Here`s our Eight Sensory System (not arranged by importance as all the Sense Systems are equally important for maintaining health, function and balance.
The five basic sensory systems:
1. Visual (what we can see)
2. Auditory (what we can hear)
3. Olfactory/Smell (what we smell)
4. Gustatory/Taste (what we taste)
5. Tactile/Touch (our feeling of touch)
And the the three newly discovered Senses – that these blog is focusing on:
6. Inuition: Mainly how our nerves system responds by Fight-Flight or Freeze (Sympathetic) or Rest, Restore, Recover and Relate (Parasympathetic)
7. Proprioception: including the vestibular (head movement) is the sense of where the body and all it`s parts are located in space – related to gravity.
8. Introseption: Are the internal organs and the connective tissue – Fascia (the biggest sensory organ). Relating to sensation of temperature, pain, pleasure, internal thoughts, feelings and ultimately our inner unique characteristics and sense of reality.
Inuition: We have heard about the 6th Sense, related to clairvoyance and the ability to intuitively just know something, the “gut feeling” we can all experience.
It`s a unique combination of memories, cognition, experiences, abilities to accumulate it all and simulate it somehow, without the thing we just know necessarily have to be objective. Intuition is clearly more subjective, how our “gut feeling” just tells us things, for some even seeing things clearly before it happens, or seeing into past events that we haven’t physically attend. However mysterious these 6th sense have been used from the early times until today. From shamans, oracles, healers and psychic readers in modern time investigations for example.
Seeing it from the nervous system and the polyvagal theory, how our nerves system simply respond to pain, pleasure or neutral, by engaging the Fight-Flight or Freeze (Sympathetic System) or the Rest, Restore and Recover (Parasympathetic System). Balance of these systems makes us more flexible in how we relate and respond. So using the analogy: if we are walking down the street and first spot a person, our nervous system would (mostly unconsciously) pick up if these person that comes our way, have an harmful, peaceful or neutral intention toward us. And can also be related to our 6th Sense of intuition!
Animals are much more aware of these sense, like how they can pick up an earthquake before it happens. But like all senses we can ignore them also.
Proprioception: Means in a simple way the sense of where our body and all it`s parts (arms, legs, organs and small muscles in joints etc), are located in space, and the speed of the movements through time.
For an experiment you can take out your left arm and just keep it in the air, that gives you have a sense where your arm are located, and also the speed of the movement of your arm. A very easy test of these sense for us adults, but if you look at a newborn baby these is is not an easy task.
In the beginning a baby may take something from the table, and drop in on the floor, and its part of the babies learning first and foremost own body parts, like “it`s my arm i`m moving” and manipulating objects, that makes the baby want to experiment with pushing, puling, holdning, dropping and even throwing things around. Cause these is important for having a good sense of moving around in these three dimensional reality
This sense comes really handy when we are walking in unknown territory, like in a dark forest. Suddenly you can get a sense of a big tree or a branch you pass by, from the macroscopic things around us. To the micro levels, how all our 600 muscles are getting sensed through the connective tissue, where their positions are internally, how subtle movements of a joint in numerous combinations as we learn more movements in life.
We can actually help to increase our proprioceptive sense of self-movement and body positions, simply by balance and coordination training. It can be balancing on a slack-line or just standing on one leg and closing your eyes.
Like a GPS must use 3 satellites to find a location, our body are also using 3 systems together to determine where we are in space. The vestibular inner ear fluid canals, telling us mainly by head position where we are. Our vision and eyesight where we can physically see where we are, and our fascias proprioceptive sense, by mainly proprioceptors and mechanosensory neurons located within the myofascial system (muscles, joints, tissue etc).
A better sense of our body also increase health, body and even brain function!
As we get better sensing how we hold and move our body, these improves cognitive abilities as the brain gets a clearer map of our body. These can even save us energy related to having a better overall representation of own body positions, movements and acceleration through space, as our brain and body are always interested in saving more energy (ATP) by having a more optimal sense of equilibrium and balance with the force of gravity it self.
But not having a good sense, or ignoring our proprioceptive sense – can be really damaging for example in working life. By sitting hours and years in front of a computer screen, without the proper subtle support to gravity. Or moving very mechanical in work routines, for example using heavy machinery with only the right arm will create over tension / compensation / overloading the right side of the body (more than the left). And over long periods of time we can get into serious health issues (in our tissues) by holding these unhealthy posture and movement patterns.
Luckely you are at the right site ( indresone.com ) for reducing these risks, or restore already damaged, overcompensations and the numerous problems “issues in the tissues” causes in our lives.
Introspection: Really means “look within” and is a fascinating, or should I say fascia`nating world. Like proprioception, introspection is mostly found in the fascia – connective tissue. And before it was tough that it mostly have to do with our internal organs, temperature, ph levels, sensing homeostasis. And later included also the examination of one’s own conscious thoughts and feelings.
“In psychology, the process of introspection relies on the observation of one’s mental state. While in a spiritual context it may refer to the examination of one’s soul. Introspection is closely related to human self-reflection and self-discovery and is contrasted with external observation” (from wikipedia).
Taking these a step further with the IFS evidence based psychotherapy module (The Internal Family System), we can clearly see that introspection is related to our inner bodily world, as well as ones inner thought`s, feelings, beliefs and ideas. From the IFS perspective we can see how these important sense of Self, most likely sprouts our inner values, motivations, burdens and skills as unique characters with unique personalities or parts, that is the very background of our conscious actions and even unconscious reactions in life.
To give you an interesting test of these sense, you can do the same as the test of the proprioceptive sense mentioned above:
Take out your left arm and let it be there in the air. You first get a sense of where your arm are located, especially compared to your right arm (hanging down). But if you just sit with these and keep holding your left arm out, different things start to happen.
The proprioception becomes more fine tuned so you will only use the necessary muscle and tissue tension to hold your arm there. And these is one way that the introseption becomes a bit more obvious, as you keep holding your arm there, for many minutes, you get these inner thoughts and feelings, maybe asking: “why holding the arm like that?”, or “these is getting painful”, or “Ohh, these is so unnecessary!…..” (the list goes on…).
Eventually introspection takes over the other senses, and the only reason you can hold you arm longer for longer and longer periods, is determined by you inner motivation and sense of purpose for wanting to hold your arm in the air like that.
It’s a strange but interesting test as we all humans will respond a bit differently in our introspective awareness. Some people will give up faster, and some will just hold and hold, but eventually all our senses needs to come to a sense, to not hurt, sore, injure or create unhealthy functions and taking the body out of balance with it self.