over to the website, tactical yoga,

And you will see it all there. Links for the first responded
mental wellness method and the mind body mastery will be in the show notes.

Now onto this week's episode. Uh, this one is my very first


expert guest. I am thrilled to bring
Richmond Heath on to talk about T R E, which is trauma release exercises or
tension and trauma release. I have to mention that my police brain is still
pretty active and I like to gather a little bit of evidence and see things
clearly for myself.

So I've been practicing Tre for a few weeks now and the results
have been pretty amazing. Um, I talk about the few things that I've personally
noticed during the show, and I'm so excited and I cannot wait to get chatting.
So, as I mentioned, my guest today is Richmond Heath. Richmond is the founder
of Tre Australia and a physiotherapist who has been driving. Innovation.

In the health sector for more than 30 years. With a background
in mental health and youth suicide prevention. He's passionate about empowering
people in the self-management of their own health and wellbeing. Since
introducing TRE to Australia and New Zealand in 2010, he has personally trained
more than 5,000 people in the use of TRE.

And in 2021


established the world's first free online TRE course with more than 10,000
enrolments since its launch during the COVID pandemic. I cannot wait to get
started. So let's hook in.

Welcome to Triumph Beyond Trauma, the podcast that explores
journeys of resilience and hope. I'm Rosie Skene a yoga and breathwork teacher
and founder of Tactical Yoga Australia. As a former soldier's wife, mum to
three beautiful kids and a medically retired NSW police officer with PTSD, I
understand the challenges of navigating mental health in the first responder
and veteran community.

Join us for incredible stories from individuals who've
confronted the depths of mental illness and discovered their path to happiness
and purpose, as well as solo episodes and expert discussions. Together, we'll
uncover the tools to help you navigate your journey toward a brighter future.
Whether you're looking for helpful insights, practical tips, or just a friendly
reminder that you're not alone, Triumph Beyond Trauma has got your



You matter, and your journey to a happier, more meaningful life
starts right here.


Rosie Skene:

Welcome to the podcast, Richmond.
It's so great to have you here.


Richmond Heath:

Thank you. Thanks for the


Rosie Skene:

Absolutely. ,you are a little bit
of a different guest to what I normally have being that you're not a first
responder or veteran.

I, I really love what
you're going to say today and I can't wait to get stuck into the conversation.
I would like to know though, a little bit about your history and how you've
come to be where you are today.


Richmond Heath:

Yeah. So, , I did
physiotherapy straight after university, , but then got to sort of my thirties
and, or my early, yeah, early thirties.

And what I found was that my body was starting to break down.
So I'd played a heap of sport, I'd always used exercise to maintain my mental
health, , played high level football, cricket, that sort of thing. But in my
late twenties and then my thirties, as I say, I started to get all this chronic
pain and injury.

So. My


were so painful. I couldn't swim anymore. So I couldn't do triathlons. And then
my Achilles tendons were going, so I couldn't run anymore. And I had a period,
number of periods of chronic back pain where I had, you know, sciatic pain down
my leg to the point , at one stage where I couldn't even go up and down stairs
because my leg.

The neural pain from my leg was making it so weak that I
couldn't go up and downstairs. And so because my body was breaking down, I
remember speaking to one of my brothers and saying, I can't do all the things I
used to do to keep myself happy. So really what happened was my body, for want
of a better word, kind of ground me down to the point of going, I couldn't just
keep functioning the way I did.

So I needed to find other ways of. of, , recovering and
maintaining my wellbeing. So I looked at mindfulness and meditation and a whole
range of different things. And at one of the meditation courses, I was doing a
10 day silent meditation. My body started to slowly move. , and it's not
uncommon people find that when they're doing mindfulness.

And so I just followed that and allowed my body to do it


because I wasn't creating it. It was quite
fascinating. and over a couple of days went from not being able to lift my arms
above my shoulder to being able to do like a handstand and body press my whole

So there's this incredible shift or change.

Now, at the time, I didn't have any understanding about what
was happening and why was my body moving. And so then it was many, many years
later when I got introduced to TRE that I had a sort of trauma informed model
of this sort of spontaneous movement reflex, whether it's shaking or trembling
or spontaneous movements.

And so I was able to do that. and making sense of that and
going, why does this feel so good? Why am I feeling so much more relaxed? Why
is this so helpful? And through starting to understand the way stress and
trauma plays out in the body was only after going in a real paradigm shift out
of, , the mechanical model of the body, looking at trauma, that then I became
aware that I was someone who'd been living with high functioning anxiety, you
know, my whole life.

So I was, , doing at school, I was, , almost,


Dux of the school. I was captain of the
cricket. You know, I was doing this great course. I was functioning, but I also
had this sense somewhere deeper inside that I was often just ignoring of I'm
grinding down. I can't keep this up. Um, and my body was, , really showing me
that, but I was ignoring it.

So it was only when I started to understand like, Oh, right.
All these tension, all these pain patterns are coming out of, You know,
unresolved stress, trauma and anxiety that then I finally started to
understand. Right. , this is kind of who I am and how I am. And while I'm not a
first responder, , I relate to that experience of, , the burnout experience
where you're constantly functioning beyond your capacity and for a lot of first
responders, their capacity is extreme and elite.

But. , and mine would never be at that level, but what's
relevant for all of us is when we're constantly operating beyond our capacity,
whether we've got low capacity or high capacity, and that's what really leads
us to burnout. And so that's sort of where I


came to about 12, you know, 15 years ago, I got introduced to TRE, which has
really been a life changing experience and I've been dedicating, , the rest of
my life to, to sharing this simple and amazing tool with people.


Rosie Skene:

Yeah. Wow. so for our listeners,
I would love for you to describe to them what TRE, is and what it involves?


Richmond Heath:

Yeah. So look, TRE originally
stood for trauma release exercises. Now it gets called tension and trauma
release, or sometimes I call it core release exercises.

And what it involves is deliberately invoking spontaneous
involuntary shaking and trembling and movement. Now, most or all first
responders, I can guarantee you will have either experienced this shaking and
trembling after a stressful event or critical incident. Or if not, you will
have seen it in other people that you're working with, or even, in your dogs in
a thunderstorm or something like that.

So the key thing which I found so liberating is in our Western
medical model, we've never


researched this shaking and trembling after stress or trauma. So. It's just
always being both medically and culturally assumed to be a symptom of being
anxious or nervous or having post traumatic stress or being in shock.

You know, you come across something's happened, critical
incident, someone's shaking, oh they're in shock, we've got to calm that down.
And what we're doing with TRE is we're actually working deliberately with the
shaking reflex because it's not a part of shock, it's not a part of trauma,
it's very simple to work that out.

If you're standing somewhere after a car accident and my body's
shaking, it's obvious that's not helping my body to fight or to flee. If I'm in
a trauma, shock, immobility state where the body's trying to immobilize and
shut down, it's also not doing that either. It's still shaking and vibrating.
So the shaking and trembling is not a part of stress or trauma or anxiety or

It's not a symptom of PTSD. , it's not the body doing that.
It's the way our body recovers from that. So the classic


example is someone who says, I'm having a
panic attack. My body starts to shake and tremble. And I will always say to
them, no, you're not having a panic attack. You're having a panic discharge.

And that's very, very bad. different it does mean yes you've
just had an experience of panic the body's flooded with adrenaline and cortisol
but that shaking and trembling has nothing to do with creating anxiety or a
flight response has nothing to do with shock or creating an immobility response
it's a natural homeostatic reflex to dump the adrenaline, to use it up, to calm
our nervous system so that physiologically in , the body gets back to a calm
and relaxed place.

So with that reframing, which is critical because in, , in
Western culture, but especially in first responder culture, we've all been told
It's a sign of anxiety or, , you're losing control or you're in shock and it's
PTSD. So, of course, it's stigmatized as something that's really bad and
negative and we must contain it and shut it down and suppress it.


Now, that's a really
valuable skill. If you're at the scene of an accident and it's overwhelming, ,
we do not want you to be in your own personal process and overcome with grief
and shaking and trembling. So you can't do your job, or if you're, , on the
battlefield, we need you to be able to disconnect from what's happening
internally and contain all of that response.

It's like the hardening
out. That's what happens. Our body braces and holds that. But what we miss is
teaching people how to soften down afterwards so that when you get away from
that critical, critical incident or before you go home after a stressful day,
you can actually let your body shake and tremble and naturally let go of all
those physical components of the stress and trauma response.

So it's really about the shaking and trembling is the
completion of the stress or trauma cycle. So we're designed, , to shut it down
and contain it so we can. deal with the incident in the moment, disconnect from
what's happening in ourselves,


that's where we get stuck. And because that process of stress and trauma is not
a conscious process, no one's choosing to, I'm going to release some

I'm going to tighten up in my shoulders. I'm going to brace in
my abdominals. You know, my breath's going to get shorter and held. That's not
a conscious process. And the recovery from that is also similarly Can't say
that word, but it's the same as in it's not a conscious process. So that's
where the shaking and trembling, for your listeners, if the one thing you take
away is that when you're shaking and trembling after a stressful or traumatic
event, that's a positive recovery response.

It's showing you that your body is telling you it's over and
it's time to recover. It's time for the body to let go. Go of those, , the
neurochemicals and the neuromuscular tension and bracing and patterns that
basically leads to chronic burnout and to PTSD. So with TRE what we do is we
provide that trauma informed reframing that this is a


positive recovery response.

And then the beauty is we teach you how you can access and
invoke this shaking and tremoring response in a safe and controlled way in as
little as one to two minutes. So what it means is that whenever you want to,
and wherever you want to, you can deliberately invoke this recovery response so
your body shifts into, , parasympathetic recovery mode.

downregulates, it discharges, or often we use the term like
it's decompressing, , decompressing, or I also like to use the term debriefing
the body. So sure, that's why people like, I don't want to keep talking about
it all the time because it's not making a difference. I'm still feeling this. I
know that happened back there and it's not happening now.

But my body is still responding this way. And that's where by ,
bypassing the conscious or cognitive mind, we're able to let the body address
and release stress and trauma at the level at which it's created and generated
that then leads to the ongoing


problems with, , post traumatic stress and burnout.


Rosie Skene:

Yeah. That's amazing. And it, you
know, makes complete sense of a few books that I've read, , Bessel van der
Kolk's, the body keeps the score and he discusses how the body holds the
trauma. And this is another reason why I found this so interesting is that it's
an, you're actually invoking your body's trauma.

Response and what it naturally wants to do to help you recover
from the trauma. Um, and it is so fast, like it, it can invoke it really
quickly, which is what I found was amazing when I was doing it last week and
again, this week. Is that it can happen so fast and you can put your body into
that position.

It's like a breath work. You know, I, I really enjoy that
because you can do it wherever you want, whenever you want. And it's very quick
and very easy and anybody can do it. And it's the same with TRE is that the
accessibility is there and it's something that. You know, first responders and
veterans and anyone that who's been through any trauma can, can access.

And I just think that's so amazing.


Richmond Heath:


Yeah. And look all around the world, like in Australia, we're like the slowest
to take up TRE because of our Western medical model. And, , the split between
mental health who, you know, so our psychologists and psychiatrists don't
really deal with movement or the muscles or the body.

So. , we're well behind and all around the world there are, you
know, defence personnel, , U. S. military, first responders, police in lots of
different countries who are using this technique. And one of the reasons they
love it, as you say, is it's so simple and so quick and efficient. It doesn't
require any mental focus.

So that's the first thing is at the end of your day, when
you've been switched on and focused for, 10 hours or even longer, the last
thing most people want to do is go, I'm going to now focus and meditate and be
mindful, even though that's really valuable if you do. The second thing is it
doesn't take any physical effort because once the spontaneous movement, the
shaking or the trembling is generated, it's not a movement you have to do.

So when


you're most
fatigued, again, if you've been fighting that fire for, , three shifts back to
back, you don't have the energy to go to the gym and pump weights and do that,
which is going to be useful. So the fact that you can lie on the floor or on
the ground, Or lying in bed at night to help you switch off and get to sleep.

That makes it again, super efficient and easy when people are
most stressed. And most fatigued. And then the last element, which people love
probably even more is because we're just dealing with the physiology of the
body, it means that you don't have to think about, recall, or talk about
whatever it is that's been bothering you.

Now that doesn't discount the value of being able to chat to
people and debrief and do all that sort of stuff at all. But what it means is
you don't always have to do that. And often it's that body based component, ,
the tight shoulders, the tension that eventually catches up with us and becomes
physical injuries.

Um, it's that body based component that we can't address


consciously or cognitively or, , through
CBT, because if we could, we'd all just choose to let it go. So the beauty of
accessing this natural recovery reflex that's kind of below our level of
conscious control is it's working in the same way that the body is creating
those stress and trauma responses.

And so literally, , we have the terms, you can lie down and
shake it off. So Because it's so easy to use, because you don't have to talk
about it, doesn't take energy, it means it's incredibly accessible when you're
most fatigued, when you most need to, recover and debrief your body, but you're
least likely to do it because you don't have the mental or physical effort to
do so.

And around the world,
people do it either on their own, and a lot of first responders use it, , they
lie in bed, bring their knees up, get the tremor ring going, it helps switch
their nervous system off, their mind calms down, and it helps them get to sleep
and have a deeper sleep. But at the other end of the spectrum, people also use
this tremor ring in groups.



people might be,
, out beyond the wire and come back to base, and they're lying down just as a
group in, , Instead of just sitting around and chatting, they could still be
chatting and talking because you don't have to be mindful or meditate to do it.
But at the same time, they're letting their body shake and tremble.

So just, it's just a way of resetting the nervous system, the
neuromuscular system, and it's a natural part of every single person's life.
Most mammals will naturally shake and tremble, but we've just misunderstood it,
stigmatized it, suppressed it, medicated against it. , so we're missing out on
this natural recovery response.

That's already inside every one of us.


Rosie Skene:

Yeah. Yeah. And , just when you
touched on there, like medicate against that sort of thing.


Richmond Heath:

Yeah, that's right. I mean,
there will be listeners here who will have been to a psychologist or their
doctor and they'll say, Oh, , I'm starting to get the shakes when I do this.

And they'll go tick, that's a symptom of general anxiety
disorder or PTSD, and maybe we need to medicate it. So inadvertently by seeing
it and misunderstanding it as a symptom by


medicating it, we're actually stopping the body from activating , the very
specific recovery response it's trying to activate.

Yeah. So. You know, another example where we sort of
misunderstand is when people having flashbacks and nightmares from things. So
we tend to just go, look, that's purely a symptom, we've got to get rid of
them. We go, yeah, we don't want you to be living with flashbacks and
nightmares. But when we understand that those, especially during nightmares and
dreams, the body is trying to re-access, to reintegrate and Discharge those
memories or separate that memory from the body response, which is why we wake
up with the pounding heart and the shaking, , the shaking that's happening.

So yeah, it's like, just, I described a little bit like what
we're doing with TRE is we're reopening the emergency exit, which in our
culture, all of us have kind of suppressed from a very young age, from when
you're in, you're at school and you start reading, and if your hands are
shaking, we all think, oh my god, this is weakness, it's anxiety, it's nerves.


And yes, it is
showing us that we're nervous in that moment. , if your hands are shaking after
a critical incident, yes, it's showing you that you've had a big, full rush of
adrenaline, and the way the body uses adrenaline, adrenaline doesn't make you shake.
Adrenaline does, it helps you move. The shaking is how your body uses up the
adrenaline through this efficient recovery movement, rather than having to act
it out.

So it's about recovering again. It's constantly about, , the
shaking is the way out of the stress and trauma rather than a symptom. And when
we suppress it, we get locked in because our body literally loses its ability
to down regulate the nervous system. We've shut the door on letting the nervous
system discharge.

And let it go.


Rosie Skene:

Something that you touched on
just briefly before and like mentioning at the end of a shift, you know, if
you're fiery and you've been on the fire line for a couple of days, which
happens, or, you know, you just exhausted after a shift on the street


and you can, you can access this. , you
can access these shakes or these movements in your body.

Something else that I'm pretty sure I hope I get this right,
but a book that I've read by Peter Levine, , in an unspoken voice. I don't know
if you're familiar with it, but there was a study that he mentioned in that
book where if, , it was in an, Emergency department. Do you know the one I'm
talking about?


Richmond Heath:

I do. Yeah.


Rosie Skene:

Yeah. So in it for the listeners.
I can't remember the doctor's name, but he worked in an emergency department
and he noticed that, , people's, who had been through a traumatic incident and
they had reduced their, heart rate.


Richmond Heath:

Yeah. Yeah.


Rosie Skene:

They reduced their heart rate
back to homeostasis and their body and the parasympathetic nervous system had
activated and their body had calmed down the quicker that they could do that.

And if they did it before discharge, the less likely they were
to suffer PTSD from that particular incident. It's not to say that they would
never, but. That he found that they were less likely to. And that's


what Peter Levine was talking about as
well. He was involved in a car accident. He was able to use the breath to do

Um, so would you say that TRE has that same capability of
bringing the body back into homeostasis, , the parasympathetic nervous system
takes over and, and you're less likely to suffer from, , PTSD as a result of


Richmond Heath:

100%. Absolutely. 100%. And
there's a couple of things here, Rosie. The first is that what's doing the work
here is not TRE.

TRE is just like a framework and a way of accessing this
spontaneous recovery. Like, so if we take away TRE and it's like we're saying,
is the shaking and trembling, is that going to help us recover? Or, ,
absolutely. That is the whole point. point of it, it's evolved in mammals.
That's why we see dogs shaking it after a thun , during a thunderstorm, because
they're anxious.

Or even if you see ducks on the river fighting, and then
afterwards they'll flap their, their, their wings. Or maybe you see someone
who's, a horse rider, and if there's a


fall, the horse will tremor, , and tremble. So the actual shaking and
tremoring, that is our human body's innate recovery response.

, and TRE is just one way and model of making sense of it in a
Western neuroscientific model, because there are lots of cultures around the
world that have used it. , and one of the most relevant example is the ancient
samurai warriors. So when we think about the samurai, they're like lethal
warriors one moment, but chilled out Zen masters, the next with superhuman
physical capacity.

They practiced a secret martial art called Seiki Jutsu, which
basically got them to meditate to the point where their body would start to
spontaneously move and relax. So they're going, right, part of our secret to
being able to be warriors, but to be able to be soft and recover when we need
to as well, was this spontaneous movement reflex.

That's innate inside of us, and as I say, there's many, many
ways of accessing it. And for me, TRE is just the easiest and most simple way
of doing it and making


sense. So
that is just the reality. And as I say, all first responders will have
experienced shaking and trembling. They will have seen it in others, but I can
guarantee you 99 percent of them will have tried to stop it and suppress it and
shut it down simply because we've never been told what it actually is.

It's never been framed as this recovery response and actually
going, Hey, you're shaking. That's fantastic. Jump into it. That's going to
help you downregulate. And yeah, that study, Ariev Shalev, Shalev, Shalev was
his name. What it's, and this is, This is really critical, okay, because in our
Western world, we have a sort of a much more psychological, , based model of
post traumatic stress.

And I always like to point out to people is, when you say
you've got PTSD, you've got unresolved trauma, what is it that you've actually
got? You know, what is it? People are like, oh, it's this thing that's inside
me. I've got this condition. And I like to explain to people that when we think
about I've got anxiety or I've got post traumatic stress,


PTSD is a verb.

And what I mean by that is that what we think of as symptoms.
are showing us that in that moment, our body is reactivating our defensive
responses, even though in this moment, it may not necessarily be required or
relevant. So the example is, if you've been bitten by a black dog as a, as a
child, and you've got this unresolved trauma about black dogs, someone brings
you in a fluffy white puppy, that's only five days old.

Now there's no danger, But my body is reacting and it's
freaking out and I'm getting quite anxious. Really what's happening is my body
is saying we need to flee. So there's an active immobilization component that's
happening. My body in that moment is responding still as if this is dangerous.
And so what we're really saying with post traumatic stress, and it's the same
for burnout, is that my body is still activated, my nervous system is still up

Which is a skill to meet a challenge, but it's still


actively being, , initiated this response
in this current moment, even though that accident's finished, that bushfire's
finished. I'm on the way home, I'm at home, I'm in bed, and so this is where
the capacity, capacity to switch off. That nervous system response is the
critical thing, because as I say, everyone says, I know that that incident
happened and it's not still happening.

I know that that black dog in my past bit me. It's not here.
This is a fluffy white puppy. So intellectually, we all know that that's I
shouldn't be stressed, but it's this body based response that's outside our
conscious control, and that's why by using this spontaneous movement outside
our kind of, it's not so much outside our control, we can stop it, but moving
this response is working at the same level, and that's, \, the study is showing
if you can get your physiology And I don't just mean your conscious breath or
your consciously calming down heart rate, but if your


actual nervous system in your body has resolved and come fully out of that
defensive response in that moment, then yeah, you're highly unlikely to get

And in fact, you're going to build PTSD. Resilience, and this
is a real, um, you know, this is a fascinating thing because when we think
about resilience, we think a lot about mindset. We think about what we're doing
and doing our exercise. But if we look at resilience in the nervous system, the
most healthy and the most resilient nervous system actually has the best
Biggest, strongest stress response.

So there's a very, it's a complicated book to read. Why Zebras
Don't Get Ulcers. But there's research in there. I don't recommend you read it
unless you're really into the science of it. What they show is that the animals
that have the most resilience, it's not that they're the most calm, they have
the quickest and the biggest and the strongest response to stresses.

So basically, you know, what it means, it means they get
flushed with more adrenaline, they


have more strength, they access more of their capacity in the moment, but then
they're able to switch it off and get back to calm and relaxed. And each time
we do that cycle, we actually train our body's ability to respond and up
regulate to meet a stressor, potentially, It's a lot of adrenaline and then
also its capacity to keep producing cortisol so we can maintain that effort for
a long period of time.

But the piece we miss in our, especially in our Western sort of
medical model and frontline work, is the capacity to then say, right, now that
that's happened, we are going to downregulate the body, let it calm all the way
back down, actually beyond. our baseline levels. And this is what I find really
exciting is yes, we talk about shaking and tremoring for critical incident
recovery or even sports recovery.

But when we actually complete this cycle, we start to grow
neurophysiological resilience is the word I like to use. So what it means is we
don't just


shake back to where I was
today before I got stressed. This reflex, when we activate it, will continue to
find and unwind deeper layers of tension and bracing that we're not even aware
of yet.

And so the more we use it, the more resilience we actually
build, not just in terms of how we think, but physiologically in our body's
capacity to switch on and deal with a stressor or a threat or a trauma. But
more importantly, it's capacity to then switch off because none of us, None of
us ever lose the capacity to switch on.

You know, if we're sitting here and we hear a bomb or a car
backfire or a child scream on the road, every single one of us, whether you're
a first responder or not, your nervous system is going to go up to 500
kilometres an hour. So we have that superhuman response, but what we all lose
is the capacity to go, Oh, okay.

It was a car backfiring. Oh, the child's being pulled off the
road. It's safe. How do we get the nervous system from 500 kilometres an hour
back to


zero kilometres an hour? And
that's especially difficult when trained hypervigilance is a critical part of
your job, especially for, you know, police where you need to be permanently
switched on for so much of your shifts.

So training your ability to switch on and be hypervigilant more
than, , calm and relaxed because there's potential for danger. That's a
critical skill, but what people aren't being trained to say, okay, how do we
get that, that hypervigilance back off? And again, if people could do it
consciously, then everyone would be taught that at the academy, and we'd have
no PTSD and no burnout, but we're limited because we don't have conscious
control over those stress and trauma responses.

And that's where the tremoring below the level of conscious
control. Offers people just this extraordinarily different and significant and
profound way of accessing the nervous system and literally training the body
how to switch off and relax and let go.


Rosie Skene:

Yeah. And like you said, so
important for first


responders and
veterans, because you, you are trained to be hypervigilant and after any number
of years, it's really hard to turn that off.

And, , without even knowing it, you are hypervigilant all the
time, you know, and I didn't notice it about myself. And I actually thought
that I was doing pretty good for a while there. I'd read the books and, you
know, I'm like, okay, I know what to look out for, but sometimes it can be
really sneaky. Um, and it wasn't until, you know, I couldn't go.

To the local, , shopping centre anymore, you know, that I was
like, okay, well, there's something going on here. You know, why am I, I was
looking at every single person walking past me as if they're a threat. , and
it's because I never addressed it because I never addressed that hyper
vigilance and I never took any conscious effort to bring down.

, from where I was at just such a high level of, Of
hypervigilance to keep my physical body and my partner's body safe, uh, on the
street. And then at home, , you need to learn how to turn that off. And, , I
started doing that with both work. And I really,


what I think about, um, mental health recovery.

Or treatment is that you can use so many different things. And
a lot of people don't realize that you can be in control of your journey. And
by doing TRE as an option or breath work or yoga or seeing a psychologist or
taking medication, like there's all these different things that are available
to you to use.

And I just think that's so important for people to know that
you can. He can choose things that work for you. And if they don't work, then
you try something else. Like I said before, the thing I really like about TRE
is the accessibility that it can have, like people can have to it. And I think
that's amazing.

Yeah. Something else that, sorry, I just want to add one thing.
Something else that first responders really struggle with is sleep. And I know
that this is something that can help with sleep as well. And it's not just
before bed, but even if you wake up at three o'clock in the morning from, , an
average dream or nightmare, it can be used then.

Is that right?



Richmond Heath:

Yeah, absolutely. And sleep is
probably one of the most commonly reported and well liked benefits from first
responders and veterans and defense personnel. Because the, , The paradox about
sleep is you can't make yourself sleep. You know, we say you fall asleep. So
it's a process of letting go and letting the nervous system slow down.

And that's really , what we're training. So absolutely. But
again, first responders love it. And part of the reason I love it, ,
traditionally TRE had all these exercises you had to do, but as you've
experienced, you can lie down on the floor. I mean, you can do it lots of
different ways, but the most simple is lying down Floor you lift your knees up.

We use a little bit of muscle fatigue, just holding your knees
up against gravity and the more you train that, the easier it becomes, but you
can be tremoring and shaking within, \ 20 or 30 seconds. And, and then what it
means is you can be tremoring in bed. You're letting your nervous system take

You're letting your nervous system calm itself down. And of
course, as your nervous system calms down, then the mind starts to slow down as
well. Now, it doesn't mean that it's a magic


bullet for everybody, but certainly when I first started doing TRE, that was
the thing I loved the most was I would, , some of the really racing mind, And
then I would tremor and would just switch my mind off like that.

And I just fall straight away into a massively deep sleep. So
again, sleep and that ability to fall asleep, it's a skill that we can train.
So being able to do it in bed is just makes it so simple and so easy. And I
often say to people when they're going, Oh, , I'm really stressed. I'm really

When am I going to fit this in? I'm like, do you fall asleep
instantly every time you put your head on the pillow? And if you don't. Just
bring your knees up and start tremoring. And people love that because you can
tremor, get to that point where the body starting to, , slow down and relax and
like, great, roll over and go to sleep.

So yeah, sleep is absolutely one of , the critical processes.
And there are all those things of, , sleep hygiene and what you do and, , get
off your phone for an hour before you're trying to go to bed. So there are all
those things. But ultimately, at the end of the day, the


limitation to falling asleep is our
nervous system's ability to switch off and calm down because it's accessing the
safety inside our own system.

And it's learned to go, yeah, I need to be vigilant here. I
need to be switched on so I can perform, but now here I need to be able to
switch off. So it's that capacity to switch on and switch off that TRE is so
powerful. , so valuable for, , can I come back to what you talked about with
that vigilance and switching off?

Because this was something that I never really knew until a
couple of years ago. So let's talk about burnout rather than PTSD, because it's
just such a huge effort. And why so many people end up, , sadly leaving the
force or , the, , department and not doing the careers that they love doing.

So most of us and the listeners, when you think about burnout,
we go, Oh my God, I've got low energy. I can't get out of bed. , I'm getting
low, right? That's the last stage or the last phase of burnout. And what most
people don't realize is the first phase


of burnout. is a stage where you've got really high energy.

And often you're performing at your peak. Because in order to
perform better than just your baseline level, you need to be pumped full of
adrenaline and do that. But the first part of that is, so often people who are
performing at really high levels, they're not feeling any tiredness. They're
not noticing anything that they're actually feeling really switched on.

But the first sign is then you're going, I'm finding it hard to
switch off. I've got no issues with low fatigue. I don't have any burnout
symptoms. I'm not tired. I'm not lethargic. I'm not feeling depressed. I'm
actually really pumped up. In fact, when I go home, normal life is really
boring. In fact, I need to keep staying pumped up because that's become my

Yes. Or it can be, you know what, I need to go and have five
beers at the pub with my mates to be able to calm down because I'm so switched
on. Um, or whatever it might be, you know, I need to go home and numb out on
Facebook or watch TV, whatever it might be. Or maybe I need to do, , two


hours of gym work to get to that point
where I'm physically relaxed.

So for your listeners, what I encourage you to think about is,
How is your capacity to switch off? Because if you're having any difficulty
switching off, you're effectively in phase one burnout. You don't have symptoms
of low energy, you've got symptoms of excessive chronic high energy or high
arousal that you can't switch off, which is the first phase.

So you've already got burnout, you're just not aware of it.
because we're not experiencing the fatigue. And that's where if we can get in
early rather than trying to use TRE for treatment of post traumatic stress,
which it has relevance for, to support enhance everything else we're doing. But
what I'm most passionate about Rose is going, , I dream of the day when
recruits at the academy will be taught this and from day one, they will be able
to use this to switch off in amongst all their other tools to use.

They will be able to use it to build their resilience in their
nervous system. And by that resilience, think about it, you bend an object


and the resilience is a capacity to bounce
back and not be damaged. So this is the missing component of resilience. We're
not just saying, oh, don't be as affected by the work you're doing.

We're saying, no, the work is going to affect you when you're
dealing with humans and vicarious trauma, it is going to affect you unless you
numb out, disconnect from yourself. But resilience is that capacity to. Not
just bounce back, but to switch off and go, that happened. I got moved out of
shape. Now I can get back to my center and my stable, which is reflected by I'm

I'm relaxed. I can pay attention. I can talk to the kids. I'll
play, , whatever it is. I can enjoy whatever is training that part. That's the
real. The key to the resilience that we're missing is resilience in the nervous
system. And you've got limited capacity to do that consciously without a lot of

So, you know, if you're a yogi and you've done years of breath
work and that will then, yes, you train your capacity like any other skill to
go, I'm going to breathe a certain way and I'm


going to calm right down. But it often takes a whole lot of training and
practice. And even then. We're still limited to what we can consciously do,
whereas the shaking and the tremor trembling is able to release that tension or
that arousal in the system at a level beyond what we can do consciously.

So, it's for me, it doesn't replace anything else that we're
doing doesn't replace counselling or, , breathing or mindfulness or group
debriefing. It doesn't replace any of that stuff. But when you add it together,
it's like a turbo charger or a turbo boost that will actually increase the
effectiveness of all that as well.


Rosie Skene:

Yeah, that's so important. And I,
I totally agree with you with that proactive approach to teaching people,
especially recruits. It's like, you know, when you want anything to change, you
teach the kids first because they're going to grow up and they're going to do
it all. So you teach the people when they're first joining before they've been
exposed, hopefully to any trauma.

Um, and teach them the skills that will help them in their


because there's so many of
us that have to leave a job that we actually really love doing, because of the
effect that it's had on our mind and body. So I couldn't agree with you more
that these techniques need to be taught, at those very first stages, , as, as
much as anything else.

Something that I noticed
I have, , and I'm sure it's related to, uh, my trauma is some, , psoas muscle
issues. , and since I've done a couple of sessions of TRE, I actually haven't
noticed that pain. Can you speak on that a little bit?


Richmond Heath:

Yeah. So first of all, you
know, good for you.

That's great. So, you know, that's great. And on some level you
go, wow, that's amazing. But on other levels and having seen this happen so
much, it's , that's great. That's normal. That's what the body's supposed to
do. So first of all, for people who don't know, the psoas muscle is kind of our
deepest muscle in our pelvis and our hip and our abdominals.

It gets cold. The. Muscle of the soul.


Sometimes, , if you're a meat eater, it's the eye fillet literally. So that's
right in the deepest part of your abdominals and it connects your thigh all the
way up to your lower back. So, , whenever there's any kind of, , stress, quick
stress response. On some level that muscle is going to contract because it's
the muscle that folds the body over towards the fetal position.

, it can also get tight just from sitting chronically and all
that sort of stuff. But a lot of us just have that chronic tension there. So in
TRE the way we tend to do it lying on the back and we get the muscles on the
inside of the groin and the thigh tremoring links directly into that psoas

So what we're saying is Or what you're seeing here is going,
yeah, I've got these issues with my psoas muscle. So this is again why I say,
you know, PTSD and stress is a verb. The issue with that psoas muscle is it's
tight. What's that? It's activated, even though you're lying down and you want
it to relax, it's not switching off.

It's hypervigilant for want


of a better word. So on a muscular level, we're going, right, that muscle is
contracted and tight. It doesn't know how to go from tight back to soft and
floppy. And when you start understanding again, muscles are so simple to work
with that is the chronic, it's bracing, it's holding.

Now at a muscular level, your one, that psoas muscle or one on
either side, they're chronically braced and held tense. On a global level, It's
like the way our whole body and our nervous system can be chronically braced
and held and tense. Literally, it's like bracing for impact. So there's
tension, the shoulders start to get tighter and held tight, the diaphragm, we
lose the ability to breathe or laugh.

So on a micro muscular level, what's happening is the body,
that muscle saying, I know how to contract, I know how to brace, I know how to
protect myself. And on the macro level, that's like saying, I know how to go to
work. I know how to be hypervigilant. I know how to protect myself. But then
you come home and that muscle


saying, Oh, I don't know how to get soft and relaxed and lengthen out and
soften again, or to move in a calm, relaxed way.

I only know how to move in this hyper tense way.


Rosie Skene:



Richmond Heath:

And so that shaking or the
trembling of is the way the body goes, I hold on, I relax, I hold on, I relax,
I hold on, , it contracts and relaxes, it contracts and relaxes. And that is
how the body re patterns the neuromuscular system to say, yep, we were tight.

Now we want to soften down. Oh no, we want to tighten up again,
soften down, soft tight. And then eventually it literally trembles or tremors
its way back to going. We can be soft and calm and relaxed. We can switch this
muscle off cause we don't need it at the moment while you're lying on your back
in the same way you can go.

I'm not at work now, we can let the nervous system switch off,
and again, that's really what we're deliberately invoking with TRE, because the
shaking and trembling is a natural response. We're designed that this will
happen spontaneously.


Again, the
problem for us is in our culture, when it happens, then we go, oh my god, PTSD.

Now things are bad, rather than going, we should be shaking and
trembling on a regular basis, both spontaneously, if you're having traumatic
critical incidents at work regularly, or even if you're coming across people
who've, you've got vicarious trauma. You know, vicarious trauma, our body's
still responding the same way.

So it's about how do we help the body let that go and come out
of that protective position. So on your psoas muscle, that one individual
muscle going, yeah, it's just learning how to relax again. And it's not because
of something you've consciously done. You're not saying muscle relax because
that muscle's contracting outside your control.

But the trembling and the shaking is effectively that muscle
saying, okay, it's okay. I can let go again and I can let it go. And then you
go, right. Muscles a bit healthier. I'm feeling, yeah, I'm feeling better. It's
more relaxed. And then what tends to happen, , Rosie, is what you find is as
you keep tremoring, now that your


psoas muscle's more relaxed, guess what'll happen?

Your body will find the next layer of tension. It might be your
abdominals. It could be your shoulders. And when they start to move, then they
relax. And over time, we're training the body to be more flexible and supple
and variable because ultimately, this is the thing in our culture, strength we
think about as being really big and strong and tough and permanently activated
muscles that are all bulging, which is a complete waste of energy.

Because you've got all that energy being used to keep the
muscles contracted, the healthiest muscles, the muscles that can switch on and
create the absolute most strength in that moment, but can then switch off and
be completely soft and floppy at the same time. So when we look at the nervous
system, that's the exact same thing.

The healthiest, the most, , the healthiest first responders
that are going to have the longest careers are the ones that can switch on and
meet those challenges, they can fully activate all of their resources, all of


strength, their mind, their
focus, all of that can switch them on and they can perform at levels that other
people can't do because they're training themselves to do that, but the ones
that are going to have it.

You know, lengthy careers and enjoyable careers are the ones
who then go, but you know what, I can now switch off and get completely back to
calm. Maybe it's lying on the floor for five minutes before I leave the, the
office, so that when I get home to my family. I'm not pretending to be calm and
carrying in a whole lot of stress and tension in my body and muscular tension,
which my family and friends are all picking up on, their nervous systems are
all feeling that even if I'm pretending to be calm or I'm containing it.

And again, that's what most of us will find. We spend lives
containing tension. that what we call stress and anxiety, but really what we're
containing is the body's desire to move and shake off, literally shake off and
move to calm ourselves back down. So this is why this process is not just


relevant to first responders, it's
relevant to what the state of your body is when you walk home to your family.

And we want that to be as calm and relaxed as possible because
inadvertently family and friends start to pick up on that, their own bodies
start to tighten up and they learn. Gee, mum and dad, when they come home, this
is, they're my adults. That's how the body has to be to feel safe in this
world. My body's naturally, as a child, going to start to tighten up as well.

So it goes beyond just your own well being. The more
physiologically calm and relaxed you can be in your body, not just psycho
emotionally, but physiologically, the better for those loved ones around you as


Rosie Skene:

I couldn't agree more with that.
, I know personally when I'm in a state of not doing real well, it's

Um, yeah, my husband will pick up on it. He's like, if I've got
the shits and then the kids are all like, you can see their tense you know, the
shoulders are up. They don't know what they're doing. And I know it's the same
across a lot of families, especially first responders, um,


who are dealing with a parent who, , is
suffering a little bit, um, or a lot.

Unfortunately, so , the whole family does suffer. So I'm really
glad that you made that point that you're not just doing things for yourself.
And sometimes when I talk to friends or people that sometimes ask for my advice
and they can feel like maybe they're being a bit selfish, by, , taking a class
or taking time out to do something that will eventually benefit them.

And what I like to say to them is, well, take yourself out of
the equation and who else do you need to care for? And who else will this
benefit? And, , It's, it's your family and your kids and your friends and
every, anyone else that personally knows you outside of whatever work you're
doing, regardless of , what job it is, if you're a first responder or not.

So it's so important that you do take the time to, uh, look
after yourself because there's so many other people that will benefit from it.


Richmond Heath:

That that's right. And you
know, we often forget, no one wants first responders to sacrifice themselves.


You know, occasionally and sadly there are
situations where that happens and, , that's a tragedy for everyone, but there's
that slow burn sacrifice that so many first responders are doing.

So none of us would say, yeah, I want you to contain all that
stress and anxiety so that you can pretend to be calm around me and we can get
along without anything being, , you're not anxious or you're not angry. No one
wants that. , everyone is saying, no, we want you to be thriving, to be fully
alive, to be doing that job, and being able to switch off and calm down
afterwards so that when you need to be, you switch on, when you need not to be,
you can switch off.

So I think it's important to keep that in mind that ultimately,
yeah, sure, we have people. Dependency and we've got kids and partners need
help and all those sort of things. But really the people who, who love us all
want us to be really healthy and thriving on the inside, not just putting on
that, that mask or that facade or your body armor, literally, , and carrying it
around all braced, which is eventually,


if it's not leading to burnout and PTSD straight away, has a massive
contribution to chronic disease in later life.

, it's not until people are 60 or 70 or 80 and they start
getting chronic diseases, , that they start to understand, wow, this is
because, not just because of what happened when I was younger or how I lived,
but it's happening because my nervous system is chronically activated in a
defensive way.

state. , people will understand this very simply is when you go
into a fight or flight response or any stress response, the blood, just making
it really simple, the blood's going to go to the periphery of the body, to the
arms and the legs. Now it's going away from your digestive tract. It's going
away from your bone marrow.

Um, it actually tends to come away from the hands and feet as
well. So what it means is when we're in a sort of activated state, We're not
regenerating bone, our system's not digesting well, so we're getting all those
complications that then lead to, , osteoporosis, or contribute to,


osteoporosis, or irritable bowel, or, ,
potentially cancers and heart rate conditions and all that.

because the body's been chronically living in this highly
overactive, , defensive state. And there's a, , a groundbreaking study called
the ACE study that was looking at adverse childhood effects, which I don't know
many years ago, but it was really the first time that Western science started
to say, gee, if you have these traumatic experiences when you're young, you're
10 times more likely to have heart disease or cancer when you're older.

And again, it's not because. Oh, if this happened, you will get
this. It's because if this happened, and alluding to the study you spoke about
earlier, if this happens and your body doesn't switch off and recover and get
back to that finish, that blade dog bit me, it was scary, I got the shakes, I
trembled, I cried, and then my breath, and then I let go, my body had let it
go, at that point, that becomes a memory memory.


rather than something that the body's carrying in this present
moment. So it's all about this sense of being able to uncouple or separate in
the body what the experience was, or whether it was my eight hour shift in
trained hypervigilance, in the car or on the truck, being able to come out of
that state.

That's the critical thing. Again, I keep saying the same thing,
really. That's the critical thing that we're missing, and if doing it
consciously worked, we wouldn't have any problems with PTSD and burnout because
for the last 10 or 15 years, there's been a huge influx of providing this sort
of recovery and resilience training, but again, the different point about the
neurogenic tremor or the TRE or that shaking response is Is it's working at a
different level, but beyond our conscious mind.

And that's a missing piece, um, in sort of first responder
training and recovery and wellbeing and mental health at the moment.


Rosie Skene:

Great. This is so much
information, Richmond. , is there anything else that you would


like to talk about in relation to TRE?
Because then I'll ask you about, , I know you're free training online, but
still, it's still free, isn't it?


Richmond Heath:



Rosie Skene:

and I'll get people to go into
that. So is there anything else that you'd like to add?


Richmond Heath:

Yeah, so the other element
that, , that's important to note is because we often tend to talk about shaking
and trembling in trauma recovery or stress recovery, because that's where most
of us experience it, but that, , people are aware that this is not just about a
mental health or trauma recovery response.

There are elite athletes in Australia and around the world that
are using this tremor reflex therapy. Purely for performance enhancement, and
this is especially what I love, first responders were going like, if I said,
look, you have to put a feather in your ear every night to get rid of your
stress, they don't really care.

But if you say you put a feather in your ear at the end of
every night and you're going to do your job better, they're all like, right,
give me the feather. I want to do it. That's what we're focused on. So. Um, you
know, there's AFL footballers, there's Olympic athletes, there's elite surfers,
pro surfers who are


integrating this
tremoring response into their daily routines.

Not because they're trying to prevent PTSD, but because they're
saying, Hey, I need to physiologically recover better, sleep better so I can
perform better. And as my nervous system gets more relaxed and more integrated.
I can make decisions better under pressure. So just keeping in mind that while
a lot of people think about, Oh, this is about preventing, , yeah, sure.

It's about preventing that. It's got a huge upside, , and a
performance enhancing value. As well, and that's where, for me, I'm most
passionate. This is about people integrating it into their life. , from this
talk, if all you take away is, gee, I start trembling, my partner, my work
colleague, someone I'm working with, some community member starts trembling.

trembling. That's a positive thing. I need to support that and
let it come to its full completion. So that's great. Other people might go,
gee, wow, I want to learn how to do this TRE technique so that after that major
traumatic incident where


folks are
feeling stressed and traumatized more than normal, I'm going to use it.

at will, at call. But for me, the real passion is going when
people start to go, you know what, this is just part of my somatic hygiene or
my neuromuscular hygiene. It's like brushing my teeth at night to keep my mouth
clean. This is how I need to clean my nervous system and my muscular system so
I can do my job.

And it's better than just cleaning your teeth because it's
going to build that resilience. So I encourage people to consider it, not just
about, this is all mental health, but actually going, this process will help
you do your job better in the same way that AFL footballers are going, I've got
more flexibility.

I've got more strength. I've got more dynamic core stability.
This is helping me play and perform better. So that's where it's a real
positive upside is for those people who are going, I'm not stressed. I'm not
traumatized. I'm not burnout. I don't have PTSD. Well, would you be even better
than you already are?

Will you continue to grow and evolve in your skills and your
capacity and your physiological maturity


by adding it in? Absolutely you will. So it's really relevant for absolutely


Rosie Skene:

If people wanted to do that and
you could write a prescription, ,, how often would they do it and for what
period of time it would be ideal?


Richmond Heath:

Yeah. So look, it's very
individual. Most people find that about 10, 15, 20 minutes of tremoring
normally enough. Some people might do a lot more. Some people might do a lot
less. Um, you know, in an ideal world, I sort of go three, four, five times a week
would be ideal, but a lot of people do it every single day.

Some people only do it, you know, once a week, some people only
do it when they're stressed. So it's about people finding where it fits into
their own life. , if you're someone who goes to the gym three times a week, I'd
be, I'd be like, great, just last five minutes in your gym session, go and lie
down, do a bit of trembling, you'll find that you'll recover a lot better.

If you're someone who's really hectic and you're going, I
haven't got time to do a 20 minute tremor session in my day, I'll say, great,
in bed at night, bring your knees up, do it when you go to sleep,


or do it first thing in the morning. Or
ideally, an ideal prescription for me would be at least once a week, but
ideally at the end of your shift, just go, you know what, The last 15 minutes
of my shift are dedicated to getting my physiology back to a calm and relaxed

Because with what we know about PTSD now, there is a, an
ethical and a moral obligation that first responder agencies are training, not
just training people how to recover, and then sending them home and saying,
look, we'll pay you while you're working. Recovery is part of the deal, but
you're going to go home and do that in your own time.


Rosie Skene:



Richmond Heath:

The ideal prescription is
saying, no, recovery is part of being a first responder. This is a KPI that
probably the most important KPI is that you're not getting worse and getting
traumatized and getting unhealthy. And so, you know, my ideal prescription
would be that agencies will start saying and taking this


responsibly enough to the point where
they'll say, we're not just going to give you the tools that you need to use in
unpaid time.

But actually, we need to make sure you leave our door at the
end of the day and you're back to okay or better than you were when you walked
in. , my dream vision would be that, again, last 15 minutes of the day would
be, whether it's yoga, whether it's mindfulness, whether it's whatever it is,
doesn't have to be tremoring and TRE, but having taught this for so many years,
I know that a huge percentage of people would just do that because you're like,
Just lie down, trim it together, you can do it as a unit, you can talk, you can
muck around, you don't have to be focused, you can be in your own space.

That would be my ideal prescription, so that when people are
leaving home, they're not carrying the unresolved stress and trauma from their
jobs and being expected to dedicate their own time and their own money. to
their recovery. AFL footballers in the old days, 30 years ago, yep, you play
footy, that's what they paid you for, then you go out, get drunk, do whatever,
turn up the next day.

Whereas these days,


no, you play your game, they take you back to the rooms, you do your ice bars,
the recovery is built into it because that's how you optimize performance. And
, that's what we're doing. In my mind, the biggest thing that's enhancing
performance over the last 10 or 15 years is the focus on recovery.

In emergency services, in Australia at least, we're talking the
talk about recovery, we're providing recovery tools, but people are not being
paid to recover in their work time. And if we're serious about, , changing the
devastating effects of service in all forms. It needs to get to the point where
recovery is part of our paid work hours and a KPI.


Rosie Skene:

I think something that's so
important with that as well is changing the stigma in relation to seeking help.
, whether you're taking a proactive approach to it or something, , Reactive.
And like you said, , first responder agencies, especially are very good at
saying, yeah, this is what you need.

You should go do this, but don't, like you


said, don't do it in our time. You need to
sort yourself out in your own time. Reducing the stigma of seeking that help
would work if they did it at work because everyone can do it and there's no
stigma attached to it. So, like you say, , at the changeover of a shift, the
oncoming crew could do it.

Yeah. With the outgoing crew, everyone's doing it together.
There's no stigma that you don't feel like, , you're doing something that you
shouldn't be doing or that people are going to think less of you. If. if the
narrative changes because they're doing it together.


Richmond Heath:

That's right. And the other
classic example is, , critical incident debriefing, which has become a huge,
big thing.

And the research largely shows that it's not very effective.
What I would suggest though, is that if people were lying on the floor and
tremoring, During that process and talking, because the missing thing is that
when we talk about stuff, it's not necessarily being processed through the
physiology of the body and released that way.

So it's not that the debriefing


is ineffective. It's just that if we're only talking about stuff and it's not
being processed through and released from the body. Then it's not gonna do it.
It's not gonna have the, the benefits. So that's where, again, you can be in a
group of people after a critical incident lying on the floor, either in your
own space, tremor, you can be talking to your friends, you can be talking about
the football, or you can be talking about the incident and how you're going.

Ultimately, the thing that we are missing out is we need to get
to the point where, , you have that, that big breath.


Rosie Skene:



Richmond Heath:

And nervous system. Or the
body and the neuromuscular system have said, that's over. I don't need to stay
in this highly activated, aroused, or immobilized, or braced, or protective, or
vigilant state.

That's finished. And when it's finished in the physiology of
the body, like that researcher mentioned, you're not going to get post
traumatic stress because it's over. You're going to remember it. But your
body's not remembering it and keeping the score or bearing the burden, which is
what all those kind of books are



So it's going to happen. The difficulty, sadly, for us in
Australia is a lot of the people who are making the decisions about what is and
isn't, , what is and aren't done. Well, we don't know what I'm saying there.
What is or is not done. Um, obviously a lot of them are saying, , we need, 20
years and 500 randomized controlled blind studies before we're going to even
give this a try.

To which I always say to people, , if you give me 50 of your
staff and let them evaluate this, I stopped doing evaluations of my workshops a
long time ago because it was consistently the same results. Yeah. 95 percent of
like, I've got one open in front of me, , with frontline workers, social
workers, Aboriginal health workers in New South Wales health.

At the end of a one day training, 22 out of the 24 of them said
this, this tremoring TRE training was more effective than any other vicarious
trauma training they had done. Now, again, that's not to say that it's, I'm not
saying that to say that it's better. I'm just saying that to say, when
frontline workers


and staff get the
opportunity to experience this, They unanimously say this is as good, if not
better than other stuff I've been trained.

They unanimously say all the other staff in my organization
should be experienced, , should be learning this sort of thing. So, you know,
my dream would be that organisations start doing a little pilot. So, rather
than saying, look, This guy's telling me it's really good, or I can't find
enough research to say whether it's really good.

We actually let the frontline workers themselves make the
decision and say, Hey, I want to do more of this. We want to do more of this or
not. And at the moment, sadly, they're not being given access to it because the
administrators and the health workers and the psychologists often are in that
position making the call about what they try and don't try, and not yet, ,
Understanding or able to, to basically say, look, let's give people access to
this and see what they think of it.

Because I can guarantee you after teaching, more than 5, 000
people over the


last 10 years and
being one of thousands of people around the world, teaching this technique to
first responders all around the world, that they were all, , the vast majority
of people are going to say, this is invaluable.

It's simple. It's easy. We all need to know it.


Rosie Skene:

Well, let's take the
organizations out of it. How can people. Access TRE for themselves and see if
it's something that they would like to use.


Richmond Heath:

Yeah, great. So during COVID,
, I was living in Melbourne, the world's most locked down city.
And so I couldn't travel or do work and trainings and that.

So I was on Job Keeper and I created a free online course for
people to learn TRE. And to find it, you just go to TRE Australia. com. And in
that course, it's got three sessions of guided sessions. So you learn the TRE,
but it's also got some theory and some, practical advice about how do you,
because one of the things is learning how to regulate the tremoring so that
while your body's


shaking and
tremoring, you're going, this isn't weird.

I don't feel this feels comfortable. I can stop and start it as
I would like. So over the three sessions, , you do a tremor, see how you sleep,
see how you go. And then come back. So most people will find that at the end of
that three sessions, they'll have the basics and, , basics of what they need to
know to be able to use it on an ongoing basis.

If people have, , a major history of, , trauma or mental health
or physical health conditions, there is a screening tool at the start of that
course. Where if you have any concerns about doing it on your own for any
reason, then you can link off and find TRE providers all around Australia or

And, , we don't have heaps. I think we've got about a hundred
around Australia. They're not all necessarily listed on the website, but you
can also do TRE sessions very successfully via Zoom. , and in terms of
empowering you to start, to start using it, because it's not so much a therapy
where you're going, Hey, you need to come and see me to do the sessions.

every week. Our


is really just to say, Hey, look, this is how you get the tremors going on.
This is how you regulate the tremors. This is how you integrate it into your
life. And then if you've got questions you can ask us. So yeah, my real passion
is about empowering people with this. Not saying come and see me all the time
in my clinic.

It's going, no, no, this is already inside you and you can
learn it. So that online course is just at treaustralia. com. , there's a link
on most of the pages so , you can access it there.


Rosie Skene:

Yeah, I'll link to it in the show
notes too. And for anyone listening who is thinking, yeah, I think I'd like to
try it.

I implore you to do it because I've done it. , the training's
fantastic. I can't believe it's free. I think you're crazy. But, , it's, it's
really great. , I actually, Consciously wanted to monitor how I would sleep
afterwards. And I had some of the best sleeps I've had for a little while,
actually, after tremoring that day.

, and it's definitely something that I'm going to integrate
into my wellness with my yoga and breath work and gym work


and all the other things that I try and do
to keep myself nice and healthy. , and I'm so glad, , that you approached me
and. And bought this to my attention because it's something that I really do

And I know you are very passionate about it can help people not
only after the fact, but like you said, as a performance enhancement tool and a
proactive measure to keep your mental health in check as well. , I really thank
you so much for that. And I hope that some listeners take it on board and go
and check it out.


Richmond Heath:

Yeah, well, you're really
welcome. I appreciate the chance to share it, Rosie. And the thing is, if
people do have any difficulties with it, if you do that course or you get stuck
is please just reach out, make contact with a TRE provider and they'll be able
to help you so that you can get it working well for you.


Rosie Skene:

Yeah, fantastic. Thanks again.
And thank you so much for joining me today. I really appreciate the time.


Richmond Heath:

You're welcome.

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