You may have come across eyepillows in your yoga studio or going for a treatment such as reiki, however they are worth their weight in gold especially during times of high stress – both in and out of a global pandemic!
The magic of an eyepillow is in the gentle weight that is placed on the eyes. The pressure sends a signal to lower the heart rate and stimulate the Vagus nerve; the nerve that runs from the brain down through the chest and into the stomach, which is why it’s known to help with the ‘rest and digest’ response. It’s essentially the grand controller for feeling calm and grounded.
When we’re in times of stress, whether that be real or perceived (no tigers to fight off here in Melbourne!) or indeed from multiple sources (hello snoring partner) our heart rate increases, our cortisol and adrenaline spike and we can feel jittery and on edge.
If those feelings start creeping in, or if they’ve been there for a little while, investing in an eye pillow to use before bed or during an afternoon rest means you’re supporting your body internally and externally.
Sore eyes and headaches can be common symptoms of daily stress and strain. From tension headaches to migraines, eyepillows are great at blocking out light and stopping the eyes searching for stimulus while having a calming and soothing affect until the pain passes.
We live in an incredibly visual society with more time being spent on screens, our sense of sight can be overstimulated by the end of the day. By closing off one sense, it is thought that the other senses heighten. The calming scents of lavender or rose will help you relax and soothe fragile nerves or stressed out brains and drift into a deep sleep.
Eyepillows are usually used at room temperature as it’s the weight and scent that is helping with rest, however their smaller size does make for handy heat packs too. Perfect for pockets on cold winter walks, or any point on the body when you’re on the move and a wheatbag may be too large to carry around. New mums have also been known to use them as a breastfeeding aid as their small size and soft, playable shape mean they can comfortably sit in the nursing bra.
On the other end of the spectrum if you’re suffering from sinus pain, allergies, or migraines, putting the eyepillow in the freezer turns it into a soothing cool pack when resigning yourself to a quiet, dark room to wait it out.
So if you or someone you love is in need of some extra TLC right now, add an eyepillow to the mix and watch your troubles melt away.