The iLs Pillow and its Therapeutic Benefits

Posted on May 3rd, 2013 by Denise | No Comments

The iLs Pillow and its Therapeutic Benefits

By

Denise Koonce OTR

A few months ago, I discussed the benefits of auditory listening programs and the differences between the programs which are available within the U.S.  One of the companies I discussed was Integrated Listening Systems, LLC. (iLs).  Integrated Listening Systems, in addition to their auditory listening program called the iLs Focus Series, offers another auditory tool called the iLs Pillow.  The iLs Pillow was introduced in the spring of 2012 and is already showing success and demonstrating a wide range of benefits for its users.  As a pediatric therapist you are always on the look out for adjunctive therapeutic interventions and tools which can provide appropriate input to your patient when you are not physically there.  These tools help carry over input used during your therapy sessions allowing you to get more “bang for your buck,” per se, and the iLs Pillow is an example of one of these.

The iLs Pillow provides auditory, tactile, and proprioceptive sensory input and can be an adjunctive part of a total auditory program.  The iLs Pillow is appropriate for the same populations that benefit from the iLs Focus system such as individuals with learning difficulties, attention and regulatory disorders, sensory processing dysfunction, speech and language delays and more.  The iLs Pillow is approximately a 1”H x 8”W x 15”L” flat, rectangular-shaped, soft layered foam pillow, with a washable, waterproof, hypoallergenic cover.  On one end is a zipper with a small pocket in which a modified MP3 player can be inserted.  The MP3 player comes preprogrammed and loaded with iLs 3D Music TM.  The iLs Pillow uses music specifically chosen for its harmonic content, gentle rhythmic structures and soothing melodic contours which is the basis for the gentle proprioceptive input the user receives while listening to the music without the use of headphones.   For music selection ease, the music list on the MP3 player has been categorized in the following manner:  Ambient, Choral, Classical, Mixed Classical, and Overtones.  Everyone responds to music in a different manner and therefore these options offer the user a choice of what works best for their body.  Each music category is programmed with two hours of music for a total of 10 hours of preloaded music.  The user has the choice of listening to only one category of music for two hours, looping or shuffling programs, or listening to all ten hours of preloaded music.  The pillow is very user friendly in that it can be slipped into a pillow case along with the individual’s pillow or used without a pillow.  You can hear the music whether you lay on your back or either side but the user is the only one who will hear the music.  Another convenient benefit of the iLs Pillow is the individual will continue to process the musical input even while they are sleeping.  As with the iLs Focus system, the pillow also comes with proprioceptive input produced from the vibration created from the low frequency music selected specifically for the pillow program.  There are two strategically placed bone conductors in the middle of the pillow and once the music begins playing the bone conductors inside the pillow will provide a soothing vibration.  This vibration is then picked up by the user’s skeletal system, our natural conductors, and relayed to the inner ear and onto the brain, allowing the body to begin processing the sensory input.     

An important note about the iLs Pillow is that even though it is used at night and is very helpful for individuals suffering from sleep disturbances, the positive effects from listening are observed during the daytime hours as well.  Individuals have reported decreased auditory, tactile, and proprioceptive sensitivities during school and at home.  For individuals who have significant tactile defensiveness and are unable to tolerate the headphones of the iLs Focus system, the iLs pillow is a wonderful way to aid in decreasing those sensitivities and integrating them so the headphones can be worn and further progress made.   

The iLs Pillow is a unique tool which can be recommended to your patients and is inherently a simple addition to their home program, a “win-win” for parents.  If you have used the iLs Pillow with your patients, please share with us your experience and the results you have observed.

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