movement as ‘medicine’ part2
“The body says what words cannot.”~Martha Graham
Movement is also critical brain food. Throughout our bodies are sensory nerves with specialized receptors. These nerves are called proprioceptors and they are essential for movement and maintain continuous input to the central nervous system for interpretation and response and they give us our kinesthetic awareness.
There is an elaborate process that takes place between receiving information from our external environments and translating to the brain and communication as sensation. (There are also some stimulus that bypass the brain and function as reflexes)
General and primary senses work in conjunction with proprioceptors for body awareness. Our general senses include receptors for touch, vibration, temperature and pain. They are found in the skin, connective tissue and ends of the gastro-intestinal tract. Some areas of the body like the hands and lips have very concentrated amounts of sensory receptors and others like the torso and thighs have very few.
The primary senses have specialized receptors for vision, hearing , smell and taste. Here, awareness is selective and we can choose to direct our attention. Examples of this are awareness of the tea kettle, bread in the toaster or flavors in our meal. As movements and stimulus become familiar, awareness of sensation is reduced. A good example for this is when you lied down in your bed. You are aware at first of the bed and your position but this awareness passes quickly. The nerve endings adapt and cease to register information. The more thorough our abilities for receiving sensory information and responding, the more choice we have with movement function and body process.
Body awareness also affects our relationships with other people and with the environment of living on the Earth. Scientists say that we are the only species without fixed behaviorial responses and that we create our response generally between the ages from 0-5 yrs. But these are not fixed and we can choose to evolve ones that don’t serve us or to expand existing ones through our awareness.
I often wonder what % of my movement expression I am fully engaging. How many new ways can I experience the simple act of walking? How much does the brain, soul, emotions and physical body grow by simply expanding our movement expression and awareness?