I don’t often get sick, but when I do, it hits me like a truck. And last month, I was glued to my bed for several days: Not once, but twice, because of unrelenting body aches and tension headaches (ya know, the usual icky, cold-like symptoms). My preferred treatment is to toss back a couple ibuprofen and hunker down in bed with Netflix. But this time, I got some unexpected relief, thanks to Ostrichpillow's new Hot and Cold Eye Mask ($39).
Launched earlier in May, the mask helps alleviate muscle tension and stress by way of thermotherapy. It works as both a hot compress or as a cooling pack to help treat different ailments including eye strain, facial tension, inflammation, and even the painful sting of a migraine. Just place it on your eyes and the mask provides gentle pressure to soothe and de-stress your body.
Not only do the varying hot/cold temps feel incredible, but the mask is designed to feel almost like a weighted blanket for your eyes. It's made with a natural clay bead core that applies a feel-good pressure, and the snug fit ensures all light is completely blocked out. I was able to rest it on my eyes and forehead without it sliding down or adjusting its position, so most of the time, I just fell asleep with the mask on (and woke up actually feeling refreshed).
And unlike standard ice packs that basically give me a full-body freeze after 30 seconds, I was able to leave the Ostrichpillow mask on my face for hours (and it stayed cold for close to an hour). The cotton fabric and foam material work as a buffer to soften the super icy chill from the freezer, so you're able to feel the cool relief without being chilled to the bone. When I wanted to apply heat to my face, I just microwaved the mask and put it on. Honestly, pretty neat.
Cold therapy has been used for decades as a solution to help treat tension headaches and migraines. In fact, a 2013 study found that applying a frozen neck wrap at the early stages of a migraine significantly helped reduce discomfort. Essentially, it’s believed that cold compresses help restrict blood vessels and provide a dulling effect for the pain—at least temporarily. Many also prefer heat to combat tension headaches and migraines, so it's up to you and what your body needs. The nice thing about this mask, is that it offers both.
I used the mask throughout the course of a week, sometimes for pain relief and other times to help unwind. In about 30 minutes, I could feel the effects of the cooling sensation to melt away tension and take the pain down a few notches. It took about an hour for the mask to reach peak coolness and keep its temperature. FYI, it stays pretty chilled for about 25-45 minutes before it needs another round in the freezer (at least that was the case for me—it also depends on the temperature inside your home).
Plus, you don't have to worry about dripping water or condensation. The fabric does a nice job of absorbing any mess. And for the cherry on top, it even comes with a storage bag for safe keeping and for extra insulation.
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