Interoception- What is it and why is it important with Chronic Pain?
Interoception does not refer to the game of NFL football (: It is the medical scientific term for “awareness of inner body sensations, involving the sensory process of receiving, accessing and appraising internal bodily signals.” Researchers have found many people with chronic pain have reduced interoceptive awareness.
One of the goals of this work is to get people more in touch with their interoceptive awareness, and most importantly, to do it from a place of neutral or positive appraisal. This means to teach ourselves to not only feel what sensations our bodies are giving us, but to be ok with them and allow the process to unfold. This work literally changes the brain and central nervous system and is why it can be super helpful for those suffering from persistent symptoms.
(Image from research paper: Ceunen 2016)