Working as a software trainer, designing and delivering IT courses, whilst Katherine loved training people, IT didn’t really excite her.
“I was passionate about health and fitness so I retrained as a personal trainer and started training private clients and working as a freelance health writer,” she told me.
After 12 years she decided it was time for a change and, having dreamt of living by the sea and being an author, she moved to Emsworth and started working at a local publishing company, researching and writing self-help books.
“They also commissioned me to write Oh Sugar!, a book about the dangers of sugar in our diets,” said Katherine, recalling that it was at this point she began struggling with a debilitating anxiety that had dogged her since her teens.
“Social occasions and speaking in public were a massive strain and I started experiencing heart palpitations and stomach pains. I tried everything; meditation, yoga, counselling – I even gave up caffeine, dairy and alcohol for three long months! It was only when I discovered TRE [Tension & Trauma Releasing Exercises] that things clicked into place.”
Comprising a series of simple exercises that trigger a shaking or tremor stemming from the soleus muscle, Katherine explained that TRE was pioneered by trauma specialist David Berceli more than two decades ago.
Finding himself in a building that was being shelled in Lebanon, Berceli noted that whenever a mortar explosion occurred, everyone adopted a foetal position and started shaking.
Suspecting that shaking was the body’s way of trying to cope with extreme stress, he studied for a PhD in neurogenic tremors and confirmed that tremoring does indeed release deep chronic tension created in the body during a traumatic experience.
“When you experience pain or chronic stress the brain gets locked into fight or flight patterns and you need to retrain your nervous system.
“A lot of digestive issues like IBS are really effectively dealt with by TRE, but so too are things like anxiety and emotional and physical trauma. It works by tapping into the body’s intelligence and is really easy and fun to learn,” said Katherine, who is also a qualified hypnotherapist.
“TRE has changed my life and that’s why I trained to become a practitioner – I want to share TRE with other people.
“My anxiety has reduced to such an extent it feels like a whole new world is opening up to me. I now run monthly classes and offer one-to-one appointments at The WOW clinic in Westbourne.”
And as if that wasn’t enough to keep her busy, Katherine is also on the cusp of success as a children’s author.
“I’m editing my first children’s novel, which was shortlisted for the Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition last year. I also have several picture book ideas up my sleeve!”
TRE is suitable for a range of conditions and for people of all ages. For more information, visit www.katherinebassford.com or www.thewowclinic.com.