Neuromuscular Science and Somatics

Somatics deals with correcting functional issues. We look at breaking habitual, fixed motor patterns which are stored in the sub cortex and create chronically tight muscles. The sub cortex is located below and completely covered by the cerebral cortex. The sub cortex can be divided into three main areas:
1) Brainstem and hindbrain
2) Midbrain
3) Forebrain
The sub cortex involves involuntary actions such as heart rate, breathing, swallowing and digestive activity. But it is also the seat of FIXED MOTOR PATTERNS. So if the body has a familiar somatic neuroscience habituated pattern from a learned behavior, it will develop pathways in the sub cortex. This is where people with emotional, environmental, physical or any other trauma can change their bioplasticity and become trapped in a habituated fixed motor pattern, maybe hunched shoulders, maybe a limp and leg length discrepancy.
It is by pandiculating chronically tight muscles that we can actually change the neuromuscular behaviour of the body. When we pandiculate, we are practicing a very mindful technique. We are deliberately engaging the cortex or conscious part of our brain. The cortex is the seat of learning. When we repeatedly work mindfully with the cortex, we can retrain the sub cortex to operate in a different manner and break old habits. Neuroscience is at a very exciting phase at the moment and the discovering of both neuroplasticity and bioplasticity shows that we can consciously change the make up of our body and nervous system.
We could learn a thing or two from cats and dogs. They automatically and regularly pandiculate, they don’t stretch. By deliberately creating three distinctive phases to the muscles, they are able to reset the muscle and allow it to switch off when it is not required.
When we stretch, we are merely stimulating the stretch reflex in the muscle. If a muscle is chronically tight, no amount of stretching will release the contracted fibres, created from the sub cortex. We may create muscle cramp and fatigue with a chronically tight muscle. Also many comment that after stretching their hip or lower back will ache. This is because the only area that has been over exerted are the ligaments and tendons. Muscular Stretch communication only travels to the spinal cord and doesn’t create intelligent change and re-education to the muscles.

Pandiculation is very much a mindful practice due to the technique. We are literally putting our mind into our muscle. We are allowing it to truly release all residue tension by “turning off the switch” in the brain; the control centre of muscle contraction and coordination. Unlike stretching, when we pandiculate, we are creating intelligent change and re education to the muscles. We are working between the cortex and sub cortex; the root cause of muscle tension.

So why not join the Total Somatics online Programme and learn how to empower yourself with a skill set, break old bad habits and retrain your brain. Mindfulness with Total Somatics is structured to allow you to increase your awareness of your SOMA with movement patterns. Learn how your body should be moving correctly.
Make it part of your health goals!

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