Many of us are familiar with sensory deprivation and sensory overload. But what about sensory swings? Are they a thing? Do they exist, and if so, how do they work? Here’s what we know about this phenomenon.
Sensory swings are quite similar to sensory deprivation, in that they remove one or more senses from the person experiencing them. The difference is that while sensory deprivation removes all senses, including sight, sound, touch, smell, taste, and hearing, sensory swings remove only some of those senses. That means the person experiencing it can still see, hear, feel, smell, taste, and even sense their own body through kinesthetic awareness, but they cannot detect any of the senses that have been removed. So what exactly happens when someone is subjected to a sensory swing?
It’s important to note here that sensory swings are not just for fun. In fact, they are often used as a treatment technique by some therapists when working with people who have disorders like autism, Asperger Syndrome, and other neurodevelopmental disorders. For instance, a therapist might use sensory swings when trying to help children understand that certain words do not necessarily mean the same things to everyone. Or, perhaps they may be attempting to teach a child to recognize his body sensations, such as temperature, pain, pressure, etc., so he can better communicate with others around him. This kind of treatment can help reduce frustration levels and increase self-control. Also, since many kids on the spectrum tend to have difficulty focusing, using sensory swings can help them stay focused and pay attention during therapy sessions.
A person can plan to add the sensory swing for adults as they will give a relaxation from anxiety. The person can plan to reach the goals in the future. The main motive is to get the opportunity to set back from the problems that people face in general. A person will get good results.
So why would anyone want to subject themselves to sensory swings? Well, aside from helping children improve their ability to focus and learn, there are a few reasons why adults may choose to experience sensory swings. First off, sensory swings can be a way to relax and de-stress. They can also be used to induce deep relaxation, which has proven to help improve blood circulation, decrease stress hormones, and enhance healing processes. Some people also report that sensory swings can help them fall asleep faster. Finally, many people find that sensory swings can help them release blocked emotions, allowing them to process emotional memories without having to face them head on. While it sounds pretty cool, it isn’t something that should be undertaken lightly.
The first step to taking part in a sensory swing is to identify the desired sense(s) to be eliminated. Then, the other senses must be reintroduced at the same time. To begin with, the experimenter will place the participant into a comfortable reclining position. Next, the person will be given goggles that cover both eyes, along with headphones that block out all external noise. Now all the senses are completely isolated except for the sense being eliminated. That means no sound can come in through the headphones, no light can enter through the goggles, and the person is unable to smell anything.
Then, the remaining senses are introduced one by one. For example, if the experimenter wants to eliminate sight, then the goggle lenses are replaced with regular glasses. If they want to eliminate sound, then the headphones are replaced with normal headphones. And finally, if they want to eliminate smell, then the person will breathe through an air mask.
Once all of the senses have been reintroduced, the individual will remain in the recliner for anywhere from fifteen minutes to half an hour depending on the person’s tolerance level. During this time, the person should simply lie back and observe what happens. Afterward, the person will be asked to rate how well each sense was reintroduced. A rating of 1 indicates complete elimination; 2 means the sensation was very small, and 3 means the sensation was somewhat diminished. Once the individual rates each sense, they will then be asked to rate how much pleasure they received from eliminating each sense.
Overall, researchers have found that sensory swings prove to be extremely effective for treating anxiety, depression, phobias, and trauma. However, it’s worth noting that they aren’t recommended for individuals who are claustrophobic. Because of the limited nature of the session, these people have reported feeling trapped and suffocated. It appears that sensory swings are most effective for mild to moderate cases of anxiety and depression. So if you think you may benefit from participating in a sensory swing, talk to your doctor before starting. He or she can determine whether you’re ready to participate and decide the best course of action for you.