Proprioception and what is it?

Proprioceptors, thought to be in the fluid joints, activate the organization of bones into alignment. Balanced posture is the result of proprioceptive coherency. Skeletal proprioception informs us of our relationship with the earth’s gravitational force every second of life; like a buoy in the ocean, we respond to its flux. When eyes are closed, and ears covered, it is this internal compass that signals when we are right side up or upside down. We orient through proprioceptive perception.

Like a pearl necklace, all two hundred thirty joints create a perceptual network that forms a continuum. Every joint, like the individual pearl, is vitally important in creating this sense of wholeness. When one joint is hypertonic, another will be hypotonic. Metaphorically the string represents our energetic, electrical magnetic life force. When either the string (energy) or pearl (joint) is damaged or disrupted, dissonance echoes throughout all systems.

When proprioception is disrupted, we feel out of tune. We may try to rely on muscular proprioception to guide us back to harmony, but muscles alone cannot offer what bones and joints can provide. 

The improved movement develops not by shaping our body as an object but by developing proprioception (our internal righting and orientating system).  Going through motions does not increase our capacity to adapt and organize in time and space – growing proprioception does. When we diversify our movements, we stimulate new neuropathways increasing our proprioception.

Developing somatic awareness, unlike developing muscular control, is an inner dialogue, a listening of sorts. As we learn to follow our internal messages, they lead us to a deeper experience of support, balance and integrity. 

No other species limits its movement of expression to just one muscle group, no other mammal except the human does abdominal crunches.  All life moves, unless compromised and injured with integrity and full expression.

Working with rather than against the earth’s perpetual motion keeps us vital.  It is the anti-gravity or rebound sensations activated within bones, joints and connective tissue where we sense our connection, support and freedom. 

Finding proper positioning while actively in motion requires proprioceptive receptivity. A powerlifter working proprioceptively rides the impulse of a rebound like a surfer rides a wave. 

Good positioning always includes: a stable pelvis, centred joints, released and supple psoas.  Sensing weight and ground force reaction is essential – not anchoring, tucking or pushing.   Ligaments, tendons, muscles, bones all have proprioceptors – but all cells have proprioception. Bones are sensitive to weight. Ligaments to space or distance between bones. Tendons are time orientated. Proprioceptors are Feedback mechanisms that give us information.

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