What is weighted therapy?
Weighted therapy is the use of weighted products to apply weight and deep touch pressure (surface pressure) to the body stimulating the proprioceptive sense enabling those who are “sensory seeking” to relax, focus and have a greater awareness of their body.
The proprioceptive sense gives us information about our body’s position and movement via receptors on the skin, in the muscles, joints and ligaments. Those with a poor proprioceptive sense have difficulty interpreting these sensations often resulting in behaviour that gives them sensory feedback – for example jumping on a trampoline, chewing, spinning, running etc with seemingly limitless reserves of energy! They have great difficulty switching off and usually do not sleep well at night. This “sensory seeking” behaviour can be calmed and controlled by the use of weighted therapy and the application of deep pressure.
Deep pressure can be applied by the use of weighted blankets, weighted belts, weighted jackets or by wrapping tightly in a compression vest.
Weighted therapy is becoming widely recommended in the UK by Paediatricians and Occupational Therapists who work with children, adolescents and adults with Autism, Aspergers Syndrome, ADHD, Dyspraxia, Cerebral Palsy, Prader-Willi syndrome, Retts syndrome, Downs syndrome and Sensory Processing Disorder.
It is widely used as a safe and effective treatment for sensory integration and has been recommended and safelt used in schools, hospitals and the home setting.