Risa Kaparo’s Seminal “Awakening Somatic Intelligence”


I decided to take Rita up on her invitation to explore Somatic Learning. Chiropractic philosophy speaks of innate intelligence which seems similar to Rita’s suggestion that we can engage innate wisdom through mindfulness, or deliberate intention to transform our lives and enhance happiness, appreciation, gratitude and love.

This book is seminal in that it presents Kaparo’s life’s work which parallel’s mine in certain ways. Once of which is our understanding and integration of proprioception. When I came across the section on Proprioception I just had to share it to you . . .

Later in Kaparo’s – Awakening Somatic Intelligence she once again shares these thoughts on Proprioception . . .

“Proprioception serves as an anchor in somatic intelligence, aligning all modes of perception (visual, acoustic, olfactory, gustatory, and tactile), as well as meaning-making (feeling, thinking, anticipating, and remembering) to function in the immediacy of the present.” Kaparo suggests a quality of proprioception that is new to me. She says it is what makes us aware of our own presence enabling us to “fully embody consciousness in an awakened state, of here and now.” 

I’d like to end by sharing my and Kaparo’s thoughts on vision and proprioception. I need to begin with a preface story. Many years ago I got Lasik surgery and choose Monovision e.g. my left eye was altered to see distance while my right eye was ‘corrected’ for reading. Monovision confuses my brains ability to interpret depth perception correctly. As Kaparov’s says, “visual perception often functions incoherently by trying to replace our proprioception.” I recently got a contact lens to make my right reading eye the same as my left distance eye. And got a first hand golfing experience of how much my visual perception had been messing with my proprioception. 

I’ve been focusing on improving proprioceptive acuity of my patients for many years now.  It’s nice to learn that improving “proprioception can polarize all modes of perception, so they function more coherently and render the whole field of meaning more intelligible to us.” –  Awakening Somatic Intelligence by Rita F. Kaparo, PhD.