Swing Seats As Therapy


Why rocking/swinging is relaxing and the psychological benefits to you….

We fully appreciate that this Blog is rather long and there is a lot to take in, with no pretty pictures along the way.  BUT, please do bear with us, the reason it is long is because there was a lot of research to cover and we do feel, and hope,  you will find it interesting and very beneficial.

“We are very pleased with our swing seats from Sitting Spiritually.  My husband suffered a serious traumatic brain injury as a result of an industrial accident some years ago.  When I came across the delightful swing seats from the Sitting Spiritually range, I just knew that they would be a welcome addition to our garden.  My husband enjoys sitting in the garden and listening to the birds or watching our cats playing, and having the swing seat means we can sit together and enjoy the gentle swinging motion, with the sun on our faces and a cup of tea at our side.  The combination of being amongst nature and rocking gently to and fro on a swing seat is very calming and therapeutic for him.  Many thanks to Martin Young for adapting the seat with additional chains to make the swing seat easier for my husband to use.”  Sandie and Alan West, Clanfield, Hampshire

Swing Seats & Rocking chairs offer a soothing movement

Ever wondered why we have the impulse to rock babies to help them calm down?  Studies show that rocking, spinning and other physical movement through space helps children’s brain development and their ability to pay attention, by stimulating the vestibular (inner ear) system.

And here’s the thing, this works with both infants, older kids and adults.  So, the next time your little cherub is about to lose it, take him to a nearby rocking chair or swing seat.

A teacher commented: When I worked in Montessori schools, we’d often use this tool to help our most active kids settle in to their work. If we noticed someone wandering around, bothering other kids, and unable to decide what activity to choose- we’d just send him or her out to the swings for five minutes. After a few minutes of swinging, the child would almost magically come back into the classroom, decide on an activity, sit down and really concentrate for a half an hour or more! I sometimes couldn’t believe it was the same child.

Every new mother knows that a rocking chair is a nursery necessity. From feeding a hungry newborn to quieting a fussy baby, a rocking chair or swing seat is more than a place to sit. The back and forth movement of the chair assists in soothing a cranky infant, as well as an anxious Mother.

One never truly outgrows a rocking chair and the nostalgic and therapeutic benefits are immeasurable.

Dear Martin and Siobhan,
“I wanted to write and thank you for all your help and advice in ordering a Rockabye for my disabled son’s 21st Birthday. Daniel has profound learning disabilities with autism. He has sensory integration difficulties which means swinging is very calming for him. He wouldn’t be able to get on and off a normal swing so having a bench to sit back and relax in will be of great benefit to him throughout his life. Your advice, Martin, on shape really helped as we decided the Tranquillity Slat-Back would suit him best. The shape would encourage him to sit back and at the same time the head and lumbar area would be supported. I am thrilled with the shape and the carving of DANIEL 21YRS 15/02/2012 made it extra special. Especially as you were able to deliver it that day – his birthday.
Joanne King

Let us share with you from an article by Denise Handlon where she had noted the careful addition of rocking chairs and the reasons that they were placed there:

Rocking chairs for mental health

In nursing homes studies have shown that dementia and Alzheimer patients have benefited by the constant motion of a rocking chair helping to relax them and thus decrease their agitation. Medication for agitation use is thus reduced. In one study, Nancy M. Watson, PhD, RN, associate professor at the University of Rochester, School of Nursing, in Rochester, New York, studied the effects of patients who were depressed and anxious noting that they became calmer and happier when using the rocking chairs on a regular basis. Family members were more satisfied with their choice of using the nursing home because their loved one was more content.

Rocked to sleep

And with a nod to Dr Michael J Breus, a Certified Sleep Specialist:

It’s the simplest of soothing, sleep-inducing remedies, something we all naturally do: rocking a baby gently to sleep.

“We saw the image of your beautiful swing seat on your web site and decided to invest. What the image cannot convey is the wonderful relaxing feeling the swing seat gives. Both sitting or lying down its bliss “- D&B, Hertford

Long after we’ve left childhood, we all can be deeply affected by this relaxing rocking motion. Think of the peaceful glide of a porch swing, sleeping on a boat or the calming sway of a hammock nap, all this can be achieved with a swing seat.

“There is nothing quite like swinging gently in a seat. It reminds me of the happiest days of my childhood at my grand-mother’s house where thin white sandwiches with thick raspberry jam were tea time treats and swinging on my flying sofa, dreaming to the soundtrack of the low murmur of bees – the perfect accompaniment. This seat makes me happy – is there anything better one can say?”  Sir Tim Smit, Eden Project

A recent study seems to back up this feeling with scientific facts. The study suggests that rocking does indeed have an effect on our ability to fall asleep — as well as on the quality of the sleep itself.

Researchers at the University of Geneva, Switzerland tested the effects of rocking on sleep in a dozen adult men between the ages of 22 and 38. All the men involved were good sleepers — none were suffering from any sleep or anxiety disorders and they were well-rested at the time of the experiment. Researchers created a special bed that mimicked the rocking of a hammock and had the men take two 45-minute naps. During one nap the bed gently rocked and during the other nap the bed remained still. While their subjects slept, researchers measured brain activity using an electroencephalogram (EEG).

Based on the results, the researchers suggested that a rocking motion had the effect of helping to synchronize the brain for sleep — both to fall asleep more quickly and possibly to achieve longer periods of deep, uninterrupted sleep.

In many ways, of course, this study confirms what we all instinctively know about the power of this soothing, repetitive rocking motion.

So owning a Sitting Spiritually Swing Seat or Rockabye really could make a difference to your well being, we believe, and research and evidence appears to back this up.

“The seat arrived just in time. When the weather allows I take Gwilym out to swing with me, especially when he has colic, as the gentle motion seems to calm him and ease his tummy pains away” – Best regards, Sarah

Posted by Siobhan on May 28th 2015

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