Thursday, 18 June 2009

DIY #5: Therapeutic Flax Pillow

I'm sure you know all about the health benefits of eating flax seed:
  • It contains soluble fibre, which binds to cholesterol preventing it from being absorbed in the body.
  • It helps inflammatory conditions, which may explain why eating flax can prevent heart attack and stroke.
  • Flax is a plant source of Omega-3 fatty acids (leave the fish oil for the fish please).
  • Flax is also very low on the glycemic index, which means it helps control blood sugar. When eaten with a meal, flax seed can prevent a high blood sugar peak after the meal.
But do you know about the therapeutic uses of flax? I'd heard a little bit about it, but it wasn't until I over heard a woman in a store talking about her flax seed boot that I realized all the wonderful benefits of those little seeds. This woman had accidentally fallen asleep with a flax boot on her foot. When she awoke the next morning, not only was her pain gone, but her foot felt moisturized and soft. That's because flax seed is an oily seed (remember its packed full of those Omega-3's). Turns out that flax seed pillows are good for relieving:
  • tension headaches
  • shoulder tension
  • back pain
  • wrist pain
  • poor circulation
  • menstral cramps
  • stiffness in hips or hamstrings
  • sunburn
The store I was in sold flax seed eye pillows, back pads, mittens, boots and shoulder wraps all for $30 and up. I wanted the benefits of flax, but I didn't want to pay those prices, so I decided to make my own.

Flax seed is surprisingly inexpensive. I bought 4 lbs at my local bulk food store for under $4. If you can find it in bulk, buy organic. Again to keep the cost low, I used some scrap fabric in green that was left over from another project for outer shell of my pillow. Simply cut the fabric in your desired shape, and sew right sides together. Keep a small opening to fill the pillow with the flax. Only fill the pillow 3/4 full so there's some room for the seeds to move. Stitch the opening closed. Larger pieces will need extra stitching; horizontal rows of stitches every inch on larger back pads, boot and mitt shapes will keep all the flax seeds from slipping down to one side of the pillow. Now you're ready to use your pillow.
Depending on your own preferences, the pillow can be used hot or cold. Simply throw the pillow into the freezer (you'll want to cover it in a bag first), or heat in the microwave. Be careful not to burn the flax! Once burnt it will lose all it's therapeutic benefits. Start off by heating it in small increments - 45 seconds. Remove the pillow from the microwave and shake to move the flax seeds around. Heat again for another 45 seconds, and continue until the desired temperature. If you need the heat therapy, but you don't use a microwave in your household, try filling a hot water bottle and resting it on the flax pillow until it heats. Or in the summer you can put the pillow in your car and let it heat up in there - I've tried it and this works! If you take care of it, these pillows should last you for years.

So what are you waiting for, get sewing!!

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Lawyer-ish Stuff:

All content, photographs, and text provided on this site are the property of Shanghai Monkey, unless otherwise specified, and cannot be reproduced in any form without permission of the author. All content is intended for personal use only and cannot be reproduced for sale.

© 2011-2014 Shanghai Monkey. All rights reserved.