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Snug Vest: Easing Anxiety One “Hug” at a Time

Wearable Therapeutics (also known as Snug Vest) provides high quality, effective and safe solutions for rapid anxiety relief. Their first product, Snug Vest, uses proprietary technology to deliver Deep Pressure Therapy – a firm hugging sensation which has a proven calming and relaxing effect.

There is a massive, growing number of individuals suffering with autism, developmental, and mental health disorders. Symptoms result in anxiety leading to problem behaviors, not being able to participate and not completing daily tasks effectively. Medications for treating these conditions have harmful side-effects. For some, deep pressure is a necessity and current deep pressure tools available are not acceptable and unsafe, causing fatalities.

“It was 6 years ago that I decided to dedicate my career towards helping children with autism” says Snug Vest founder, Lisa Fraser.  “As a designer, I applied my creative skills towards developing a tool that could help children on the spectrum function better in their daily lives.  I had been working with children on the spectrum for several years in classrooms already when I had this realization.

Many of the kids I worked with loved firm hugs and calmed down when feeling anxious, from pressure.  The application of pressure on the body activates the parasympathetic nervous system to regulate the sensory system and drive down cortisol, a stress indicator.

One day, one of the kiddos I was working with had his Occupational Therapist come by to put a weighted vest on him.  I understood that pressure had a calming and relaxing effect, but intuitively didn’t feel that the weight was safe or user-friendly as it pushed down on the shoulders affecting posture and the musculoskeletal system.  I wasn’t pleased with other products on the market for applying pressure and came up with the idea of using air, instead of weight to provide a squeezing, hugging sensation and so that pressure can be adjusted to the exact amount the child needs, controlling it themselves, thus fostering independence.

While developing this inflatable therapy vest idea, I met a special teen on the spectrum. He would get quite anxious and experienced meltdowns and self-injurious behaviors. I could see his pain and suffering he was experiencing and hoped the inflatable vest could perhaps alleviate some of that anguish he was experiencing in those tough times his dad called ‘episodes’. Danny’s dad would squeeze him to help him calm down but they both knew that the solution was only temporary and when Danny went to school, he would have no means of providing himself the pressure he needed to feel calm and secure.  It was inappropriate for Danny’s teachers and caretakers to squeeze him tightly, so Danny hid in bathrooms to put inflatable blood pressure cuffs on to get some pressure.  He even wore a tight women’s leather jacket to school one day and he was made fun of.  I felt I needed to do something about this.

I am happy to say that Danny was the first teen to receive an inflatable Snug Vest! His dad says that “the results are phenomenal! It calms him down. It comforts him. It’s very fast-acting. He pumps it up and he feels good. And unlike medication, it doesn’t have any side effects. It’s wearable therapy.”

Snug Vest is an award-winning, patent-pending vest that inflates to put pressure on the torso for rapid anxiety relief. The pressure regulates the sensory system, driving down cortisol and adrenalin. Snug Vest promotes independence as the individual wearing it has full control to decide when they want pressure and how much. The vest is fashionable so it does not stigmatize the individual. It also increases focus and attention for improved learning and quality of life, without side-effects. For the cost of seeing a therapist for a few hours, Snug Vest lasts years and is worn at any time!

22+ million children in the US alone suffer with autism (1:68), ADHD, and a sensory disorder (1:6).  Autism is the largest growing developmental disability in North America, costing the US $126 billion per year and with an annual growth rate of 17%. Snug Vest is initially focused on helping the autism community, and then will start to focus on depression ($23 mill adults + in US) and PTSD ($24 mill + adults in US).

Snug Vest has sold thousands of units worldwide to individuals with: autism, brain injury, sensory disorders, depression, traumatic brain injury, and many more conditions. Schools, clinics, and homes are enjoying the benefits of a calming hug!

Snug Vest is working on achieving endorsements and seals of approval from key influencers, and would like to create more partnerships with large organizations. They currently have partnerships with the Autism Society of America and Generation Rescue.

Wearable Therapeutics sells their therapy vests directly through their website at $400 CAD a unit, with a 60 day money-back guarantee. They are dedicated to making continuous improvements and new products that are safe and effective.  For more information, you can go to www.snugvest.com
 

Lisa Fraser, Founder, Snugvest

After developing a therapy product using proprietary technology as her thesis, Lisa started her first venture, Wearable Therapeutics  to commercialize Snug Vest in 2011. Previous to that, she worked in classrooms with children with special needs and used her design skills to develop tools that improve their quality of life and promote inclusion.

Lisa won numerous international awards for Snug Vest including Red Dot Product Design Award, Medical Design Excellence Award, and the Industrial Design Excellence Award. Lisa has also received BC Business’ Top 30 under 30 accolade, and the BC Creative Achievement Award presented by the premier. Lisa has appeared on CBC’s Dragons Den, Forbes Magazine, and national news television.