Our hidden sense: Proprioception
We all know about the five main senses; hearing, vision, taste, touch and smell. But how many of us know there is another sense hidden deep in our muscles and joints?
This hidden sense is called proprioception.
Proprioception is the sense that lets us know where our different body parts are, how they move and how much strength our muscles need to use. We receive proprioceptive input from our sensory receptors located in our skin, muscles and joints. As you can see in the diagram below, it is one of the main building blocks that we need in order to access higher levels of the central nervous system and ultimately daily living skills and learning. That means it’s really important to keep our proprioceptive sense nicely regulated.
Here in Abingdon we offer children lots of opportunities to develop their proprioceptive sense. In fact any activity that involves pressure going through the joints and the muscles (e.g. press ups!) can regulate the proprioceptive sense and the bonus is that these activities can be both calming and alerting.
By Mollie Turner, Occupational Therapist