What is the Stretch Reflex (Myotatic Reflex)?

By |May 12th, 2019|Clinical Somatic Education, gamma loop, muscle tension, neuroscience, pandiculation, stretching|

What is the stretch reflex (myotatic reflex)? From a young age, we’re taught that stretching is a necessary part of any workout routine. If we’re involved in sports or physical training, we stretch to warm up, cool down, and during breaks to help us stay loose. Unfortunately, stretching usually doesn’t accomplish much, mainly due [...]

What is the Gamma Loop?

By |April 29th, 2019|Clinical Somatic Education, gamma loop, muscle memory, muscle tension, neuroscience, pandiculation, stretching|

What is the gamma loop? The gamma loop (also referred to as the alpha-gamma loop) is a feedback loop in our nervous system that regulates the level of tension in our muscles. The way the gamma loop works can get a little confusing, so in this post I'm going to explain it as simply as [...]

What is Pandiculation?

By |April 21st, 2019|Clinical Somatic Education, neuroscience, pandiculation|

What is pandiculation? 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. As you'll learn in this post, pandiculation is a fundamental part of our neuromuscular functioning. In fact, when it comes [...]

Why Stretching Doesn’t Work

By |February 1st, 2019|athletic training, Clinical Somatic Education, neuroscience, pandiculation, stretching|

Why Stretching Doesn't Work From the ages of twelve to twenty-one, I was a ballet dancer. It was all I did and all I wanted to do. Being extremely disciplined, I stretched for half an hour every night before bed so I could get more flexible. And it worked—I got pretty darn flexible. Even on [...]

Sensory Motor Amnesia and Muscle Memory

By |January 16th, 2016|Clinical Somatic Education, muscle memory, neuroscience|

Sensory Motor Amnesia and Muscle Memory Most people are familiar with the concept of muscle memory. When we repeat a movement like swinging a golf club over and over, the neurons involved in controlling that movement develop increasingly stronger connections. Existing synapses begin to fire more efficiently, and new synapses are formed as well. As [...]