As an occupational therapist and self-proclaimed Interoception Groupie, I’m passionate about empowering individuals with self-understanding, self-regulation, health, well-being, and social connection. Occupational Therapy Practitioners (OTPs) like myself seek ways to help clients in meaningful ways. When doing so, interoception can be a crucial consideration to incorporate into the occupational therapy process.
Interoception is our “eighth sense” and helps us to perceive a wide variety of sensations within our bodies. For example, a gurgling stomach, full bladder, loose muscles, pounding head, racing heart, and sweaty skin are all sensations some might experience because of interoception.
These interoceptive sensations provide vital clues to what emotion or body needs we feel. For example, our body sensations can be clues to thirst, hunger, sleepiness, need for a toilet, pain, body temperature, anxiety, or excitement.
Because interoception helps us to be clear on how our body feels, it becomes a vital aspect of successfully regulating our body needs and emotions and, in turn, participating meaningfully in a variety of occupations (think toileting, eating/feeding, pain/healthcare management, sleep, and so on).