Transform Your Health
Move Without Pain
Lesson 3: Daily Practice
Stretching vs Pandiculation
The Stretch Reflex
So far, you’ve learned that the three stress reflexes, if habituated over time, involuntarily affect your ability to sense and control your movement.
It’s easy to think we can simply stretch away the tension caused by stress, but did you know that the act of passive, static stretching is actually considered a threat by the body?
This alarm is called the Stretch Reflex and it triggers within 1-2 milliseconds of passively stretching a muscle past its regulated length.
The Stretch Reflex is a protective mechanism that originates from the spine and automatically contracts a muscle against a stretch to protect it from strain or tearing.
Since the involvement of your brain is required to regain voluntary muscle sensation and control, the act of stretching can’t effectively reset muscle length or relieve chronic muscle pain.
Science has verified that the only the way to retrain and regain control of your muscles is by stimulating the brain to affect change in the nervous system.
Clinical Somatic Education resolves chronic muscle pain through a process of cultivating awareness of “amnesic” muscles first, then retraining the brain to release and relax the muscles back to a new length.
This is where pandiculation comes in
The technique of pandiculation resets muscle length and function at the brain level through three steps:
A voluntary contraction into already tight muscles
Followed by a slow lengthening like a pleasant yawn
Then a complete relaxation
The final relaxation step is the most important because it allows your brain to recognize what “relaxed” feels like so it can integrate the improved sensation, balance, and coordination into your nervous system.
In case you haven’t noticed, this is what you’ve been doing in this course by performing the Soma Scan and Somatic Movements followed by a rest period.
This is also exactly what you do when you wake up and yawn before getting out of bed. You’re telling your body to come out of hibernation and prepare for the day’s activities.
Could you imagine never yawning upon waking up?
I don’t even want to imagine how stiff and cranky I would be if I couldn’t reset my entire body with a simple, satisfying yawn multiple times a day.
As you go through the movements one more time, the only thing I want you to stretch is your idea of what “flexibility” really is.
Now, let’s begin our movement practice!
Before we begin, find a firm surface to lie on such as a carpet, rug or yoga mat. Make sure your arms and legs can stretch out without bumping into any walls or furniture and that you can still see your laptop or mobile device from where you are.
To get the most out of this lesson, wear loose clothing, and avoid noise and distractions for the next 10 minutes. After completing Arch & Flatten, remain lying on the ground for about 30 seconds to let your brain register the changes you’ve created.
These movements are not exercises! They’re slow, gentle movements. Do them calmly and slowly, and have fun doing them. This is one time in your life where less is definitely more, so don’t overdo it.
All Somatic Movement routines begin by taking an inventory of how your body feels. This is known as a Soma Scan. Settle into your comfy spot and let me guide you through your first Soma Scan now.
Stop Living with Chronic Muscle Pain
Whether you’re a caretaker, sedentary professional, weekend warrior, or a Type A overachiever, you’re here because, in some way, you struggle with muscle pain, fatigue, and/or immobility every day.
Rest assured that if you’re not taking care of your physical body today, it will eventually succumb to the effects of perpetual stress, sedentary living, negative thinking, and trauma.
When that becomes your reality, you’ll start to miss life’s little moments like:
Bending to pick something up, or getting up off the floor with ease
Enjoying a smooth, relaxing walk
Playing with your children or grandchildren
Waking up without body aches and pains
Life is not short. It’s long.
And if you suffer from Sensory Motor Amnesia, it can feel like an eternity. But it’s never too late to let Clinical Somatic Education help you.
Clinical Somatic Education teaches you how to manage your chronic muscle pain by giving you the tools to recognize and undo Sensory Motor Amnesia
You’ll feel a dramatic improvement in your ability to relax and move with ease just by performing the movements from this lesson each day. However, to unlearn years of bad habits caused by Sensory Motor Amnesia you have to deepen your Somatic Movement practice.
As you become more aware of how stress and trauma have affected your body, your home Somatic Movement practice must expand.
The movements you’ve enjoyed this week are from my Pain Relief Through Movement Video Lessons which includes over 60 minutes of instruction and 13 Essentials Somatics Movements.
Use the code MWP15 to get 15% off and continue your learning for the long term.