Therapressure brushing

by Nancy Oja
(Medford, MN)

I've been using the therapressure brushing on my daughter for the last couple of months. She reacted positively to the "brushing" at first, then started to "stim" even more after a time. When I began brushing her less often, she had the same positive response, like she did when we began. Then her "stimming" began to slowly increase again. Now, if I brush her, she seems even more sensitive to touch than usual and stims like crazy.


Should I continue to brush her and push past this sensitivity? Should I quit altogether?

Please help!

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Jan 24, 2012
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This seems to be miraculous
by: Anonymous

I have been brushing my son theoretically every 2 hours, but realistically whenever I remember or feel like it over the past 2 weeks. I have to say that I am stunned at the results. The first time I did it I thought "as if, what a joke", but by the end of my session my son was so relaxed he was floppy. He went to bed immediately. It was like he took a relaxant. I brush him so hard his skin goes red, but he loves it. This is a shock because my son hated deep touch prior to this. He just lays in my lap for the compressions. I get jealous, I wish someone would offer to do it for me.

I started brushing while being on an active beach holiday. My son usually covers his ears screaming while standing still on a towel so he doesn't have to touch the sand. Our whole family was wide eyed and jaw droppingly shocked to see him rolling, yes rolling, around in the sand. He was just so much more physically competent and confident in general, and even his self expression has improved markedly in the past week. It's remarkable. I brush my other younger son when he is having a tantrum, and it calms him out of it. My therapist said that you can't go too hard, and keep it horizontal, deep and slow. If you try it on yourself, it gives you a good idea of how hard you have to press in order for it to feel good. Having said that, who on earth can actually do this every 2 hours? I salute you. I have had enough. Today I woke up determined, but I only did it twice. Needed a mental health day off. I'll do better tomorrow. addendum: since writing the above I heard my son who was supposed to be sleeping bashing the walls with his feet. Brushed and compressed him, now fast asleep. ok, maybe I need to be a bit more dedicated....

Jul 27, 2010
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my experience
by: Anonymous

i actually work with a girl in my class who has a brushing program every morning, morning tea and lunch. She is responding to it very well. I personally do lots of squishing type stuff with her and she always comes back for more.

Nov 12, 2008
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Brushing
by: Anonymous

I have taught brushing to numerous parents/guardians as an OTR. With those people (adults and children) I have had great success!!. I use the Hanshu brushing technique; there is also a Wilbarger brushing protocol. The Hanshu made more sense to me; but both are very acceptable ways to brush.

The whole key to brushing is you HAVE to brush hard enough to stimulate the DEEP receptor sites underneath the skin. If you do not brush hard enough the person may become more agitated and/or hyper. I had one girl turn around and slug her mother after she did not do the brushing hard enough. It is vital that the brushing be done well and hard. I have started out with brushing every 2 hours during awake hours for the first couple of weeks of the sensory diet. During that time, the kids/adults like it so much that they ask to be brushed or hand the caregiver the brush. Brush without clothing if you can. Those people who are defensive to touch can get over this and are much more comfortable to be around others, and allow others to touch them.

The brushing helps mediate the pain the person is feeling from being defensive to touch. Yes, it is very painful for the person who is defensive. You also MUST follow up the brushing with joint compressions. 10 jumps with stiff knees and 10 push ups on the wall with take care of the joint compressions after brushing. If the hands and feet are defensive (can't wear sox, shoes, or can't walk outside in the grass) then also brush the feet.

For the Hanshu brushing you start the brushing with the palms of the hands, so they are automatically done. The folks who are defensive can get over it, but it will all come flooding back when they are stressed (i.e. when kids have to go back to school after being off all summer; or other times of stress such as family gatherings).

If brushing is no longer working, maybe the person does not need it anymore. Try squishing or just deep pressure touch over the whole body.

Hope this helps.

Nov 02, 2008
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Tharapressure brushing
by: Anonymous

Our daughter is 6yrs. old now and in kindergarten
we were told in school she needed to be brushed
for a 12weeks. In school, she had half days, so she was brushed one time at school. See the policy at school if they can lift the shirt / pant legs to brush. They brushed our daughter over her clothes.

Meantime, when she got home we brushed her every two hours of her waking hours. We had to stopped at least 2 hours before bedtime. Then at bedtime, we would do deep pressure which she seek out or we spin in a chair ( slow pace) until she asked to stop.

The first three days we seen improvement in her mornings and dressing.

Now, we are in 1st. grade and we are not brushing, but feel we need to repeat. Yet, our daughter does not like it and refuses to sit still.

Oct 27, 2008
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Brushing
by: Jessi

Where did you learn the brushing technique? I have been told and have read that brushing in an incorrect way can produce the opposite of the desired effect. I tried brushing with my son briefly, after learning from his OT how to do it. I've noticed that compression-type activities seem to get better results since he is a deep pressure seeker and so I don't bother with the brushing anymore. Long story short, I'm no expert.

Hope you figure it out!

Oct 27, 2008
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Brushing
by: Anonymous

This is a good question and I'm interested to see what others have to say. I'm sorry I don't have much advice about this right now.

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