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What does Pandiculate mean?

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I just got my first batch of swag printed and now proudly wear and tote items saying:


As I walk down Portland streets people look and ask me, "what does pandiculate mean?"

If you Google it, pandiculation comes up and is loosely defined as stretching and yawning, usually when you wake up. But it's so much more than that.
Humans (and all other vertebrates) are genetically programed to pandiculate. By doing so, our nervous systems reset our muscle length so we can easily move after being sedentary (sleeping, sitting, etc) for a period of time. This response to the tightness from being still and inactive is called the pandicular response.

When we pandiculate, we contract and release muscles, which activates the nerve receptors in the muscles to reset to their natural resting length. I like to say pandiculations are the magic of Somatics, but there is true neuroscience to back it up, i.e. pandiculations reset the the alpha-gamma feedback loop between the nerve receptors and s…