Title:
T-SHAPED THERAPEUTIC CUSHION OR PILLOW
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A cushion or pillow (10) can include a t-shaped porous enclosure formed from fabric and a plurality of bead-like members (20) retained within the enclosure. The porous fabric can be made from cotton or a cotton blend. The plurality of bead-like members can be a plurality seeds such as flax or sesame seeds, synthetic foam beads, or other material that can be placed within the enclosure. Herbs such as lavender, peppermint or orange peel can also be placed or retained within the enclosure. A t-portion (12) of the t-shaped porous enclosure can fit under a person's neck while a straight portion (14) can lie under the person's spine while the person is lying down. The t-shaped porous enclosure can be enclosed using stitching (16 or 18) or zipper members (32) or other means. Further note, the cushion can be heated or cooled to provide the appropriate healing effect.



Inventors:
Russell, Kyra (CULLOWHEE, NC, US)
Application Number:
11/532348
Publication Date:
03/20/2008
Filing Date:
09/15/2006
Assignee:
KI, INC. (CULLOWHEE, NC, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
5/641, 5/911, 5/951
International Classes:
A47G9/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CONLEY, FREDRICK C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
AKERMAN LLP (WEST PALM BEACH, FL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A cushion, comprising: a t-shaped porous enclosure formed from fabric; and a plurality of bead-like members retained within the t-shaped porous enclosure.

2. The cushion of claim 1, wherein the porous fabric is made from cotton or a cotton blend.

3. The cushion of claim 1, wherein the plurality of bead-like members are seeds or synthetic foam beads.

4. The cushion of claim 1, wherein the plurality of bead-like members are flax seeds.

5. The cushion of claim 1, wherein the cushion further comprises herbs retained within the t-shaped porous enclosure.

6. The cushion of claim 5, wherein the herbs comprise among lavender, peppermint, and orange peel.

7. The cushion of claim 1, wherein a t-portion of the t-shaped porous enclosure is constructed to fit under a person's neck and a straight portion of the t-shaped porous enclosure is constructed to lie under the person's spine while the person is lying down.

8. The cushion of claim 1, wherein the t-shaped porous enclosure is enclosed using stitching or zipper members.

9. The cushion of claim 1, wherein the cushion is microwaveable.

10. A cushion used for massage therapy, comprising: a t-shaped fabric enclosure; and a plurality of bead-like members retained within the t-shaped fabric enclosure and substantially occupying a volume within the t-shaped fabric enclosure.

11. The cushion of claim 10, wherein the t-shaped fabric enclosure is a porous fabric made from cotton or a cotton blend.

12. The cushion of claim 10, wherein the plurality of bead-like members are flax seeds.

13. The cushion of claim 10, wherein the cushion further comprises herbs retained within the t-shaped fabric enclosure.

14. The cushion of claim 13, wherein the herbs comprise among lavender, peppermint, and orange peel.

15. The cushion of claim 10, wherein a t-portion of the t-shaped fabric enclosure is constructed to fit under a person's neck and a straight portion of the t-shaped porous enclosure is constructed to lie under the person's spine while the person is lying down.

16. The cushion of claim 10, wherein the t-shaped fabric enclosure is enclosed using stitching or zipper members.

17. A method of message therapy using a t-shaped cushion, comprising the steps of: placing a t-portion of the t-shaped cushion under a person's neck; placing a straight portion of the t-shaped cushion under the person's spine; and wherein a plurality of bead-like members retained within a t-shaped fabric enclosure of the t-shaped cushion substantially conforms under gravity while the person's neck and spine lie on the t-shaped cushion.

18. The method of claim 17, wherein the plurality of bead-like members are flax seeds.

19. The method of claim 17, wherein the t-shaped cushion further comprises herbs retained within the t-shaped fabric enclosure.

20. The method of claim 17, wherein the method further comprises the step of either heating or cooling the t-shaped cushion before placing the t-shaped cushion under a person's neck and spine.

Description:

FIELD

This invention relates generally to massage pillows or cushions, and more particularly to a t-shaped cushion or pillow that can be used for massage therapy.

BACKGROUND

Existing massage therapy involved bolstering the body with towels and other kinds of bolsters which also opens the chest and releases upper back tension. However, using towels and existing bolsters are not completely comfortable for a person lying down on a massage table. Furthermore, such towels fail to conform completely to a person's skeletal structure. Towels will tend to unravel, particularly as a person moves around as they are getting a massage. The normal size bolster used in a massage session for under the knees is far too large and would place the patient or client in an unstable position.

SUMMARY

Embodiments in accordance with the present invention provide for a t-shaped cushion or pillow used for massage therapy or for one's own personal use in aiding to relax.

In a first embodiment of the present invention, a cushion or pillow can include a t-shaped porous enclosure formed from fabric and a plurality of bead-like members retained within the t-shaped porous enclosure. The porous fabric can be made from cotton or a cotton blend for example. Of course, other porous fabrics can be used to allow the pillow or cushion to “breathe”. The plurality of bead-like members can be a plurality seeds, synthetic foam beads, or other material that can be placed within the enclosure. In one embodiment, the bead-like members can be flax seeds or other types of seeds such as sesame seeds. Herbs such as lavender, peppermint or orange peel can also be placed or retained within the t-shaped porous enclosure. The cushion can be constructed so that a t-portion of the t-shaped porous enclosure can fit under a person's neck and a straight portion of the t-shaped porous enclosure can lie under the person's spine while the person is lying down. The t-shaped porous enclosure can be enclosed using stitching or zipper members or other means for creating an enclosure. Further note, the cushion can be heated or cooled to provide the appropriate healing effect. For example, the cushion can be microwaveable.

In a second embodiment of the present invention, a cushion used for massage therapy can include a t-shaped fabric enclosure and a plurality of bead-like members retained within the t-shaped fabric enclosure that substantially occupies a volume within the t-shaped fabric enclosure. The t-shaped fabric enclosure can be a porous fabric made from cotton or a cotton blend and the plurality of bead-like members can be flax seeds. The cushion can also include herbs such as lavender, peppermint or orange peel retained within the t-shaped fabric enclosure. A t-portion of the t-shaped fabric enclosure can be constructed to fit under a person's neck while a straight portion of the t-shaped porous enclosure can be constructed to lie under the person's spine while the person is lying down. As before, the t-shaped fabric enclosure can be enclosed using stitching or zipper members.

In a third embodiment of the present invention, a method of message therapy using a t-shaped cushion can include the steps of placing a t-portion of the t-shaped cushion under a person's neck and placing a straight portion of the t-shaped cushion under the person's spine. A plurality of bead-like members retained within a t-shaped fabric enclosure of the t-shaped cushion substantially conforms under gravity while the person's neck and spine lie on the t-shaped cushion. The plurality of bead-like members can be flax seeds or other types of seeds. The t-shaped cushion can further include herbs retained within the t-shaped fabric enclosure. The method can further include the step of either heating or cooling the t-shaped cushion before placing the t-shaped cushion under a person's neck and spine.

The terms “a” or “an,” as used herein, are defined as one or more than one. The term “plurality,” as used herein, is defined as two or more than two. The term “another,” as used herein, is defined as at least a second or more. The terms “including” and/or “having,” as used herein, are defined as comprising (i.e., open language). The term “coupled,” as used herein, is defined as connected, although not necessarily directly, and not necessarily mechanically.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an illustration of a t-shaped pillow in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a side view of a t-shaped pillow in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a side view of another t-shaped pillow in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention

FIG. 4 is a flow chart illustrating a method of massage therapy in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

While the specification concludes with claims defining the features of embodiments of the invention that are regarded as novel, it is believed that the invention will be better understood from a consideration of the following description in conjunction with the figures, in which like reference numerals are carried forward.

An embodiment in accordance with the invention comprises a T-shaped cushion or pillow 10 as illustrated in FIG. 1. The cushion or pillow 10 can include a top t-shaped portion 12 that can support a user's neck and a straight bottom portion 14 that supports the user's spine. The t-shaped cushion or pillow 10 can be an enclosure that is sealed or closed using stitching or other means at seams 16 and 18 among others. The T-shape allows freedom in the chest and upper back by brining the body back into balance as the user lies upon the pillow or cushion 10. The release of tightness in the front of the chest and shoulders using the T-shaped pillow 10 leads to better posture among other benefits.

Many people spend their time in a shoulder forward position and the T-shaped cushion or pillow 10 allows the body to be at rest in a position to counter the gravitational load encountered by many users who sit at the computer for long hours or the many other reasons the body shifts into kyphosis. The term kyphosis is usually applied to the curve that results in an exaggerated “round-back.”

Referring to a side cross-sectional view of the t-shaped cushion or pillow 10 in FIG. 2, the pillow 10 can be filled with small members or bead-like 20 such as flax seed. The pillow 10 can also be filled with herbs. The flax seeds can be replaced with other seeds such as sesame seeds or other seeds or synthetic pellets or foam beads for example. The herbs can include dried lavender, dried peppermint and orange peel although embodiments herein are not limited to such herbs. The aromatic qualities of the herbs can help begin the relaxation process for a user. Since the t-shaped enclosure can be made of a porous fabric such as cotton or a cotton blend, the jostling of the cushion as a user lies on the cushion will further release the aromatic qualities of the herbs. The flax seed or other filler helps the pillow hold its shape. Lavender can increase a feeling of relaxation while the peppermint can provide for clarity of mind. Orange peel can also provide uplifting feelings. The combination creates a desire to breathe deeply. As a user of the pillow or cushion 10 slows down and breathes deeply, the body relaxes over the T-shaped cushion. It only takes a few minutes for the body to remember how to let go and relax. The pillow can also be heated in the microwave for warmth between the scapula and the neck or put into the freezer for times when treatment of inflammation is desired. Note, the cushion or pillow 10 is not limited to stitching to enclose the contents (e.g., seeds & herbs), but other retaining means can include a zipper 32 about one or more seams as shown in pillow 30 of FIG. 3 or hook and loop fastener means or Velcro (not shown).

The cushion or pillow 10 or 30 allows an individual to help themselves with chronic pain and postural alignment in the upper back, neck and shoulders while resting comfortably. The pillow or cushion can help a therapist by bolstering a client to affect the chest, anterior deltoids, and serratus anterior while allowing the scapula to drop back into a comfortable position, releasing the client's rhomboid and trapezium. The therapist has gravity working while they are increasing the stretch with gentle pressure. The neck is completely supported allowing the client to feel more comfortable and as a result the client's body responds and relaxes more fully.

Referring to FIG. 4, a flow chart illustrating a method 40 of message therapy using a t-shaped cushion can include the step 41 of placing a t-portion of the t-shaped cushion under a person's neck and placing a straight portion of the t-shaped cushion under the person's spine at step 42. The cushion should generally be placed on a firm surface and where a user can spend time undisturbed while attempting to use the cushion. A plurality of bead-like members can optionally be retained at step 43 within a t-shaped fabric enclosure rather than allowing the bead-like members to escape from the enclosure. The t-shaped cushion substantially conforms under gravity while the person's neck and spine lie on the t-shaped cushion at step 44. As noted above, the plurality of bead-like members can be flax seeds or other types of seeds. The t-shaped cushion can further include herbs retained within the t-shaped fabric enclosure. The method 45 can further include the optional step 45 of either heating or cooling the t-shaped cushion before placing the t-shaped cushion under a person's neck and spine. As the person lies down on the pillow and begins to breathe deeply and slowly, the user will usually begin to feel relaxed and stretched.

In light of the foregoing description, it should also be recognized that embodiments in accordance with the present invention can be realized in numerous configurations contemplated to be within the scope and spirit of the claims. Additionally, the description above is intended by way of example only and is not intended to limit the present invention in any way, except as set forth in the following claims.