Thursday, September 11, 2014

Football Traditions That Can Leave you Down in the Back

Fall means football, one of America’s favorite pastimes. And with it comes a heavy dose of tradition. Aside from the actual games themselves, people will travel from miles around to barbeque, tailgate, play backyard games, and more. All in support of this beloved sport. However, just because said pastimes are enjoyed, doesn’t mean they don’t (or can’t) leave you hurting in their wake.

To stay healthy and fit all through football season, remember these side effects that can occur from all the tailgating fun.

Actually Playing Football

Most of the time it’s left to the players, but throwing around a football before the game can cause serious injury. Whether in the back, shoulders, or outside muscles, playing too rough of a game is sure to leave you hurting well past the fourth quarter.

Heavy Tailgate Gear

Tailgating can often mean some serious equipment hauling. Rather than lifting items that are too bulky for travel, consider easier methods instead. Such as coolers with wheels, or lightweight tents that can be held in place by ropes or pins. These simple gestures can do wonders for the body and leave you pain free the following day. 

Sitting in Bench Seats for the Entire Game

We’ve all sat in the cheap seats. Where no back supports are given and we’re left to our own devices to sit up straight. And while sometimes they’re a necessity, they can also leave your rear screaming for some cushion. Next time you’re left with a bench seat, remember to bring a retractable back or pillow to help ease some the sitting pain. 

Unhealthy Foods

Chowing down on dips might be tasty at the time, but they can also do a number on your digestive system. Remember to take these snacks in stride, or to pack along some healthier alternatives for a stomach that isn’t rumbling during the big game.

To make the most out of your football team’s season, follow these simple health-friendly tips. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

4 Ways you Should Never Sleep

Doctors and sleep experts alike are constantly giving out tips for better sleep. They let others known which positions increase circulation, as well as how to promote comfort … just by the position you lay in each night. And while there are an infinite ways to improve sleep quality by what you are doing, there are also plenty of ways to achieve the same results by what you don’t do. From positions to the time that you roll into bed each night, avoid these four common practices to gain better rest. 


Heading to bed at a different time each night – and waking up at a different time –can throw your natural clock for a loop. Even when schedules change, consider keeping a regular sleep pattern to help naturally train the body when it’s time to sleep, and when it’s time to start the day. Weekends might be somewhat of an exception, but daily changes can often create the most damage. Even if you don’t notice it at the time. 

With Unsupportive Sleep Accessories

If your bed or pillow has seen too many years of use, they may not be supporting your alignment like they should. Though unnoticeable while sleeping, this lack of structural integrity can lead to aches and pains, or even a muscle related injury down the road. Instead, consider replacing these items or gaining the help of a mattress pad or pillow wedge. 

On Your Stomach

At least not exclusively. Stomach sleepers have a larger tendency to let the spine “sink” into the bed, which causes additional pain. Instead, talk to your doctor about which sleeping positions will be best for your body. 

On Outside Furniture

While it may be nice to snooze on the couch every now and then, doing it to often can cause some serious medical side effects. Same goes for the recliner. Or, if you must nap while watching the evening news, look to a back or neck prop that won’t leave you hurting the next day.

To learn more about these supportive products, head to Contour Living

Friday, September 5, 2014

Proven Results From the Folding Bed Wedge

Looking for an excuse to get more comfortable each night? How about a mattress add-on that’s proven to offer real-time results? And one you can save money on in the process? Not only is the Folding Bed Wedge on sale, order two or more (one for you and one for your significant other, guest room, or whoever’s on your Christmas list) and shipping is free!

The Folding Bed Wedge has been helping Contour Living customers sleep since it hit the market. Need a little more convincing as to just how comfortable this product actually is? See what current and past users have had to say:

The Bed Product Reviews

I am really enjoying my 12" pillow wedge. It helps me in more than one way: I've had back surgery and [an] acid reflux problem. Thanks so much.” August 2014
“This was the second wedge pillow I tried. The first brand was too soft and made my neck sore. This 7-inch one was firm and comfortable. It definitely relieved my acid reflex during sleep. Just give yourself a few days to adjust to it. It works well for side sleeping too.” July 2014
“Helped with sleep after surgery also helps with sleep apnea.” June 2014
This product is awesome! I just got it last Wednesday and since then I have not coughed, nor had back and leg aches upon wakening in the morning. This says a lot since I am a cancer victim and have many aches and pains. I ordered the long one, 10" deep ... excellent product! Highly recommend it to everyone, ill or not!” May 2014
“Works for me!” April 2014
“Purchased 10-inch wedge. Only using for about a week but sleeping much better! Not waking up coughing from acid reflux and really helping with neck and back problems. Used to wake up with stiff neck and headache … not this week! :).” March 2014
“This product came very quickly and is exactly as described. I am very happy to receive it and use it. Thank you Contour Living for an excellent product.” February 2014

Head to Contour Living’s Folding Bed Wedge page to start shopping today! 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Why Healthy Muscles Matter

Despite everything they do for us in a given day, it can be easy to overlook the body’s muscles. Unlike limbs or lungs that provide a very visible function, the muscles contribute to every single movement we make. Even the small ones … or ones that don’t require moving at all, such as sitting or standing. In fact, we have more than 600 muscles in the body, all of which help contribute to gestures, breathing, blood flow, and more. Yet they’re still overlooked. With their incredible responsibilities, however, we need to ensure each muscle is up to top working abilities. 

Without proper health, the body can suffer in function efficiency, strength, and more. Generally without us even knowing what’s taking place beneath the surface. 

When an injury does occur, it’s not only harder to use a specific body part, it creates a weakened space around the torn or pulled area. This can not only lower muscle strength, but decrease other body parts’ abilities in the process. 

What Healthy Muscles Can Do

Aside from the obvious, such as allowing us to play sports, and perform even the smallest of movements, muscles have a number of additional uses. They help keep joints strong and working properly, they keep the heart pumping and moving blood throughout the body. Additionally, muscles help hold bones and organs in place, while allowing them perform their duties as needed. Toned muscles will also allow you more strength not only physically, but when burning fat and digesting foods. Overall, it’s a team effort contributing toward the goal of total body health.

For all they do for us, be sure to take proper care of your muscles on any given day. This includes a proper diet, exercise, sleep, as well as hydration. It’s one of the healthiest ways to care from your body from the inside out. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Tips for Sleeping in Hotel Beds

Does your back hurt after sleeping in a new bed? What about your neck or legs? When sleeping in a new place, most often a hotel, it can be common to wake up stiff and in pain. Because it’s a new surface, and not one your body is accustomed to, the body can have a hard time getting comfortable. Then once it does, will often be jarred out of its normal position, creating awkward placements for the muscles and spine. And because we sleep in these out-of-the-ordinary poses (for hours on end), it causes pain and stiff joints throughout the rest of the day. 

So how do we avoid these uncomfortable scenarios? After all, it’s hard enough to get proper rest while traveling, let alone when it causes us to hurt during our waking hours. With the help of proper pillows or any added accessories, however, those pains can be greatly reduced. If not eliminated altogether. 

How to Eliminate Back Pains While Traveling

The next time you travel, remember to take a supportive pillow. Use one for your neck, legs, or hips – whatever tends to hurt the most while on vacation. These pillows will help keep your body properly aligned, while adding some much needed comfort in the process. You can also talk with the hotel and inquire about extra pillows or any mattress toppers that might make your stay more pleasant. 

Another way to reduce pains can be achieved by the way you sleep. If it’s your lower back that usually hurts, it may be best to sleep on your side. And so on. Talk to your doctor about various sleeping positions, specifically those that will work best for your specific body type. A quick Google search can also provide some insight on nightly routines and how to take advantage of your next hotel stay.

Get started on these simple tips while planning your your next trip. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

New Product! The Inflatable BackMax Body Wedge

Love the BackMax but need something more convenient for travel or storage? You’re in luck! Our new version of the product allows you to inflate and deflate at your convenience, creating a cushion that’s as flexible as your schedule. Air it up with the provided pump to recover after a surgery, or pack it along for your next trip. It’ll ensure comfortable resting no matter the sleeping situation. With this inflatable product, you’re able to get the pain relief you deserve in a user-friendly, mobile package, and without losing any of the comfort or support that comes with a traditional BackMax Plus. 

The BackMax Plus works by offering users three specifically designed wedges – that can be used separately or together – to form the perfect position. By combining or removing pieces, patients can best support body parts that need it, while choosing to bypass the ones that don’t. Or, use all three pieces at once to create the ultimate zero gravity position. It’s one that also promotes oxygen flow and circulation, to even further speed along the healing process. 

The BackMax Body Wedge Can Also:

  • Be adjusted to different levels of firmness – use less air for a softer feel, or fill it up for extra firmness. 
  • Be purchased in three different sizes, so you’re sure to find the right fit.
  • Customize to your body’s individual shape and size.
  • Reduce stress, pain, and strain throughout the body.
  • Create full body support … or be adjusted to host just one portion at a time.

Whether you’re using it to recover from an injury, or are just looking to add some comfort into your daily routine, the BackMax Plus offers an entire combination of ways to relax. And with its new inflatable counterpart, you never have to go without your favorite back product again. 

Head to Contour’s product page to start shopping! 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Even More Scents that Will Help Reduce Stress

Earlier this week, we discussed ways to reduce stress (and subsequent muscle pains) through the help of scent. Just by sniffing different natural substances, the body can easily and effectively relax. Without the need for medicine or even mental cooperation. In fact, keeping one of these items on hand is likely the most effective way to stay calm, no matter what may come your way.

Today we explore part two of these natural calming agents. While apples, lavender, and more have proven themselves effective, there are even more ways to smell your way to a calmer state of mind. 

Plants and Fruits That Can Promote Mental Healing

  • Peppermint plants – A crowd favorite, peppermint is a pleasant way to smell your cares away. Keep a plant at home, at the office, or both. Springs can even be dried and stored away in a small container for a more mobile way to transport peppermint aromas. 

  • Chocolate – It’s no surprise that chocolate brings on some serious comfort. But it may not just be about the taste. Darker blends are also proven to offer their magical powers of feeling good through the scent of cocoa. Though be careful not to “smell” too much chocolate as extra pounds are sure to cause anyone stress. 

  • Carbs – Our bodies crave carbs – it’s just a fact. But it might not just be for the taste; studies show that consuming carbs promotes the production of serotonin, or the “feel good” chemical that’s released in the brain. Smelling breads and grains might do the body good, but in this case, it’s better to actually eat your natural cure.
No matter your personal preference, there are plenty of scents that offer body-healing powers. Rather than enduring ongoing stress, consider these nose-happy alternatives instead. Best of all, they’re proven to work!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Calming Scents That Will Help you Relax

Are you a naturally stressed out person? Do you take everyday events personally, and then let them affect your day negatively? Do your shoulders and muscles tense up in the process? Unfortunately, this is a personality trait that many endure on a daily basis. Whether they’re high strung or are constantly looking for a way to fix everything, they carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. A task that can become literally painful over time, even just from tensing the muscles too often. It’s a practice most don’t realize they’re doing when under stress.

However, by working toward relaxing practices – such as scents that naturally calm the body – you can easily release tension. Even subconsciously, which can work to eliminate the most amount of stress.

The next time you need to relax, look to these scents to help naturally boost the process. 

Scents that Can Reduce Stress

  • Teas – Consuming tea has long been thought of as a way to relax the body, but have we ever stopped to wonder why? Flavors such as chamomile and mint have calming powers, though it’s also shown that mild doses of caffeine can jumpstart the brain into a more alert state. 
  • Lavender – This herb (as well as some of its cousins) can trigger the body’s anxiety relief. Smell fresh sprigs to relax, or opt for scented candles or oils instead. Just be sure to avoid perfumes that are too sugary sweet. 
  • Apples – Believe it or not, smelling a green apple has been shown to reduce the body’s stressors. It can also work to reduce headaches, just through its built-in scent. 
  • Coconut – Fresh coconuts may be hard to come by (depending on your location), but hunting one down might be well worth the effort. Scientists say cutting into the fruit can lower blood pressure and reduce the body’s natural “fight or flight” instincts. 

Use these scents to naturally relax on a daily basis. And stay tuned for even more smells that will lower your body’s stress levels. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Customers on the Contour Cloud Pillow

As one of our longest best sellers, it’s hard to beat the Contour Cloud Pillow. Specifically designed to cradle the neck and support the head, this pillow has helped get a good night’s rest for years. On a continual basis, it’s helped those with neck pain, those who just couldn’t get comfortable, and those who were looking for a reliable way to keep their spine aligned throughout the night. 

In fact, it helped them out so much that they took the opportunity to share their thoughts with us. Check out what some of our repeat and first-time customers had to say about this proven product. 

“I broke my c-1 my junior year of college and have struggled with pain for years. A little over a year ago I finally came across this product and decided to give it a try because nothing else was helping me deal with the pain. This pillow is amazing. I am back to order a new one because mine is starting to wear out (1 yr and 3 mo. Later). Totally affordable too! This pillow is a life saver.” – Kristin, August, 2014

I've used the Cloud Pillow for over ten years and it's exceptional. If you've got a neck problem then it's a must for you to have so don't delay in ordering one now.”  – Patrick, July, 2014

“Feel totally aligned for support, keeps me from snoring. Great comfort for either back and side sleeping. Now will order one for my husband to keep him from snoring.” – May, 2014

“We've been using these pillows for almost 20 years now, swapping out for new ones about every 4-5 years. After only a few nights, I would have fought anyone, tooth and dagger, who tried to take my pillow away!! My husband was almost a Guinness Book of Records snorer, and I'd had spinal surgery in the neck area. These pillows almost stopped his snoring problem (thank you, Lord!), and kept me from getting up each morning with a feeling of ‘crick neck’ for the first couple of hours. They are just the best, and I am so thankful to God for having discovered them.” – Josie, February, 2014

“Have bought this particular pillow for years. Originally, bought it because of shoulder and neck problems. From day one ... no more pain. Now I use it because it provides support and comfort. Love it!!” – Mary, January, 2014

To read more feedback or to start shopping today, head to the Cloud Pillow product page

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Health Benefits of Acupuncture

When it comes to dealing with pain, almost everyone has his or her own method of healing. Some look to painkillers, others stretch and exercise, or adjust their diet. And some consider natural home remedies instead. Whether a practice that was passed down for generations or a new-fangled method they read in a magazine, they have a natural cure that seems to work better than all the rest. Even if just based on personal preference.

One such practice is that of acupuncture, which is free from chemicals or medicines of any kind. It’s performed – by a trained professional – who places small needles into the skin. These needles then reach various pressure points, reducing pain and stress. And while some can’t get passed the whole idea of needles being poked into their skin, each needle is small and very sharp, so as to cause minimal pain.

What Acupuncture Can Do for the Body

While it might sound a tad outside the box, there are also plenty of positives that it brings. Within a single session one can reduce their back pain, sooth indigestion, and help keep regular headaches at bay. Additionally, the practice can work to improve your medicine’s effectiveness (for those on regular dosages) and decrease the side effects of radiation treatments. But perhaps most impressively, acupuncture can help cure obesity. Those who are significantly over weight can benefit from regular treatments, even allowing their bodies to naturally shed weight while increasing circulation. Over time, it’s shows that obesity can be greatly reduced – or minimized – just through acupuncture. [Prevention]

Getting Started

To receive these ongoing benefits, consider scheduling your own acupuncture appointment. Talk to your local salon about what sessions they have to offer. Or, talk with your doctor about what acupuncture treatments can do for your body and its ongoing health regimen.