If you have heard of a therapy blanket and wondered just what exactly it is, then you are not alone. The popular term that you may have heard of is a weighted blanket. Although a weighted blanket is just one example of therapy blankets, it is the most common type and thus the names have become synonymous.
A therapy blanket is any blanket that is used as a form of treatment to relieve or heal a disorder. Weighted blankets have in recent years become the ultimate choice for most people who need an alternative to medications.
What a Therapy Blanket Does
A therapy blanket utilizes your own body to initiate healing. The weighted blanket offers deep touch pressure that stimulates your body systems to initiate relief or healing. The effects can be on your hormones or your central nervous system that is made up of your brain and spine. When you opt for a therapy blanket, you can get the following:
Have you been having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep? You are suffering from insomnia and a weighted therapy blanket can help you get better sleep. It will allow you to fall asleep faster, sleep for longer and better. You will feel energized when you wake up in the morning after having restful sleep. It will allow you to be more productive and not go through the day fatigued and sleepy.
So how does a therapy blanket make this possible? As mentioned earlier, the weighted therapy blanket acts through deep touch therapy stimulation. The stimulation results in serotonin release, a hormone that regulates your sleep. And with that, you will be able to sleep faster and for longer without doing pills.
Anxiety and Anxiety Disorders
The strain of the daily challenges always has a toll on your mental health. You may end up with stress, depression, anxiety, and anxiety related conditions like panic disorders and PTSD. Research has shown that you can deal with these problems without having to rely on medications by using a therapy blanket.
Like how the blanket offers better sleep, it acts through your hormonal system. It stimulates the production of endorphins that relieve anxiety, combat depression and help manage several anxiety disorders. Endorphins are feel-good hormones that gush through your body when you are excited or happy.
One of the challenges, as you grow older, include chronic pain. It may be generalized like in people suffering from fibromyalgia or localized to a particular region. If you have chronic pain, you understand just how debilitating it gets. Also, having to take painkillers daily is not only uncomfortable but also a risk to your health. A therapy blanket is a perfect alternative when it comes to dealing with chronic pain.
The weight in the weighted therapy blanket acts as a massage over your entire body. Unlike a massage, however, it is sustained for long and daily as it happens every time you hit the bed. It is far more effective in helping the muscles to be relieved of pain and stimulates the hormonal system and central nervous system to calm the pain. The blanket relieves the symptoms and decreases anxiety.
Being a parent to a child with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, sensory processing disorder and autism is often challenging. With no known cures, alleviating the symptoms is often the best path. Weighted blankets can help calm these kinds of children down and hence help them relax, focus and have a better life generally. The blanket is soothing to the child.
Advantages of a Therapy Blanket
- No side effects unlike what you would find with drugs
- Convenient as it can be used any time and the way you want to use it
- Very safe because there are no major health risks involved
- Wholesome treatment as it works on your body in entirety
- Can be used for a variety of health problems
- Allows you to enjoy a happier, brighter life
When to Use a Weighted Therapy Blanket
Knowing when to use a therapy blanket and when not to will help you get the best out of your weighted blanket. First, you need to know what exactly the disorder you have is before starting the weighted therapy. You may need to see your doctor for a diagnosis first. In case you are on daily medications, discuss with your doctor before replacing them with weighted therapy.
Avoid using weighted blanket therapy when:
- It’s a child under the age of 5 years
- The feeling of being trapped under the blanket triggers your anxiety
- The weighted blanket leaks beads or the plastic pellets
- The weight is unevenly distributed in the blanket due to leakage between pockets
How to Choose a Therapy Blanket
Now that you know understand what a therapy blanket is, here is how you choose a therapy blanket that meets your needs.
The required weight of the blanket needs to be a tenth of your weight. For instance, if you weigh 150lbs, you will need a blanket that weighs 15lbs.
Size of Blanket
The best way to find the weighted blanket of the right size is to use the measurements of your current blanket. It will allow you to get a blanket that adequately covers you.
The filler materials need to be either plastic pellets or glass beads while the fabric will serve you best if it is made of 100% cotton.
Color and Patterns
Although choosing colors and patterns relies entirely on personal tastes, it is important to go in for something that visually appeals to you or the person using the blanket.
A crucial factor when choosing the therapy blanket is the cost. It is a question of quality versus cost and you need to only settle for something that is worth every penny you spend on. Be sure to check out our guide to the most affordable weighted blankets for some suggestions on this.
As shown, a therapy blanket basically helps relieve or heal disorders. The weighted therapy blanket which is the commonest type acts through deep touch stimulation therapy to help alleviate several conditions. It also feels like a hug and will emotionally help you achieve better sleep.