Therapeutic / OT

Not only are Kodama Zomes visually striking interactive pieces of art, they are also dynamic structures that move in a multi-directional pendulum motion. This motion is unlike that of typical swings or hammocks, in that the pendulum can swing smoothly in any direction, unrestricted by multiple ropes or attachment points.

As a person swings in a smooth and rhythmic motion, the blood and lymphatic fluids of the body become centered and equalized. Physically, this fluid equilibrium reduces stress and tension, promotes circulation and calms the nervous systems. Several scientific research studies have confirmed that swinging motion has positive effects on conditions such as stress, sleeplessness, and anxiety. Studies of developmental disorders, including research by A. Jean Ayers, conclude that rocking motions immediately ameliorates symptoms associated with autism, Asperger’s Syndrome and ADD/ADHD, and over time can result in positive developmental change. This motion does so by activating your vestibular system.

Vestibular stimulation is the input that your body receives when you experience movement. A healthy vestibular system establishes balance, comfort, and grounding – a physical sense of peace. While gymnasts and acrobats may have highly developed systems, even simple activities such as walking and playing can promote healthy vestibular development. On the other hand, it can be suppressed by sedentary lifestyles, long hours of sitting, or developmental disorders. Spending time in a Kodama Zome can be an enjoyable method of bringing ourselves back into balance. 

Occupational therapists have long since utilized similar forms of movement to help aid hyperactive and excitable children. To calm and soothe, techniques such as slow rocking and swinging provide excellent results. The slow, rhythmic, and predictable movement of the swinging, along with the spacious enclosed shape of the Kodama Zome, helps to create a womb-like sense of security and comfort.

For many, Kodama Zomes provide a three-fold benefit:

  • The physical fluid equilibrium of the blood and lymphatic systems, which supports Sensory Integration and Vestibular Stimulation.
  • The calming effect on the nervous system provided by the slow and rhythmic rocking.
  • The visual and visceral experience of sacred geometry, proportion, and natural patterning connects to our sense of beauty.  To spend time within the zome is a safe haven from what can sometimes be a wild and chaotic world.

HEALTH BENEFITS OF SWINGING MOTION

The benefits of gentile vestibular stimulation are not just for children with special needs, everyone can benefit from the gentle rocking motion. No matter if you just have trouble relaxing before bed, or are far along on the spectrum, swinging motion can provide great value to our sense of comfort.

Click on these external links (opens a new browser tab):

Sleep Study with Rocking Benefits

Human Balance System - vestibular.org

Sensory Integration Article - autism.com

ADVANCE for Occupational Therapists | The Swing

If you are an occupational therapist, work in a special needs facility, or have a special needs child, please contact us for specific pricing.