If you’ve ever bought property, or even if you haven’t, you’ve probably heard the quote, “There are three things to consider when buying property: location, location, location.” Which means: although we can change what is on a piece of property, where that piece of land is located, because that can’t be changed, is most important.
Which explains the reason behind using a lap pad.
Weighted lap pads are useful for deep pressure to stimulate proprioceptors found in muscles. Once the receptors are stimulated, it helps a dysregulated body by providing calming input. To paraphrase Temple Grandin, based on my memory, a light touch excites the nervous system and deep touch calms and grounds it.
Let’s calmly continue to look at lap pads and proprioception.
I'm not clumsy! The floor just hates me, the table and chairs are bullies, and the walls get in my way.
We could say that practically all of the problems of the human race are due to the fact that thought is not proprioceptive.
1. Proprioceptors are located in our muscles, among other place. As a general rule, the larger the muscle, the more proprioceptors. The quadriceps, being one of our larger sets of muscles, have lots of receptors. Lots of receptors = more impact on the nervous system.
Also, when we are seated, we have easy access to weighting the quads. To clarify this point, compare weighting quadriceps with weighting biceps. Imagine how difficult it would be to hold your arm at such an angle so your bicep was facing up and level so weight would stay on it. Thank goodness for laps!
2. Lap pads can be home-made (more on this in a 2019 Take AIM) or DIYed.
Here are some simple DIY lap pads:
A full bag of dried food, like rice or dried legumes, works but may slide off because of the smooth exterior.
Put weight, such as sand, in a knotted pillowcase or tube sock. If the sand hasn’t been cleaned, first put in a plastic bag.
A filled hot water bottle might provide enough weight. Also, if the water is hot, the heat might be relaxing.
3.This isn’t constant weight but might be useful. I got the idea when watching some physiotherapy videos on relaxing quadriceps using foam rollers. Related to that, some physios suggest sitting and using a rolling pin to reduce tension. While our goal is focused more on providing input than relaxation, rolling over the quads would not only provide quad proprioceptive input, it would also engage the arm muscles. Because of the hardness of a rolling pin, a buffer such as a towel might be needed.
A bonus to this method is to roller fairly high up the hip and close to the knee. Properioception receptors are more common close to joints.
4. We have 3 styles of lap pads, and all three styles are going through a bit of an update. I had hoped to have the tweaked and tested lap pads on the website by now, but . . . good ol’ reality got in the way again. They will be there soon. Until then, we have some interesting tidbits to share.
a) We are changing the filler for the 2 lb lap pad. We originally used rice, because it could be heated. The downside was cleaning the insert. A survey was done to see how often people heated it. Of those we contacted, exactly 0% heated the insert. Since heating doesn’t seem to be important, we are switching to plastic beads.
b) The new lap pads will have a reduced length but still weigh the same. This means there will be more weight directly on the lap, yet still be long enough to not easily fall off. This also has the bonus benefit of a snugger fitting insert and cover, which means we won’t need to use Velcro to keep the two parts together. Removing the Velcro has kept the price in check => another year of no price increase!
c) We are debating whether the insert should have a soft medical-grade vinyl covering for wipeable cleaning or keep the poly/cotton cover. Now, with the rice swapped out for plastic beads, all inserts can be ‘hosed down’.
We haven’t tested the comfort of the flexible vinyl yet so are looking for a few volunteers. We would like to give one cover and two inserts for testing. Are you interested? Let me know if you are.*
d) If you’re not chosen to be a tester, there is still hope for you to win a lap pad – a new and improved limited-edition lap pad! After we test a few details and gather the feedback from the above request, we will have a draw for Peruvian Lap Pads. When we were in Peru in June, I bought fabric for just this purpose – to create a couple (or more. I don’t remember how much fabric I bought) of giveaway lap pads. Draw date of January 9, 2019. More on this next week!
Have a well-grounded week!
*To keep the testing as simple as possible, only basic covers (not fidget-friendly nor flat friends) will be sent out. Since our most commonly sold weights are 2 and 4 lb, those are the two weights you can choose from. We agree to pay for the product and the shipping. If you enter to volunteer, then you are agreeing to give feedback, which should take less than 10 minutes to answer.
P.S. People who know me, know when I used to try to dress myself, I was clothing-clueless, fashion-freaky, and oblivious to the obvious. Thank goodness I was offered much-needed and much-appreciated help.
And now, I might be able to offer you some of the same help.
If you are a female or have a female friend or two or three whose interested in an online class/program/workshop on creating a functionable/fashionable/wearable/enjoyable wardrobe, let me know.
If I can gather enough names, then, as a pre-Ukrainian Christmas gift to you, InnovAID will sponsor the course so that many of us can stride confidently and comfortably into 2019. Sign up now!