The National Institute of Health describes fibromyalgia as “a chronic (long-lasting) disorder that causes pain and tenderness throughout the body, as well as fatigue and trouble sleeping.” We have had clients with fibromyalgia also describe it as having “sensory motor amnesia in every muscle of the body.”

In other words: everything is tight, tense, and uncomfortable.

The causes? It’s complicated and depends on the person. For some, emotional trauma seems to be an exacerbating factor. For others, psychological stressors or environmental factors contribute.

What they all have in common is that stress, no matter where it originates, takes hold in the body and muscles. And releasing tension is what Essential Somatics and Clinical Somatic Education can teach you how to do.

From a Somatic Education perspective what we do know is that with fibromyalgia the nervous system is in a constant state of “fight or flight.” This shows up in the muscular system and one’s sensitivity to pain.

Pandiculation neurologically reduces tension in the nervous system and when that happens, you can begin to release and relax.

That being said, for a nervous system that is let’s say, 70% contracted, it’s possible to do too much. Pandiculation and movement feels great, yet too much may trigger flare-ups and pain.

So less is more when doing your Somatic Movement practice. Sometimes motor planning (imagining a movement rather than doing it) is all you need to do. Take heart; even imagining a movement has a beneficial effect for your nervous system.