Want to be supple? Don't stretch

 
Woman Stretching

Stretching feels good though right?

It might feel good but it's not good for you.

Does your body fight against you when you try and stretch in a yoga class? It’s because stretching or elongating your muscles goes against your body’s natural design. There is increasing research about fascia, the connective tissue of the body, and how it behaves.  Not only is fascia found in the tendons and ligaments of your joints but is intertwined with your muscle tissue intimately connected with your nervous system and interpenetrates every cell and organ in your body.  It stiffens under strain, becomes sore and inflamed under duress and loses elasticity as we age.
When you stretch at a joint, the brain’s response is to restrict that motion. To prevent you from damaging the tissue. Even worse is if you have joint laxity, it further damages the integrity of the connective tissue.
So how do you become supple, restore elasticity and find relief from pain without stretching? Pandiculation is nature’s way of nourishing, nurturing, lubricating, hydrating and revitalising fascia.

 
Cat Stretching on Sheets

What is pandiculation?

Nature's was of revitalising your fascia

It’s that early morning spontaneous urge the body finds to revitalise. We associate it with a stretch and yawn sensation.  Dogs, cats and new born baby’s find this urge to pandiculate spontaneously.

It feels like a stretch but has nothing to do with elongating muscles, or creating space in a single stiff joint for flexiblity. It’s a whole body, intuitive unwinding, shape-changing motion. Nature’ was of restoring suppleness. There is no strain or discomfort, no risk of injury to your joints, you never go beyond your range and it really feels good!  You’ll never have to fight to find flexibility. What if you are too flexible and struggle with joint laxity?  Pandiculation helps to restore your body’s elasticity.

We lose the spontaneous ability to find pandiculation when the nervous system is out of rhythm. In hypervigilance or in overwhelm as a result of trauma.

Pandiculation helps you to

  • Feel supple, mobile and agile

  • Breathe better without having to learn breath exercises.

  • Tone the vagus nerve

  • Unwind areas of strain from the inside out.

  • Release stiffness

 

You can pandiculate anywhere, anytime and at any moment. In a chair, standing, lying on the ground, sitting on the floor, pulling against a table, a bar or a desk.

 

For a supple pain free body, don't stretch pandiculate!

SomaSensing pandiculate is a somatic practice that incorporates pandiculation and other intuitive blueprints like coaxing, rocking, bouncing, pulsing and to revitalise and rehydrate Fascia your connective tissue

 

Why is pandiculation better than stretching?

"Pandiculation is nature's way of maintaining the integrity of the myofascial system" (Luiz FernandoBertolucci - 2011)

Here are some other differences between a yoga stretch or sustained stretch at a joint versus pandiculation.


1. Pandiculation is involuntary, spontaneous, intuitive, whole.

A stretch is voluntary. You're having to think about it or be shown what to do.


2. A stretch is like pulling an elastic band. Often focusing at increasing mobility around a joint. Not great for joint integrity.

Pandiculation enhances the auxetic nature of fascia. It's expanding,  energy-efficient and has re-plumping quality. The whole body responds with integrity. Better for vitality, mobility and suppleness.


3. The feel-good of a stretch is pleasurable and involves mostly dopamine the gratification hormone. Which can be addictive.The feel-good of pandiculation leaves you with a sense of well being. Releasing oxytocin, the nurture hormone. Better for regulating the nervous system.


4. With a stretch, you usually stretch at a joint and run the risk of going beyond your range. Running the risk of instability. Especially if you are  hypermobile. 

With pandiculation, you move with integrity. Within your range with no risk of injury.