Tai Chi and the proprioceptive system 2

The “proprioceptors” are nerve endings sensitive to stimuli coming from the joints, muscles, tendons and skin, thanks to which it is possible to obtain an “internal” sensation of the positions of the various parts of our body.
They are flanked by “exteroreceptors” that provide the brain with information from the external environment coming from our senses (sight, touch, smell, hearing, sense of balance) and “interoreceptors” sensitive to signals coming within the body that provide information on the tensions of the internal organs and on the pain that can derive from them.

All this information reaches the central nervous system, where a response is processed, which is immediately “sent” to the muscles, where it results in the execution of inexpensive and coordinated movements; When you suffer trauma (for example, a sprained ankle) you can damage the anatomical structures that contain proprioceptors. This reduces the quality of the information that that district sends to the central nervous system.
Some perceive the world mainly through sight, others through hearing, and still others through touch. Reality is usually perceived by the predominant channel, which, in Western culture, sight, followed by hearing.

Visual channel = see
Auditory canal = hearing
Proprioceptive canal = touching/feeling the body
Kinesthetic canal = moving

Usually you do not feel the difference between one position and another; For example, little is known about the diversity of sensations experienced in turning the head left or right, just as one does not possess awareness of one’s own body and part of it in space. We should learn, closing our eyes, to perceive the stimuli that come to us from the external environment, becoming aware of them. We should learn to “feel” the part of the body that moves and feel its weight, heat, its position in space. Self-perception helps to become aware of all the changes, even the smallest, that occur in the body.
How does it feel when you move your arm in one direction? And in the opposite one? Start listening and try to perceive the sensations of rigidity, contraction, relaxation, heat and cold. Make an effort to feel the body and understand what it wants to communicate.

Even in breathing, micro-movements are created that the individual vertebrae continuously produce when breathing. One must begin to be aware of the body in space; re-educate the bodily attitude, modify the vices of position that are accentuated with the passage of time, avoid wrong repetitive movements.
We make so many movements without thinking: how is this possible? Our movement patterns are acquired over the years both consciously and unconsciously; If we analyze these movements with awareness we could have surprises as we had never experienced them, if we then try to change them with new conscious models the path can be long and require many training exercises.

When learning a new gesture, the brain breaks down the sequence of movements to follow and focuses on the details , initially we proceed by trial and error, watching someone perform the gestures we are learning accelerates our learning. Merit of the “mirror neurons”, (mirror neurons identified by G. Rizzolati): these cells are activated by seeing a certain scene and prepare the brain to perform the same movements we are observing.

The activity of mirror neurons will repeat with the same pattern even when the brain orders muscles to move. When the task succeeds the brain records the success and in the following 6 hours works to memorize the exact sequence of the movements performed.

And it is further consolidated if the gesture is repeated in the following days. The movement becomes more fluid and you can work to make it more precise. To strengthen the memory of gestures contribute the information that comes to the brain from the joints, tendons and muscles, here in fact there are proprioceptors that keep the brain informed about the position of the body.

Taken from: www.my-personaltrainer.it

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