In 25 Words or LessPandiculation - a stretching and stiffening especially of the trunk and extremities (as when fatigued and drowsy or after waking from sleep). Merriam-Webster Online Medical Dictionary
Let Me ExplainDo you ever notice how when your pet gets up from rest, she never just bounds up, but rises and does a couple of "stretches"? She isn't actually stretching though. She's pandiculating. As she bows down, she lengthens the front of her body while shortening the back, then they move throw a neutral spine to do it again, but in an upward lengthening of the body.
This is what we do with our Somatics exercises in my classes. We move the body through a gentle range of motion to tighten a set of muscles while at the same time lengthening the opposing muscles. Notice I don't say stretch. It's not that stretching is bad, but it doesn't release chronic tightness in our muscles. If you have particular knots and sore spots that no matter what you seem to do, won't release long term, try pandiculating them.
When I guide students through the somatic exercises--or "un-exercises" as I like to call them--I suggest they imagine moving their bones, rather than engaging muscles into extreme contractions (like when lifting weights) and avoid forcing a stretch. Rather we move gently, giving the brain, muscles and nervous system a chance to reboot, so to speak, by turning off habitual tension that causes pain. Instead we move with more fluid, natural movement.
It's a hard concept to sell. The idea that less is more, when it comes to correcting alignment and easing pain, but it really works! Come try a class or contact me for a private session.