The role of our Hammock in Occupational Therapy
The Salachi hammock, made of Aerial Yoga fabric (100% NYLON 40 DENIER TRICOT) is becoming an increasingly popular equipment in the therapy of Autism. A very important reason is that the use of our hammock triggers many of the senses, which are necessary for nurturing the ability to concentrate. That means that when these senses are triggered and embodied in our daily activities, our ability to concentrate is automatically nurtured. Keeping that in mind, the role of our hammock is proven to be valuable in the therapy of individuals with autism, since it combines the activation of particular senses and abilities with the feeling of relaxation and tranquility.
To conclude, Salachi hammock is literally “hugging” the body of a child or an adult like a “cocoon” as does the specially designed sensory swing that is used in Occupational Therapy.
A few words from the Expert…
Savvas Kellidis – Occupational Therapist, Owner of Kinitro ke Kinisi
The haptic system, in simple words the sense of touch, plays a crucial role in the physical and mental condition of a child. We receive haptic data from the receptors that are placed below our skin, starting from our head to our lower extremities. This data concerns the sense of touch, pain, temperature and pressure. Their role is very important to someone’s perception of their environment, as well as their automatic survival response.
The vestibular system on the other hand gives us the required information to realize the position of our body in a room. It is responsible for our movement and balance and it is crucial for the preservation of the postural control.
Last but not least, the proprioception gives us data that concerns the position and movement of our body parts. Both the vestibular system and the proprioception are triggered by movement and gravity. Those systems deeply affect the child’s muscle tone as well as skills such as its visual perception, the image of its own body, the kinetic design, the emotional security, the social skills and many more.
The Aerial Yoga hammock belongs to the basic equipment of all occupational therapists, as well as other pediatric specialties (such as Physiotherapy, Speech Therapy). Apart from being a therapeutic tool, it can also become a game used to entertain a child in both an individual or group level. It is mainly used in Occupational Therapy and the Sensory Integration Program, where the child comes in contact with intense haptic, proprioception and vestibular stimulation, while playing and interacting with the fabric. Activities that require “hard work” activate both the muscles and the joints. In this way a youngster acquires the ability to tone both the upper and lower extremities and have better postural control, improved balance and kinetic design, while trying to balance and cross from one layer to another (The Sensory Swing consists of three layers of fabric). In addition, the child has the chance to balance while trying to stand up or jump when using the hammock as a trampoline. Extra activities with the kid in bending or extent position (from prone position) against gravity are “fishing”, target games (eg, pins, basket), fine motion enhancement games (eg. beads, pins on a pegboard, bricks), sketch copying and many more.