How hammocks help people with Special Needs
Posted on 16-08-2017
We have always lauded the virtues of hammocks – from how it helps in relaxation to productivity at work. But did you know that a hammock can help beyond that. Did you know the act of swinging influences a persons’ vestibular system?
Hold On..Vestibular Sys… What?
The Vestibular System, in a nutshell, is the one that give us a sense of balance and spatial orientation. It balances us as we walk up or down a flight of stairs for example and if we lose our footing and wobble it will automatically rebalance itself without us needing to do anything. In fact, have you ever tried to keep your balance and found that you have reduced balanced as a result? It is a system that prefers to operate beyond the boundaries of the mind.
The system also orientates us in our surroundings. When we wake up in unfamiliar surroundings it will try to coordinate itself through sensory perceptions.
So, what has this got to do with hammocks?
While most of us have a normal sense of balance, for children and adults who have autism, this is an area where they may need help. In fact many who have autism also have some form of vestibular dysfunction.
The natural swing of a hammock has been found to improve and restore the vestibular system. The swinging action has a soothing effect and helps to improve a person’s sense of balance. For a person with autism, the act of swinging can be initially met with resistance but with regular use can help. Hammocks have also been found useful for helping individuals with ADHD and even Asperger’s.
"Swinging is beneficial to people whose sensory systems are still developing and getting organised, as is the sensation of being cocooned. - Wonderfully in a hammock you can get both sensations simultaneously. Many people will find this mixture of sensations soothing meaning that the option of chilling out in a hammock can be used to deescalate a situation where stress is building." Joanna Grace: The sensory Projects
It is great to see so many of our hammocks being sold to parents of Special Needs Children, institutions, for our products to be used for therapeutic purposes.