inmu stands for ‘interactive music’, because this unique sensory stimulation tool combines music, tactile elements, and movement in a soft interactive cushion that stimulates multiple senses simultaneously. The design incorporates high quality tactile fabrics, sophisticated sensor technology and a computer which generates specially composed interactive music to modulate the user’s mood.
There are 2 models, designed for different needs:
1. inmuRELAX reduces arousal, gives comfort, and helps with sleep - making it especially suitable for people with dementia, stress or agitation.
2. inmuDANCE translates touch and movement into music and soft vibrations which become stronger as the user moves. The rhythmic music, inspired by the 1960s and the bossa nova, encourages movement, which can be particularly valuable in users who are passive and require higher levels of arousal.
PRODUCTS ~ EVIDENCE ~ SUPPORT ~ BUYING
The need for stimulation
Our senses are essential for interacting with our environment and with other people. Whether through feeling the sun on our face or the stroke of hand, stimulation of our senses is a core part of the human experience and prolonged deprivation of sensation is deeply distressing.
The senses have a powerful positive influence on the brain and the nervous system - stimulating one sense can awaken other feelings, for example, when you listen to music you want to move. This means that it’s possible to help people by modulating their sensory input. For example, stroking of a hand will initially establish a new ‘connection’ and continuing gentle stroking will send calming messages to the brain. In contrast, varying the site and intensity of touch can keep the brain more active. The inmu can be used to help people with cognitive or emotional distress by positive stimulation.
Our senses do not operate in isolation from each other and therefore the inmu has been designed to elicit a response in multiple ways:
~ Sound and Music
Touch – the importance of touch is often underestimated, that’s why we put a lot of effort into creating the tactile elements of the inmu. Many children (and adults) are re-assured by a treasured soft toy and the inmu is made from high quality fabrics to give a similar pleasant textured feel. It has piping sewn in which can be traced by the fingers. The inmuRELAX also has a pocket for putting a hand inside, which gives a feeling of safety as well as making it easier to hold.
Appearance – the inmu has been designed to look attractive, with a simple but elegant shape, a range of colours and extra touches like the piping.
Vibration - the inmu generates soft vibrations which lets the music be ‘felt’ through the body, enhancing the experience for all users but particularly if there are hearing difficulties.
Music as Therapy
Music can produce powerful emotions - it can make us happy, sad, calm, thoughtful or make us want to sing or dance! Research has shown that music has a unique ability to stimulate our senses and even help the recovery from brain injury.
Our brains are constantly responding and adapting to stimulation arising from our environment, for instance processing experiences into memories or actions. However, this normal functioning can be disrupted by brain injuries or disorders, which cause cognitive or motor (movement) problems. Listening to music can stimulate the brain directly or indirectly, by recruiting other neural pathways. For example, listening to upbeat rhythmic music can directly lift mood, but can also start a foot tapping. Someone who may be functionally isolated from their surroundings can be drawn back and their brain will start to adapt and heal.
The inmu is the first sensory stimulation tool to use interactive music to stimulate and sooth. It has its own unique music universe - a computer inside the inmu uses advanced artificial intelligence (AI) software to generate new music, which starts and evolves as it’s touched or moved and will only stop when it’s left alone.
Like a gently flowing river, inmu music is always changing but always the same - unlike pre-recorded music, it never repeats itself, so it stays interesting for the listener and can stimulate new neural connections. Picking up or touching the inmu starts the music; putting it down slowly stops the music which therefore reflects the user’s movements.
We are continuously exposed to a huge number of sensory inputs of different types and intensities. Under normal circumstances we can adapt to cope and if not, we have the option of changing our environment to compensate - so if ‘things are becoming too much’ we can take ourselves somewhere quiet or if we are becoming bored, we can look for something new to do.
People with an illness, especially a brain disorder, may have less tolerance as well as less ability to control their situation. This can cause them distress and lead to ‘difficult’ behaviour - for instance, wandering and agitated behaviour is often caused by either under- or over-stimulation. Understanding this raises the possibility of influencing the balance of people’s mental state by regulating their sensory environment.
The inmu allows even weak and confused people to control how much stimulation they receive. If the music becomes too much, they can just put down the inmu and the music will stop automatically. The inmuRELAX’s soothing music will exert a comforting and calming effect, while the inmuDANCE’s ‘dancing’ music can provide extra stimulation to inspire movement, dancing, laughter and perhaps even singing.
The inmu’s ability to create wellbeing in an individual means that it can help prevent agitation spreading through a group, as stress can be contagious.
Sleep is often disrupted in people with dementia and this can affect wellbeing, mood and cognitive processes like concentration, memory, learning and the ability to handle stress or pain. The soothing sounds and comforting feel of inmuRELAX can bring on sleep and as the user settles, the music will slowly stop. As there are no buttons or cables, it’s safe to leave the inmu in bed so it’s there in the middle of the night if it’s needed.
By helping with sleep the inmu can reduce the need for medication and reduce the demands on carers.
We are all made to move, and prolonged inactivity can create very serious physical health risks, such as DVT, pneumonia, UTI, loss of bone density and muscle weakness and wasting.
Fortunately, inmu can help promote movement and even low-key movement can have a protective effect. In addition, movement can also build awareness and consciousness which may be affected by dementia.
Following brain injury, rehabilitation therapy aims to help the brain re-learn how to work effectively, in part by establishing new neural connections and pathways. This can be difficult to achieve in practice: the best results are achieved when training occurs daily and in gradual steps, progressively adding new movements/muscles. The inmu can assist making both motor and cognitive activity fun. Its multimodality sensory stimulation will help engage multiple areas of the brain and facilitate the rehabilitation process.
We stock a wide range of products, with over 1000 lines available in the showroom.
Come and TRY out the products to see what suits your needs.
Our friendly highly-trained staff will help you make a choice which is right for you.