Deep Pressure Therapy, Weighted Blankets And The Alternatives


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Date Posted: February 28, 2018

People who live with many different disabilities, including Sensory Processing Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and Anxiety, to name a few, are in need of Deep Pressure Therapy. The reason? Deep Pressure Therapy is a treatment found to be useful in a variety of disorders where anxiety or overstimulation are issues. 

Deep Pressure Therapy generates sensations in the body similar to those from hugging, cuddling, squeezing, stroking or holding. Deep pressure releases calming chemicals such as serotonin throughout the body that help ease depression and anxiety.

Deep Pressure Therapy is widely used by Occupational Therapists and is the go-to therapy when working to regulate and calm the sensory system in their clients. When using Deep Pressure Therapy, individuals living with sensory issues often feel more connected to themselves and their environment and will relax.

How does Deep Pressure Therapy work?

Deep Pressure Therapy works by improving sensory modulation, which is a term used to describe a person who over-responds, or under-responds, or fluctuates in response to sensory input in a disproportionate manner.

Some people struggle to sit still, to focus on a task, or cannot stay in the same place for any length of time. This is over-responding to stimuli. Their nervous system is overactive. When the body is under-responding, you may also see the same behaviors in people because they are seeking sensory input.

How our bodies feel is directly proportional to the amount of sensory input we receive, and how we acknowledge this input in our bodies. Deep Pressure is tactile sensory input that has a calming effect on people with Sensory Processing issues.

What types of Deep Pressure Therapy are there?

There are many forms of therapy that are focused on sensory input to help calm and regulate overstimulated systems:

  1. Weighted Lap Pads - These weighted pads are filled with beans, beads, or other heavy materials and placed on a person's lap to help them feel grounded and confident. These are most often used with younger children to help them focus their attention during school time. The weight itself will help a child feel as though they are safe and will, in turn, calm the sensory system so they can focus on the task at hand.
  2. Weighted Blankets - These blankets are made from plastic or metal beads in quilted layers. The blankets themselves are required to be 10% of a person's weight in order for them to receive the correct amount of sensory input. The blankets can be used during work, school, or travel, and also to help regulate sleep patterns in people that are living with sensory issues.
  3. Weighted Vests - These weighted vests are helpful to calm the sensory system and help people focus on their tasks. Weighted vests are usually prescribed for a maximum of 20 minutes a day, to give about an hour of relief in the sensory system of people living with Autism and SPD. 
  4. Release Rolling Pins - These rolling pins are designed to massage a person who is having sensory input issues. Because it is handheld and administered either by a caregiver, or by the person themselves, they can target areas on their body that they feel are requiring the most attention, to help them settle, regain control, and focus more clearly on the task at hand.
  5. Sensory Compression Garments - Special compression garments such as CalmWear are a wearable therapy solution, designed to provide sensory input to help calm, soothe and support self-regulation. CalmWear also provides proprioceptive input which is organising and regulating the nervous system, plus aids in filtering sensory information to improve the ability to listen and learn. CalmWear can be worn 24/7, unlike other types of deep pressure therapies.

What is CalmWear?

CalmWear is an exciting, effective and amazing new technology that is taking the idea of Deep Pressure Therapy to the next level.  With proven results throughout the world CalmWear is now a global, innovative Company that has helped many thousands of families struggling with Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder, ADHD, Anxiety and other neurological conditions.

CalmWear was developed by a mom of a boy with Autism Spectrum Disorder, among other disorders such as Global Development Delay and Sensory Processing Disorder. He was considered non-verbal. Typical or traditional therapies were not helping to the degree that the family needed and this inspired her to do more.

The developer of CalmWear had over 20 years experience in textiles and manufacturing and knew she needed to design something that could be used as therapy 24/7, 365 days a year to provide the results her son needed to progress. Occupational therapists, scientists, and many other researchers put their heads together and helped develop Calmtex, a unique sensory compression fabric that is designed to give the exact amount of Deep Pressure Therapy for a continuous therapy, 24 hours per day. 

The Calmtex fabric is durable, washable, moisture absorbing, and can be worn discreetly underneath clothing so that therapy doesn't have to be seen. In a time when we are still battling to fit into societal norms, this scientifically proven therapy has just given every person the opportunity to wear their therapy without embarrassment!

CalmWear is the leader in sensory-based clothing because the technology was built around the science. We know that people living with sensory issues can have many difficulties including sensory overloads, meltdown, sensory communication, as well as behavioral, depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, proprioceptive feedback, and overstimulation. CalmWear is designed to treat all of these symptoms.  Here's how:

  1. CalmWear addresses the needs of the sensory system by providing input to the deep pressure touch receptors in the body which helps with sensory integration.  When the sensory integration issues are addressed, people will sleep better, have a calm nervous system and release serotonin to calm anxiety.
  2. CalmWear is scientifically proven to provide the perfect amount of sensory input to help support self-regulation. This can help people to feel less anxious and help them to focus on more important tasks of learning and listening without distraction or seeking sensory input.
  3. CalmWear is designed to help people with their proprioceptive feedback by organizing the nervous system so that people wearing CalmWear have a much better sense of where their bodies are not only in relation to themselves but to their environment. This makes walking, talking and even toilet training much easier!
  4. CalmWear is a 24/7 wearable therapy which means that there is continuous calming and soothing happening in the sensory system of people wearing CalmWear. The Calmtex fabric is high quality, lightweight and breathable which makes it comfortable to wear all day, every day. CalmWear is also designed without tags, and with a seamless feel, to make it easier for people with tactile issues.

Does CalmWear have more than just vests?

The most popular product to start with is the CalmWear vest. CalmWear also has different sensory clothing available for the various needs, including shorts, long or short sleeve shirts, leggings and suits.

CalmWear shorts are designed to provide sensory input to people who are sensory seeking, or having a hard time sitting still and concentrating, or with difficulties with body awareness.

CalmWear leggings work like the shorts, but also provide gentle sensory compression to the lower leg. This will certainly help people know where their bodies are in relation to their environment, as an example, providing communication walking down steps. 

CalmWear has also designed suits that are used for gentle compression throughout the trunk of the body. These special suits are designed for children who undress constantly, or who access their diapers. There is a specially designed closure on the suits to allow caregivers or parents easy access for diaper changes, but also stops a child from taking off their clothing or diapers.

CalmWear vests and shirts which are available in short or long sleeves are made extra long to provide sensory input to all of the torso and help to regulate the wearer, provide proprioceptive feedback and calm the sensory system.

CalmWear comes in sizes to fit toddlers and children from sizes 0 - 18 and adult sizing from XXS up to 4XL. The benefits of CalmWear are not only invaluable to people with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and Anxiety, but to any person that feels the need to regulate and calm their sensory system.

Please, take a look at the website to view the CalmWear testimonials from parents, carers and Occupational Therapists that are recommending CalmWear in their daily practice.

Science-based, compression therapy that works!

Deep Pressure Therapy generates sensations in the body similar to those from hugging, cuddling, squeezing, stroking or holding. Deep pressure releases calming chemicals such as serotonin throughout the body that help ease depression and anxiety.


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