Supporting your joints with the right pillows is more important than you might think. With good support as you sleep or rest on the couch, you can help retrain your body to be in better alignment. You can also reinforce any training you are doing throughout the week. Bolstering means to support or to strengthen. A pillow that is not correct for your head and neck alignment can cause pain and discomfort down the road. It can also lead to headaches. This is so simply avoided by taking the time to find the right fit for you.
Bolstering can really help relieve your knees, lower back, hip, neck and shoulder joints. The correct pillow between your legs/knees aligns your hip and keeps them from knocking together. They also allow your bones, muscles and ligaments to decompress because they are able to let go and feel supported.
It is soothing and comforting to use pillows this way. For example. many of us hyper-extend our knees. In this case, it’s great to place a pillow under them while laying in a face up position watching t.v. or using a a laptop computer as it helps decompress your tendons, ligaments and muscles.
Here are some suggestions to get you started:
The cylindrical-shaped pillows are great for both your neck and knees. However, make sure that the size is not too large since you don’t want your head to be pushed too far forward.
Tempur-Pedic memory foam pillows are designed to cradle your head and make space for your shoulders to keep you in good alignment as you sleep. This way your shoulder does not creep up into your ears while you are sleeping. Experiment with different ones till you find the brand that works best for you. Be aware that some of them are expensive but they can keep you in comfort for over three years. Generic brands can work well, but tend to wear out faster. Both cylindrical and Tempur-Pedic type pillows are available at local medical supply stores and on the Web.
For neck and shoulders, use Tempur-Pedic contour pillows (memory foam). For lower back, use wedge-shaped pillows by placing them under the knees. Cylindrical-shaped pillows are used for either knees or neck.
Often I will place a heating pad directly on my Tempur-Pedic contoured pillow because the heat is then pressing just on the right spots to to relieve my tense neck and shoulders. Keeping these area as relaxed can prevent headaches and other aches and pains. Be aware that your pillow will probably not last as long doing this because it does wear down its firmness. Do not use a heating pad if you have high blood pressure or any other condition where it is advised not to use heat. Do not fall asleep with it on, and do not use for more than ten minutes as it can actually begin to tighten your muscles if placed on too long.
There is an emotionally supportive and restorative benefit to relaxing and feeling held by the pillows. It is a great way to decompress and meditate at the end of the day. Place your pillows strategically under your joints to let them feel held and they will repay you in the long run. Helping to relax your body will help you feel centered and connected with more focus and energy for your mind.