There are many different definitions of Sensory Modulation. Sensory Modulation is often referred to as a neurological process as well as an intervention. In this blog we will discuss Sensory Modulation as an intervention. Sensory Modulation is recommended in Australia under the Australian Recovery Framework and this important document refers to Sensory Modulation as an intervention that is useful in crisis situations. At Sensory Modulation Brisbane, we define Sensory Modulation as:
"Sensory Modulation is changing how you feel through using your senses. "
Carolyn Fitzgibbon and Julie O'Sullivan, 2013
To understand how using sensory modulation changes how we feel, it is helpful to look at what is meant by ‘how you feel’. This phrase can refer to the experience of the physiology of the body(for example, to feel sick, hungry, in pain, cold or tense) or it can refer to the alertness and focus of the brain (for example, awake, unfocused or tired). ‘How you feel’ can also describe experiencing emotions such as feeling sad, happy, angry or scared. When sensory modulation is described as an intervention that can change the way you feel, it is describing the possible shifting of any of these described states, through using sensory input.
As a therapeutic intervention, sensory modulation is most commonly used to change strong emotions, manage pain or to improve focus. To use your senses refers to sensations of touch, deep pressure, temperature, vibration, movement, taste, sight, smell, and hearing. There are different ways of obtaining this sensory input, involving activities,occupations, items or the environment.