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Ahmed Abd El Whab - Holistic Healing Therapy, Coaching, Counseling, Mentoring


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Body Awareness

Do you ever find yourself bumping into things or almost falling over for no apparent reason? Do you have trouble keeping your balance?

Maybe you work on the computer and, while you’re sitting in front of it for hours, you forget you even have a body at all. Then you realize you’ve tweaked your neck or your entire leg is asleep. Ouch!

These issues can often be helped by a little bit of body awareness.

What is body awareness?
Body awareness is how conscious and connected you are to your own body. It’s also known as kinesthesia, or the awareness of the position and movement of body parts in relation to muscles and joints.

In short, it’s how you recognize where your body is in space.

It involves the proprioceptive system, which tells you where your muscles are moving and how, as well as the vestibular system, which is made of organs in the inner ear that are in charge of spatial orientation.

The vestibular system allows you to keep your balance, posture, and head stability. If you feel dizzy, chances are your vestibular system is affected.

Body awareness can also extend to your body’s cues. When you recognize that you’re hungry, thirsty, or tired, you’re exercising body awareness.

This is also the case with more complex cues, like when you’re at your max during a workout, when you’re feeling lonely and in need of some social time, or when your body is ready for sex.

Benefits of body awareness

Body awareness has several benefits that range from physical to emotional health.

Better balance and stability

One of the main benefits of body awareness is having a strong mind-body connection. When you know and feel where your body is in space, you’re better able to direct it to do what you want it to do.

Weight management

There’s some evidence that body awareness can be a beneficial tool for weight management.

One study showed that people with low body awareness were more likely to eat in the absence of hunger, which the study related to obesity risk.

Pain management

Evidence suggests that body awareness can reduce pain when approached mindfully.

According to one studyTrusted Source, people who suppressed bodily sensations had:

lower self-esteem
less physical contact
more depressive symptoms

People who used mind-body interventions showed higher levels of awareness of and connection with their bodies. This resulted in greater self-acceptance, vitality, and lower sensory pain.

Identifying and meeting your needs
When you’re more aware of your body’s cues, you can better understand what you need from moment to moment. This means you can tell the difference between hunger, thirst, tiredness, and emotional distress.

Instead of reaching for a candy bar or another less than nutritious snack when you’re tired, give yourself permission to take a nap.

Instead of oversleeping when you’re going through a difficult emotional time, you can reach out to loved ones, exercise self-care, or see a therapist.

Understanding what your body is communicating can help you better meet your own needs, leading to greater health and emotional satisfaction.

Improved mental and emotional well-being
When your proprioceptive and vestibular systems aren’t processing information from your environment correctly, it can be stressful.

The body awareness that comes from balancing the vestibular and proprioceptive systems can give you a sense of security both in your body and in the world around you. It can even lead to reductions in:

Body awareness and autism

Autistic people sometimes exhibit sensory dysfunction, or the inability for their proprioceptive and vestibular systems to correctly process information. This can have negative effects on attention and emotional regulation.

It’s often managed by using proprioceptive inputs like weight, compression, sound, or other stimuli to help the system adjust and regulate.

One study showed that 8 weeks of proprioceptive training improved motor coordination in autistic children.

Another study showed that when autistic children and adults wore a compression garment for at least 1 hour per day, they had improvements in:

motor activity
Physical exercises for body awareness

Nearly all physical exercise can increase body awareness. This is especially true if the exercise is paired with intentional awareness of the body parts and sensations.

Balance exercises

Improving balance is one way to activate both the proprioceptive and vestibular systems, thus increasing awareness of the body.
Balance exercises can be as simple as walking in a straight line or standing on one foot.

By Ahmed Abd El Whab

Wed, 16 June 21 : 7:06 : Ahmed Abd El Whab

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