By: Dr Dawn DPT
It’s 3pm on Tuesday. Do you know where your body is in space?
Proprioception is our body’s sense of its own position, balance and movement. It informs our brain about our physical environment and how we are interacting with it.
But often times the body lies about its whereabouts… not on purpose mind you… but because it’s been led to believe a certain set of spacial information is true just because it occurs most frequently. So, oft held postures or movement strategies become your body’s default way of interacting with the world because they are most familiar to the brain. And then aberrant postures or movement patterns become the new normal no matter how unnormal or unnatural they may appear to others or even ourselves if we look in a mirror!
How does this happen you may ask? Neuromyofascial imbalances occur over time due to injuries, handedness, unilateral sports (tennis, golf, baseball, etc), habit (carrying a baby while doing 3 other things, always standing like a duck, always crossing the same leg over the other). We have an amazing array of movement patterns available to us that diminsih over time when we ignore half of them! Move it or lose it is definitely a truism! The movements and postures we habitually practice are strongly embodied, but ignoring huge chunks of our evolutionary movement strategies creates a proprioceptive embodymap akin to the incredible shrinking continent. And the repetitive over-use of limited patterns of movement leads to degenerative changes and injuries.
SO… how do we stop deceiving ourselves?
1. Seek out a mirror and/or a movement professional to assist you in developing better postural habits and designing biomechanically appealing movement strategies.
2. Spice up your movement with liberal doses of variety and integration . Adding them to your daily life movement recipe ensures a creative concoction of proprioceptive potpourri. EXPLORE! PLAY! Use your non-dominant hand and/foot in an activity. Trying juggling while standing on 1 leg. You are only limited by your creativity!
3. Watch and learn from this amazing man:
Now that’s some proprioceptive magic right there folks!!!
GET OUT AND PLAY!!!