Though herbs have been used medicinally thousands of years for internal use, the Herbal Blends included in my therapy pillows are primarily for their aromatherapy benefits. For more information, see Pillow Herbal Blends.
I chose to use 100% USA grown, flax seed instead of less expensive, more common fillers for several reasons: Not only is flax neutral in odor, but it also possesses superior heat absorption & retention qualities. As the seeds cool down, they produce moist heat! This unique thermal property is due to flax's high oil content (30-40%) - which is much greater than that of corn, rice, or most other grains & seed. Where most grain products tend to emit a 'cooked food smell' after heating, & eventually lose their ability to retain heat as the water cooks out of them, flax seed can be warmed again & again, & the seeds' smooth surface won't crack or crumble, even under repeated heating & cooling. Flax is also extremely pliable. As the seeds are very tiny & conform naturally to the body, they provide therapeutic compression with a weight & feeling almost liquid-like in nature. Lastly, flax blends sweetly with herbs. So for all these reasons, I felt flax seed was worth the additional cost, & is the perfect filler for TLC's high quality, herbal therapy pillows!
FRAGRANCE INTENSITY ~ Will my pillow's fragrance remain this strong?
Due to the fact that I order & mix my herbs & spices in very small quantities to insure freshness, the intensity of your pillow's aroma may be strong initially, but the aromas tend to taper a bit after several warmings, & then remain fairly consistent for many months of use thereafter.
Your pillow may be re-heated hundreds of times before its herbal aroma will start to diminish. At that point you might consider ordering a new pillow, or simply refresh yours with new herbs & spices. If you are heating your pillow several times a day, it should stay fragrant for approximately 6 months to a year. If you plan on heating & using your pillow only occasionally, you can look forward to enjoying its lovely scent much longer. To best prolong the scent of your pillow, I recommend you securely seal & store it in its original plastic bag between each use.
HERB REFRESH PACS ~ Can I re-order herbs & spices to renew my pillow's scent?
I have wonderful, Aromatic Herbs you may purchase here if you wish to renew its fragrance & herbal therapy benefits.
ESSENTIAL OILS ~ Can I add these to my pillow to renew scent?
Yes, & this may be the most cost effective way to keep your pillow smelling strong! I offer both Fragrance & Essential Oil to refresh your pillow's scent. Open up your pillow & pour in a few drops. Close pillow & shake well.
ADJUSTING PILLOW FIRMNESS ~ I ordered one of your small bolsters & would prefer it to be a little less firm for my personal comfort. May I pour out some of its inner contents without harming the integrity of the pillow?
Of course! One of the unique features that sets TLC pillows apart is that every pillow is designed with a secure, hook-n-loop seal, which allows them to be opened & then resealed easily. So not only can new, fresh herbs or flax seed be added at any time, but personal comfort levels may also be obtained by adding or subtracting your pillow's inner fill contents!
HERB FREE ~ I'm sensitive to smells. Can I order my therapy pillow without any herbs?
Certainly! I'm happy to fill your pillow with flax only. You will still benefit from the weight of your therapy pillow, plus its cold, or moist heat; just not the additional aromatherapy & healing benefits our herbal blends provide. Simply select 'HERB FREE' in your pillow's Herbal Blend selection box when ordering.
HEATING INSTRUCTIONS ~ Do I need to take special precautions when heating my pillow?
Although ultra-suede is a fiber with style, comfort, & easy cleaning benefits, it is still a synthetic, & may be damaged if overheating occurs. Excessive heat may also cause the natural, internal contents to burn or lose their aroma properties; so it is very important that you read & follow the heating instructions included with your pillow! Overheating rarely occurs when heating in a microwave with a turntable. However, if your microwave does not feature a turntable, please be sure to follow the non-turntable heating instructions to keep your pillow looking new. (It is simply a matter of re shifting & folding your pillow every minute or so to avoid hot spots) Make sure your pillow clears the inner walls of your microwave as it rotates, & always check for food or grease spills on the glass plate, as these can generate hot spots which may potentially cause your pillow contents to burn or fabric to melt. This is a very important travel tip when heating your TLC pillow in publicly used microwaves! PLEASE NOTE: A TLC PILLOW THAT HAS BEEN DAMAGED BY OVER HEATING, MICROWAVE HOT SPOTS, OR BY IMPROPERLY HEATING IN A CONVENTIONAL OVEN OR ANY OTHER NON-RECOMMENDED HEATING ELEMENT CAN NOT BE REPLACED, OR REFUNDED.
HEATING IN CROCK POT ~ I don't own a microwave. Can I heat your pillows in a crock pot?
Yes! I understand that some people simply do not like, nor use microwaves. No problem! As long as you do not turn the heat up past 300 degrees, it is perfectly safe & acceptable to heat TLC pillows in a crock pot without concerns of burning the contents or fabric. However, depending upon the size & weight of your pillow, it may take up to an hour to achieve desired warmth, & do check on & turn your pillow over every 15 minutes or so in order to heat inner contents evenly. Heating in a Towel Warmer is another option.
HEATING TIMES ~ How many minutes do I heat my TLC pillow in the microwave?
Your TLC herbal therapy pillow will come with individual heating & cooling instructions. Depending on the size of your pillow & the wattage of your microwave, it will be anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes. Note: All TLC pillows have been tested in a 1000 watt microwave oven. The higher wattage your microwave is, the less time will be required to heat your pillow for maximum comfort & stress relief. If your microwave is more or less powerful than 1000 watts, I recommend adding or subtracting in 20 second increments until you are content with the warmth produced by your pillow.
RE-HEATING PILLOW ~ How long will my pillow stay warm?
My larger pillows will hold warmth for up to 45 minutes - for hours if kept under warm bed covers! When your pillow starts to cool, reheat it for no more than approximately 1/2 of the original time indicated, as the core of its inner contents will still be holding heat, although you may not be feeling it as much. By re-warming for only 1/2 of the original minutes indicated on your pillow's individual heating instructions, you will avoid burning the inner contents, as well as experiencing the discomfort of your therapy pillow feeling too warm on your skin initially. Sometimes, all it takes is re-shifting the inner flax & herb contents to make it feel warm again, prior to re-heating.
MOIST HEAT THERAPY ~ What are the therapeutic advantages of moist heat vs dry heat?
Moist heat generated from the flax seed in your pillow produces a slight steaming action, & permeates your skin more quickly than dry heat. This results in immediate relief of aching joints & muscles. In some cases, it has been proven even more effective than aspirin or ibuprofen for providing fast & long lasting pain relief! Moist heat has also proven superior to dry heat because it actually increases circulation, thereby speeding recovery! This is accomplished by its ability to help usher in fresh blood cells, while assisting in flushing out unnecessary body wastes that hinder healing. Moist heat also gets deeper into tissues than ordinary dry heat, & this also helps to accelerate soft tissue repair, increase blood flow, decrease muscle spasms & pain, & to ultimately speed up the entire healing process! In addition to moist heat generated by the flax in your herbal therapy pillow, very lightly misting it with water, prior to heating, will produce additional steaming benefits. Note: be sure to use a very light mist so that your pillow's cover doesn't get saturated with water, which could adversely affect its inner herb & flax contents.
COLD THERAPY ~ Can I chill my herbal therapy pillow to use on sprains or for migraines?
Yes, most definitely! Chilled pillows, when used as cold compresses, increase circulation & oxygenation of surrounding tissues, & help to speed healing. They are very effective not only for sprains & migraine relief, but also work great for cooling sunburn, fever, hot flashes, inflammation, eye strain, nerve pain, bruises, or post operative healing. TLC therapy pillows are more 'user friendly' than rigid, cold gel packs, as they tend to 'hug' the body for effective, yet comfortable relief. Also, the feeling of coldness they give off is deep, yet soothing - not sharp or painful, like a typical gel pack. An added bonus - no gooey leaks! Your pillow may be placed in a sealed plastic bag & chilled in your freezer for 1 or 2 hours. It will then stay cool for app. 30 minutes, depending on its size. PLEASE NOTE: You may choose to keep smaller flax pacs chilled at all times, as they are great for boo boos, bumps, bruises, sprains, minor emergencies, etc. If so, I encourage you to keep your pillow in its original plastic bag - otherwise you risk moisture being introduced into your pillow. Over a period of time, this can weaken the potency of the herbs within, & cause the flax shells to become hard & cakey.
TLC ADVANTAGE ~ Is there an advantage to using a TLC pillow over my electric heat pad?
Absolutely! It has recently come to light that traditional heating pads, which generate electrical currents, can produce negative, undesirable results in the human body. Also, besides the advantages of moist, soothing heat versus dry heat generated by most heating pads, I love the idea of no cord or electrical outlet to be concerned with. That means no fire hazard while you are sleeping, which certainly helps with peace of mind! Plus, most new heating pads will turn themselves off after an hour or so. My larger pillows retain much of their warmth under cozy covers for hours! With the addition of soothing weight to comfort tired, sore bodies, the ability to conform snugly to any area of the body, plus their portability & ease of use anywhere, any time - TLC herbal therapy pillows outperform electric heating pads, hands down! There's just no comparison!
CARE & CLEANING ~ How do I clean & care for my TLC pillow?
NEVER place your TLC herbal therapy pillow in water! It may be easily spot cleaned by wiping it with a slightly damp cloth & a few drops of mild soap, but avoid too much water, as you don't wish to get the inner contents wet. Another method I like is 'shampooing' it with a small dab of foam based 'dry' shampoo. Lastly, you may empty your pillow of it's contents, turn inside out, brush off remaining flax & herbs, gently wash & dry by hand or machine, then refill your pillow using a wide mouthed funnel. This method, however, is not applicable for baffled designs, which are obviously a bit more involved. The beauty of Ultra-Suede is that it does spot clean so easily, & this is what I do with my personal pillows!
Also ~ your pillow will retain its scent longer if stored in a plastic bag between uses, & always place it in a sealed plastic bag prior to placing it in the freezer. Do not stretch excessively. Although my pillows are sewn with a rugged back-locking, stitch, it is conceivable that treated roughly enough, a tear could occur. And lastly, be sure that your pillow's sturdy hook-n-loop seal is locked securely at all times to avoid content spillage.
INFANT/CHILD SAFETY ~ Are there any considerations when using a pillow on my child?
Many of my pillows make wonderful 'Mother's Helpers', & have been used with much success! TLC herbal therapy pillows can help soothe a colicky baby, as well as an infant or child experiencing any sort of pain or discomfort. Please be advised: ALWAYS TEST A HEATED PILLOW ON YOURSELF BEFORE PLACING ON OR UNDER YOUR CHILD, & TO AVOID ACCIDENTAL SUFFOCATION, USE EXTREME CAUTION WHEN LEAVING AN INFANT UNATTENDED WITH AN UNPROTECTED PILLOW IN A BASSINET OR CRIB!
PET SAFETY ~ What if my dog eats her Pet Storm Bandana?
In researching the safety of herbs - I was careful to omit any in my Anxiety Bandana known to have harmful side effects on canines, should indigestion accidentally occur...
For additional reference, the following herbs should be avoided when considering ANY natural alternative involving your pets: Pennyroyal, Tea Tree Oil, Comfrey, White Willow Bark, Ma Huang, Wormwood, Garlic, Mistletow, Chaparral, Feverfew, Lobelia, Meadowsweet, & Alfalfa.
Note from Diane: I've tried to cover everything I could think of here in regards to my Herbal Therapy Pillows, but if I've left anything out, please don't hesitate to call or text me ~ I'll do my best to answer any question you may have. Thank you for taking the time to read & learn about my wonderful pillows. I happen to think they are the very best on the market, but then I'm a bit partial. :)