What’s your body awareness like?

The human body is a wonderfully intelligent design.

However like anything, without care and upkeep, it can and eventually will break down.

We tend to see most people when they are beginning to feel broken; they have pain, dysfunction, stiffness that is starting to impact on their day to day work, life or play routine.

I propose a few questions for you all. What is your body awareness like? Do you think you are in tune with what’s going on inside? Do you notice signs that your body may be struggling?

Something we have started to notice is that many musculoskeletal problems are largely contributed to by lack of total body awareness or proprioception. What do we mean by this? Jill Miller is an absolute guru when it comes to this concept and she defines proprioception as “your body’s sense of itself; your inner GPS system. The ability to sense position, location, orientation and movement of your body and its parts”.

We give most of our clients a mobility program of some kind, usually with a trigger ball and it’s so interesting how many people don’t realise how tight and restricted they are in certain parts of their body. These are what we refer to as ‘blind spots’, which areas within the body that have been over-used, dis-used or under-used yet we are blissfully unaware that they exist. These spots create dysfunction and dis-coordination, they affect proprioception, can impact on the workings of the nervous system, and disrupt physical and mental performance.

If we were all a little more in tune with what’s going on in our body we’d be able to pick up on subtle imbalances, which could start helping to prevent musculoskeletal problems from arising in the first place

Unfortunately it’s usually not until our system is completely wound up and verging on complete shutdown that become aware of pain and decide it’s time to do something about it.

This needs to change.

We need to be proactive.

We need to have better body awareness.

Proprioception can be trained. Sure it takes practice, persistence and patience BUT we believe that it’s one of the key components to long term musculoskeletal health.

The first step to improving proprioception and body awareness is to practice daily self massage and palpation using trigger balls. By doing a little bit each day you will slowly begin to de-sensitise the body’s web of connective tissue, fascia and muscle. Reducing tension helps to restore balance, promotes efficient function of the nervous system and subsequently the musculoskeletal system.

Our challenge to you. Starting today.

5 minutes a day of self massage with a trigger ball.

Start with areas that commonly hold tension such as the upper back, glutes and calves.

Control your breathing, sink your weight onto the ball, add a gentle active movement if appropriate to increase the intensity.

Explore. If one area doesn’t feel tight don’t waste your valuable time there. Move on. Get to know your body. Find your ‘blind spots’ that are holding tension.

If you need a little more info on how to get the most out of trigger ball’ing check out this  BLOG POST we posted previously.