Proprioception/Vestibular Senses and Why They Matter

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

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