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What is vestibular?

Have you have stumbled across this word vestibular in your research for solutions for your vertigo and dizziness?

Oh yeah I think I've heard of that thing with the crystals right?

Well yes, but there is a lot more to it than that and you really need it functioning optimally for EVERYTHING you do in life.


Running and exercising

Emptying the dishwasher or doing household chores

Getting up/down from bed or rolling in bed

Sitting upright and maintaining your posture



The list can go on...

But what does this word mean.... vestibular? what does it entail?

The vestibular system includes parts of the inner ear and brain that process the sensory information controlled with balance and eye movement.

There are many different components of this system but the main component is called the vestibular labyrinth, which most people call the inner ear. And actually you might hear these terms used synonymously (inner ear (typically) = vestibular system).

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The vestibular labyrinth is made up of semicircular canals, and otolith organs called the utricle and saccule.

They all contain nerve receptors to communication information from the vestibular system to our brain and other balance centers like our eyes, and to our joints.

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The vestibular system is the internal reference to our balance, while our eyes and joints sense are our external reference.

If you have ever been in a parked car, and the car next you starts to move, and you slam on the breaks instinctively because you feel like you are moving, that is because of a miscommunication between these balance centers.

Your eyes sensed motion and overrode the information it was getting from what your body was feeling and what your vestibular system was sensing.

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So the vestibular system is a sensory system that is responsible for providing information about head position, spatial orientation, and about motion.

It helps us keep our balance, stabilize our eyes while our head moves, and maintain our posture.

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In a perfect world, in works harmoniously with our other balance centers, our eyes, joint sense (or proprioception) and brain. However, problems can arise when there is a weakness in any one of these systems.

This can lead to imbalance, dizziness, headache, motion sensitivity and more. This is why vestibular therapy was developed as a holistic exercise approach to solve these symptoms.

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