Therapeutic brushing (also known as the Wilbarger Protocol) involves using a soft sensory brush to brush arms, hands, legs, feet, and back throughout the day. It runs over the child’s skin with very firm pressure, similar to a deep pressure massage. After brushing is completed, it is followed with gentle joint compressions. It is important to note that the chest and stomach should NOT be brushed, as this can cause adverse reactions. Training from a therapist must be completed prior to using this protocol.
Using therapeutic brushing can help with
- improved transitions between daily activities
- improved attention
- decreased fear and discomfort when being touched (tactile defensiveness)
- Sensory modulation and self-regulation
- improved coordination
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