European Therapy Room Finds a Home in the Brazos Valley

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A European form of therapy has made its way to the Brazos Valley in the form of a multi-sensory room, called a Snoozalen Room.

The word originates from two Dutch verbs, one meaning to sniff and seek out, and the other, to rest.

The multi-sensory room is designed to produce relaxation and stimulation for patients. Through lights, voice instruments, and sound the European form of therapy is already making a lasting impression on patients in the Brazos Valley.

"Since we have a variety of conditions with the patients, we were looking for something that would include all of the senses sight, smell, tactile stimulation, and I wanted to incorporate it into their therapy," Nursing Director Sharon Ort with the St. Joseph Manor said.

Ort first learned of the room from one of her nursing journals, and since then has worked to bring a little piece of Europe to the Manor. Inside the room there is dim lighting, music, video, and even some specially equipped chairs.

"The chairs are acoustic and are viber-acoustic," Ort said. "You have vibration that comes from the music and then you have the acoustic that is built into both chairs, such as the rocker, and the stationary chair."

The Snoozalen room has already inspired more advanced therapy treatments for patients.

"I'm trying to do a program to get residents off the psychotropics or sleeping pills, because at this age they're just not the right medication for them and so we're going to use the room at night," Ort said. "We'll bring them in one by one, with a one-on-one person to work with them."

Officials say the best part of the multi-sensory room is anything is fair game.

"It's really evolved to your imagination, what you want to include in a schnoozalin room, " Ort said.