Care and affection is always great for our body in terms of both mental and physical health. It gives us a sense of satisfaction which elevates our mood and makes us more efficient. Swaddling is a concept of wrapping, mostly infants, so that they feel the comfort and warmth of womb or of their parent’s arms. Babies come wrapped in a cotton cloth when they are born and in the initial stages after their birth. But what about adults, can swaddle be as effective for adults and benefit their health. Let us find this out with help of an expert Dr. Yashi Malhotra, Clinical Paediatrician in Fatima Hospital, Lucknow.
What Is Adult Swaddling?
Our expert says, adult swaddling is quite different from what it is in the case of infants. Infants are wrapped in cotton sheet so that they feel the same comfort of being in the arms of their parents and get warmth similar to mother’s womb. But in case of adult swaddling, it is kind of an activity that has some health benefits attached to it. The person is wrapped in cotton cloth from head to toe and then rolled over the swaddling room. This improves physical health of a person in many ways like relieving stressed muscles, reducing pain and improves posture.
Benefits of Adult Swaddling
It is a Japanese practise and has not been very significant in India, but people who have tried it have experienced some changes. These positive changes have helped them feel warm, comforted and relaxed. Adult swaddling aims to relax the person and provide them with comfort which goes missing in busy schedules of the day. Those who went through this process have reported of these positive changes in their health-
- It relaxed their stiff muscles
- Reduced their stress
- Improves sleep
- It helped them in reducing shoulder pain
- Improved their back pain and postpartum pain and stiffness
- Has helped in improving their balance and body posture
Research On Adult Swaddling
According to latest research by American Journal of Occupation Therapy in 2020, the research suggested that it was the heaviness of blanket that provided people with comfort and relief. There is no particular evidence to prove that adult swaddling is beneficial for health, but most of the people who went through it have got a positive feedback.
The study suggested that weighted blankets actually helped in relieving anxiety and insomnia. Hence it could provide relaxation to the person but cannot be considered as a therapy. It is based on deep pressure stimulation which is kind of a therapeutic procedure similar to when we hug a person. Therefore adult swaddling is a beneficial practise but cannot be considered as verified therapy yet.
How To Do Adult Swaddling?
Even though this practise is mostly limited to Japan, you can try this yourself to feel relaxed. However if you are trying it for the first time, make sure that you have someone with you to help you out. The most important thing while doing this procedure is to make sure there is sufficient air flow inside the blanket so that you do not feel congested. Normally a session lasts 20-20 minutes, but you can try it for 10 minutes in the first go.
Here are some instructions which you can follow to perform this activity-
1. Sit crossed legged on the sheet with hands placed in your lap. The cloth should be 12 inches more on the sides while you sit on it.
2. Ask your partner to raise the cloth behind you to make sure you have 10 inches extended cloth above your head.
3. Place a rolled towel behind your neck for support and added comfort. The towel should be of thick fabric and tie it with a knot.
4. Then let your partner drape the cotton sheet around you and cover it over your head.
5. Once you have got wrapped it around you, tie up the two corners of the sheet with each other so that it does not slip away. Both the knots should be tied in similar way to maintain the balance.
6. Now, the extended cloth under your feet needs to be pulled and knotted around your head to completely form a cocoon.
7. After the wrapping is done, ask your partner to slowly roll you over the back and forth. You can keep a thin cushion for extra support or it can be done straight on the floor with a yoga mat.
8. Keep rolling back and forth for around 10-15 minutes. Once it is done your can ask your partner to unwrap you and remove the cloth.
Adult swaddling is a therapy which is practised in Japan for relaxing and providing comfort to people. Swaddling is mostly done with infants here, which helps them provide similar comfort and warmth as of their parent’s arms. It can be beneficial for adults as well and studies have shown that people undergoing this therapy has given positive feedback about it. However it cannot be considered as a verified therapy as no particular evidence of it has been proved apart from what people say. But it does not have any negative effects on the health if done in the correct manner. Hence you can try this at home with help of a partner and follow the given procedure for better results.
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