Wilbarger Brushing & Joint  Compressions 

Wilbarger Brushing Protocol Technique (DPPT) & Joint Compressions 


The Wilbarger Deep Pressure Proprioceptive Technique is a deep pressure technique used with children and adults who have sensory defensiveness


The purpose is to alter and normalize sensory processing which will assist with the child or adults ability to function within home or school setting. Brushing can have an impact on the child's social and work behaviors. Most parents notice a difference in focus, self awareness and self control. 

You should always use the brush with a firm even pressure. Do not sweep brush. Hold brush horizontally and move the brush  slowly. 

ALWAYS CONSULT WITH AN O.T OR PROFESSIONAL FOR TRAINING 



On the arm, do brushing over clothing by pulling the clothing tight down to maximize pressure.


Each child should have their own brush for hygiene reasons. Always maintain contact with the child during the brushing procedure. Use hand palm versus finger tips.


The child should be in a seated position if possible. Explain to your child about brushing and how you will do it for them and talk about the steps as you are doing them. It is best to do the procedure in a calm and quiet area.


Wilbarger Brushing Protocol Procedure 


Brush arms covering as much surface area as possible, 5 stroke in a up/down motion, covering the area 2X.


Brush Palms 5X


Brush back 5X up and down and 5X side to side.


Brush other arm.


Brush legs below the knee covering as much surface as possible, % strokes in a up/down motion covering 2X.


Brush feet holding one hand on top and the other using the brush in a in a sweeping movement. Move top hand in sync with the bottom one 5X.


40% of children really benefit from brushing and parents see a lot of changes. 40% of children benefit some from brushing and parents notice some changes. Unfortunately 20% of children do not benefit from brushes and parents see no changes.  


Patricia Wilbarger, MEd, OTR, FAOTA, is known for developing the Wilbarger Deep Pressure and Proprioceptive Technique (DPPT). Patricia Wilbarger, is an Occupational Therapist and clinical Psychologist who has been working with sensory processing theories for over 40 years. 

Many adults with autism have also reported reduction in sensory defensiveness, decreased anxiety, and increased comfort in the environment through the use of this technique. 


An occupational therapist who has been trained to use the technique, and who knows sensory integration theory, needs to teach and supervise the Wilbarger Protocol. This statement cannot be emphasized enough. If the technique is carried out with-out proper instruction, it could be uncomfortable for the child and may lead to undesired results.


The first step of the Wilbarger Protocol involves providing deep pressure to the skin on the arms, back, and legs through the use of a special surgical brush. Many people mistakenly call this technique "brushing" because a surgical brush is used. The term "brushing" does not adequately reflect the amount of pressure that is exerted against the skin with the movement of the brush. A more appropriate analogy would be that it is like giving someone a deep massage using a surgical brush. The use of the brush in a slow and methodical manner provides consistent deep-pressure input to a wide area of the skin surface on the body. The face and stomach are never brushed.


The complete routine should only take about three minutes. This technique can be incorporated into a sensory diet schedule. The procedure is initially repeated every ninety minutes. After a period of time, the frequency is reduced. Eventually the procedure can be stopped, but gains can be maintained. Some children immediately enjoy this input, and others resist the first few sessions. You may distract the child by singing or offering a fidget toy.


Some children really like the administration of this protocol and will seek out the brush and bring it to their parents, teachers, or caregivers. Other children tolerate it with little reaction, and occasionally a child is resistive. If the child continues to resist, and you see negative changes, you must reconsider the use of the technique and contact the therapist. This has rarely occurs. 


Behavioral, Physical, Social/Emotional Changes

- more motivated
- improved organization
- improved focus
- less sensitive to smells
- less sensitive to touch
- less irritable
- longer attention span
- decreased hyperactivity
- decrease impulsivity
- improved transitions
- participation in more activities
- improved sleep patterns
- increased tolerance of grooming tasks
increased independence
- improved gross motor skills
- improved eating habits
- less wiggling
improvement in handwriting
- more affectionate 
increased tolerance to clothing
- improved talking/communication
improved tolerance of people
- less overwhelmed
- less anxious
- increased self-confidence/self esteem
more patient
- more calm and relaxed
- improved mood
- decreased frustration
- increased interactions with others- improved eye contact


Joint Compressions 

Place your hand on the top of either shoulder and press down together 10X


Place hand on top of other shoulder and under elbow arm at the students side and press together 10X


Place fingers in a scissor position behind knuckle joints and hold finger straight with other hand.


Keeping joints straight press together 10X


Do the same for the other arm next.


Place hand on hip and other at the front knee. Press together 10X, Alternatively press front of knee with


students bottom pressing against the back of the chair. Place hands on the top of both knees press down 10X.


Place other hand under clavicles on chest and other on back between shoulder blades, Press together and down 3X.


Wilbarger Protocol should be done every 90-120 minutes, 8-10 times per day for maximum effectiveness. 


Therapy Shoppe Colored Corn Brushes
Your favorite sensory brushes in 2 awesome new colors! Corn brushes are the original therapy pressure brushes recommended for occupational therapy brushing programs, often referred to as "The Device" by the Wilbarger brushing experts. These are a long time favorite OT sensory therapy brush for sensory diets and helping with tactile defensiveness. These new colored corn brushes are a fantastic pressure sensory brush at a great price! Comes in your choice of a pretty turquoise or bright periwinkle blue color.

Therapy Shoppe Colored Corn Brushes with a Handle
Brushing is lots more fun with our colored corn brushes!  Each brush has a comfortable, attached, easy-grip flat handle.  These popular sensory brushes come in your choice of 3 colors:  Yellow Brush with a Green Handle, Green Brush with a Cream Handle, or Brown with a Cream Handle (*cream colored handles feature a swirly, marble-like look).  Sold in packs of 10, 30, or 100 brushes.  A great sensory diet tool for home, clinics, or school!





Wilbarger Therapy Brush, 2 Pack – Therapressure Brush for Occupational Therapy for Sensory Brushing – Designed by Patricia Wilbarger – Use as Part of the Wilbarger Brushing Protocol
This Therapressure brush is designed to deliver a deep pressure massage to help improve sensory defensiveness. Includes 2 brushes
Use as part of the Wilbarger Brushing Protocol (Brushing Therapy) to help improve attention span, focus and ability to transition between activities
Best when used with the guidance of a trained occupational therapist. Run the soft, dense bristles over the skin with moderate pressure for a calming sensory experience

Wilbarger Therapy Brush, 4 Pack – Therapressure Brush for Occupational Therapy for Sensory Brushing – Designed by Patricia Wilbarger – Use as Part of the Wilbarger Brushing Protocol
This Therapressure brush is designed to deliver a deep pressure massage to help improve sensory defensiveness. Includes 2 brushes
Use as part of the Wilbarger Brushing Protocol (Brushing Therapy) to help improve attention span, focus and ability to transition between activities
Best when used with the guidance of a trained occupational therapist. Run the soft, dense bristles over the skin with moderate pressure for a calming sensory experience








Wilbarger Therapy Brush - Therapressure Brush for Occupational Therapy for Sensory Brushing – Designed by Patricia Wilbarger – Use as Part of The Wilbarger Brushing Protocol – 12 Pack
This Therapressure brush is designed to deliver a deep pressure massage to help improve sensory defensiveness. Includes 12 brushes
Use as part of the Wilbarger Brushing Protocol (Brushing Therapy) to help improve attention span, focus and ability to transition between activities
Best when used with the guidance of a trained occupational therapist. Run the soft, dense bristles over the skin with moderate pressure for a calming sensory experience
These sensory brushes measure 3.25 x 1.75 x 1 inches. The portable size makes it ideal for taking it with you wherever you go

Special Supplies Therapressure Therapy Brush for Occupational and Sensory Brushing, 6 Pack, Stimulating and Calming Tools for Kids and Adults, Soft Flexible Bristles, Latex Free  Skin Stimulating Deep Sensory Therapy – These classic Wilbarger therapy brush sets can help calm and relax kids and adults struggling with touch or sensory processing challenges, which makes it ideal for those with ADD, ADHD, or autism.
Gentle, Flexible Brushing Bristles – Each occupational therapy brush is crafted with BPA-free bristles that help our sensory brushes glide gently over skin or clothes while providing moderate to deep pressure that soothes fears, stress, or anxiety.
Personal and Professional-Grade Use – Special Supplies sensory therapy brushes can be used at home for stimulating your own child or by highly-trained occupational therapists utilizing the Wilbarger Protocol to support patients in their practice.









Special Supplies Wilbarger Method Therapy Sensory Brush Set, 6-Pack, Calming Occupational and Sensory Tools with Deep Pressure Massage, Large Oval Handle, Soft Bristles, Fun Colors
Deep Pressure Sensory Therapy – Our adults and kids occupational therapy equipment helps calm those with autism who struggle with touch or coordination challenges and provides them an outlet for sensory processing issues.
Soft, Dense, Flexible Bristles – Each sensory brush is designed with BPA-free bristles that bend and flex across the skin while providing moderate pressure that can help reduce fear or discomfort that comes with being touched directly. We recommend speaking with an occupational therapist or professional trained in the Wilbarger Protocol to effectively use this corn brush sensory tool for safely stimulating children or adults

SENSi CHiLD OT Soft Bristle 2 Pack Therapy Brush Set Sensory Brushes for Effective Occupational Therapy Tools, Sensory Brush for Therapy, Sensory Tools for Wilbarger Therapy Brush, Compression Brushes
Skin stimulation sensory brush therapressure brush used for occupational therapy tools as a sensory brush for therapy to calm the central and peripheral nervous system. Occupational therapy professionals and special needs super moms use therapressure brushes, sensory brushes, and a dry skin brush as sensory tools to target touch receptors for sensory integration therapy and improved sensory modulation capacity. Brushing protocol brush for sensory brushes. Wilbarger therapy brush or Wilbarger brushes are a therapressure therapy brush used as a sensory brush for therapy to aid in a person’s ability to optimize their maximum arousal levels while decreasing their sensory defensiveness.







Special Supplies Therapy Brushes Colorful 6-Pack + Removable Handle, Calming Occupational and Sensory Tools with Deep Pressure Massage, Soft Bristles, Stimulates and Calms Kids or Adults, Latex-Free
Deep Pressure Sensory Therapy – Our adults and kids occupational therapy equipment helps calm those with autism who struggle with touch or coordination challenges and provides them an outlet for sensory processing issues.
Soft, Dense, Flexible Bristles – Each sensory brush is designed with BPA-free bristles that bend and flex across the skin while providing moderate pressure that can help reduce fear or discomfort that comes with being touched directly.

Special Supplies Therapressure Therapy Brush for Occupational and Sensory Brushing - Unicorn Colors - 8 Pack
Skin Stimulating Deep Sensory Therapy – These classic Wilbarger therapy brush sets can help calm and relax kids and adults struggling with touch or sensory processing challenges, which makes it ideal for those with ADD, ADHD, or autism.
Gentle, Flexible Brushing Bristles – Each occupational therapy brush is crafted with BPA-free bristles that help our sensory brushes glide gently over skin or clothes while providing moderate to deep pressure that soothes fears, stress, or anxiety.

Special Supplies Therapressure Therapy Brush for Occupational and Sensory Brushing - Camo Colors - 8 Pack
Skin Stimulating Deep Sensory Therapy – These classic Wilbarger therapy brush sets can help calm and relax kids and adults struggling with touch or sensory processing challenges, which makes it ideal for those with ADD, ADHD, or autism.
Gentle, Flexible Brushing Bristles – Each occupational therapy brush is crafted with BPA-free bristles that help our sensory brushes glide gently over skin or clothes while providing moderate to deep pressure that soothes fears, stress, or anxiety.

Special Supplies Therapressure Therapy Brush for Occupational and Sensory Brushing - Primary Colors - 8 Pack
Skin Stimulating Deep Sensory Therapy – These classic Wilbarger therapy brush sets can help calm and relax kids and adults struggling with touch or sensory processing challenges, which makes it ideal for those with ADD, ADHD, or autism.
Gentle, Flexible Brushing Bristles – Each occupational therapy brush is crafted with BPA-free bristles that help our sensory brushes glide gently over skin or clothes while providing moderate to deep pressure that soothes fears, stress, or anxiety.









DISCLAIMER: I am not an Occupational Therapist. I am an adult who has Sensory Processing Disorder, a sensory parent and a Grandma. The information on this website is not medical advice and does not replace the information that your child's therapists gives you. These are just ideas and information that I have learned myself over the years of being a parent and an adult living with SPD. If you are concerned for your child, please always seek medical attention through a family doctor, pediatrician or therapist. This website is for suggestions and informational purposes only. Each child is different and what works for one child may not for another because all children have different needs. Please always consult with a professional.

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