Kinæsthesia (also kinæsthesis): of Greek ‘to move’ and ‘sensation.’ Coined in 1880 by Henry Charlton Bastian as an alternative to ‘muscle sense’, it means ‘the sense of muscular effort that accompanies a voluntary motion of the body,’ (OED). It should not be confused with proprioception which includes all information relating to position, posture, equilibrium etc. Whereas kinæsthesia is thus limited to sensory information from muscles, proprioception also includes information from – for example – tendons and the semicircular canals.
Alexander first uses the term in 1908, in ‘Re-education of the Kinæsthetic Systems’:
By this process of Re-education an effective installation is made of the reflex muscular systems involved through the creation of an intelligent directive power on the part of the individual, thus removing a crude and useless kinæsthesis which must be regarded as either debauched or deformed, and establishing one of valid and unfailing function.
However, in the same article, in a headline, Alexander is using ‘sensory appreciation’ for the first time:
A Presentation of Principles and Laws Exempliﬁed in Mr F. Matthias Alexander’s Method of the Re-Education of the Kinæsthetic Systems (Sensory appreciation of Muscular Movement) Concerned With the Development of Robust Physical Well-being.
By 1918 Alexander had adopted the term ‘sensory appreciation’ in place of ‘kinæsthesia’, and the former evolved its own a significant meaning, over and beyond kinæsthesia.
See also sensory appreciation.