Activation of the left cerebral hemisphere during sensory stimulation.
Sensory Stimulation Therapy
It turns out that stimulating our senses isn’t just beneficial for getting more in touch with our bodies and being in the present moment – it has been scientifically proven to slow the aging process, reprogram positive neuro-pathways in our brain (making us smarter by helping us think faster) and it can actually be very healing for children with autism and elderly people who have suffered from strokes or dementia.
What is sensory stimulation?
“The answer is that stimulating the senses can have a positive effect on learning as well as emotional and social growth in a child. Sensory stimulation in learning means having activities that challenge or make use of the five senses. These senses, touch, taste, smell, listening, and visual, must be included in one’s learning. Schools incorporate sensory stimulation in their curriculum from the basics of math and reading to special classes such as art or extracurricular activities such as sports. The same is true for children with special needs. For example, as more children become diagnosed with autism, more teachers are needed to educate them. Thus, it is good to see celebrities such as the telethon on comedy central held on October 15, 2006, that featured well-known comedians as well as other notable figures to help fund the building of a center to educate teachers who are specialized in teaching autistic children.
Sensory stimulation also affects the emotional and social growth of a child. Sensory affectional deprivation syndrome (link to this page) illustrates the importance of maternal affection. When moms (and dads) cuddle, sway, sing, or rock their babies and children, they are helping that child feel the emotional needs required for healthy growth.”
There are a lot of websites with a lot of information about the healing aspects of sensory stimulation as well as stores and places one can visit that are specifically geared to stimulating our senses. How fun is that?
However, if you feel like making your own fun and stimulating your own senses, read the list below! Enjoy!
Next Blog Series: Fear – When it’s a gift – When it’s a curse!
List of Sensory Stimulators: (http://www.activitytherapy.com/sensorystimulation.htm)
Pretty Wrapping Paper & Florescent Papers
Animals such as Birds, Bird Feeders, Fish Tanks
Colored Lights, Strings of Lights, Christmas Lights
Flashing lights & Strobe Lights
Wind Up Animals
Mobiles that are age appropriate
Wind Socks & Wind Chimes
Activity Boxes, Easy to Watch Videos
Peanut Butter, Licorice
Jelly, Spices, Honey
Nutella (located with Peanut Butter)
Tea, Coffee, Milk Shakes, Sodas
Strong Smelling Soups
Yogurt, Ice cream, Ice Chips Flavored
Lifesavers, Pickles, Horseradish
Lavender and other oils. Use an Electric Aroma Fan
Pot Pouri, Sachets
Perfumes, Powders, Lotions
Sun Tan Lotions (Coconut)
Candles, Incense, Aromatherapy
Bath Oils, Bubble Baths, Bath Soaps
Powders, Talcum Powders, Pillows with Powders inside
Flowers, Shrubs with Scents, Flowering Trees
Bakery, Candle Shop, Candy Shop
Pet Shop, Fruit Stand
Hearing / Sound
Water Sounds, Fountains, Bubbling Brooks, Sound of Waves
Faucet turned on, Waterfall
Washing Machine, Dishwasher
Music, Bag Pipers, Concerts
Ticking Clocks, Metronomes, Coco Clocks
Music Boxes, Whistles
Instruments- Maracas, Pianos, Tambourines, Rattles, Chimes, Electric Key Boards, Pianos, Drums
Fake Fur, Soft Ear Muffs
Pets, Horses, Cows
Outside-Leaves, Tree Bark, Roses
Snow, Sand, Shells, Sea Weed
Hard Items-Rocks, Tree Bark, Fences
Soft Items-Clay, Dirt, Play Dough
Cotton, Sheepskin, Feathers,
Pastas, Cereals, Spaghetti
Large Beads, Jewelry, Gaskets
Pat Mats, Activity Aprons & Activity Pillows
Body Pillows, Textured Fabrics
Massage, Silk Materials
Dryer vibration, blow dryers, washing machines
Rolling Down Hill
Merry Go Rounds