How could we improve our fitness and our life in general by using our other senses? Could we be like superheroes? Well, we do have certain qualities that we don’t know how to exploit enough. There is so much more to explore (I would rather say recognise and accept) regarding our biology and overall humanity.
We know about the 5 basic senses: sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch, which we perceive through the physical organs of the: eyes, ears, mouth, nose and skin respectively. Now, do you really believe that our perception of reality is confined to those 5 organs? surely not. You must have truly experienced, for example, the sense of intuition too, that inner knowing that constantly guides us along life and that we not always listen to. And what about our dreams? and our instincts (such as fight or flight, sexual attraction) Also, if we look at some animals, their perception is way beyond our scope, likening their abilities to those of fantastic aliens or futuristic beings: temperature and infrared vision (thermoreception and infrared detection), ultrasound hearing, the perception of magnetic and electric fields (magnetoreception and electroreception, etc. which we also possess but in less measure.
Before going psychic, let’s take a look at other physical senses that aren’t located in the trivial parts aforementioned, that are related to the purposes of this article:
- Proprioception, Balance and Kinesthesis: they allow us to tell where our body parts are in relation to others, and also to not deviate when walking on a straight line.
- Effort, Force and Heaviness perception: the sense of perceived effort and force when we lift an object.
Proprioception is an accumulation of sensory input to the central nervous system from all the mechanical receptors that sense body movement and position. We’ve got proprioceptors everywhere (muscles, tendons, skin and joints) and they give us an intuitive perception of our “body map” in space, speed, without having to use other senses such as sight or touch. It is important to train our proprioceptive mechanisms. Why? Well, if we remain sedentary for extended periods of time, our proprioceptors weaken. This is the cause of issues with balance and coordination, specially as we get older. A weakened mind/muscle awareness system drastically impacts our health and fitness. Balance abilities are weakened, coordination suffers, muscles get weaker and the risk for getting injured during daily activities or sport increases.
The good news is that our proprioceptive systems get activated by just MOVING 🙂 Being active in any way can help preserve your proprioception. Resistance training (always!) and motor skills training (like agility drills with cones) are imperative. BOSU balls and stability balls, that challenge our balance, and give the body different stimuli, are great. PowerPlate technology is also highly recommended (and I know a bit about that).
Effort, Force and Heaviness Perception.
Our sense of heaviness, force and effort is closely linked to our proprioception and movement. This is produced by impulses in the motor nerves that trigger muscle contraction and travel back to the brain. However, there is evidence that this sensation is not only located in the motor nerves and cortex (also including Golgi tendon organs and muscle spindles), experiments have shown the perception of limbs moving and lifting weights in the absence of any actual movement by mimicking movement through magnetic brain stimulation. How cool is that!
Another wonder is that, when a muscle is progressively paralyzed, lifted weights feel heavier. But as the paralysis deepens, paradoxically, lifted objects feel lighter! and this is attributed to the action of muscle spindles. When the muscle starts to weaken from paralysis, the spindles remain unparalyzed, and their signals remain strong. But as the paralysis goes deeper, muscle spindles also paralyze, thus giving a lighter feel of the lifted object. So a strong muscle doesn’t mean a strong nervous system! Hence the importance of keeping our nerves in good shape with the right nutrition (good fats, minerals & vitamins) and exercise (motor skills, strength training).
Senses located in unusual places.
We humans also have our usual senses in unlikely places. For example, male sperm has olifactory receptors. Yep. It means each spermatozoid smells things, and they are mostly attracted to a lilly of the valley type of scent 🙂 (researched). Equally, we have olifactory receptors in the intestines, heart, liver, skin and lungs (Hanns Hatt et. al. 2003). Furthermore, we also have taste receptors in other places other than the mouth (gut, sperm, airways). Fascinating, isn’t it?
Now, going psychic, or non-physical, the so-called ESP (Extra-Sensorial Perception). We have the family of the “clairs”, the main ones are: clairvoyance (seeing images with the mind’s eye), clairaudience (hearing sounds with the mind), claircognaisance (knowing something), clairsentience (feeling something). There is also telepathy and remote viewing in real time. We all possess these abilities in more or less measure (same as anyone who has innate or learned skills for any other discipline) and we can improve them by daily practice, as everything.
Developing these extra-sensorial abilities will help us immensely in sooo many ways! Our human mind blocks 90% of the information it receives daily – how uncool is that? Imagine if we were able to absorb and process all the things that go around us. Well, maybe not all of it, but we certainly can do with a bit more of open-mindedness if we practice and want it enough. Increasing our ESP ability will do this to us:
• Improve our intuition and gut feeling to the point of just knowing things.
• A feeling of connectedness to the natural world.
• Less fear & more success.
• Clarity of thought.
• A greater understanding into the true nature of reality.
Meditation is the main tool for its development, which will lead to:
- Better lifestyle, nutrition and relationship choices.
- Reduced anxiety, depression and addictions.
- Improved health and sleep.
- Increased willpower, creativity, determination and mental toughness.
In my opinion, in the unknown lies the key to bettering ourselves. We have come a long way… but there is so much to be discovered and understood about the inter-relationship between mind-body-spirit. Most of it is buried in ancient knowledge… and inside us. I believe we all can be better human beings by unlocking the mysteries of the universe looking inwards. Be a shining bulb 🙂
- Magazine “The Scientist” (September, 2016)