Weighted Blankets Help With Relaxation, Aid In Therapy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Twin Cities woman loved the feeling of something weighted on her body, kind of like an X-ray shield, and decided to develop a blanket just like it.

“It’s the weight on the body that makes it feel good,” said Eileen Parker, owner of Cozy Calm Blankets. “This is not a regular blanket. It’s all about the weight.”

The blankets weigh anywhere from about 10 pounds on up to 50 pounds for a king-size blanket. The blankets, which are made in the Twin Cities, are used by both adults and children.

The weight comes from beads.

“They’re all securely sewn in there,” she said, adding that those beads are medical-grade beads.

Parker specially designed the blankets for herself and anyone who shares her same medical conditions. She was diagnosed with autism and sensory processing disorder when she was a child. Thinner blankets didn’t feel nearly as good on her body.

“The reason it feels so good is that it operates on the body’s sensory system,” she said. “What it does is it overwhelms the sensory system so that other feelings don’t get through.”

Parker has gotten pictures and letters from people across the country who are using her creation. They’re helping people sleep and relax.

“It’s just made a significant difference for many of our patients,” said Gretchen Prohofsky, an Occupational Therapist at Regions Hospital.

The clients who she works with suffer from bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression and anxiety.

“There’s lots of deep pressure involved with this. So just like you’d swaddle a baby … that deep pressure is very calming for your nervous system,” said Prohofsky.

She said her patients are less-stressed and more focused during the day.

“Many of our patients are needing ways, healthy ways, to deal with stress, and we’ve found these weighted blankets are very helpful dealing with stress and anxiety,” said Prohofsky.

Parker’s product is putting something soft in the hands of those experiencing the harshest side of life.

“We’re doing something that has meaning. We’re not producing nuts and bolts,” she said.

Comments

One Comment

  1. Deep Thinker says:

    As goofy as it sounds I think there is something to this. As a veteran of hundreds of xrays I have always found something pleasant about the weighted shield. Good for her, I hope she makes money out of this idea.

    1. Eileen Parker says:

      Deep Thinker,

      Your avatar name should be mine, lol! And thank you sooooo much for the encouragement.

      And yes, the idea is taking off big time. We’re looking for a bigger shop actually.

      Um, if you don’t mind me asking, why have you had so many xrays? You don’t have to answer, but I am just curious.

      Again, thank you for taking the time to comment because the “good for her” coming from a person I don’t know makes me feel good.

      ~Eileen.

  2. brittany says:

    well.. the real question is how do i buy one?

    1. Eileen Parker says:

      Brittany,

      You can buy them at Alliance Healthcare in Eagan or online at http://www.CozyCalm.com

      ~Eileen.

    2. dar says:

      There are many places to purchase weighted blankets, try googling and a number of great companies will come up.

  3. Curious says:

    Where can a person buy one of these?

  4. Doggie lover says:

    This must operate the same way as “Thunder Shirts” for dogs who suffer terrible anxiety due to thunder storms. This approach really works. It’s a variation of ‘swaddling’ that Mothers have known for years,. and I am thinking that the weighted blankets work in similar fashion. Good for her.

    1. Eileen Parker says:

      Doggie Lover,

      Yes, exactly! It’s the same concept. The pressure on the body soothes, relaxes, and makes a person feel sleepy.

      Our grand-dog, Jagger, is a rescued animal, so we use the weighted blanket on him occasionally when he gets stressed when there are new people at the house.

      And thank you so much for the “Good for her.” It brightens my day. 🙂

      ~Eileen.

  5. Barte says:

    I work with children with autism and we use blankets like this on a daily basis. They are very helpful. It can really help them calm and relax. I am always happy to read stories like this in the news to help spread the word.

    1. Eileen Parker says:

      Barte,

      Yes, do spread the word about weighted blankets, yes, but also about autism. Hopefully, seeing my face on TV as a grownup with autism helps to folks to see it differently.

      ~Eileen.

      1. autismwd says:

        Don’t you feel very uneasy about portraying yourself with autism to sell a product?

        1. Eileen Parker says:

          autismwd,

          I have my work, but I also want to create understanding about autism. Most of the media I have been in have had nothing to do with my business.

          ~Eileen.

  6. Sandy says:

    I love my blanket.
    I use it on my legs at night.
    When I found out that I have R.L.S(restless leg syndrome),
    I heard about the weighted blankets and tried one,
    It works great for me at night.

  7. Jeepneasy says:

    Um, Eileen, these blankets have been around for a while!!
    I wish you success with your business.
    I just hope one of the BIG Med/Pharm companies doesn’t have some sort of patent or license on them…

    1. Eileen Parker says:

      Jeep,

      Yes, versions of weighted blankets have been in the autism community based on Temple Grandin’s “Hug Machine” and the work of Dr. Jane Ayres. I imagine the reporter had never heard of them before.

      About patenting, I filed for a patent even before I set up the company! My design and construction is unique, which makes it eligible for a patent. Mind you, the BIG med/pharm could come up with a new kind.

      ~ Eileen.

  8. Michelle says:

    I suffer from anxiety and always thought it was crazy that I liked mild pressure and heat on my body to calm the anxiety. I can’t explain it but reading this article made me realize that I am not alone and I am so excited to order one of these blankets. Awesome idea and thank you so much🙂 I look forward to much better night’s of sleep!

    1. Eileen Parker says:

      Michelle,

      I can’t claim the concept as my own. It’s one of a number of sensory tools that occupational therapists and other medical professionals use to ease conditions such as anxiety.

      ~Eileen.

  9. Julie says:

    What brand weighted blanket was the yellow one shown by the Regions Hospital person?

    1. Eileen Parker says:

      Julie,

      Our blankets at the hospital are in use, so they pulled out a blanket from another company that hey had quality issues with.

      ~Eileen.

      1. Julie says:

        Do you know what brand it was, we were interested in the design and fabrics?
        Thank you.

  10. dar says:

    Weighted blankets and other weighted products have been around for a LONG time….sorry, but she didn’t invent them.

    1. Eileen Parker says:

      dar,

      See above response to another commenter. I invented the Cozy Calm weighted blanket and it was unique and exactly what I needed for my sensory processing disorder that filed for a patent. It took many prototypes to get to the final blanket, but it was worth it.

      ~Eileen.

    2. dar says:

      This person has always been more about the media attention, in whatever business they are promoting, publicist, wedding planner, translator, etc.

  11. J D FROM ALA says:

    I am not autistic or anything else. As a child I covered myself with a feather bed or tick. It is warm and weighs a few pounds. Since then, I do not sleep deeply UNLESS I have something weighty on my body.

    1. Eileen Parker says:

      I’m 45 so I had the pleasure of sleeping under the really heavy country quilts at my Granny’s. They felt great and I slept so hard and didn’t want to get out of bed until I heard the wood in the stove crackling and the sound of blueberry pancake batter being poured into the pan.

      The feeling of Granny and all the things she represented added to that feeling tremendously. My hubby has the same experience from heavy quilts hand-made with the wool hand-carded on out-of-the way Minnesota farms.

      I hope I leave you with happy thoughts as you drift off to sleep tonight!

      ~Eileen.

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