Balance and Proprioception
The body maintains balance through Proprioception, using visual, vestibular and most importantly through plantar cutaneous feedback (from the foot) !
What exactly is proprioceptive stimulation? “Proprio” comes from the Latin word proprius, meaning “one’s own” and perception is the sense of the relative position of neighboring parts of the body.
Proprioception is a distinct sensory feedback mechanism that provides information to the brain about the body.
Proprioceptive stimulation is a process in which the brain is stimulated to automatically adjust the body’s posture and control it in it’s surrounding space. This is done when a tactile stimulation is applied to the bottom of the feet (through standing or walking). Through this stimulation, a message (signal) is sent to the cerebellum (the balance center of the brain).
Any training (specially Barefoot Training) that enhances this kind of stimulation, and hence, BALANCE – is beneficial. Balance is essential for all age groups and all activities. This becomes even more relevant if we realize that as we age, we lose these receptors both in terms of numbers and their responsiveness. Barefoot training should be an important part of maintaining neuromuscular health.