How To Use Your Senses To Assist Your Body In Self Healing By Dr. Chris Demczar, DC, CSCS

By Dr Ernst
November 29, 2021

Do you know what your primary senses are? Most times they are thought of as sensory only-taste, touch, smell, sight, and hearing. These senses are important to allow us to interact with the world around us, and not having one or having any of these senses diminished can be, as some may know, very limiting in our lives.

So, let’s discuss senses in a different way. Our primitive senses are not just sensory, but motor too. And let’s talk about ways to optimize our primitive senses, whether when first developing as an infant or in adulthood so that we can be better off as humans.

It is important to note that at the center of all our senses is our nervous system. Sensory information comes into the nervous system which is processed in the spinal cord and brain and then motor output is sent back to the body to move and act. So, some of the primitive senses are sensory in nature, while others are motor.

Primitive senses are hearing, sight, and touch. Let’s break these down:

SIGHT  is something we are not born with but develop rapidly over the first few weeks of life. What is the one thing that stimulates our body to improve our sight? Light. Yes, light is what is needed to stimulate our eyes to adapt and improve our sight. Therefore, it is so important to expose babies to the outside world, without putting sunglasses on them. Even for short amounts of time, minutes even, is powerful enough to get the infant to use their eye photoreceptors and develop their sense of light. The same can be said for adults, outside of a few rare genetic conditions. Getting exposure to natural light daily is one of the best ways to keep the photo receptors in your eyes stimulated and adapting. To help prevent this process from being inhibited, be sure to wear blue light glasses, and limit your exposure to “fake light” from technological devices as soon as the sun goes down and especially 1-2 hour before bedtime.

HEARING  is a sense that is so important tor protection. In adults, it is difficult to train our hearing. But good ear care starts with keeping the ear canal open. If it gets closed with excess wax production or infection, a one-minute hydrogen peroxide wash can help to keep the ear canal healthy and free so that your body can interpret all the sounds in this world. And this sense is one that is shared with another sense in our bodies, our vestibular system. The vestibular system is your balance system which helps deliver the signals that keep you upright. Without this sense, you would constantly be falling over. Turns out, this is an easy system to train.

The Romberg tests are the best way to challenge and train your vestibular system. Start by standing next to a stable surface, like a table or countertop. Put both feet together, stand up tall, and close your eyes. Can you do this for 10 seconds without falling? If so, move on to stage 2:Pick one foot up an inch or so off the ground. See if you can hold that position for 10 seconds. If you can, move onto stage 3: Stage is 3 is the same as stage 2, but you need to close your eyes while balancing. Make sure to test both sides! Be careful that if you feel as though you’re going to fall, you can either catch yourself on the countertop or you have someone thereto help catch you if need be.

TOUCH  is an interesting one. Have you ever noticed that at different times we have different senses of touch? For example, right now typing this newsletter my sense of touch is diminished by the cold temperatures. My fingers are slipping off the keys as I type because my grip seems gone. I must find the edges of the keys to know that I am on the correct one. The sense of touch is not limited to just our fingers, however. We should be able to feel touch over all our bodies. Yes, different areas have touch receptors than others, but it is important to ensure that we always have the capacity to know what we are touching, or when something is touching us. Knowing what you are touching is called stereognosis. A fun game you can try is the “What’s in the box?” where you practice guessing what you are feeling. Another way to increase your perception of feeling is to walk barefoot. This forces your body to sense what you are walking on. Bonus points for walking barefoot in the grass to ground yourself with earth.

As you can tell, the name of the game is to bring out the most of your sensory capacities. Do not diminish them, and do not let them weaken. Just like any other system in our bodies, our senses need to be stimulated to work properly, and if we don’t use it, we will lose it.

Add in the above exercises to your spinal movement routine to add some fun into your daily regimen. Be creative! I am barely scratching the surface of explaining the intricacies of our sensory senses. As I said earlier, our senses are part of our nervous system. Part of keeping the senses optimized is stimulating them with your regular chiropractic adjustments, spinal exercises, vibration therapy and body weighting along with home exercises. Not just occasionally but every day at home in combination with your regular adjustments so you are free of interference and all your senses are awaken and assisting you in your healing journey.

Stay tuned for some upcoming amazing info on your primitive motor senses.

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