Proprioception and kinesthetic awareness are often terms that are used interchangeably but they actually mean two separate things.A quick internet search on “zhan zhuang” proprioception, or on “zhan zhuang” kinesthetic awareness yields a wide range of reading material, data.
Proprioception is an inner sense (the central nervous system) while kinesthetic awareness is an external sense (the body in space and time). However, they do work together and impact each other.
My purpose here is not to restate what others have said on this topic (Scott Phillips’ 12/08/07 blog post has a nice article titled: Proprioception and Kinesthetic Awareness ) but rather to “top off” this series with this topic.
Although I’ve come to a new conceptualization of my mind and body as being a unified whole and I’ve experienced many structural integration sessions, the question remains:
Have these concepts and bodywork sessions helped me develop the kinesthetic awareness and proprioception to consciouslymy internal connectedness?
I would have to say: No. And why not? Because:Certainly, Rolfing has improved my structure/posture. Before and after pictures from sessions irrefutably show a dramatic structural change. Rolfing has done what it said it would do.
1. Concepts do not result in feeling.
2. Going external does not develop internal.
However, I made a mistake in expecting an external therapy to develop my internal ability to feel. I believed I was making quick progress from seeing my structure improve but I never learned to feel on my own. If I continued on this path, it could take me longer to “get the feeling” than if I were to simply open myself to my kinesthetic perception with whatever structure I have. I used an external method (Rolfing) to create a space (a temporary feeling of internal connectedness) that I couldn't yet create myself.
So now I’ve learned to stop “going external”, to stop thinking about, imagining, visualizing and comparing what others say the internal feeling is like and focus on simply noticing and feeling what is already in here. You are where you are and that’s where you start. Relax... Calm down… Feel…