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Exceptional HEROES™ Coming 2022

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Health Benefits

Exceptional HEROES™ patent-pending devices include a broad set of therapeutic techniques and approaches. We created an all-inclusive, all-embracing therapeutic companion that bridges the gap between mental health and mental wellness. Its multi-purpose nature ranges from fostering a healthier, happier mind in everyday life to building better healing and coping strategies. Our device serves the whole spectrum of mental, emotional, and neurodevelopmental diversity, helping people regardless of their gender, age, or health background. For everyone, everywhere.

The multi-therapeutic techniques within Exceptional HEROES™ improve emotional and cognitive functions through four primary sensory channels – audial (sound), olfactory (smell), tactile (touch), and proprioceptive (body awareness). They are supported by the fifth channel – visual (sight). The friendly appearance, the soft, plush exterior of our devices is inspired and modeled after real-live animals. Such semblance can inspire trust and enhance communication, which is extremely important for children and adults with sensory processing differences. In other words, the visual appearance of Exceptional HEROES™ can help caregivers to engage their patients in broader, more meaningful communication.

Combination of the four primary sensory channels can provide an individual mix of stimuli that perfectly suits the individual needs without causing sensory defensiveness. We engineered every aspect of Exceptional HEROES™ with purpose and intent to target and to harmonize our brain and our autonomic nervous system. A healthy mind and a healthy body both start with the smooth work and confluence of those two. Exceptional HEROES™ can help with that.

One way to achieve a better mental and emotional quality is through the autonomic nervous system. It affects pretty much everything within our body we don’t control directly – from digestion to heart rate and breath. It is autonomic in the sense that you can’t manage it with your own will – for example, a human can’t tell their own body to dilate pupils, or release certain hormones, or not sneeze. The autonomic nervous system takes over all these involuntary regulations.

Key to understanding mental wellness is knowing what is hard-wired in our autonomic nervous system. It is a very old structure we inherited from our earliest predecessors – and it still largely operates in that prehistoric mode. For thousands of years, our ancestors had to rely on their strong muscles or fast legs to survive – and they had to choose quickly, without involving the creative, but slow brain!

This ‘Fight-or-flight’ response is hard-coded in our neurons to launch a specific biological sequence – hormone emission, muscle contractions and so on.
Advancement of human civilization has made it largely obsolete, as we don’t have to rely on it in everyday life. Still, this sequence can be triggered by any stimulus – both from the environment or from within our own body. The ‘fight-or-flight’ response now feels inadequate – this is why we feel anxiety and stress. They can heavily reduce quality of living, contributing to pre-existing conditions or even triggering new ones.

Therapeutic techniques and approaches we offer in Exceptional HEROES can counter this response, keep the autonomic nervous system in check and maintain the balance between it and the brain.

Working with combined 60+ years of experience from Psychologists, Psychiatrists, scientists, mental health experts, breathing coaches, and licensed trauma therapists, we have provided a list of conditions, but not limited to, of mental health and mental wellness conditions that can benefit from the therapeutic features of our Exceptional HEROES™ when appropriately used.

 

Acquired brain injury
ADHD
Allergies
Anosmia
Anxiety disorders and stress
Arachnoiditis
Asperger Syndrome
Asthma
Autism
Autism spectrum disorder
Bipolar disorder
Brain injuries
Cancer
Chronic pain
Circadian rhythm sleep disorders
Dementia
Depression
Dyspraxia
Epilepsy
Fibromyalgia
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Learning disability
Limb loss
Lupus
Lyme Disease
Major depression
Mental health
Mental Illness
Migraines
Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
Multiple sclerosis
Myasthenia Gravis
Narcolepsy
Personality disorders
Primary immunodeficiency
Psychiatric disabilities
Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
Repetitive stress injuries
Rheumatoid arthritis
Schizophrenia
Scleroderma
Spinal Disorders
Transverse Myelitis
Trigeminal Neuralgia
Visual impairment (blindness)

Learn more about therapeutic components of Exceptional HEROES and science behind them.

Audial Patterns for Controlled Breathing

What is it?

Both Shelby and Monroe come with a removable soundbox, which plays a pre-recorded sound of Tibetan singing bowls, natural ambience, and a gentle running stream. This custom pattern was developed together with mental health and breathing techniques experts to encourage self-guided coherent breathing practice, transfer the mind to a calm ambient space, and induce immediate relaxation.

The sound pattern is carefully timed to serve as a guide to a controlled breathing exercise: the customer inhales for 4 seconds at the first bell sound and then exhales for 8 seconds at the second bell sound. The recording is timed precisely for one minute, offering five 4×8 mindful breathing sessions and auto-looping for 20 minutes total. The exercise can be ended at any time.

What’s the science behind it?

Motions of our diaphragm, which result in breathing, are controlled by the phrenic nerve. When the autonomic nervous system encounters a stressful stimulus, it sends signals to this nerve to speed up the breathing – this was the evolution’s way to supply our muscles with a quick boost of oxygen, giving us more strength and agility in a ‘fight-or-flight’ situation. But this quick shallow breathing also prevents full discharge of carbon dioxide, causing its buildup. As a result, a stressed person feels weak and helpless.

Still, we’ve got to love the phrenic nerve, because it’s a two-way line transmitting the commands for the diaphragm and receiving feedback from it. And that’s where the healing begins – if a stressed patient goes into a controlled breathing session, they override this non-conscious quick shallow breathing mode. The phrenic nerve then reports this calm to its ‘senior management’ in the autonomic nervous system, which tells other nerves to cancel ‘red alert’ and end the episode – lower heartbeat rate, release muscle tonus, stop production of stress hormones, and so on.

The soothing nature of sound patterns supports this therapeutic effect on the level of consciousness – auditory information is processed in our cerebral cortex, along with the other senses. This cortex is what makes us stand out as a species, being responsible for thinking, planning and creativity. Scientists map specific functions to its specific regions, or cores. These cores are in constant interaction – so what we hear or see directly affects our thought process.

What benefits does it bring?

Who can benefit from it?

Controlled breathing is generally associated with stress and anxiety reduction. This makes practicing the Coherent Breathing® technique with Exceptional HEROES™ universally beneficial, promoting a calmer, clearer mind and better emotional regulation in everyday life. Additionally, controlled breathing can serve as a progressive enrichment to healing strategies in such stress-related conditions as:

Essential Oils for Olfactory Enrichment

What is it?

All Exceptional HEROES™ packages include a collar made from 100% compressed wool fabric which acts as an aroma diffuser. Use our selection of essential oil mixes or apply the blend of your choice to enrich the healing experience with aromatherapy. The dosage is measured with precision to ensure the optimal level of olfactory stimulations.

What’s the science behind it?

The sense of smell, or olfaction, works on a different level than sight or hearing. It is, evolutionarily speaking, a more ‘primal’ sensory system, working more directly with deep brain structures. While visual or audial information is processed by the cerebral cortex associated with logic, reasoning, and creativity, the olfactory nerve is interfaced with the brain’s limbic system.

This system has developed much earlier than the cortex. Located deep in our brain, closer to the brainstem, it is associated with managing the stress response, serving as a command center for the autonomic nervous system. The olfactory nerve reaches as far as the amygdalae – almond-shaped glands which are considered to be the core of the limbic system. Amygdala is a busy little thing, its functions include subconscious recognition of smells and involuntary emotional responses.

So, for example, if we see a rose, we admire it rationally, through processing the visual in the cortex. But if we smell a rose, this information goes straight to our limbic system. Carefully selected aromas can provide positive stimulation for the amygdalae, working directly with our deep brain and sending positive signals for the autonomic nervous system.

What benefits does it bring?

Who can benefit from it?

There are multiple studies on proven effects of aromatherapy for various conditions. Aromatic enrichment is known to regulate the body’s emotional response. Combining it with other therapeutic techniques provided by Exceptional HEROES contributes to emotional and cognitive wellness.

Diverse Textures for Enhanced Tactile Input

What is it?

Both Monroe and Shelby are engineered as a combination of different textures, ranging from very soft (insides of ears) to very rough (Velcro® Brand hooks on fronts of paws). We conducted careful research to find the most efficient fabrics, so that stroking, petting or physically engaging with them may produce positive feedback. Rougher textures may be unsuitable for certain groups with elevated skin sensitivity (such as patients with skin conditions or elderly citizens). This is why all Exceptional HEROES™ come with attached mittens to cover the Velcro® Brand hook on the front paws, creating a seamless appearance of fluffy front paws.

What’s the science behind it?

The information our body receives from touch is processed by the somatosensory system. Each type of tactile input is associated with a distinct type of sensory cells located under the skin.

Light, soft touch activates tactile corpuscles, which densely populate our fingertips. They need constant activation, this is why we prefer stroking soft fur to feel it better. Signals from these corpuscles are transmitted via a complex neural system to the cerebral cortex, where they are decoded and interpreted. Various studies have shown that soft touch activates release of endorphins and oxytocin, which are known as ‘happiness hormones’. They, in turn, contribute to regulating the autonomic nervous system.

Differences between texture types are processed by a different type of sensory cells, called lamellar corpuscles. They are larger and fewer than the tactile corpuscles. The lamellar corpuscles send their signals directly to the vagus nerve. It is the longest nerve of the autonomic nervous system, and also an extremely important one, because it regulates our heart rate.

Another type of sensory cells also slightly affected by a rough texture are so-called pain receptors, or nociceptors. Though touching Velcro® Brand hook doesn’t inflict pain itself, the nociceptors may still experience some mild stimulation. It triggers production of enkephalin, which easens the actual pain.

What benefits does it bring?

Who can benefit from it?

Studies prove that tactile input enrichment amplifies production of endorphins, ocytocine and enkephalin. This results in better, more stable emotional patterns, as well as pain reduction. Anyone struggling with these issues can benefit from tactile components of Exceptional HEROES. Tactile input also helps alleviate compulsions and motor mannerisms.

Tactile stimulation is a very powerful signal. It can contribute to emotional and mental wellness in patients with:

Proprioception and Pressure Therapy

What is it?

When you hold Monroe or Shelby, you’ll find them realistic and similar to the actual animals due to their weight. Monroe weighs 4lb, and Shelby is 8lb. We set these weights to offer choice and give organized proprioceptive input with deep pressure therapy. The weight is distributed evenly along the companions’ bodies to provide an even more consistent feeling. Having Exceptional HEROES™ on your lap, on your chest or in your hands produces a powerful grounding effect which helps reestablish control and ownership over the body.

Additionally, our companions’ back paws have a unique technology; they are filled with microbeads to provide resistance and feel like stress balls. The size of these pockets is carefully selected to provide the best possible therapeutic effects.

Both weight and resistance contribute to the customer’s proprioception – a feeling of physical bodily presence.

What’s the science behind it?

Stress and anxiety are results of our autonomic nervous system operating in its alert mode for too long. This can be caused by stressful stimuli – either from the environment or from our own body. ‘Fight-or-flight’ mode activates production of stress hormones – adrenaline and cortisol.

Many mental health issues are connected directly to an elevated level of response to these, so much of the healing strategies for them are aimed at reducing such triggering.

Deep pressure therapy works with our tactile receptors – much like enhanced tactile input. The difference is that gentle but firm pressure is processed by the Merkel cells. They store serotonin – a very powerful hormone modulating mood, cognition, reward, learning, memory – and release it into the bloodstream when activated. Serotonin helps switch the autonomic nervous system from its ‘fight-or-flight’ stance into ‘rest-and-digest’.

What benefits does it bring?

Who can benefit from it?

Grounding is a very powerful therapeutic technique which can be used for everyone for reduced stress, better sleep, emotional balance and clearer, happier mind.

Additionally, there are numerous conditions where a patient is hyperresponsive and hypersensitive to their nervous system’s ‘fight-or-flight’ response. This means they require additional help to manage the response – that’s something additional proprioceptive input can help with. Such conditions may include:

Exceptional Heroes™ 2021. All rights reserved.

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