Arch and Flatten is a powerful and transformative movement that requires learning in stages to understand the “how of the technique” of pandiculation. This is because in life we learn how to do gross movement patterns and perform most movements in patterns to look a certain way. Without sensing and feeling the muscles that are required to engage to create the movement, we are not moving “somatically.”
The Art of Pandiculation
The truth is that we can go through life, and we can go through the motions without really paying attention. This is often referred to as being on AUTOPILOT. And these habituations and tendencies, get things done quickly. However, when it comes to Neuromuscular Re-education and “re-learning” better and more supportive movement patterns, we MUST actively engage the cortex of our brain’s in the process.
The Art of Pandiculation requires that we bring all of our brain’s conscious attention to connecting with the sensation of contracting and releasing (or shortening and lengthening) of our muscles to teach them to let go.
It is the sensations and reconnection with the “what” and “how” the muscles are feeling and moving, that makes all the difference.
The “HOW” of Pandiculation is where the true re-education happens.
Let us give you a few more details on how to get the most out of your Arch and Flatten.
The only way your brain can learn to reconnect with the muscles that are not functioning well is to voluntarily contract those muscles, sense that contraction and then sense the slow deliberate release of those muscles.
The challenge is that if your muscles have been stuck short for a long time, then you likely cannot feel them well, or even at all, so doing the movement requires even more attention to try and feel the back and belly muscles as they are shortening and lengthening.
Sometimes, it may even require you to place your fingers between your lower back and the floor on the muscles that run along each side of the spine to get the sensory information of the contraction to the brain, so that the brain can then start controlling the lengthening of the muscles.
Try doing the same with the abdominal muscles, try placing both hands on your lower belly to sense and feel them shorten with your flatten.
How long should you practice this movement?
Give yourself the gift of this amazing movement by exploring it daily for 10-15 minutes, for 3 weeks and notice what changes in your body and mind.
You can find our Arch and Flatten video here.
Benefits of Arch and Flatten
Just some of the benefits of this powerful practice are:
- Reduction or elimination of back pain
- Reductions of elimination of chest tightness
- Improved mood and well being
- Increase in energy
- Improved digestion
- Reduction or elimination of shoulder or hip pain
- Improved posture
- Sense of being more balanced on your feet
- More ease in standing and walking.
Stay tuned for next week’s post where we will explore the nuances of Arch and Flatten and how to realize even more benefits from this seemingly benign exercise.