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Episode 190: The Sensory Triad and Interoception

Video Highlights

- The Sensory Triad
- All three systems need attention
- Inputs versus outputs

At this point, you’ll want to think about three primary sensory systems. Exteroceptive, proprioceptive, interoceptive.

Sensory triad. You’ll hear about this, if you haven’t, obviously everywhere we go. At this point, from now on in Z-Health you want to think about three primary sensory systems. Exteroceptive, proprioceptive, interoceptive.

If you want to have engaging conversation with another health and fitness professional this is where I recommend that you start because most of them will not actually know these words, number one, and number two, they will not know that it’s really really important that you be an expert in all three.

Because movement is output. Correct? Yes or no? Okay, movement is the output. I’m a movement pro. I want to be great at helping people run better. Maybe I’m a post practitioner and a therapist and I just really love working with runners. I watch people on treadmills, I watch them out on the street. I want to make you a better runner. Running is what? It’s an output.

In general what we see in the big wide world out there is that most manual practitioners or movement practitioners are really what I call proprioceptive practitioners. We focus on muscles, tendons, joints, ligaments, joint capsules, etc. Is there anything wrong with that? Absolutely not. Is it a key skill? Yes, but it is one of three potential problems, right, as a big group.

My big goal … I just keep saying this, is to actually get all of the professions to go, if you’re a moment pro you have to be able to assess and train three sensory systems because the ultimate output is dependent upon the integration of those three. This class obviously is the interoception class.

Interoception: A graphic with a brain in the middle and the five senses visually represented around the outside.

Interoception, like I said, when you actually look at it on the top of page six, what you’re going to see there are the in the literature ideas about what interoceptive sensations are. What do you see there? Warmth, cold, yeah hunger, right. Thirst, exactly. When you read through that list it sounds like these are the … Let me put it this way. How many of the things would you think or read through there … How many of things would you actually classify as feelings?

Like I feel hungry. I feel thirsty. Does that make sense to everyone? That is one of the interesting parts about this cause, like I said, one of the most difficult things to separate in people’s heads is the emotional aspect of a feeling versus a physiologic aspect of a feeling. All right? When you think about interoception this is the challenge we’re dealing with is everything that keeps you alive.

Read through that list again. Warmth. So think about this. Hunger, thirst, and air. Do you see those on the list? Everything that keeps you alive is interoceptive. From a homeostatic perspective, everything that’s keeping you alive in an interoceptive awareness. How many of you … maybe you were involved in body building, fitness competition, endurance sport? How many of you trained yourself for a period of time to ignore interoceptive feelings?

How does that work out long term? Most of you are going not good, right? You train yourself to not eat for a long time. You train yourself, like if you’re a wrestler, oh gosh I got to cut weight so I’m going to dehydrate myself for the next 24 to 48 hours to the point that I’m sitting in a sauna with a blanket on and then I need an IV to be able to stand up when I made weight.

You can train yourself to do that. Again, long term maybe that’s an impact. I’m not saying don’t do it. I’m just saying understand that there’s an impact and it can become a longer-term impact. If you work with a lot of fitness competitors particularly I hear this over and over and over again. Yeah, I was amazing for this show and then it took me two years to recover, or three years, or it’s been ten years and I still haven’t.

That is an example of an interoceptive system that’s gone badly wrong and probably was never actually retrained the right way.

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