Interoception - our 8th sense and key to restoring health
We are quite familiar with the first 7 senses: touch, movement, smell, taste, sight, hearing and balance. But what about the 8th sense of Interoception?
Dr. Anthony Quintiliani describes it as "the conscious detection and perception of sensory signals in the body and on the skin."
He explains that "sensation, as the foundation of emotional experience, is always there in our bodies; however, we are not always fully conscious of its existence or its experiential range."
His article points out that interoception is a sense skill that can help us detect early warning signals from the body, about unsafe conditions and the possibility of harm or death. From a chronic pain perspective, cultivating this ability to sense and feel from the inside out allows you to avoid movements, activities and other events that may lead to more pain or further sensitization of your nervous system.
Remember that when you have had pain for over 6 months, your nervous system becomes sensitized and is more affected by what it deems to be a potential threat or harm.
The amazing thing about a SomaYoga Practice is that it allows you to hone the skill of Interoception, allowing you to directly "plug in" to your nervous system. The power of this work is profound.
Working interoceptively is a direct nourishment to your nervous system, and we see this almost automatically - there is a calming that occurs, a decrease in pain, an enlivened freedom that emerges as we work from this place.
The skill teaches us better discernment in life. This discernment and witnessing lends itself to more conscious choices of behaviors and movements that nourish your nervous system, restoring balance.
Remember, the key goal of all of this work is to support your parasympathetic nervous system.
Here is a link to the latest and best information on Pain Science.