Our main technique called, “pandiculation,” consists of two easy processes. First, you contract the muscle group(s) involved. This sends sensory information from the muscles and joints to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord the sensory information ultimately reaches the motor cortex of the brain. Second, you very slowly and with control and awareness, come out of the contraction. This is the most important part of the process. If you are moving out of the contraction slowly and paying attention to your internal sensations, your motor cortex is re-organizing your muscle response such that you are reseting and reducing your muscles’ resting tonus. That means the muscles let go of their excess muscular tension. Between each pandiculation you rest briefly for a second or two. Then you repeat the process as needed, usually 3 to 5 times.
Hanna Somatic pandiculations and movements are pleasurable. They are done slowly with comfortable effort. In most fitness and exercise classes you are encouraged to “go for it 100%.” In Hanna Somatics you are usually directed to reduce your level of effort and exertion which actually increases your ability to sense your internal process and achieve greater results in pain reduction, joint stiffness, and a sense of well being.