Base-Line Healing logo. Stick figure with arms outstretched above shoulder height, legs apart. Rainbow of colours up midline. Red at pelvic floor Base then a line of orange, yellow, green blue extending to the head. Showing the body aligned and balanced, the natural way to treat fibromyalgia.Use your body better slogan.

Conscious Proprioception.

Proprioception:

(PRO - pree - oh - SEPt - shun)

"The ability to sense stimuli arising within the body regarding position, motion, and equilibrium."

Proprioception is your sensory faculty that tells your brain about your posture (body position), movements (motion) and state of balance (equilibrium).

Conscious proprioception is when you are actively aware of this sensory information, when you can sense/see/feel:

  • The relative position of the all parts of your body. Your posture.
  • The motion of all the parts of your body and where your should be able to move.
  • Your state of equilibrium, feeling whether you are physically balanced or not.

Conscious proprioception = increased body-awareness = a strong connection between body and mind.

Proprioception - How it Works.

Throughout the body there are 'sensors' that detect changes in environment and condition of the part of the body they are located. These sensors send information, via the nervous system, to the brain. (The body 'talking' to the brain.)

The information about the location and movement of all the parts of the body is known as proprioceptive feedback. This feedback forms the basis of our sense of proprioception.

The body generates a stream of sensory information about your dynamic posture.

outline of human figure seen from the front. Showing the network of nerves throughout the body. The central nervous system consisting of the spinal cord and brain.  A web of smaller nerves from the extremities feeding into larger nerves, transmitting the sensory information about the body's position, motion and balance which is processed for our sense of proprioception. Conscious proprioception is when we experience this sensory feedback our body has for us. Seeing the sparkles, feeling the position of the body relative to base-line, instinctively knowing where our natural range of movement should take us.

Your sense of proprioception will be running in the background, providing the brain with information about your positioning and state of balance. The brain 'processes/interprets' this feedback and then sends signals around the body to maintain a 'functional posture', the positioning of the body that we use day-to-day.

The degree of connection between body and mind = how aware we are of this feedback.

Increasing conscious awareness of your sense of proprioception builds the connection between body and mind, allowing you to judge your own positioning and improve your posture through movement, working towards a body that is more balanced and aligned.

body alignment and balancegood posture

So how do you increase conscious awareness of your sense of proprioception? - By focusing on using the right muscles.

Conscious proprioception and your Base-Line muscles.

To increase awareness your sense of position, motion and balance start by focusing on activating and extending your Base-Line muscles (pelvic floor 'Base', rectus abdominis 'Line').

the base-line muscles pelvic floor and rectus abdominis shown in a human figure from the front and angled. The rectus abdominis muscles are like two ribbons that run parallel up the front of the abdomen from pubic symphysis of the pelvis (the bone between the legs) to the front of the chest, attaching to the rib cage i.e. they extend quite high. Each rectus abdominis is made up of sections of muscle, panels of muscular tissue separated by bands of connective tissue within each 'ribbon' two stacks of blocks.  The linea alba, a strip of tough connective tissue lies between the rectus abdominis muscles on the body's midline. Think pelvic floor base, Rectus abdominis line. Our core pillar of strength up the front of the abdomen.

Base-Line muscles

Why start from Base-Line?

To describe the position of something you need a reference.  Our Base-Line muscles are the body's 'core pillar of strength', central to healthy movement and are the starting reference needed to describe the position and motion of the rest of the body.

● The position of the rest of your body is relative to your Base-Line.

human skeleton seen from the front also showing the base-line muscles. the pelvic floor at the base of the body.  The rectus abdominis muscles from pelvis to rib cage up the front of the abdomen, either side of our midline anatomy of the linea alba.  Midline is drawn on the figure, splitting the body into equal left and right halves. The rest of the body should be thought to extend from our Base-Line muscles. Feeling the relative position of the rest of the body from a base-line reference. Connecting body and mind.

● All movement should originate from, and be supported by, your Base-Line muscles.

human figure seen from the front, looking up the body with the baseline muscles shown.  The base pelvic floor muscles, a basket of muscles within the bones of the pelvis that provide the solid foundation for the body. The rectus abdominis muscles extend from the pubic symphysis of the pelvis, up the front of the abdomen to the ribcage. The rectus abdominis muscles are like to 2 parallel stacks of panels of muscle, blocks side by side, from base to mid chest either side of the linea alba. These muscles are the body's core pillar of strength, from where all movement should originate and be supported by.

● Working from Base-Line connects us to our midline anatomy and begins to balance the body either side of the median plane.

The body map in the mind.

several pictures of the body in different yoga positions demonstrating what the body is capable of.  From standing on one leg with the arms lifted above the head to lying on back with legs lifted over the head. Side plank, legs spread wide and arms out to side.

Imagine a 3-D representation of the body, demonstrating a flow of movement through the innumerable positions the body when we are functioning at optimal. The innate knowledge of where our full range of natural movement should take is when we are dynamically balanced and aligned.

full range of natural movement

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→ A moving map in our mind of the body's full spatial potential.

The proprioceptive feedback received by the brain is applied to this 'body map in the mind', giving us a mental image of the positioning of our head and limbs relative to our Base-Line muscles.

  • Sensory feedback from the pelvic floor muscles provides the Base starting point for reading the map accurately.
  • Sensory feedback from the rectus abdominis muscles provides information about the positioning of the linea alba - the Line that orientates the map in the right direction.

linea alba

human figure from the front with a dot and line representing the pelvic floor muscles and the linea alba. Our primary guide for body alignment. When the pelvic floor and rectus abodminis muscles are fully activated and extended the body is correctly positioned to align with the body map in the mind. Imaging this line increases awareness of our sense of proprioception. Feeling our midline anatomy, seeing the sparkles.

With your Base-Line muscles at the core using the other main muscles of movement too will further increase awareness of the proprioceptive information from your body, building the connection between body and mind.

main muscles of movement

When the body is functioning at optimal i.e. when it is dynamically balanced and aligned with a full range of natural movement, all proprioceptive feedback can be accurately placed onto the map. Ability aligns with potential and we can see the whole map.

When physical restrictions are present on the body, causing the body to be imbalanced and misaligned, the sensory feedback cannot align with the map. There are 'blockages' and 'blank spaces' in the proprioceptive information we experience. The body is crumpled and twisted. The map distorted.

physical restrictions

A distorted map in the mind means that motor commands are sent to the 'wrong' muscles, further adding to the body's imbalance and misalignment.

Increasing Awareness of our Sense of Proprioception.

When you think "activate muscle" this is the mind communicating with the body: the brain sends signals (via motor nerves) to muscles to activate them.

Active engagement of the Base-Line muscles creates a positive feedback loop, increasing our conscious awareness of:

  • Voluntary activation of muscles. Building the mind to muscles, body to brain connection.
  • The body map in the mind. Sensing our potential for a full range of natural movement.
  • The proprioceptive feedback that is compared to the map. Seeing the sparkles.

conscious proprioception - technique tips

Becoming more conscious of the relative positioning of your main muscles of movement allows to develop a sense of where your natural range of movement should take you - instinctively knowing how to move to improve your posture and work towards a full range of natural movement by releasing the physical restrictions and pain you have been carrying around - "stored trauma".

As I focused on activating my Base-Line - longer and stronger with every in breath - I began to see 'the sparkles' which was the beginning of an awareness of my sense of proprioception, feeling a connection between my body and mind.

my body-mind connection

chakras and qi

Summary.

Conscious proprioception allows you to:

  • Sense the relative position and motion of the whole of your body.
  • Judge and improve your posture.
  • Feel the relative positioning of your midline anatomy and state of alignment.
  • Feel for balance between left and right of each of the main muscles of movement.
  • Be able to see/sense/visualise your presence in space.
  • Feel how to move in order to release the physical restrictions and stored trauma on your body.
  • Work towards regain a full range of natural range of movement.
  • Increase body awareness, developing the connection between body and mind.
  • Feel better through reduced physical tension and healthier movement.

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