In this episode, we're exploring the concept of interoception, and how it impacts both physical and mental well-being. Interoception can be defined as one sense of their internal state of the body. This is a full-body sensory experience that has both a conscious as well as a subconscious or semi-conscious layer to it. As practitioners, we're able to train the sense just as we would train balance or proprioception. Interoception includes the brain's processing of signals relayed up from the body into specific sub-regions of the brain, such as the brainstem, the insula and the somatosensory cortex. This felt a sense of our body, its organs, and all of our physiologic processes allow for specific, as well as subtle or nuanced representation of our emotional and physical state.
Interoception is important for maintaining homeostasis in the body. It improves one’s self-awareness or body awareness. It's a critical component of mindfulness training, especially when you're working with body-based conditions, such as reversing chronic pain or releasing trauma. Both have important ties to interoceptive processing. Training interoception, which we can also term as this eighth sense, is often left out of both physical and mental health treatment for chronic pain.
Joining us to speak about interoception is Occupational Therapist Kelly Mahler. She an Occupational Therapist, serving school-aged children and adults and is a winner of multiple awards, including the 2020 American Occupational Therapy Association Emerging & Innovative Practice Award. Kelly is a principal investigator in several research projects pertaining to interoception, self-regulation, trauma, and autism. In this episode, we'll further define interoception, how it can be used in clinical practice and how interoception has an influence on chronic pain and other chronic disease conditions. Without further ado, let's learn about this eighth sense of interception and let's meet Dr. Kelly Mahler.
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