What is PNF?
PNF (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation) was developed by Herman Kabat from 1946-1951 on the basis of work by renowned physiologists including Hellebrand, McGraw Pavlov and Sherrington. For one to fully appreciate PNF it is important to understand its definition.
- Proprioceptive refers to stimuli aroused within an organism through the movement of its tissues.
- Neuromuscular pertains to the nerves and muscles.
- Facilitation is the hastening of any natural process. This results from reducing nerve resistance through one stimulus, allowing a second stimulus to more easily evoke a response.
PNF recognizes that ALL physical activity depends primarily on neuromuscular processes involving proprioceptors in muscles, tendons and joints, which enable an individual to stabilize and mobilize. As for its application, PNF is a training system comprising a broad spectrum of different techniques. Note: Stretching only constitutes one of the many aspects of the full repertoire of PNF methods. To learn more about PNF history and application see the references we have listed below.
- Voss D, Ionta M, Myers B. Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation, Patterns and Techniques. 3rd ed. Philidelphia: harper & Row; 1995
- Adler S, Beckers D. Buck M. PNF in Practice: an Illustrated Guide. New York: Springer-Verlag; 1993
- (NSCA Journal 1991, Vol 13:No4)