Voluntary pandiculation is the main technique we use in Somatics to regulate the level of tension in our muscles. It is the act of contracting AND stretching the muscles in the body.
Pandiculation is generally defined as the act of stretching oneself and yawning, especially upon waking. However, our automatic pandicular response has far more significance than simply prompting us to stretch and yawn.
Pandiculation is the nervous system’s brilliant and natural way of waking up the sensory-motor system and preparing us to MOVE!
Humans, along with 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, or watched a baby stretch their arms and legs as they wake up, you’ve witnessed the pandicular response.