Sensory body socks (sometimes called a sensory sack or sensory sox) are these super cool, stretchy outfits that cover the whole body and give a gentle, snug hug to people who have sensory processing challenges. They can help with sensory input, proprioceptive feedback, and spatial awareness. They're made of comfy, breathable materials, and they're perfect for kids and grown-ups alike. The even pressure they create helps people feel calm and safe, and it's a great way to improve their overall well-being.
Why do we need deep pressure stimulation?
Deep pressure stimulation is all about applying gentle pressure to the body, helping people relax and feel less anxious. It's especially helpful for those who have a tough time processing sensory input, like people with autism, ADHD, or anxiety disorders. This kind of therapy works wonders in improving focus, attention, and body awareness. So, it can be a super useful tool for supporting individuals with sensory processing challenges.
Who's this article for?
This article is for all the caregivers, therapists, teachers, and curious individuals out there who want to know more about sensory body socks and how they can help people with sensory processing challenges. We went deeper into the science behind deep pressure stimulation in a previous article, so now we'll give you tips on picking the perfect sensory body sock, and share some ideas on how to make sensory body socks part of everyday life. We also include some product recommendations at the very end of the article, so make sure to stick around!
How Sensory Bodysocks Work
What are sensory body socks made of, and how are they designed?
Sensory bodysocks are usually made from stretchy, comfy materials like spandex or Lycra. They're kind of like a bag or jumpsuit that can cover every part of your body (the face is usually left out.) The compression and snug fit feels like a gentle hug, and the even pressure helps calm the wearer down. Some bodysocks even have Velcro closures to make putting them on and taking them off a breeze.
How to pick the right size and fit
To get all the awesome benefits of a sensory body sock, you'll want to choose the right size. It should fit snugly but not too tight or uncomfortable. Take a peek at the manufacturer's size chart, and if you're still unsure the correct size, reach out to their customer support for help. Keep in mind, the goal is to give the person wearing it that comforting, hugging sensation, so you don't want it to be loose.
How to use a sensory body sock the right way
Using a sensory body sock is super easy once you understand, but putting it on the first couple of times can feel tricky. Essentially you'll put your feet in first, either sitting or laying down, and then pull it up over your shoulders. If you have an adventurous kid, you can let them play with it a little or just climb inside however they want. Some people leave their whole head out and others like to pull it up over their head, leaving just the face out. Make sure the closures are secure, but not too tight. The person wearing it should be able to move around while still feeling that comforting pressure. Start with shorter sessions and work your way up as they get more used to the sensation. It should never feel scary or uncomfortable.
Safety tips and tricks
Sensory body socks are generally safe, but it's always good to keep some safety tips in mind. First, keep an eye on kids when they're using a body sock, especially at the beginning. Make sure they can breathe easily and don't get too hot. Watch out for any signs of discomfort, like skin irritation or trouble moving around. If something doesn't seem right, stop using it and talk to a professional for advice. And, of course, follow the manufacturer's care instructions to keep the body sock in great condition.
Sensory Body Socks in Everyday Life
Making sensory body socks a part of daily routines
Incorporating sensory body socks into daily life can be a game-changer for people with sensory processing challenges. Here are some tips to make it happen:
Morning stretch or evening calm time: Start or end the day with a body sock session to help the wearer feel relaxed and focused.
Homework or study sessions: Wearing a body sock can help improve concentration and make tackling schoolwork or other tasks more manageable.
Breaks between activities: Use sensory body socks during transitions or breaks to help the wearer regroup and have space to recharge before moving on to the next activity.
Bedtime routine: Some people find that wearing a body sock before bed can help improve sleep quality by promoting relaxation.
Using sensory body socks in therapy sessions
Sensory body socks can be a fun and valuable addition to therapy, particularly for those working with occupational therapists, physical therapists, or other professionals who specialize in sensory processing:
Deep pressure input: Therapists can guide clients through exercises and activities that enhance the deep pressure stimulation provided by the body sock.
Body awareness exercises: Sensory body socks can help improve body awareness and spatial orientation during sessions, making them a valuable tool for motor skill development.
Relaxation techniques: Therapists can teach clients relaxation techniques while wearing the body sock, helping them learn to self-soothe and manage anxiety.
Activities and exercises to do while wearing a body sock
There are tons of activities you can do while wearing a body sock! Here are some ideas to get started:
Yoga or stretching: Gentle stretching or yoga poses can help maximize the calming effects of the body sock.
Deep breathing exercises: Focusing on deep, slow breaths while wearing the body sock can promote relaxation and stress relief.
Creative movement: Encourage the wearer to explore different ways of moving while wearing the body sock, like dancing, swaying, or rolling.
Cozy reading time: Wearing a body sock while enjoying a good book can make the experience even more calming and enjoyable.
Remember, the key is to find activities that the person wearing the body sock enjoys and feels comfortable with. Experiment with different ideas and see what works best for them!
Websites and online communities for sensory processing support
Looking for more information, advice, or just a friendly community to connect with? Check out these online resources:
- The Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation (www.spdfoundation.net): A wealth of resources, research, and support for individuals with sensory processing challenges and their families.
- The Sensory Spectrum (www.thesensoryspectrum.com): A blog and online community offering helpful tips, product recommendations, and support for those dealing with sensory processing issues.
- The Out-of-Sync Child (www.out-of-sync-child.com): The official website for the popular book series, with helpful articles, resources, and links to support groups.
Books and articles on sensory processing
Want to dive deeper into the world of deep pressure stimulation and sensory processing? Here are some books and articles to explore:
- "The Out-of-Sync Child" by Carol Stock Kranowitz: A best-selling guide to understanding and managing sensory processing challenges.
- "The Whole-Brain Child" by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson: A practical guide to understanding and nurturing your child's developing mind.
3. "Sensational Kids" by Lucy Jane Miller: A comprehensive resource for parents and professionals, offering insights and strategies for helping children with sensory processing challenges.
Remember, you're not alone in your journey to understand and support someone with sensory processing challenges. Reach out, ask questions, and don't be afraid to seek help from professionals and experienced parents or caregivers.
Here are a few highly rated recommendations that you can grab quick off Amazon and see how they help you or your child:
Outree Body Socks For Kids
These are only sold in a solid blue or green and a small or medium size at this time, but 80% of reviewers give them a 5/5 rating. The small is designed for children 33 to 42" tall while the medium is recommended for children 43 to 51" tall.
SANHO makes a wide variety of body socks in all different size, colors, and different closure methods. They have the more common velcro options, some that tie shut, zippers, and even options that fold over like an envelope or pillow case which are neat because they're completely smooth. This is definitely the brand with the most options listed on Amazon.
Special Supplies sells all kinds of tools and toys for sensory needs. They make products for school, therapy, playtime, and day-to-day living. These lycra sacks are made with snap closures, come in three different sizes to accommodate most heights, and are currently available in aqua, lime green, or orange. They also sell some very popular compression bed sheets as an alternative to weighted blankets.
Smart School Educational Products
Smart School Educational Products make body socks for kids and adults alike, but these specific full-body wraps with super adorable prints come in small through large for a recommended height of 3'2"-5'4". They've got dinosaurs, race cars, sports, psychedelic colors, and stars.
Sensory body socks have the potential to make a significant difference in the lives of individuals with sensory processing challenges, or those that can use sensory tools to provide proprioceptive input and increase motor planning skills. By providing deep pressure stimulation, they can help reduce anxiety, improve focus, and boost overall well-being. They're a versatile tool that can be used in a variety of settings, from therapy sessions to everyday routines, making them a valuable resource for children and adults alike.
We hope that with the information provided in this article, you now have a solid foundation to understand how to choose the right sensory body sock, and how to incorporate sensory body socks into daily life. Remember, every individual is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. Be patient, keep an open mind, and don't hesitate to reach out to professionals or online communities for support and guidance. By doing so, you'll be well on your way to harnessing the power of the sensory sock and enhancing the quality of life for those with sensory processing challenges.