A Massage Chair As A Sensory Modality? Yes, Seriously (And I’m Not Just Talking About For Me : )

Trying out the massage chair!
Trying out the massage chair!

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So, I walk into the office at work yesterday, and the parent coordinator says to me: “Lauren, we have a parent who is donating a massage chair. Do you have any use for it?”

I’ll be honest. The first thoughts that went through my head were more along the lines of: “Oohh, that sounds fantastic.” “My lower back has really been hurting me…” “This could really transform my lunch breaks…”

After checking myself, I thought back to the wonderful children I treat and the enormous therapeutic value utilizing this chair could hold, as part of our ever-expanding sensory room. Ideas veering towards professionalism, words like “deep pressure”, “vibration”, and “somatosensory awareness” started lighting up in my brain.

The physical therapist that I share an office with works with a population of children with more involved needs, and tried it out with one of her students for the first time. After a few minutes of sitting in the chair and experiencing the vibration and deep pressure inputs, a look of peace settled across her features. She went about completing the rest of her session with improved overall body awareness and self-regulation.

Thinking back to this experience, it makes me look at the ‘less-than-traditional’ ways to address simple sensory processing skills; however, possibly even more importantly, is the largely generous act of thinking of others, and it’s enormous potential impact on the children who benefit from it. I consider myself lucky to find the moments where a child can tell me: “Wow, now I feel calm.”(or just simply seeing that an intervention is making them feel better, both in their body and minds!)

Seeing the goodness in people, whether they are ‘big’ or ‘small’, keeps me loving my job. ❤

4 thoughts on “A Massage Chair As A Sensory Modality? Yes, Seriously (And I’m Not Just Talking About For Me : )

  1. I am guardian of my brother who has locked in syndrome. He is 66 and has been this was for 30 years. He has begun to have skin issues and his recliner is OK but it is not high enough in the back. I feel there must be something more and better out there sort of bean baggish. John is appx 5’11” ).

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    1. Definitely! Have you looked into the Yogibo company? They have great beanbag type recliners, couches, etc that can be configured into a ton of different ways-definitely worth looking into. The material inside seems like it would really minimize pressure sores. Hope this is helpful!:)

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