What is a Multi-Sensory Environment and Can It Have Therapeutic Effects for Acquired Brain Injury?

Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) has long been understood to affect the way someone thinks, behaves, and manages emotions, among other things. Appropriate treatment of all symptoms is paramount for good quality of life and wellbeing.

Multi-Sensory Environments (MSEs) have traditionally been used for mental health conditions, intellectual and developmental disabilities, dementia, and pain management.

You may ask, so what is a MSE and how is it therapeutic?

MSEs are also well known as Snoezelen rooms. These specially equipped rooms aim to stimulate primary senses through light, sound, smell, and touch. Some examples of sensory equipment include mirror light balls, aromatherapy oils, fiber optic light strands, calming music, and bubble tubes.

Some of these things you might already use in your homes to produce a calming effect. In fact, neuroscience research supports the idea that MSEs produce calming effects in the brain by slowing the frequency of our brain waves. This slowing of our brain waves is closely related to how relaxed we feel, which in turn reduces stress, anxiety, and both physical and emotional pain.

If you are interested in learning more about the potential use of MSEs in Acquired Brain Injury to promote mental wellness, follow the link below to read an article I wrote for the Ontario Brain Injury Association (OBIA) Review March 2021 Volume 28, Issue 1. The article is entitled “Could Multi-Sensory Environments Have Therapeutic Effects for Acquired Brain Injury?” and can be found on page 13.