Proprioception/Vestibular Senses and Why They Matter

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Our bodies are full of receptors in our joints, muscles, and connective tissues that are help us with body awareness. These specific receptors make up the Proprioceptive sense. By continually stimulating these receptors it allows us to know where our body is in space and to safely navigate our environment. The benefits of proprioceptive input are vast. Some examples are; calming, self regulating, decrease in stress/anxiety, increase in focus and attention, increase body awareness, and can help prevent sensory overload.

Examples of proprioceptive activities are as follows;

  • jumping
  • pushing a heavy object
  • pulling a heavy object
  • climbing
  • squeezing a stress ball
  • chewing
  • frog jumps
  • weighted blankets
  • hugs

The Vestibular Sense allows us to balance and maintain trunk control. We have a vestibular apparatus in each ear. This allows us to detect both gravity and linear movement. Benefits of vestibular processing include; a feeling of security, confidence and safety during movement. Individuals can participate in a movement activity with the ability of maintain balance to keep from getting hurt.

Activities that can improve the Vestibular Sense are;

  • swaying or slowly dancing to music
  • using a hammock
  • bouncing on a yoga ball
  • yoga
  • hanging upside down
  • rocking in a chair or using a rocking horse
  • spinning in large circles
  • somersaults
  • cartwheels

For more information, please visit http://therapeuticconceptsllc.com and visit our online store at https://shoptailoredtoys.com/.  Consultations are always free.

Starr Caruthers, CTRS

Starr Caruthers is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Therapeutic Recreation and Minor in Psychology from Grand Valley State University in 2005. Starr has 13 years of experience working as a mental health professional in various settings in Southeast Michigan.

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