"Pillows are like orthotics for our necks..."

Discussion in 'Barefoot & Minimalist Running' started by DayRunner, Mar 12, 2014.

  1. peter.robinson Barefooters
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    I've transitioned to just wearing a balaclava-wa, slowly working toward free necking :)
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  2. scedastic Barefooters

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    I'm starting out by learning to sleep on the floor, with a pillow.
  3. Ahcuah Barefooters

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    From the article:

    [IMG]


    How accurate can this possibly be? The Earthing folks have assured us that "throughout history, humans have slept on the ground". Heck, even the gorilla isn't grounded . . .
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  4. Longboard Chapter Presidents
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    The Kenyan may be building up nasty electrons by sleeping on that mat, but at least he knows enough to protect himself from absorbing cosmic rays through his skull.

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  5. Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
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    Haha, we're riffing now.
    We primates like our nests. Beds are basically nests, and huts are burrows. I doubt we ever gave up nests in some transitional period.

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  6. Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    Hee. Just teasing you!

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  7. Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    I couldn't sleep like that, with my arm under my head and neck. My arm and hand would fall asleep! Then my arm and hand would need their own pillow! Hee.

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  8. Longboard Chapter Presidents
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    On a more serious note.....
    It was two years and two months ago that my rather advanced neck damage first presented with severe acute symptoms.
    I've changed a lot of things since then, and yes, one of them is a reduction in pillow height by at least 50%.
    It seems to work by not creating extreme angles at the cervical vertebrae while at rest helping to eliminate nerve pinch which in my case happens easily since my discs are fully degenerated.
    We've been joking around a lot in this thread, but there probably is some real science to this neck/pillow thing.
    The neurosurgeon at the tertiary care facility that gave me my final approval to manage the condition non-surgically said that having strong neck muscles which in my case came from regular weight bearing work-outs was what was allowing my vertebral bodies to stay aligned despite the advanced degenerative disc disease. He additionally said that exercise may have LEAD to the relatively early onset 0f the condition, but that at this point it is also the best preventive.
    I'm guessing that just like shoes with elevated heels and lots of support are fine for some people who run forever in them, excessive pillow height is probably ok for some, but devastating for others.

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  9. Sid Barefooters

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    What kind of exercise can lead to neck problems?
  10. Longboard Chapter Presidents
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    Hard use of any joints leads to gradual destruction of cartilage in many people, but it also builds the muscles necessary to protect the joint.
    In my case it's assumed that genetics combined with use lead to the destruction of cartilage followed by osteophyte growth and nerve pinch, but it's also that heavy use that built strong muscles allowing me to now function at a rather high level despite the destruction.

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  11. scedastic Barefooters

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    My back and neck would love to lower pillow height, but my sinuses hate it. My sinuses tend to win, since they wake me in the middle of the night,whereas aches and pains in the back and neck don't register until morning.
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  12. DayRunner Super Moderator
    1. Australia
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    Oh dear, what has this thread started... Not since the advent of corduroy bed linen has the humble pillow been making headlines like these.

    Now now Longboard, enough of those negative comments. We should not lose sight of the fact that even our good lord extolled the virtues of grounding... remember that "blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth".

    In further support of the ground-sleeping lobby, a recent study confirmed that a high number of beds these days are found to have intrinsic valances. And research is showing links between earthing and good behavioural outcomes; children who are regularly grounded are statistically much less likely to bond with undesirable peers.

    I for one will try to maintain a neutral stance, whilst keeping an ear to the ground for more convincing arguments coming from this highly charged debate.

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  13. skedaddle Barefooters
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    I love a good pillow fight.

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  14. Hobbit Barefooters
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    ... but only with Xero pillows!:p
  15. Hobbit Barefooters
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    Well, I tried it out last night - sleeping without orthotics under my neck. As I don't own (yet :D) a xero pillow, it was no pillow (please don't think that "no pillow" is yet another brand for minimalist sleeping, I mean really bareneck to bed!)
    Well it was a kinda strange experience: It was cold (my usual pillow is filled with goose down, which does have a nice warming effect on the neck). First sleeping position on the back was rather comfortable: the realignment of the cervical vertebrae could actually be heard!
    But I can't fall asleep on the back, so I turned on my right side with my arm under the head: pain in right shoulder and elbow, right hand became really cold and after some time the whole arm went numb.
    That's when I first tucked parts of the blanket between head and arm (yes I was cheating :p). It didn't help much though.
    And finally I got my pillow back, which made me almost immediately fall asleep.
    Shame on me: I couldn't sleep without my pillow, how will I ever survive out there in the wilderness?
  16. Longboard Chapter Presidents
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    As with any new activity you must ease into it.
    I've seen several people go from mountain pillows to Straight Necks (Straight Necks are just a pillow case-like piece of Neoprene manufactured in Europe by a company that despite it's long history of pillowcase manufacturing has never before made a pillow. The company's founder is actually named "Straight", hence the name)
    and it feels so right for them that within the first week they attempt to do a full eight hours on one. Terrible mistake, they end up so sore they go all the way back to the mile high variety,.
    Even the Straight company now has a warning on the package saying to ease into it like any other new activity.
    You'll get there Hobbit, just remember .............relax! Lift those vertebrae!

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  17. Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
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    Are inflatable tires and shock absorbers the orthotics of cars, trucks, and bikes?
    Or just training wheels?
    Is my computer a cognitive orthotic?
    Is the grocery store an ecological orthotic?
    Is God an existential orthotic?
    Can I think, grow food, and find meaning on my own?
    I don't know about Bare Riding, but Bare Thought, Bare Production, and Bare Semantics look to be the hot ticket items in 2015.
    Let's get in on the ground floor and become rich!

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  18. Longboard Chapter Presidents
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    "Are inflatable tires and shock absorbers the orthotics of cars, trucks, and bikes?
    Or just training wheels?"

    Derrailers must be, why else the current fascination with Fixies?

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  19. Alejandro 10 Barefooters

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    Wait, is that for real!

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  20. Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
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    Reminds me of this:

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