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By Brenda Kosky-Deskin

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Under Pressure (the good kind!)

March 29, 2012   Comments (0)

Therapy & Treatment Occupational & Sensory Therapy

Many individuals on the Autism Spectrum find that deep pressure provides relief from stress and anxiety. While most of us may not be able to afford the "Squeeze Machine" invented and made famous by Temple Grandin, here are some alternative pressure-delivering devices that you may wish to consider.

The “Squeeze Machine” was designed by world-renowned researcher, author and Autism activist, Temple Grandin. Also known as a "Hug Machine", this therapeutic device was created to calm individuals on the Autism Spectrum through the application of deep pressure across the entire body. Its effectiveness in reducing tension and anxiety has been cited in research studies published by the American Journal of Occupational Therapy and the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology.

The Hug Machine









Currently manufactured by Therafin Corporation, the Hug Machine is big! Measuring 5' tall, 5” long and 2.6' wide, you'll need a lot of space in your home to accomodate this apparatus and the compressor that powers its movement. And, with a pricetag of $4,525 before shipping, the Hug Machine doesn't come cheap. Nevertheless, I found the instructional video on how to get into the device to be an interesting watch.


For those of you who are handy and so inclined, you may want to check out a website I came across that provides instructions on building a Hug Machine yourself, using materials that will cost a total of $244.91. If you are up to the challenge, respond to this blog as I'd love to know how you made out!

If you are looking for devices that you don't have to make yourself or that are more compact and affordable, here are some suggestions you may wish to consider...

OSIM uCrown 2 Soothing Head Massager With Music

Price: $199.99 on

Product Features:

  • Enhanced with a combination of patented air pressure technology vibration massage, magnetic therapy, gentle heat and soothing music
  • Has choice of programs which target key acupressure points for the desired effect
  • Ergonomic design, close and comfortable for any size head
  • Includes auto-timer that lets you set your massage session at 5, 10 or 15 minutes
  • Portable and cordless

OSIM International OS3510 uCrown Pro

Price: $223.78 on

Product Features:

  • Crown - (Eases headache and helps you sleep better)
  • Temple - (Relieves fatigue and headache)
  • Forehead - (Soothes tired eyes)
  • Lower Head - (Eases headache, stiff neck and helps you sleep better). Human-touch acupressure
  • Patented air pressure massage for relief of headaches, stiff neck and fatigue

Personal Masseuse Electric Head Massager

Price: $129.99 on

Product Features:

  • I Dream Soothing Head Massager targets key acupressure points
  • Increases relaxation and relieves stress and fatigue
  • Air pressure technology in a therapeutic head massager
  • Magnetic therapy adds to total massage experience
  • Soothing music plays through built in speakers and earphones
  • Comes with remote
  • Relaxing heat warms and soothes




The Hand Reflexology Massager

Price: $119.95 at

Product Features:

This is the device that applies gentle, soothing massage to both the top and bottom of the hand. Similar to hand reflexology, it compresses trigger points on the palm and back of hand using a mechanical air pressure system that kneads the hand. A team of physical therapists found the massager to be effective in relieving pain and discomfort in the hands; its soothing rhythm helps to relieve the tension, stress, and fatigue associated with extended keyboard and mouse usage. After a hand is inserted into the device's soft polyester interior, a push of a button begins a 5-, 10-, or 15-minute session at one of four pressure levels. It can also provide far infrared heat during sessions to promote better circulation, ideal for keeping hands warm during winter. Requires four AA batteries. 10 1/4" L x 7 3/4" W x 9 3/4" D. (2 3/4 lbs.)

Breo Breeze iSee 360 Digital Temple & Eye Massager

Price: $73.85 at

Product Features:

  • Hi-Tech Digital Eye & Temple by Air Massager and Vibration with Heat, you can turn off any function
  • Air pressure gives an overall massage to the eyes, relaxing muscles and lessening the projection of the eye balls
  • Heat compression boosts the blood circulation of the eyes and more oxygen
  • Music Relaxation: raindrop sound,Users go into a state of relaxation and comfort with the help of two types of recorded brain

U-Comfy Leg, Foot, Calf, and Ankle Massager (Squeeze and Vibration)

Price: $179.99 on

Product Features:

  • Specifically designed to massage your feet, ankle and calves all at the same time
  • Combination of kneading and vibratory actions provides relaxing and revitalizing massage experience
  • Pressure nodes located under your feet stimulate the reflex points on the soles of your feet
  • Adjustable tilt angle for easy and comfortable seating position, 16.5 x 17 x 16-Inch,
  • Weighs 30-Pounds, includes two removable fabric covers for easy cleaning, 1-year warranty

Please note that these devices may not be appropriate or safe for all individuals. The listing of products in this blog in no way constitutes an endorsement.

March 29, 2012   Comments (0)

Therapy & Treatment Occupational & Sensory Therapy

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