Sunday, June 17, 2018

What does Pandiculate mean?

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 sensory-motor cortex of the brain. 

For whatever reason, most adults in industrialized nations fore go pandiculating, instead focusing on speed, force, and supposed productivity.  Unfortunately by doing so, we develop habitual patterns of tension in response to stress and repetitive activities. The brain is plastic, meaning it can continue to learn and stay mentally and physically pliable throughout life. The brain can also prune away the neural pathways that keep us moving well, resulting in less musclular control and sensory-motor awareness, deterring the pandicular response.

Go forth & Pandiculate.

If you want to stay active and live a sustainable life, I highly recommend you learn more about Essential Somatics and pandiculations. Humans are supposedly the smartest species on the planet, yet somehow we have come to believe we need others to "fix" us. How can it be that all other animals know how to dissipate their own muscle tension, yet human adults don't? When I present that question to people the light bulb lights up and they get it. You can too! 
Stay supple. 
Stay free. 
Enjoy life. 
Go forth and pandiculate. 


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