Interoception: The ability to feel what's happening inside our bodies

Written by KTC Occupational Therapist, Precious Mushosho.

Interoception Illustration — Therapy Club in Parkwood, QLD

WHAT IS INTEROCEPTION?

Interoception is the 8th sense that tells us what our bodies are feeling on the inside. This sense helps us to know what we are feeling so that we can take the appropriate actions to respond to these feelings.

These can include:

  • Emotions
  • Hunger
  • Fullness
  • Thirst
  • Feeling sick
  • Needing to use the toilet

WHAT HAPPENS?

Children can either be over-receptive or under responsive to the information from inside their bodies. This will often be demonstrated by feeling frustrated, meltdowns/outbursts, low/high pain threshold, failure to make it to the toilet in time and many others. It can also affect social skills, self-awareness, flexibility of mind and problem solving.

HOW AN OT CAN HELP?

Making Adaptions
Adding visual aid, wearables and other equipment to their daily activities to assist them to be aware of how their body should be feeling and why it is feeling that way.

Yoga and Heavy Work Activities
Yoga and heavy work activities help us to become aware of our body while giving us the proprioceptive input that we need.

Sensory Awareness
Educating kids about their sensory experiences and matching them up with body parts, emotions and body signs to raise awareness of what their body is feeling and why it may be feeling that way.

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