The University of Rochester conducted a very interesting study on the benefits of glider/rocker chairs but the interesting thing is; the therapeutic benefits are rarely used outside of the elderly care.
Studies have found that the motion of rocking or gliding has the following benefits:
Increased well-being for patients with dementia or other behavioral disorders
- Decreased need for anxiety, tension or depression medication
- Improved Balance and mild exercise achieved
- Soothing of Colic or digestive discomfort
- Ease of pain and pain management
Most studies have focused on the elderly but these benefits are transferable to so many more areas of healthcare and especially in the hospital environment.
Maternal Newborn find that the rocking is an excellent way for a new mother to soothe and bond with their baby. The motion mimics the motion the baby would've experienced while in the womb. It is also effective for colic relief and is thought to promote relaxation for both mother and baby.
Behavioral Health is an evolving industry where we are transitioning from institutional furnishings to providing safe, and friendly environments that promote behavior improvements. The motion promotes relaxation and comfort, while reducing anxiety which makes many of these patients volatile.
Pain Management and Post Surgical use is a lesser known value of rocking but both Benjamin Franklin and John F Kennedy are reported to have used rockers to reduce pain. John F Kennedy suffered from chronic back pain and made use of a rocking chair for pain relief.
Family Rooms are set up to allow family members to grieve or wait on someone in critical condition. The anxiety levels are very high for the users of these rooms and the rocking motion will help them cope. It might also reduce the nervously picked hole in the couch when the nervous energy can be used towards rocking or gliding.
Elderly Care is one of the more obvious places where the therapeutic benefits are strongest. The research from the University of Rochester is evidence based and we know that these chairs are part of healthy living for the elderly.
Gliders could benefit so many areas that have never considered them previously and this list could carry on . The Rocking chair disappeared from the Hospital scene in Canada due to I.P.A.C. (Infection Control) regulations, most rockers being made of natural wood and not meeting the cleaning standards. The rocker/glider has since been redesigned in a wood-free model and the benefits of this style of seating can once again be appreciated in Canadian Hospitals!
Click here to view the study: University of Rochester, 1998