Sensory Modulation

A unique specialty at Recovery Ways is the use of two multi-sensory rooms to assist with calming the mind. Self-regulation is the foundational skill taught in the occupational therapy program. It can be greatly enhanced by using a sensory room that provides a carefully designed, saturated environment filled with calming and organizing inputs. Sensory modulation involves taking patients’ sensory input and turning it up or down to help them self-regulate.

Life Skills Program Director Stormy Hill, M.D., designed the rooms, had the software custom-developed, and trained staff on how to use it.

The SensoryWorks™ sensory room is graded and monitored to provide clients with opportunities that will help them learn to change their level of alertness—a client-centered haven of comfort in a playful, supportive environment.

Benefits of the Sensory Room:

  • Assists with decreasing anxiety, agitation, pain, and anger
  • Assists in teaching self-regulation
  • Helps in reducing the effects of depression
  • Provides sensory input via sight, sound, smell, touch, proprioception, and vestibular input
  • Enhances relaxation
  • Allows for patient-centered exploration and play
  • Promotes patient empowerment

Patients may choose the sounds they hear, as well as the images and colors they see. They frequently describe sensory modulation as fun and helpful. When patients enter the room they are asked to rate their pain, agitation, and anxiety level and they are asked to do so again before they are finished with the session.

Between 58–62 percent of patients report feeling less agitated and less anxious, 50 percent feel less pain, and 98 percent feel calmer. Teaching this method to patients while they are undergoing addiction treatment allows them to recognize and understand their stressors better and gives them a healthy way of dealing with the stressful challenges they may face when they launch into their new life of sobriety.