What is a Pandiculation?

In 25 Words or Less
Pandiculation - 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 Explain
Do 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 and "stretches up," she contracting into her tight areas that were shortened as she slept, then slowly releasing the tension.

Pandiculations are the movement component of your Somatics lessons/practice. There are 4 steps to a pandiculation:

  • gently contract an area of the body (while simultaneously lengthening the opposing side of the body)
  • sense the tension you've created
  • then slowly release the contraction, with awareness and control
  • then take a moment to let the brain integrate (soak up) what it has done and senses within your body

By pandiculating, you are encouraged to sense what your muscles are doing. You want to avoid extreme contractions or forcing a stretch. Rather, move gently, giving your brain, muscles and nervous system a chance to reboot, so to speak, by turning off habitual tension that causes pain. The result? You move with more fluid, natural movement.

Think of pandiculating, like getting a knot out of a fine gold necklace. If it has a knot in it, what happens if you force, pull, stretch it? It gets tighter! But if you go "into the contraction" bring the muscles into the pattern of the tightness/knot, you become more aware of that tightness, and can slowly ease it out.

Our culture loves to use force to create change. Working hard, "fighting it, anger, etc. So it's no wonder we think to get out of pain is going to require more pain, but that's silly if you think about it. What happens when we are in pain? We tighten, recoil, close up, close down, feel like crap.

Somatics is all about less is more. With Somatics you gain freedom in your body, get rid of pain, lower your stress levels with ease. It may seem contradictory to all you've ever learned, but it really works because it goes to the root of all movement: our brains! I'd love to share it with you.

I work with people around the world, in person and online.
If you know of anyone else in pain, who has tried everything, please tell them about Somatics!

thank you,


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