Remember when you were a kid and or even practiced closing your eyes and touching your nose with your finger while your eyes were closed? You could do it right? You can also drive your car and hit the brake and gas pedal without looking.
The ability to do this is known as our body’s proprioception. This is when our brain senses where our body parts are and where we are in space. Proprioception is commonly known as our 6th sense. Sight, sound, smell, taste and touch are the five senses we are most familiar with and have learned in school.
When we move our bodies, muscles, tendons, ligaments and tissues move and send signals to our proprioceptors. Small activating particles are transferred into the proprioceptor cell, allowing it to fire electrical impulses from the brain and spinal cord to our limbs. This happens in milliseconds. Pretty amazing huh?
Our brain also figures out where we are in space when we close our eyes. Try standing with one leg up with your eyes open and then with your eyes closed. It is much harder with your eyes closed but with time, your brain figures out where you are in space and improves your balance. Your nervous system learns and is very complex.Here is a quick video explaining proprioception and how keeping the signals working properly help improve balance and clumsiness: Enjoy!