Somatically Yours: Stop, Reset, Move On

Pandiculation1, think of it as a pause between stages, like when you wake up and stretch. It’s a reset between sleep and awake. It’s preparation to emerge and function into a new environment. It’s not exactly stretching per se, it’s more spontaneous like a yawn. Think of the morning stretch. This spontaneous action sends feedback to the brain, what is tight,what is relaxed, what is injured. As a species, we used to do this more often, but, now,have you been trained not to? Maybe you were told sighing is rude. A sigh2 signals the brain for healthy lung function. We have been trained to ignore discomfort. You feel a rock in your shoe and think, I just have two more blocks, it’s not that bad. Our bodies need the time, the pause, the moment to reset. But, we tend to dash, here is my train stop, hop up and get off. What happens if you give yourself a moment to pause and for your brain to take in how your body feels, your surroundings?  This concept of pandiculation3, pausing for an assessment of how things are can apply to life in general and 2022 specifically.

We’re not going back to what was considered “normal” pre-covid. But, we’re going from one state to another and things have changed. Just like going from seated to standing. If you have been sitting a while, the body adjusts, tightening in some areas and relaxing in others. You may not move as fast as usual. In March of 2022, the US went into covid lockdown. Two years later,we’ve gone from coivd panic to monkey pox concern with host of other geo and political actions impacting our lives. We need a pause, a kind of reset to go from one phase to another. What is important to you now, how do you move and function in the world? Some did remote work for the first time, many things became virtual, some suffered the malaise of zoom burnout while others luxuriated in the stillness and quiet of lockdown. The myriad of experiences each individual had over the last 2 years has shaped a perspective and way of being. As a community, as an ecosystem, this shifts the way the universal we operates.

What signals, input and information do you need to process to move forward? What applies directly to you? This week, try to pause for both mind and body. As you move through various states of sitting, standing, driving, working, playing, etc, pause, give the body a few breathes to transition and adjust accordingly. As you begin to cultivate body awareness move next environmental awareness. What things have shifted in your community that impact you? Is it safety, fires, noise, whatever, what adjustments do you need to make? 

1Pandiculation is the name given to an action pattern that occurs generally throughout the vertebrae kingdom. It is the sensory motor action used by animals to arouse the voluntary cortex by making a strong voluntary muscle contraction in order to feedback an equally strong sensory stimulation to the motor neurons. It is a way of “waking up” the sensory motor cortex. This area is responsible for sensation and movement for our body. Pandiculation is the action used to create a ‘software update’ to the sensory motor cortex. Why?

Due to our daily habits, we commonly sit, walk, carry and behave a certain way with our movements and posture. As a result, the sensors within your muscles which gauge movement, level of tension and spatial awareness adapt to good or bad habits. If we have developed bad habits, over time we start to feel pain, postural distortions and a limitation in our mobility.

From Total Somatics



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