Here's a bit more of the science behind weight therapy!
When you apply deep pressure to the body, the body switches from running its sympathetic nervous system to its parasympathetic nervous system. This is the so-called switch from “fight or flight” to “rest and digest”.
The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) is the “alert” system in the body. This is the one in charge when you’re facing a stressful situation at work, driving through heavy traffic in a storm, or when you receive an unexpected bill in the mail.
When the SNS takes the lead for too long, you feel anxious, tired, on edge, and irritable. You don’t sleep as well and your digestive system might act up.
Unfortunately some can spend a lot of time stuck in the sympathetic nervous system. Even when you do calm down, it takes very little to retrigger this system.
The parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS), however, brings a sense of calm and peace to the mind and body. When the parasympathetic nervous system takes over, your heart rate slows, muscles relax, and circulation improves. Your body produces endorphins, which are the “happy” hormones that make you feel amazing after a good run.
As deep pressure is applied to the body, the parasympathetic nervous system comes online, calming and bringing a sense of well-being.
In tandem with this change comes a release of dopamine and serotonin, the feel-good neurotransmitters of the brain. These hormones help with motivation, impulse control, attention, memory, social behavior, sleep, and digestion.
As is true with many forms of therapy, each person responds to DPS differently. Always consult your physician before beginning any treatment program. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. Consult with your healthcare professional to design an appropriate treatment program. If you experience any pain or difficulty, stop and consult your healthcare provider.
The Relax Wraps That Offer Weight Therapy:
Basic Wrap (2 lbs)
XL Basic Wrap (2.5 lbs)
Neck Wrap (3 lbs)
Collar Wrap (5 lbs)
Body Wrap (6 lbs)
Why Is Weight Therapy Beneficial?
Weighted products have been shown to increase serotonin in the body. Serotonin is an important chemical that helps regulate mood and ease relaxation.
The science behind weighted items is called Deep Pressure Touch (DPT) or Deep Pressure Stimulation (DPS). These terms describe the feeling of gentle, distributed weight on the body. Done properly, this therapy triggers a chain reaction in the body that releases an overall sense of calm and peace.
You can get the benefits of DTP in a variety of ways. Hugging is one way that everyone can experience DTP. As long as there is gentle, distributed weight, there will be benefits from DTP.
Here's What The Pros Say:
1. Promoting & Improving Sleep
Weighted blankets have been shown to increase serotonin in the body. Serotonin is an important chemical that helps regulate mood and ease relaxation. Serotonin is necessary to create melatonin, a chemical that tells your body when it’s time to sleep. Your body produces melatonin based on the timing of your sunlight exposure and uses that as a schedule to help your body know when it’s time to relax.
2. Promoting Relaxation & Reducing Anxiety
Our nervous systems calm down when under gentle, distributed weight. This can be a major help for those who can’t fall asleep due to anxiety. There are a lot of disorders that are related to low serotonin where weight therapy could be useful, including depression, aggression, PTSD, and bipolar disorder.
3. Helping Children Feel Calmer
Weighted vests have been found to reduce self-stimulatory behaviors, also known as fidgeting or stimming. There are many reasons why a person might engage in self-stimulatory behavior, but one of the main reasons is that they are feeling sensory overload.
Whether used in therapy or at home, a weighted wrap is a great addition to a sensory room. The extra weight adds a sensory input that allows people to feel their body. For those with sensory issues, not being able to feel where your body ends can be a challenge. It also helps calm the nervous system and releases serotonin.
A lot of times, simply getting your child to sit still can be a struggle. Whether it’s for a presentation, assembly, movie, or just a car or bus ride, getting your child to sit calmly can often feel impossible.
For these situations, weight therapy would be a great option.
4. Offering A Warm Hug
Hugs boost our happiness levels. Basically, a good hug is the fastest way for you to get oxytocin flowing in your body. Oxytocin, also known as the “love drug”, calms your nervous system and boosts positive emotions. Here’s how a good hug resulting in oxytocin flow affects you:
It lowers your blood pressure, especially helpful if you’re feeling anxious.
It lowers your cortisol (the stress hormone), enabling a higher quality of sleep.
It can increase your social connections and a sense of belonging. Some reports have even shown hugs can reduce pain.