Everyone loves hugs, right? Harvard Medical School wrote an article on a study they did on hugging. They found that people who were hugged more frequently had higher oxytocin levels, the hormone that reduces anxiety and promotes calmness when released. They also indicate that their study participants who were hugged more often had lower blood pressure than participants who received fewer hugs.
The truth is, everyone does not love hugs. One of the major components of autism spectrum disorder is something called sensory processing disorder (SPD). SPD is a disorder in which a person struggles with how they perceive sensory information. If you look at the red flags for SPD, you’ll probably find something with which you’re able to identify, as many adults are afraid of failing new tasks.SPD is a complex, debilitating disorder, with many subtypes and differences in the responses from one person to another. Some people are over-sensitive (sensory-avoiding) to sensory stimuli, hearing noises louder than they are and smelling odors to extreme degrees. Some are under-sensitive, failing to respond to sensory stimuli, such as not recognizing they are hurt and ignoring sounds and smells. Some are sensory-seeking, as they seek to touch everything, frequently jumping and make many loud noises. We have one of each. At least in most of their sensory preferences. C recoils when touched, N doesn’t sleep without feeling another person beside him. Neither likes pants but C loves hoodies while N will wear the least clothes possible at all times. It was a battle for years trying to get pants on C. He’d wear shorts in the snow if we lived where it snowed. We wondered if either of our boys would even enjoy weighted blankets. Temple Grandin, the famous autistic doctor that worked with animals, published a study on deep pressure therapy. She mentions that deep pressure therapy helps sensory-avoidant autistic people with desensitization of touch, which covers C’s sensory diet. Our experience with OT taught us that N’s sensory cravings included craving pressure on his body, particularly his joints. Temple Grandin’s study also documented the benefits of deep pressure therapy throughout history, with ailments other than autism, and with animals. Deep pressure therapy, such as the use of weighted blankets, applies pressure on the joints in the limbs, where we have proprioceptive receptors. These receptors send signals to our brains, guiding us in processing sensory stimuli and releasing hormones that induce relaxation, similar to the benefits of hugging. As people who are claustrophobic, we initially wondered if they would be a good fit for us. Today, Justin won’t let me use one on the couch because he can’t get my former-insomniac self to wake up to head to bed. We hope this article helps you to understand a little bit about the science of weighted blankets, the effect they have on the body, and the variety of people they can help comfort. They are, after all, the C in J&R Edwards PDC. C is for comfort. Browse our inventory or contact us for a custom order to be on your way to comfort. If you didn’t catch the last two blog posts, read about our Q&A and our experience with weighted blankets. In light of Halloween, we’ve also listed a few Nightmare Before Christmas weighted blankets in our inventory. You can find twin here and 5 ft. here. Through October 31, buy any weighted blanket from our inventory for 20% off with code october20. Spend $200 or more on blankets and take 30% off with code october30.
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As always, if you have more questions or want to talk to us directly, please feel free to contact us. You can reach us by text (908)305-9810, by e-mail email@example.com, or by Facebook message. We are always happy to help.
Justin & Ryne