In a fast-paced world, sometimes practising a little self-care can make all the difference to how you are feeling and eye pillows are an easy way to do that.
Eye pillows are a powerful product that can be used as a healing tool for relaxation, meditation and to release tension. They are generally soft pouches filled with materials that apply light pressure to key acupressure points across they eyes and contour the forehead.
Research shows that light pressure applied on the eyes, can lower the heart rate commonly knows as the oculocardiac reflex (for the science behind it read here). The pressure also helps to stimulate one of the cranial nerves that originates in the brain. This nerve travels down the back of the neck, into the chest, heart and into the abdomen and is called the vagus nerve. By stimulating this reflex and nerve, it is believed the digestive tract, our mood, heart and our rest-digest system can all be affected. When combined with deep breathing and relaxation, using an eye pillow can help to reduce stress, calm the mind and body, sedate your nerves to help you relax.
In such a busy world, allowing yourself, mind and body, to be still can help to bring a deep feeling of calm, instinctively needed for personal growth and happiness.
“This is a critical factor in long-term stress resilience and, research shows, in happiness.”-Yoga Journal
Why fill eye pillows with flaxseeds?
The balanced, light weight sensation of the flaxseed in the pillow cuts out visual stimulus including light and sends a message to your brain that it is time to be still. Relaxation is enabled through the pressure in your eyes, transmitting a signal to the rest of the body and giving neurological permission to relax.
Flaxseeds offer a more beneficial sensation when compared to other seeds and grains such as wheat or rice as they are even in texture and weight ensuring equal pressure on the eyes which is why we choose to use only flaxseeds in our eye pillows. They also don’t have have the traditional ‘wheat’ smell that can be present with some heat packs. Flaxseeds also hold their temperature longer and better than other materials so if you choose to warm or cool your eye pillow slightly, it will last longer.
Eye pillows are often filled with aromatic herbs. Lavender and chamomile are common as the scent of these herbs can often help to further induce a state of relaxation and calm When you allow your mind and body to settle into a forced state of relaxation, you can often experience a better quality sleep.
You can also choose to use a combination of refreshing herbs. In a modern world of screens and eye strain, using an eye pillow can help to soothe sore a tired eyes and when combined with refreshing herbs such as peppermint, to help ease any tension without necessarily preparing for relaxation. I know myself sometimes I just need a stop, revive and survive moment around 3pm to get me through the rest of the afternoon!
Should you use essential oils on your eye pillow?
It is very common for people to add essential oils when they are mixing the fillings for eye pillows, or add them to the material itself. However, this is not necessary to gain the benefit from the eye pillow. If your pillow is filled with herbs but you no longer can smell the fragrance, first consider crushing the pillow. This can help to release and reinvigorate the scent.
Not all essential oils are safe to apply to the skin and may cause irritations so it is advised that you don’t put any directly on the pillow. You would be better to dilute the oil appropriately with a carrier oil or use a roller blend such as ‘Be Peaceful‘ from Butterfly and Bloom, specifically made to help with relaxation and apply it to your wrists and neck along with using the pillow to gain as much benefit as possible from both actions.
How to use your eye pillow?
Use your pillow for relaxation, sleep, to refresh your mind or to help improve your mood.
Lie down in a comfortable place ensuring you have something to keep you warm if it is cool or a fan if it is warm. Consider some white noise or relaxation music to drown out any other noise from the household or street. Apply and essential oils or put the diffuser on. Place the pillow over your eyes and allow your mind to move through its thoughts, noticing what you are thinking and acknowledging it. Concentrate on your breathing. Allow long slow deep breaths to calm and ground you.
Using an eye pillow everyday can greatly help with relaxation and moods. The light pressure applied can help relieve tension and allow ourselves to simply be still and present in the moment instinctively helping us feel calm, relaxed and refreshed.
Find an incredible range of handmade eye pillows here
Take care lovely friends,