Embracing Pandiculation and Interoception to Reconnect with Your Body’s Natural Instincts

The first step in restoring the health & function of your pelvic floor is rebalancing your breathing.
Pandiculation and Interoception

I found myself explaining to a client in the studio today what pandiculation is, sparking an insightful discussion on the importance of pandiculation and interoception in our daily lives. It came about because she was noticing that she naturally wanted to move a certain way and just found herself there. Was this wrong? she asked. A resounding NO was my answer.

This started a fascinating conversation about how animals will instinctively move, stretch, rithe, and roll without any cognitive thought just because they feel their body needs it. The follow-up questions: do babies pandulate? Absolutely. We are all born moving instinctively without conscious thought; we are just responding to the reflex to move. This innate process of pandiculation and interoception is crucial from the very start of our lives. Of course, then the question was, Why don’t we do that as adults?

Yes, indeed. Unfortunately, being told to sit still, be quiet, go to the toilet at certain times from a very young age, gradually dulls our ability to feel those natural impulses and reflexes to do certain things. This suppression affects our pandiculation and interoception abilities – our natural instincts to stretch and feel internal cues. We can all think of times we were told to go to the loo just in case. Think about a baby moving just to explore the world—feelings and sensations they don’t think they need to, they just do.

Pandiculation is what your cat or dog does when they wake up, or like my dog Buddy, he has a certain bum-up paws-out stretch he does before a walk, and the stretch is usually accompanied by a loud yawning chewbacca noise. As humans, we don’t really move this way, although we have suppressed our ability to feel these internal cues that tell us what we need or feel at any given moment.

Understanding pandiculation and interoception helps us reconnect with our body’s natural needs and impulses. Things like am I hungry and do I actually need the loo are called interoception, our ability to feel our internal cues and the internal landscape of our body. As women, we often get busy and forget that we are caring for others. We have a habit of going to the loo before we leave the house or just in case. The simple act of going to the loo just in case is impacting your pelvic floor and bladder’s capacity to communicate the truth to you. You have lost the positive relationship, and now you are living with a top-down approach rather than a body-up approach, which pandiculation and interoception aim to correct.

A simple thing you can do to help your bladder and your pelvic floor today is to ask yourself: Do I really need to go? Embracing the principles of pandiculation and interoception can significantly improve your well-being by fostering a deeper connection with your body’s natural rhythms and needs.

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