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Why Is the Hug Belt So Effective?: The Science Behind Deep Pressure

What is The Hug Belt?

One of the unique features of RelaxPack is the Hug Belt that provides deep pressure to one’s midsection. It’s made with a neoprene material to give it extra stretch and encompasses a Velcro fastener to secure it as tightly as one prefers.  The immediate effect of the deep pressure or squeeze provided by the Hug Belt, is a sense of stability, calmness, and support.

The Science Behind Deep Pressure:

The benefits of deep-pressure touch, hugging, and cuddling are well established, as these sensations stimulate the release of serotonin and dopamine, two neurotransmitters that make people feel more relaxed. This type of sensation can also stimulate portions of the limbic system, the brain’s network for processing emotion, such as happiness.

For children who have an over-reactive nervous system to stimuli (touch, sounds, sights, tastes, etc.), and who can escalate in response to everyday experiences, can use deep pressure to help over-ride the autonomic response of flight or fight that our sympathetic nervous system signals to warn us of potential danger.  In the cases of an over-active response, when the response is disproportionate to the situation, a person needs access to tools to regulate and return back to a normal calm state.  The Hug Belt does exactly this as it provides soothing deep pressure both proactively (avoiding the triggers) and reactively (when the triggers occur) to soothe and calm.  We know the benefits of deep pressure and hugs, but sometimes children with sensory processing disorders or autism can’t always tolerate hugging or cuddling, as this touch from another person can feel unpredictable at times, which can make it more stressful versus calming. The Hug Belt allows them to have total control of how tight and how long of a ‘hug’ they need.  The Hug Belt is hands down one of our favorite features of RelaxPack!