Wherefore Art Thou, Eye Pillow?
A client who loves having one of our flax-filled eye pillows over her eyes when lying supine (face-up) mentioned that she first encountered them in yoga classes during relaxation.
We offer bodywork clients unscented, flax-filled eye pillows with simple cotton “pillowcases.” We change and wash the pillow covers after each use.
My client asked if I knew the origin of eye pillows. I did not. We speculated they might have come from the traditional ancient Indian medical system called Ayurveda.
After she left, I googled and sifted through dozens of sites selling eye pillows. Fillings include buckwheat and flax. Covers come in the full color spectrum and one can choose cotton, silk, rayon, satin and many colors and patterns. Aromatherapy and herbs are popular enhancements.
While I did not find academic historical sources for the use of eye pillows, I saw several mentions of “medicine pillows” in websites about Traditional Chinese Medicine. Medicine pillows contain therapeutically significant teas or herbs to address the user’s complaint. The pillow may be placed over acupuncture points corresponding to the body system in need.
I found an eye pillow patent for a complex device that generates steam to moisten the eyes and, it claims, reduce stress and insomnia.
Whatever the eye pillow’s origins, it’s a long-time-used, low-tech enhancement for soothing and relaxation.
Have you used an eye pillow? What does it do for you?