Weekly musings, 6/25/18: on sensing movement and sensing position
Proprioception, our innate awareness of where our bodies are located in space, is often considered our sixth sense. It allows us to do things like close our eyes and touch our right index finger to our left ear, it enables us to just know where our limbs are without looking at them. People in tune with their proprioception tend to be more sure footed and a little more balanced than their less aware counterparts.
A review of proprioception in the “The Scientist,” explains proprioception is both awareness of the limbs at rest and when they are moving. This awareness is accomplished through an interplay between the brain, neurons, and muscles. Information is constantly being relayed to determine things like how much force is needed to perform a specific task, or what path the arm should take so the finger can touch the ear. It’s a balancing act, one which we often take for granted.
When an injury occurs, or pain becomes chronic, or we stop using our bodies regularly, this carefully regulated information loop can become a little less accurate. The good news is, like all things, you can improve your proprioception, but it takes a little practice. Slowing down, feeling where your body is located in space, and feeling how your limbs move are ways to tune up rusty signals. The more of yourself you can feel, the more options you have to navigate the world.
*Article can be found here: https://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/46796/title/Proprioception--The-Sense-Within/