How Somatics Works
What Is a Pandiculation
The Vagus Nerve
The mensual cycle’s effect on movement
Somatics And Pandiculation
From Ancient Greek
σωματικός (sōmatikós, “bodily”), σῶμα (sôma, “body”).
Thomas Hanna, an educator in the field and founder of the method we teach here, coined the term in 1970 (although it has long been used in medical terminology) to describe a number of techniques that share one important similarity: They help people increase bodily awareness through a combination of movement and relaxation.
Many types of somatic exercises exist. They include:
Laban movement analysis
And many more…
How It Works
Our technique focuses on conscious Pandiculation.
Pandiculation is generally defined as the act of stretching oneself and yawning, especially upon waking.
Pandiculation is the nervous system’s natural way of waking up the sensory-motor system and preparing for movement. Humans, and all vertebrate animals, tend to automatically pandiculate when we wake up or when we have been sedentary for a while. If you’ve ever seen a dog or cat arch their back when they get up from a nap, you’ve witnessed the pandicular response.
Pandiculation contracts and releases muscles in such a way that the alpha-gamma feedback loop (a feedback loop in the nervous system that regulates resting muscle tension) is naturally reset. Preventing the buildup of tension in our muscles is critical to maintaining healthy posture and movement throughout our lives.
The exercises are slow and usually performed laying or sitting, they are low impact and suitable for almost everybody.
Muscles throughout the body are carefully contracted and slowly relaxed to imitate the body’s natural Pandicular response.
You focus totally on your inner experience as you move, this helps you release chronic tension by retraining your nervous system to understand what resting muscles feel like.
In order to be most effective, a somatic movement should be performed as slowly as possible. The human nervous system, which controls our posture and movement, must learn new things very slowly.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Kyphosis (rounded or forward-head posture)
Lordosis (arched lower back)
Temporomandibular Joint Disorders
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Uneven leg length
Better Than Stretching
Some sensory nerves send information all the way to your brain, these you can process and respond consciously too like an itch or tickle.
Others only send the information as far as the spinal cord or brain stem, triggering automatic reflexes like sneezing or pulling away from something hot.
Stretching causes one of these reflex responces. When we over stretch a muscle it responds by tensing to keep itself safe. This is obviously the opposite of what we’re trying to achieve.
However when we tense a muscle, the information makes it all the way to the brain, so when we begin to relax it again with a pandiculation our brain can learn what the resting muscle should feel like, effectively resetting the base level of tension in the muscle
Releasing chronic muscle tightness
Improving posture and movement
Enhancing athletic performance
Preventing and recovering from injuries
Effectively warming up and cooling down from workouts
Increasing flexibility and range of motion
Improving balance and coordination
For a more detailed explanation check out the blog
What Is The Vagus Nerve
The vagus nerve is one of the most important nerves in the body, running from the brainstem to the abdomen and connecting to several major organs, including the heart, lungs, and digestive system. It plays a crucial role in regulating many bodily functions, including heart rate, digestion, and respiratory rate.
How It Effects Mental Health
Research has shown that the vagus nerve also plays a key role in regulating mental health. The nerve acts as a communication highway between the brain and the body, and helps to regulate the body's stress response. When the vagus nerve is functioning properly, it helps to calm the body and reduce stress levels, which can have a positive impact on mental health.
Some studies have suggested that people with depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders may have reduced vagal tone, which means that their vagus nerve is not functioning as well as it should be. This can lead to a range of symptoms, including increased stress levels, difficulty sleeping, and poor emotional regulation.
Improving Vagal Tone
It is important to keep the Vagus Nerve healthy through regular exercise and relaxation techniques. Doing so can help promote overall wellbeing and help to maintain a healthy balance in the body.
We use a selection of techniques to improve the vagul tone such as
The Vagus Nerve
Movement during the
The menstrual cycle is an important part of a womxn's overall wellbeing. Exercise during this time can be beneficial, though it is important to understand the body's needs. Approximately 80% of people experience some form of physical or emotional discomfort during their menstrual cycle - it is well known that exercising can help reduce these symptoms by reducing menstrual cramps and managing mood swings. However the cycle extends much further than the few days that bleeding occurs and the fluctuating hormone levels in the body can dramatically effect performance levels in both mental and physical activities.
Understanding how the cycle affects a mind and body, then adapting work and exercise routines to take advantage of the highs and lows, can help people achieve more and help prevent stress and burn out.
If you’re interested in learning more about how the hormones change during the cycle check out this blog post.