There are proximity sensors, and there are proximity sensors. Vibration sensors and position sensors (oh--and vibration sensors can also be used for position detection--for very short movements.)
Most rely on some kind of magnetic principle. You might try searching for non-contact position sensors, if that's what you're looking for. Or proximity vibration sensors, if that's what you're looking for. A change in the position of a mass of metal versus the stationary position of the sensor is, again, usually detected using magnetic principles (reluctance, for example). Passive speed sensors rely on similar principles, too.
Don't give up too quickly. And, if you can be more specific about the use/application of the proximity sensor we might be able to give you some more ideas for search terms.
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