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WEIGHTED MATERIALS AND DEEP PRESSURE – WHAT IS IT AND WHAT DOES IT DO?

In this article, we write extensively about the concept of "deep pressure". What is deep pressure? How did it ever come about? For whom does deep pressure help? And how can deep pressure be applied? In the text below, multiple questions are answered. Besides that, deep pressure gets explained in the smallest detail.
 

WHAT IS DEEP PRESSURE?

Deep pressure is popularly known as laying constant, even pressure with weighted materials on the client's body. With the application of deep pressure to the body, the stimulus will be processed easier by the body Applying pressure to the body ensures the body will enter the so-called "rest mode" which ensures better reassurance for the client. Performing the deep pressure on the body can be compared to giving a firm hug. It offers comfort, reassures and is relaxing when someone is restless or anxious.
 

WHO DISCOVERED THE DEEP PRESSURE?

The form of therapy behind applying pressure to the body did not just fall from the sky. The first therapist to apply deep pressure therapy was Dr Temple Grandin. The American professor at the University of Colorado is highly gifted and a person with autism. Her autism meant that she could not stand getting hugs. As a solution, she made something up herself aged eighteen with the "squeeze machine". The machine consisted of a lying area, together with two plates which exerted a deep pressure on the body. It ensured that Dr Grandin got quiet, which has led
to the soothing effect of weighting becoming known.
 

HOW DOES THE DEEP PRESSURE AND WEIGHTING WORK?

In recent years, research was put into practice focusing on the precise effects of deep pressure, the nervous system and the brain. Unfortunately, it is still not 100% clear what the exact effects are. All research on the nervous system has looked at the two opposites of the autonomic nervous system: The parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems: The parasympathetic is the part of the nervous system that becomes active when you feel like you are in a safe and calming situation. When the parasympathetic nervous system is functioning, the body knows that the body can rest and recover. During the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system, the body starts to produce more digestive juices, faster intestinal function occurs, the blood supply to the digestive system is faster and the kidneys will work better. In addition, the heart rate and respiratory rate decrease. The sympathetic does the opposite of the parasympathetic part, promoting the exertion of the body. This part of the nervous system often plays out in dangerous or frightening situations. The sympathetic nervous system allows us to fight, flee and perform. One of the most well-known hormones produced during a comparable situation is adrenaline. Due to all research, a correlation was found between performing deep pressure and producing the hormones produced during the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system
that helps the nervous system regulate. It inhibits the production of the stress hormone cortisol and stimulates the production of the serotonin hormone (the predecessor of melatonin, the sleep hormone).
 

FOR WHOM CAN DEEP PRESSURE HAVE GOOD EFFECTS?

Deep pressure can have positive effects on every person. It, therefore, occurs unconsciously regularly in varying degrees in daily life. Giving a firm hug, putting a blanket over your body, or squeezing yourself under a cushion are also light forms of deep pressure. However, the difference is in the weight applied to the body together with the degree of pressure exerted on the body and the frequency in which it occurs. It is important to listen carefully to the person in question for applying the right degree and frequency of pressure to the person. Too little pressure causes a negligible effect. Too much can backfire and stimulate the sympathetic nervous system, making the person even more restless or anxious.
 

PRODUCTS TO APPLY THE DEEP PRESSURE

Fortunately, there are other types than the squeeze machine from Dr Grandin mentioned earlier. The current materials used for this are more times more compact and comfortable:
 

Weighted vest

These weighted vests provide a subtle pressure on the body. The benefit of the weighted vest is that the pressure on the body comes from a garment. That makes it quite easy to use a weighted vest because it can be worn easily by any client.
 

Weighted cushion

Weighted cushions come in different shapes and sizes. It variates from shoulder and neck cushions to various weighted lap cushions. Due to the diverse types of weighted pillows, it is easy to put the right amount of pressure on the body. For example, person A can experience the pressure on the neck as pleasant while person B can experience pressure on the lap as pleasant.
 

Weighted cuddle toys

With weighted cuddle toys, deep pressure and fun are combined! The diverse types of cuddles can stimulate concentration and rest in the body. At the same time, the hugs ensure that the user has a companion, as hugs often feel like comfort and friend to the owner of the cuddly toy. Putting deep pressure on the body with a weighted cuddle toy can be done in diverse ways. For instance, by placing the cuddle toy on the lap, neck, or arms!
 

Weighted blanket

The most well-known weighted material of them all! With weighted blankets, a scattered pressure can be applied to the client by equal distribution of the weight in the blanket. Weight blankets, like the other materials, can be obtained in multiple weights and shapes to make it possible for everyone to apply the correct amount of pressure to the body.

We offer diverse types, sizes, and weights of weighted material in our product range. Curious about this range? Click here to look at the different possibilities.
 
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