What Really Causes Muscle Cramps?

What really causes muscle cramps? Muscle cramps have long been attributed to electrolyte depletion and dehydration, especially when they occur in athletes. However, research does not support these theories, and instead points to altered neuromuscular control and muscle fatigue as the culprits. In this post, I'll summarize the research and explain why muscle cramps [...]

New Video: Why Stretching Doesn’t Work

In this video, I explain the two reasons why static stretching isn't effective for releasing muscle tension and relieving pain: Because static stretching activates your stretch reflex (myotatic reflex), and because it doesn't change the learned messages that your nervous system is sending to your muscles to stay tight. You can learn more in these [...]

What is the Stretch Reflex (Myotatic Reflex)?

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 to [...]

What is the Gamma Loop?

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 [...]

Why Stretching Doesn’t Work

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 [...]

Combining Your Clinical Somatics and Yoga Practices

Combining Your Clinical Somatics and Yoga Practices One of the questions that students ask me most often is whether or not they should continue their yoga practice while doing Clinical Somatics exercises, and if so, how to go about combining the two practices. I love yoga, and I practice it regularly. Everything I've learned and [...]

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