the Somatics blog

Exploring how the brain controls posture and movement, why we experience muscle and joint pain,
and how we can live our lives to the fullest.

Somatics blog

The Life-Changing Link Between Anxiety and Muscle Tension

Anxiety is a true “somatic” condition: It is typically brought on and made worse not by any external source like a virus, but by our internal psychological and physiological functioning. […]

What is the Stretch Reflex (Myotatic Reflex)?

Learn why static stretching usually doesn’t accomplish much due to the myotatic reflex, more commonly referred to as the stretch reflex. […]

Somatics blog

Getting out of the Fibromyalgia Pain Cycle

Fibromyalgia can be the result of an ongoing, self-perpetuating cycle of chronic pain, psychological stress, overactive immune system response, lack of sleep, and sensitization of the nervous system. […]

Unlocking Your Body: Your Personal Process of Releasing Tension and Pain

Unlocking Your Body: Your Personal Process of Releasing Tension and Pain Many people ask me how long it will take them to release their chronic tightness or get out of pain. I wish I could answer this question, but the truth is that everyone's patterns of muscular tension and pain are so unique that [...]

The Myth of Aging: What’s Inevitable, and What Isn’t?

The Myth of Aging: What's Inevitable, and What Isn't? We like to blame a lot of things on aging: our lack of energy, our stiff joints and sore muscles, our rounded shoulders, and our expanding waistlines. But are these changes in our body and functioning inevitable—or are they a result of gradual changes in our [...]

The Cause of Idiopathic Scoliosis: Involuntary Muscle Contraction

The Cause of Idiopathic Scoliosis: Involuntary Muscle Contraction Scoliosis is regarded as mysterious and incurable by many people in the medical community. While some cases are caused by congenital structural abnormalities or neurological or muscular diseases, the vast majority—around 85%—are of unknown cause. The fact is, the bones in our body do not move [...]

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome: Anatomy, Causes, and Treatment with Clinical Somatics

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome: Anatomy, Causes, and Treatment with Clinical Somatics Thoracic outlet syndrome might sound a little scary, but most cases are functional—meaning they can be prevented and often eliminated completely. When tight muscles or poor posture compress the thoracic outlet, you may experience symptoms such as pain and numbness in your shoulder, arm, [...]

The Functional Cause of Sciatica

The Functional Cause of Sciatica Sciatica often occurs along with back pain, which 80% of Americans will experience at some point in their lives. By the time your doctor diagnoses you with sciatica, the cause may appear to be structural—most commonly, a herniated disc pressing on the root of the sciatic nerve. However, as [...]

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 [...]

Fix Forward Head Posture with Pandiculation

Fix Forward Head Posture with Pandiculation Forward head posture is becoming an epidemic due to constant use of smartphones and computers. When we look downward over and over, the muscles in the front of our neck, our chest, and our abdomen become chronically contracted—and they keep us stuck in forward head posture all the [...]

What is 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 [...]

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