Almost a decade ago I had the idea (and courage) to call my Youtube channel “Feldenkrais With …”, and was the first to do so. However, last year I renamed my Youtube channel from “Feldenkrais With Alfons” to “Improving Ability”—in order to better reflect what my channel is about.
In my videos I often work on improving abilities. But what are those “abilities” that I am speaking about?
For example, mechanoreception, proprioception, and equilibrioception are all abilities — sensory abilities to be more precise. Abilities are often thought to be innate and immutable, but in fact you can—and you may—improve them, and why shouldn’t you? Let’s look at a definition of these 3 examples:
This ability involves perceiving mechanical stimuli such as pressure, touch, vibration, and tension. It allows you to sense and respond to physical interactions with your environment, like feeling the texture of an object or detecting pressure on your skin.
Proprioception is the ability to sense the position, orientation, and movement of your own body parts. It helps you have an awareness of where your body is in space without needing to look. This ability is vital for coordinating movements, adjusting muscle contractions, and maintaining stability during activities like walking, picking up objects, and fine motor skills.
Equilibrioception, also known as the sense of balance, enables you to maintain stability and an upright posture. It relies on various sensory inputs, including the inner ear’s vestibular system, proprioceptive signals from muscles and joints, and visual cues. These combined inputs enable you to perceive and respond to shifts in position, movement, and gravitational forces, ensuring that you remain steady and oriented within your environment.
For example, a question (Alfons):
When I tilt my head to the right I can feel the skin of my right cheek slightly hanging down (minuscule but still perceptible due to my training), and the skin of my left cheek pressing against my left cheek bone. Is this attributed to equilibrioception or mechanoreception or something else?
The sensation you’re describing when tilting your head is primarily attributed to mechanoreception rather than equilibrioception. Mechanoreception refers to the sense that allows organisms to perceive mechanical pressure, touch, vibration, and other physical forces on the body’s surface.
In this case, when you tilt your head to the right, the changes in the orientation of your head and the gravitational pull can cause the skin on your cheeks to respond to the shifting forces. The sensation you feel—where the skin on one cheek slightly hangs down and the skin on the other cheek presses against the cheekbone—is a result of mechanical pressure and deformation of the skin due to the change in position. It’s the mechanoreceptors in your skin that are detecting and signaling these tactile sensations to your brain.
Equilibrioception, on the other hand, primarily relates to the sense of balance and spatial orientation. It involves the detection of changes in head position and movement through the vestibular system in the inner ear, as well as feedback from proprioceptive receptors in muscles and joints.
There are many more abilities. For example, the ability to appreciate your innate abilities, find comfort in them, and feel grateful. 🌺🥰
And in fact there are many ways, methods and settings to improve those abilities, if you think about it. However, to stick with my lessons on my Youtube channel “Improving ability”… what did you find has improved through working with my videos, for you, on a deeper level, and on your abilities level so to speak? And how did this improve your life?