Sensory Stimulation Products
Protac® is a leading name in Sensory Stimulation Products
All of the Protac® products shown here contain the Protac® balls which, thanks to the deep touch pressure and constant contact to the body’s surface which they provide, activate the sense of touch and the sense of body position and movement.
For information about the impact of the Protac balls, Sensory Integration and the product development please take time to watch our videos contained within each product section.
Sensory Stimulation FAQs
Sensory stimulation is when one or more of the five senses is activated by sensory stimuli. This happens when people interact with the world and environment around them within their daily lives and activities. Therapeutically it can happen by something as simple as a massage with scented lotions or by listening to a music playlist.
There are certain activities that can be used to provide sensory input and stimulate the body to process sensory information. The type of stimuli can be focused on the area of sensory input required with more complex activities that are designed to provide a specific sensory experience.
There are many benefits to sensory stimulation. Some of these benefits include:
- Easing communication
- Increased concentration
- Improves cognitive symptoms
- Body awareness and proprioception
- Behaviour regulation
Sensory stimulation activities work best, mainly when they are linked to the individual’s interests. It is always important to tailor the activities to each person by taking into account their specific needs. Some of the sensory activities for people suffering from dementia are:
- Massaging hands and feet with oils that helps to relieve stress
- Going out for walks to provide the person with a change of scenery
- Going out on day trips whenever possible
- Organizing some time to have pets visit
- Reminiscence therapy/tasks
Sensory overload is when an individual has difficulty modulating and processing the information that the body receives, often as the result of a sensory processing disorder. When the body cannot regulate or process the sensory information at the desired rate or volume required the sensory system can become overloaded and can stop working effectively. This can vary depending on the level of sensory processing difficulties of the individual; it can impact on the behavioural outcomes of the individual and can make them distressed.
If a person experiences sensory overload, it may cause stress, anxiety and potentially, physical pain which can result in withdrawal and challenging behaviour.
People with autism typically have some level of sensory processing difficulties as a result of this, meaning that regulation and interpretation of sensory stimuli is often difficult and this can impact on behavioural outcomes and engagement within daily activities.
Some individuals can be hyposensitive to certain sensory stimuli and require additional input when compared to those without sensory processing difficulties to register any input; these people often seek out these additional stimuli in their daily lives. Those that are hypersensitive to certain stimuli often avoid that type of input in their daily lives as it is difficult to process and can negative impacts on behavioural outcomes.
Sensory issues often accompany autism. Autism sensory issues can involve both hypo-sensitivities (under-responsiveness) and hyper-sensitivities (over-responsiveness) to a range of different stimuli such as:
- Body awareness
As Alzheimer’s progresses, the ability to communicate and perform everyday tasks and activities declines. Sensory stimulation activities that are aimed at the elderly, intend to bring enjoyment, reduce their anxiety and depression as well as increasing their social interaction.
Hyposensitivity is when an individual is under-sensitive to stimuli, meaning that regular levels of input would not be enough to stimulate the senses of an individual and the may need additional input to register any stimuli; this can affect engagement, attention, and behavioural outcomes. For example, an individual that is hyposensitive to vestibular input may seek out additional input in this area and you may see them, rocking, spinning, or swaying repeatedly. meaning that they have trouble processing information through their senses.
For example, a normal person would spin around for a short period of time or would be okay with touching a few things whereas, someone who is hyposensitive, would spin for longer periods of time and touch everything around them.
Hypersensitivity is when the individual is overstimulated by relatively small amounts of sensory stimuli when compared to the amounts for the everyday person.
These individuals will often try to avoid the types of input that they are sensitive to. For example, someone that has an auditory hypersensitivity may be seen to put their hands over their ears in crowded environments or those that generate noise such as a supermarket or shopping centre.
A child who suffers from sensory issues can have difficulty receiving and responding to information from their senses. Children who have hypersensitivity issues have an aversion to anything that may trigger their senses such as touch, taste, sound, smell and light. However, a child with hyposensitivity might seek out the stimuli. if they are not afforded this opportunity to receive this additional information this can have negative impacts on their behaviour.
A child with a sensory processing disorder can have difficulty receiving and regulating the amount of sensory information they receive. Processing and interpretation of any sensory information received by the body so it can influence behavioural outcomes can then also be difficult, for example, someone with hyposensitivity to tactile input may not realise they are touching a hot pan and this is burning their skin whereas someone that did not have sensory processing difficulties in this area would process the information regarding the hot pan and then use this information to influence the subsequent behaviour to remove their hand from the hot pan.
Often a sensory diet can be used, based on an assessment of the individual’s needs, to regulate the sensory input that the individual receives to influence behavioural outcomes such as engagement within a school or using appropriate behaviour at home.