Sensory re-education is a therapeutic programme using sensory stimulation to help sensory-impaired patients recover functional sensibility in the damaged area and to learn adaptive functioning. Following disease or accident, sensory re-education helps patients with various forms of sensory loss and impairment retrain their sensory pathways, adapt to changed abilities, and regain function.
Sensory re-education uses a variety of therapeutic, rehabilitation and educational techniques to help sensory-impaired patients recover sensibility, fine discrimination abilities, and the ability to perform other tasks involved in daily living and work activities.
Many techniques of sensory stimulation are used to provide input to sensory receptors and pathways. Some forms of stimulation used include electrical stimulation; stroking the skin with textured, friction-producing items such as Velcro and the use of specially modified tools and instruments.
Other procedures and modalities that may be used include massage, vibration, pressure, biofeedback, various forms of movement and tactile stimulation or other activities that require use of and attention to the senses. Sensory re-education may be delivered in indirect ways as part of a larger therapeutic programme, rather than being an independent, distinct therapy.