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Natural Awakenings of Greater Ann Arbor & Detroit / Wayne & Monroe Counties Michigan

Indulge in Pandiculation to Reset Muscle Tension

Pleasurable full body yawning-like contractions called pandiculation are the nervous system’s natural reset for muscle tension. Human beings are the only mammals that don’t automatically pandiculate their entire lives. Cats do it about 40 times a day to stay supple.

Experts say to try indulging in two or three minutes of lazy pandiculation before getting out of bed in the morning. The body knows what to do. Make it pleasurable, without any discomfort by arching the back, twisting, and curling up.

The contraction sensation fills in the sensory map our brain creates of the body. The relax phase helps the brain control over movement patterns disrupted by stress, repetitive strain, injury, trauma or habituated ways of thinking and being.

Eric Cooper is a clinical somatic educator in Manchester specializing in somatic neuromuscular re-education. For appointments and more information, visit