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How Do Weighted Blankets Work

Kuseno Weighted Blankets - The blanket that hugs you!

Proprioception
Proprioception is sometimes referred to as the sixth sense (and not the scary one where you see dead people). It's the body's ability to sense where you are in your physical space.

Close your eyes. Can you tell if you're seated or standing? Are your arms bent or straight? Knowing this is your proprioception. Stand with your eyes closed and have someone extend your arms straight in front of you. You just know what they're doing. Now have them place something in your hand that weighs about 10 pounds. Instead of immediately dropping it, your muscles compensate and flex to counter the weight and keep your hands up. This is how proprioception works and how the brain naturally reacts to stimuli. 

It's an incredibly important sense, but one we tend to take for granted. Most people don't understand what it's like for a person to not be able to adapt to their immediate surrounding. Children with proprioception issues may appear to be lazy (rather lay down at a park instead of play), or rambunctious (run into things, play too rough with others, break crayons from colouring too hard). 

Light touches can alert the nervous system and put your body in a state of readiness, but deep pressure like hugs or swaddling is relaxing and calming.

Deep Pressure Touch Stimulation (DPTS), also called Deep Touch Pressure (DTP), is a type of proprioceptive input that almost anyone can benefit from. Similar to getting a massage or a hug, pressure exerted over the body has physical and psychological advantages. A weighted blanket can be used as a safe and drug free calming tool or for sleep. The added weight causes the brain to naturally release neurotransmitters like serotonin (regulates mood, sleep, and sensory perception) and dopamine (regulates movement and emotional response) that improve moods and induce a calming effect.

Using a weighted blanket is like getting a hug but without the human contact.

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In 1992, an article titled Calming Effects of Deep Touch Pressure in Patients with Autistic Disorder, College Students, and Animals details a "Squeeze Machine" invented by Dr. Temple Grandin and the effects of Deep Touch Pressure.

Our weighted blankets range in weight from 2-30 pounds and come in various sizes depending on intended use and how tall the person using it is. The general rule of thumb is to pick a blanket that is 10% of the user’s weight plus 1 pound. 

Weighted blankets have a wide range of benefits, from calming hyperactive children before bed and at school to easing the anxiety of adults undergoing chemotherapy.

⇐ About Weighted BlanketsWhat Size Should I Get? ⇒


 

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