Wilbarger Brushing & Joint  Compressions 

WILBARGER PROTOCOL

The Wilbarger Protocol is a deep pressure technique used with students who have sensory defensiveness. The purpose
is to alter and normalise sensory processing which will assist with the students ability to function within the school setting and impact on the students social and work behaviors.

Use the brush with a firm even pressure. Do not sweep brush. Hold brush horizontally. Move slowly. Think of steam cleaning and press hard enough to move the skin. Brush over clothes and or skin but do not move from skin to clothes.

ALWAYS CONSULT WITH AN O.T OR PROFESSIONAL FOR TRAINING 



Example: on arm just do skin when brushing over clothing pull it tight down to maximise pressure.

Each student should have there own brush for hygiene reasons. Always maintain contact with the person during the
brusing procedure. Use hand palm versus finger tips.

Student should be in a seated position if possible. Inform the student of the procedure to occur. Do procedure in a calm, quiet area.


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.  



The Wilbarger Technique

The Wilbarger Protocol (Wilbarger, 1991) is a specific, professionally guided treatment regime designed to reduce sensory defensiveness. The Wilbarger Protocol has its origins in sensory integration theory, and it has evolved through clinical use. It involves deep-touch pressure throughout the day. Patricia Wilbarger, M.Ed., OTR, FAOTA, an internationally recognized expert who specializes in the assessment and treatment of sensory defensiveness, developed this technique.

Ms. Wilbarger offers training courses where professionals can learn how to administer her technique and has produced videotapes, audiotapes, and other publications. At these courses, she also shares strategies for integrating the protocol into intervention plans and training parents, teachers, and other caregivers.

There currently is a lack of documented research to substantiate this technique. However, the protocol has been used by many occupational therapists who have noted positive results with a variety of populations. Many parents of children with autism have reported that their children have responded positively to this technique, including reduction in sensory defensiveness, as well as improved behavior and interaction. 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. We have observed significant behavioral changes in many of our clients following the introduction of the Wilbarger Protocol.

The Wilbarger Protocol represents one of those difficulties in clinical practice where positive results are observed in treatment regimes that have not yet been fully validated by scientific research. However, because of the strength of anecdotal reporting and our own observations, we feel we would be doing a disservice if we did not advise our clients about this technique. When we discuss this option with our clients, we review why it is being recommended and provide them with information on sensory defensiveness. We also inform them about the absence of research in this area, and we make it clear that it is their decision if they want to include the technique in their treatment regimes.

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. Ms. Wilbarger has found and has recommended a specific surgical brush to be most effective. The face and stomach are never brushed.

Following the "massage" stage, the child receives gentle compressions to the shoulders, elbows, wrists/fingers, hips, knees/ankles, and sternum. These compressions provide substantial proprioceptive input. Ms. Wilbarger feels that it is critical that joint compressions follow the use of the surgical brush, and if there is no time to complete both steps, then compressions should not be administered.

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 mouth or 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 supervising therapist. This has rarely occurred in our practice.


Behaviors to watch for, Change means the program is working

 
Behavioral Changes

more motivated

thinking before acting


more open-minded

improved organization

sequencing improves

improved focus

less sensitive to smells

less sensitive to touch

less irritable

better at beginning or completing projects

less rigid behavior


longer attention span

decreased hyperactivity

decrease impulsivity

improved transitions

participation in more activities

more appropriate

interactions with peers 


Physical Changes

improved sleep patterns

increased tolerance of grooming tasks

increased independence in self-cares

improved gross motor skills

improved eating habits

less wiggling
more physically active

improvement in handwriting


more touching, hugging

more consistent energy level

increased tolerance to clothing

increased repertoire of foods


Social/Emotional Changes

improved disposition

less controlling

improved talking/communication

improved tolerance of people

less overwhelmed

less anxious

more emotional

more needy

increased self-confidence/self esteem

less defensive
more responsible

more patient

more calm and relaxed

improved mood

more acting out

more affectionate

decreased frustration

increased interactions with others

improved eye contact


Designed Patricia Wilbarger, this brush has many improvements over the Pressure Brush Oval in shape, the brush has a greater density of bristles for more consistent treatment. Comes with a comfortable handle.

About the Designer: Patricia Wilbarger, MEd, OTR, FAOTA, is known for developing the Wilbarger Deep Pressure and Proprioceptive Technique (DPPT) and the Oral Tactile Technique (OTT) also known as the Wilbarger Brushing Protocol or WBP. Wilbarger, is an occupational therapist and clinical psychologist who has been working with sensory processing theories for over 40 years. 



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.



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 streight with other hand.
Keeping joints streight press together 10X
Do the same for the other arm next.
Place hand on buttockand 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. 










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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