Interview with Jen Price, Inventor of The Hug Blanket
We had a special Q & A with Jen Price, somatic psychotherapist and creator of Huglife or “The Hug” weighted blanket! The Hug is a portable, multifunctional blanket designed to soothe and destress. We asked Jen all about The Hug, its uses, Jen’s inspiration for creating it, and more!
What is Somatic Psychotherapy?
As a Somatic Psychotherapist, I am a MFT who works holistically and finds great importance in the body/mind connection. Whereas “standard” therapy often focuses solely on the mind, somatic psychotherapists make use of the fact that our bodies hold memories and patterns and actually tell us how we feel before our minds. In this way we can help clients get to know themselves more deeply, be more aware of previously unconscious processes, and gain tools to create mental and emotional shifts via the body. i.e.: If you are anxious I will ask you why, but I will also ask you how you know you’re anxious— what does anxiety feel like in your body? We can then work to shift it more simply, without all the messy context of the mind.
What was your inspiration for designing “The Hug?”
Weighted blankets have been part of my field’s toolbox for decades but in using them with clients (and myself), I found them cumbersome, restrictive (sometimes creating a counterproductive “trapped” feeling), and not as satisfying as I knew they could be. I also knew that the grounding, stress relieving benefits of weighted products would be useful to everyone— not just therapy clients— so I wanted to create something beautiful and easy for anyone to use in their daily life. So, 2 years ago I took to creating a solution.
The Hug is specifically designed to cover the most vulnerable parts of the human body while leaving arms and legs free, creating the unique sensation of being grounded and protected, yet free and mobile; this is an amazing combination for calming the nervous system and bringing a deep sense of comfort and relaxation; it also makes it easy to use the Hug to help reduce the effects of stress throughout the day, at home or work, with very little effort. Additionally, the Hug is filled with 14 lbs. of tiny, fused quartz beads that make 70% more contact with the body than the plastic filler used in other weighted blankets and can be warmed in the microwave for a truly next level comfort experience.
The end product is the most effective, simple stress relieving tool I can imagine. I’ve used mine literally every day since I made the first prototype— I love this thing.
I always think of weighted blankets/ The Hug as the equivalent for thunder jackets that help ease anxiety in dogs. What is the science behind “The Hug?”
Weighted products make use of the science of Deep Touch Pressure, which explains that pressure applied to the body via hugging, swaddling, or weighted objects, helps shift the body from the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight/stress response) into the parasympathetic nervous system (rest & restore mode). Time spent in the parasympathetic state measurably decreases heart rate, blood pressure and cortisol levels, and increases wellness supporting chemicals dopamine, serotonin, and melatonin. The Hug takes things to the next level by mimicking a human hug more closely than anything else on the market, eliciting all the warm & fuzzy feelings you’ve ever had by being held or hugged when you needed comfort.
Who do you think would benefit from purchasing one of these?
Everyone! Truly. I don’t know anyone who couldn’t benefit from something that manually soothes the nervous system and brings a deep sense of comfort and grounding with zero effort and no side effects. It’s a literal no-brainer.
What makes “The Hug” different from traditional weighted blankets that are seen on the market?
It solves the major complaints I’ve heard about other weighted blankets which are that they can be too hot, too bulky, create a trapped feeling, can put weird pressure on your joints in your sleep, too big to use anywhere other than bed, and don’t actually cover the right parts of the body.
Our design is streamlined, portable, multifunctional, can be heated or chilled, and “hits the spot” in a way that other weighted blankets just don’t.
How can people find your product?
Kickstarter! We launched a couple of weeks ago and still have some Hugs available that will ship out in April! By ordering, you will not only help us scale and really get this business off the ground, but you will be one of the first to experience this unique, deeply satisfying, patent-pending product.