Weighted blankets have extended beyond therapeutic environments to mainstream consumer settings to help calm and comfort adults who experience a variety of health conditions.
Weighing from four to 30 pounds of evenly distributed weight, these therapeutic blankets are purported to help reduce symptoms associated with anxiety, fear, autism, sleep issues, post traumatic stress disorder, sensory disorders, and other conditions. They are used as a complement to therapy and/or medication.
Used in treatment for years by occupational therapists, the weighted therapeutic blankets are
designed to provide a sense of relaxation and perceived safety that come from
the materials and blankets’ ability to apply soft pressure across the body. The
pressure is designed to simulate the feeling of being held and comforted. The
blankets are typically used for 30 minutes or less at a time. They should not
be used overnight.
Do these blankets live up to their claims? Independent
research studies show mixed results. Yet, there are some positive indicators for
the calming effects the blankets provide. Here are research findings:
More in-depth study is needed to quantify the blankets' positive impact on patients and their cnditions.
The amount of weight in the blanket varies and should be selected based on user body weight and individual preference. Some guidelines suggest a therapeutic blanket should weigh no more than ten percent of a person’s body weight. The users should be able to easily remove the blanket without assistance.
with different weights, the therapeutic blankets come in different sizes from small to large. When
purchasing from a therapy provider, health retailer or online, buyers typically
have the option of selecting the fabric, size, filler and weight.
Always consult a healthcare provider before buying
and using a weighted blanket. These blankets should not be used for children
without the direct supervision of a physician or therapist.
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Published by Jules Sowder