Does deep touch pressure really help combat anxiety?

depression

Deep Touch Pressure (DTP) is often a controversial subject in the medical world. While some support it as an alternative to conventional health approaches, others deem it as a risky method. The latter argue that it lacks a scientific basis. Thus, it can be dismissed as merely an unusual reaction.

But today, deep touch pressure continues to gain popularity. There are now numerous studies proving its health benefits. As an example, DTP has been successful at helping a person cope and overcome deep-seated anxieties.

Also, there are emerging tools and equipment to aid the application of DTP for all ages. One no longer needs to visit a hospital or a clinic to avail. You could go to the mall, and you’ll see massage chairs that can provide you with DTP. Different parlors also offer such.

Getting to Know Deep Touch Pressure

Deep Touch Pressure is a therapeutic method of helping someone who is feeling burdened or anxious via pressure.

In a nutshell, DTP is applied primarily in two ways. The first is through touch. When you massage a loved one, for example, you often use DTP techniques, or when you tightly hug a friend, that friend would feel a DTP. Also, when you grip the hand of a partner, that is DTP. There is pressure released, and that can have calming effects.

The second application is by wearing a weighted item such as clothes, a vest, or a blanket. We can’t deny that a lot of people hate to touch. More often than not, they find it awkward or socially inconvenient. But they can still benefit from the effects of deep touch pressure by using items with such impact.

By the way, DTP is the opposite of Light Touch Pressure Whenever someone tickles your feet, that is light touch pressure. Or when you walk along the lawn, and the grasses touch your skin, that is light touch pressure. It can have some rippling effects. But such results are deeper when you ought for a DTP.

How Does Deep Touch Pressure Works?

couple hugging each other

When the body feels agitated or threatened, it goes into what we call the “fight or flight” mode as a response from the sympathetic nervous system. That leads to increased cortisol (stress hormone) release. That eventually results in sweaty palms, rising heart rate and blood pressure, and difficulty in getting good sleep.

Given our complex society, nowadays, a lot of people suffer from the effects of constant sympathetic nervous system agitation.

On the other hand, the parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS) can be activated to revive and strengthen internal calmness and peace. Once PSNS gets running, a person achieves optimum heart rate, muscle relaxation, and improvement of blood flow.

Instead of cortisol, the body produces endorphins, also known as happy hormones. These are responsible for making you feel fulfilled and amazing after a physical workout or activity such as jogging.

Now, when deep touch pressure is applied to the body, the PSNS gets activated. It then releases dopamine and serotonin. These are the “feel-good” neurotransmitters of the brain as opposed to cortisol. They help boost motivation, control impulse, sharpening memory and attention, improving social behavior, sleep, and aiding digestion.

All these are factors that lead to better health, not just physically but also mentally, psychologically, and emotionally. Of course, a healthier internal and external state means lesser stimulation from stress and pressures. With that, constant anxiety eventually wanes.

How to Make Deep Touch Pressure Work

There are various simple and practical ways where you can put deep touch pressure to good use. I’ve cited some examples in the introductory paragraphs.

For instance, if you notice a friend feeling stressed or worn out, do give him a tight hug. I tell you, it can make wonders. Not just for the person.  But for you as well. The good thing about it? It’s so easy to do and costs nothing. It’s the same thing you can do when you meet a random stranger who seems at lost. Giving that person a hug can make him believe that miracles in life.

Another thing you can do is giving a reassuring firm touch. For example, place your hands on your son’s shoulder, to make him feel that you are always there to offer support. Normally, the son would feel happy and inspired. But your firm touch on his shoulder automatically boosts the release of healthy hormones.

Now, you can take that to another level. How? Give a massage. Now, there are different types of doing that. You can start from a light touch pressure and further on, to deep touch pressure.

Aside from touch, you can also make use of tools to give you a deep touch pressure. You can bring with you, for instance, weight pads which are very much portable anywhere and in an everyday situation. It has been proven to help boost focus and decrease stress.

During bedtime, you can make use of a weighted blanket cover to relax and rejuvenate both your internal and external state. That is because the weight of the blanket helps the body relax and activates the parasympathetic nervous system. It, therefore, gives you a hassle-free relief from day to day anxiety and other unhealthy emotions.

Today, weighted blankets are also becoming popular as a means to help people cope with autism, insomnia, and sensory processing disorder. These are now sold on various mainstream online retails and even on malls.

Various studies have also shown that DTP can help decrease meltdowns, improve social ability, reduce suicidal tendencies, improve mood, lessen seizure occurrences, increase happiness, and enhance concentration.