Ann-Sophie Briest (MD, C-IAYT)
‘Kinesthetic Intelligence’ - the Ability to Move Smartly
Updated: May 19, 2022
Howard Gardner (Professor at the university of Harward) has been challenging the idea of a single IQ and instead proposes the theory of eight types of human intelligence, each representing different ways of processing information. I find that incredibly interesting…
In this blog we will be mainly looking into the bodily-kinesthetic intelligence and how working with the interconnected system of fascia helps us increase and maintain this form of intelligence. This aspect involves coordination, balance, skill, speed, mobility and dexterity. It relies on human movement to receive information.
More about this later...
To broaden our understanding of intelligence let us first acknowledge the inspiring work of Prof. Gradner and take a look into the eight different forms:
Verbal-linguistic intelligence refers to the ability to analyse information and produce work that involves oral and written language
Logical-mathematical intelligence describes the ability to develop equations and proofs, make calculations, and solve abstract problems
Visual-spatial intelligence allows people to comprehend maps and other types of graphical information
Musical intelligence enables individuals to produce and make meaning of different types of sound
Naturalistic intelligence refers to the ability to identify and distinguish among different types of plants, animals, and weather formations found in nature
Interpersonal intelligence refers to the ability to recognise and understand other people's moods, desires, motivations, and intentions
Intrapersonal intelligence reflects the ability to recognise and assess those same characteristics within themselves
Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence entails using one's own body to move smartly and solve problems
To me personally this information encourages me to think in a bigger picture… If we all - to some extent or another - combine these different forms of intelligence inside ourselves it is only reasonable to assume that we all need slightly different modalities in order to learn efficiently. Wow, how would an educational system look like in which individual needs were respected? A system which values the different talents and learning characteristics of each child?
Why should I work with the physical body?
I am not a psychologist nor am I planning to revolutionise the current educational system... but something that deeply interests me are questions such as: ‘ How can I include all parts of myself / components of my unique ‘tool box’ into my daily life experience? How can I increase my level of overall awareness and sense of presence?’ The answers to those questions can never merely be intellectual but need to be deeply experiential. What I can share from my own experience is that it takes practice, time and dedication. Finding ‘answers’ is usually a gradual process of inner growth.
The practices vary widely depending on the methodology and tradition which you follow.Something that the yogis (especially those who cherish the manifested world) have discovered is that working with the physical body can be a key element in learning how to be present with what is, right here, right now.
What has fascia to do with all of it?
The fascia system interconnects the entire physical body and is also somewhat the bridge between the musculo-skeletal and the nervous system. That basically means that millions of little ‘free nerve endings’ are placed (inside the fascia) throughout your entire body. They constantly detect external as well as internal perceptions. Working with the fascia helps us to increase our level of sensitivity and awareness which will greatly strengthen the mind-body connection.
If you'd like to learn some fundamentals about the absolutely thrilling field of fascia make sure to also read this blog here
Training ourselves to move smartly…
An incredible skill that comes together with increasing our physical (and overall) awareness is that the body learns to move more elegantly and smartly. We learn to feel our body in space (a skill which is called ‘proprioception’) and our muscles work more efficiently. I’d like to explain that further: The muscles inside our body are arranged in different layers (some deeper, some more superficial) to ensure optimal mobility. As a rule of thumb the deeper layers tend to stabilise posture while the more superficial muscles bring movement to the body. If the kinesthetic intelligence is not very strongly developed the coordination of these different muscle layers is not ideal. That often leads to poor posture, chronic tensions and overworked muscles in general.
At Samarasa Healing we have developed the ‘Holistic Fascia Approach’ - six ways to healthy fascia. Here we teach you methodologically to move smartly, to heal from injury or keep your body healthy and increase your overall level of awareness - becoming more (kinesthetically) intelligent.
Let us start exploring our bodies intelligently! I am happy to read your comments or questions below! I have also added two videos which give you a taste of how to train your proprioceptive abilities. Enjoy!