Article Title



E. Kane, D. Li, E. Hayes, C. Fielding, J. McGuire, D.B. Thorp

Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA

Deep touch pressure (DTP) intervention has been shown to increase feelings of relaxation and magnitude of recovery from anxiety inducing events by way of autonomic nervous system (ANS) coordination. Moderate intensity aerobic exercise (MIAE) and anxiety have similar physiological manifestations mediated by the ANS such as heart rates (HR) over 100 bpm, increases in electrodermal activity (EDA) and decreased heart rate variability (HRV). PURPOSE: Todetermine if DTPusing a weighted blanked improves recovery of HR, EDA, and low frequency (LF) and high frequency (HF) HRV measures following MIAE. METHODS: Subjects (n=20: female=10, male=10; age=21±1 yr.) completed the study over two visits, each consisting of 10 min. of supine rest (the last 5 min. averaged for baseline values), 8 min. of steady state exercise maintaining a HR of 135±5 bpm on a cycle ergometer (the last 5 min. averaged for exercise values), followed by 5 min. of supine recovery under an a weighted (W) or unweighted (UW) blanket on separate visits. The order of W or UW blanket intervention in recovery was randomized.Following the protocol, subjects completed a survey to report subjective feelings of relaxation on a scale of 1 to 5. Survey data was compared between conditions with a dependent t-test. Recovery of HR and EDA were determined as a percentage recovery from exercise values back toward baseline (i.e. 100% recovery indicates return to baseline). These data, as well as measures of LF/HF, were compared between conditions at 1, 3 and 5 min. of recovery with a RM-ANOVA. Significance was set at pRESULTS: Percent recovery ofHR and EDA were similar between recovery conditions at all timepoints (5 min. values presented: HR: W= 81.4 ± 9.4%, UW=79.9 ± 10.6% p=.642, EDA: W=31.9 ± 22.3%, UW=-5.4 ±142.9%, p=.601). LF/HF were not different at any point in recovery between conditions (5 min.: W: LF/HF=13.8 ± 19.9, UW: LF/HF=9.7 ±15.7, p=.475). Subjective relaxation scores were higher following weighted blanket recovery (W=4.6 ± 0.5 vs. UW=3.9 ± 0.9, p=.008). CONCLUSION: DTP use in recovery from MIAE does not affect ANS coordination, as indicated by recovery of HR, HRV, and EDA. Evidence of the physiological effects of DTP are limited, however greater subjective relaxation scores with DTP indicate it could be an effective psychological relaxation modality.

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