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Soul Seat Ergonomic Blog

Customer interview with Kathy Pickerel

Have you ever tried to hack a solution to your sitting challenges?  We love hearing about them.  Kathy Pickerel explored enough alternatives to see that the Soul Seat was just what she was looking for.  In this interview you’ll hear her echoing what others before her have reported; less pain, improved focus and that she’s not alone in her preference for sitting with knees up.  As a pediatric nurse working on her Doctorate of Nursing Practice (D.H.T.) Kathy’s able to articulate why this “fetal position” pose may be so popular. Along with with helping you lean into your work, it could be reducing your anxiety as well. Kathy recently spoke with me, over the phone from her home in North Carolina where she’s been using her Soul Seat since November of 2016. Pack:  How does the Soul Seat fit into your day? Kathy: I spend long hours at my desk at home doing homework, writing papers, writing emails.I expected to be more comfortable while working, but one of the things I didn’t expect to happen with the Soul Seat was that I also stopped getting all the neck pain I used to have. I would have these neck spasms all the time. I’d always have a heating pad on my neck. I stopped getting those when I switched to the Soul Seat and I have not had that in months! Part of it is I think, because it swivels and I have a lot of maneuverability so I’m always facing forward versus turning my head to the side, not straining one side or the other side.  And then the other part is being able to adjust the height of it, getting incredibly comfortable while I’m sitting in it. P:  That’s wonderful to hear. K: Yeah, I love it, love love love it. I love the chair.  My daughter is always fighting me to sit in the butterfly chair.  She calls it the butterfly chair because of the shape of the lower cushion. P: Yes, it does look like a butterfly doesn’t it?  I’m curious about the research you said you did...
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A few Floor Culture gift ideas for One of A Kind Mothers

Imagine the iconic image of Mother’s Days gone by, the children deliver breakfast in bed to an adoring mother.  You can see past the proud children through the bedroom door to the totally trashed kitchen.  You somehow know that the vacation from motherhood would last only until she entered the kitchen. Here at Health By Design, we’ve got suggestions to make Mother’s day a truly unique year for giving.  Because your mother is one of a kind, here are gift ideas that say "We want you healthy and vibrant for many more years."   Let’s start with that bed tray you deliver her breakfast on.  Had you considered showing her how she can repurpose it as a floor desk so she can read her favorite book while you clean up the kitchen?  We like the one featured in the photo and is available here for several reasons. The height is adjustable, it's made of bamboo, and one side has no lip.  It's light enough to double as a stand-up desk if placed on a table or counter. A book idea that can give Mom a lifetime of freedom and relief from debilitating pain is by one of our favorite movement specialists, Katy Bowman of Nutritious Movement.  You can purchase her book, Simple Steps to Foot Pain Relief, here. If you build Mom a shoe cubby and promise to always leave shoes at the door, you make choosing the floor that much more inviting and make less cleaning effort for the entire family.  There are so many styles and sizes to choose from. Consider how it fits with your home decor and space if it will be near the front door. Does it provide an inviting place to sit and remove shoes and lace up boots?  Consider building or purchasing a low table for the TV.  Our family makes movie time, stretching time.  When we're enjoying our favorite shows from the floor, we tend to munch less, move more, and it's easier to resist binge watching.  When we get up we feel great! If TV isn't your thing, puzzles and board games are...
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Forced to Choose Between Weird Sleep Solutions.

iStock 501484306     My lungs felt like they were going to burst as I clawed my way toward the light above. The urge to breath was overwhelming, but until I broke the surface I knew it would be certain death.  Why wasn't the light getting any closer?  Just as I resigned myself to this watery death, mercifully, I woke up. I was gasping and drenched in sweat as I was released from this nightmare for the second time in a month.  Looking around with gratitude at being alive, my wife Rebecca sleeping soundly beside me, I noticed that the clerestory windows above our bed set the depth of my drowning.   I started connecting the dots to my dry throat in the morning, snorking awake in meditation as my soft palate collapsed, the daily grogginess.  I had heard from friends about the solutions they had found, from tape on the nose to dental devices to CPAC machines they lugged on trips to hum beside them on the hotel night stand.  Having thoroughly worked myself into a waking nightmare, I was determined to delay this future, but how?   How can a hard pallete be the answer to a soft one? I remember my first snork, lying in corpse pose at the end of a yoga class years ago.  This was a class I was teaching so I wasn’t even dropping into deep meditation, when suddenly a loud snork  jolted me out of the zone.  It was me.  My soft palate had collapsed, stopping my slow breath.  “Welcome to middle age” I thought.  Around the same time I had noticed I could fully relax while face down on a massage table, no snork.  What if I could train myself to sleep on my stomach?  Babies do it, toddlers do it.     My first few efforts were not successful. I merely started the night’s sleep on my stomach. Thank goodness I was exhausted enough to actually fall asleep before my arms followed suit.  If I wasn’t woken up by numb hands and arms,  I would wake up on my side or back.  My...
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History of the Slouch

Chair3 409x1024 Our latest Infographic.  Layout: Sarah Redohl Storylab.com
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Floor Culture and healthy sleeping make a hospital debut.

image5 01 resized 246x300  Floor Culture pioneer,Kyle Salter The first thing you notice about Kyle Salter (after his height) is how impeccably dressed he is, always a suit, tie and tasty kerchief masterly folded into the pocket of his tailored suits.  His easy smile and genuine curiosity completes the picture,  then you notice he's sporting a man-bun.  Kyle is one of those folks whose confidence and poise let him pull off just about anything he chooses.  This came in handy recently when he became one of our latest ambassadors for floor culture at the Santa Monica Hospital. The greatest satisfaction from building and promoting the Soul Seat is seeing the change in people's lives as they incorporate the tools we've developed.  Kyle Salter's recent experience demonstrates that the benefits to be had from the Soul Seat lifestyle can be realized well before ever owning one.  I had the pleasure of meeting Kyle on a recent trip to LA while helping my daughter Zoe get through a tonsillectomy.  He and Zoe began dating earlier this year, and he took time off from work to join me in the surgery's waiting room.   After confirming our mutual Zoe fan club status, we got to talking about my floor sleeping regimen for the past two years. I have a number of tall friends who swear the only way they can get a good night's sleep is to lie on their stomach.  Kyle confirmed that this was true for him as well.  He was intrigued that I've rehabbed my tight psoas muscles by sleeping primarily on the floor.  Later on, I showed him a few of the postures I use, explained how I gradually transitioned to less and less padding as my flexibility and comfort increased. Within a couple of days, Kyle had transferred his sleeping to the floor, sending out photos of his pallet beside his conventional bed.  In fact, so thoroughly had he embraced the benefits of this new approach to sleeping, he wasn't willing to backtrack even for one night in a hospital. During Zoe's second week of recovery she had to spend the night...
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