Most people don’t realize it, but a big chunk of our brain is dedicated to simply tracking where our body is in space. PROPRIOCEPTION is the reason we can close our eyes and touch our nose, balance on one leg, and throw a baseball without looking at our arm.
To regulate body movements, our brainstem and cerebellum (located at the base of our brain) process massive amounts of data from three primary sources:
– Vestibular Organs – those weird loops and spirals in our inner ear that control balance.
– Eyes – integrating what we see.
– Sensory organs called PROPRIOCEPTORS. They connect millions and millions of sensory nerve cells that permeate our muscles, tendons and ligaments.
Within our muscles, STRETCH RECEPTORS are tracking every nuance including the velocity, change in length, and position of each muscle in our body.
Then, our amazing brain fires back muscle commands in a feedback loop that’s pretty much automatic. It all takes just milliseconds, and is done so quickly that we simply call the whole process REFLEX.