Pillow Pals

Karen Lee Richards Health Guide
  • Pillows can be your best companions when you live with chronic pain.  There are a wide variety of pillows available today –– from traditional bed pillows that can be tucked around various parts of your body for comfort and support, to specialty pillows with unique shapes and fillings designed to meet specific needs.

    One very special line of specialty therapeutic pillows is made by a company called Mother Earth Pillows.  I met the founder, Karen Kowal, six years ago at a fibromyalgia conference.  Her pillows were the talk of the conference.  She offered a selection of aromatic, herb-filled pillows in various shapes and sizes that could be heated, chilled, or used at room temperature to provide therapeutic relief.  Some were filled with herbs like eucalyptus and peppermint that would help relieve congestion.  Others contained herbs used to ease muscular aching or to aid in relaxing, soothing, invigorating, etc.  
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    I talked to Karen for quite awhile and was impressed with her understanding of the varying needs of individual patients, and her commitment to quality.  She is a Registered Nurse and a Nationally Certified Massage Therapist who became particularly interested in pain relief options following three car accidents that left her in chronic pain.  

    Karen created the first pillow in 1994 to help a patient who had fibromyalgia.  Then she made a couple more for other patients.  The pillows were so appreciated that she made several and took them to a massage conference, where they quickly sold out.  For the next two years Karen and her daughter, Nicole McClain, ran the growing business from Karen’s home.  When the operation became too large for her basement, they moved into a building with a storefront gift shop.  

    They also sell their pillows from the Mother Earth Pillows Web site, where you can custom order a pillow.  You are able to choose not only the shape and size pillow you want, but also pick your fabric and herbal blend preferences.  According to the Web site, they use only food-quality herbs and spices.  The herbs you choose are mixed with Golden flax to create the pillow’s filling.  When the pillow is warmed, a fragrant herbal aroma is released.  If you’re sensitive to scents, there is an unscented version available as well that still has therapeutic value when heated or chilled.

    Yesterday I received a notice that Karen and Nicole have expanded yet again, moving to a new store, still in Arnold, Missouri (near St. Louis).  Now called Mother Earth Natural Solutions, the shop offers a variety of natural health and healing products in addition to her pillows.  If you’re in the market for a therapeutic pillow, check out Mother Earth Pillows.  

Published On: April 19, 2007