A while ago I started using the Squease pressure vest. To read about what it is and what my first experiences were, click here: Squease Pressure Vest
By now I've had a lot of chances to try the vest and to give an update about what my experiences are. I've had some bad and some good experiences, but in general I'm very positive. I can recommend the vest if you're experiencing sensory difficulties. I do have to say that my experiences are my experiences alone. I've seen other people respond differently to the pressure vest. If you want to be sure if it works for you personally, then I'd recommend requesting a try-out period. You'll have to pay a bit for hiring the vest, but it's not that much and if you want to keep the pressure vest, they deduct that money from the overall costs.
Be sure to try the vest while you're experiencing sensory difficulties in that time. I have personally not felt much difference when I was already relaxed, and some other people have reported the same. So don't judge it yet while you're already in a relaxed state.
First I want to begin with the difficulties that I experienced and then I'll head to the positive things, so that we can end this blogpost positively.
Like I said, the vest does work for me and helps me calm down. The only problem is, when I use the vest within a group of people, I find it hard not to calm down so much that I shut myself down from the group. I find it hard to find a balance.
I have asthma, which sometimes causes me to hyperventilate. Especially when I'm stressed. When I hyperventilate, I breathe from the chest (think about how you breathe after you've ran a lot. It's a little bit like that). When I have sensory issues, I tend to get stressed too. So when I'm stressed out from sensory issues, I'd like to use the vest to reduce the stress. But when my asthma is also acting up, the vest just makes it harder to breathe. Of course I have asthma medications, but those won't help while I'm still dealing with the sensory issues (= stress). So in these cases it's hard, and sometimes impossible, to use the vest. I'll have to find another way to deal with the sensory issues then.
Someone I know, who also has asthma and sensory difficulties, tried the vest and told me she experienced the same problems.
Sometimes I don't expect sensory difficulties somewhere. For example, when I'm going to my therapist. In those cases I usually don't bring the Squease vest. But sometimes there are unexpected sensory difficulties, like road workers on the way to the therapist or things like that. But because of my asthma, I'd rather not wear the vest all the time, even when deflated. It's hard to decide when to bring it and when not to.
I have taken the vest to several places where I expected sensory difficulties now. In these places, the vest has helped me tremendously. It was like being wrapped by a plushie calming me down the whole time. This helped me concentrate during, for example, talking with someone in a big group of people. It raised my tolerance for certain sensory issues.
Of course, the vest can't drown out big sensory issues like a disco and things like that, but when it did help me, was when something like that happened, I got myself to a sensory issue free place, and I was still in overload. If I then put on the vest, it helped me get passed the overload a lot faster. It was a similar effect to when my mother holds me when I'm crying or something like that. It was very soothing.
Another positive thing is the fact that the pressure vest is very easy to cover up. The vest is made in such a way that it's easy to wear it under a normal vest or a sweater. "But what about when it's warm?" Well, yes, then it's very hard to cover it up. I have to say though that the pressure vest is very light and thin, so it won't be too warm. Also, even when people saw me wearing it, most people just thought it looked pretty cool.
Okay, so maybe the vest doesn't work in every situation. Is there really something that does help with everything in this world? That would be amazing, but no, it doesn't exist. But in a lot of situations it does work and it can make life a lot easier and I think that's worth it. When I need it, the vest is there. It makes me a lot more self-reliant and capable of coping with a lot more situations. If you're having a lot of sensory difficulties, I can recommend the Squease pressure vest.