Since becoming a blogger my health has gone to crap. CRAP I say. Within months of working at a desk all day I got migraines, my shoulders became knotted like a macrame plant holder and my neck got so stiff I lost the ability to shake my head “no”. This tragically led to the misconception I was agreeing to a lot of things I wasn’t. I now have the 24 month extended warranty on every electronic I’ve bought since then for instance.
After a few years, yes it really took me a few years, I started dealing with the correlation between sitting at a desk most of the day and my health. I started doing stretching exercises every day, reconfigured my computer and keyboard setup, got regular Active Release Treatments (which hurt like hell), and started making sure I walked or ran most days.
That’s the thing no one tells you about blogging. The only more sedentary job is playing a dead person in a 24 hour a day play. Only the dead person is better off because at least they’re laying down not mashing their spine while sitting all day.
I still get a stiff neck the odd time and the one thing that helps it is my Magic Bag. Let me tell you a story about that.
One day a little blogger named Karen got a stiff neck.
Poor little blogger Karen.
So she reached under the couch where she kept her magical neck bag only to find 3 pennies, a ball of cat hair and 3 inches of pizza crust.
So upset over losing her magical neck bag Karen cried and thrashed about until she actually exploded.
She came back to life to eat the pizza crust, then she exploded again.
So I didn’t actually explode, but I did lose my magical neck bag. Not to be deterred, I looked straight ahead (because I couldn’t look side to side) and went about making a neck bag.
And here’s how you can too.
DIY Warming Neck Pillow
1 terry cloth hand towel*
1 bag of rice
1/4 cup of dried lavendar (optional)
1. Remove the tag from your hand towel.
2. Turn the towel inside out and fold in half lengthwise.
3. Sew around the edge with a standard 5/8th seam allowance, leaving one end open to fill the pillow.
4. Turn the pillow right side out.
5. Fill the pillow 2/3rds with rice.
6. Add 1/4 cup of lavender flowers**.
7. Turn in the edges of the open end and either hand or machine sew together.
*You can also use linen, cotton, old soft tee shirts, bed sheets … whatever material you find around the house that’s soft and not too stiff.
** You can also use mint, lemongrass, rose petals or any other nice smelling dried herb or flower.
(To dry lemongrass cut it into 4″ lengths, then slice those pieces thinly lengthwise. Place on a cookie sheet and place in oven at lowest temperature possible. Leave oven door open so any moisture escapes. Remove from the oven when the lemongrass pieces are brittle, after 3 or 4 hours)
When you choose what to use for your fabric make sure it has a tight enough weave that the rice and lavender won’t work its way out.
If you are absolutely and completely opposed to sewing you can use a longgg sock for this. Just fill it and tie the end in a knot or fasten it with a string or rubber band. The sleeve off an old sweater would work too.
If your towel is really big, just sew the seam allowance that leaves you with a pillow that will be 18″ long by 5″ wide once sewn.
Cut off the excess seam allowance fabric.
Get your rice (I used 2 small bags for my pillow) and dried herbs. Only use dried otherwise you’ll get a mouldy mess in your pillow.
I used lavender that someone had given me 2 years ago. It has become so brittle I can’t touch it without the flowers falling off so it will have a second life in this aromatherapy neck pillow.
Here I have lemongrass I dried in the oven and the lavender.
Once your bag is filled with rice add 1/4 cup of the herb and sew the end of the bag up.
How to Use
To heat the bag put it in the microwave for a minute on high. Remove the bag then shake it around. Put it back in the microwave for another minute. Repeat until it’s the temperature you want.
I did eventually find my Magic Bag, so I did a test between my homemade neck pillow and the Magic Bag.
The Magic Bag (which is filled with some type of beads) heated up quicker. It took 3 minutes of heating to get it to 155 F.
The homemade bag was slower to heat. It took 6 minutes of heating to get it to 155F.
But once heated, the bag filled with rice actually stayed warmer longer.
After half an hour the Magic Bag was 111F, while the homemade bag was at 125F.
Strangely the cooler bag actually felt warmer on my neck which I attribute to the fact that the heat could transfer through the thinner material more easily. So if I were to make another one of these I’d use a cotton sheeting (even though the terrycloth feels really nice).
I now have a loose neck, warm shoulders and he ability to shake my head no. With God as my witness I will never buy an extended warranty again.
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