Mothers Day Gift Guide + Giveaway

Mothers Day Gift Guide

Mother’s Day is just around the corner. We saved you the trouble of rushing out to the nearest store to find that perfect gift for mom – this year, it’s just one click away! Whether your mom is a fitness fanatic, wanderlust, fashion lover, or loves to kick back and relax, we have some great gift ideas all under $50!

Moms are always going 100 miles per hour. Talk her into slowing down and taking some time for herself to relax on Mother’s Day weekend. Take care of the chores, cook her dinner or even serve her breakfast in bed. Make her feel as special as you know she is. Pick up a pair of slippers, a candle, some bath salts and body lotion to create a sweet and practical spa gift from the family. Pro tip: polish off the spa gift set with a fresh bouquet of her favorite flowers.

NEOM Organics Scented Candle
$21 – selfridges.com

Fresh Bouquet Of Flowers
$13 – houseology.com

Kusmi Rose Green Tea Bags
bloomingdales.com

If your mom is always on the go, here are some great travel accessories for her. Pick out a nice backpack or coffee mug to take on her next vacation. A travel sized beauty set is a fast and easy gift she will always love and use. When you’re constantly on the move, coffee is a must! Get your mom a personalized or funny spill-proof travel mug to keep her going while running errands or traveling. Another idea is to give her something to look forward to and plan a nice getaway for you and your mom. No matter what the destination is, your mom can always use a pair of travel compression socks to prevent fatigue, swelling and blood clots (DVT) while traveling.

Drawstring Backpack
$25 – etsy.com

If your mom is a die-hard runner or loves hitting the gym, get her her own kettlebell or dumbbells. You can even get her a nice gym bag to throw all her gear in. You could also sign her up for that yoga or spinning class she’s been talking about. If your mom is fitness and fashion-focused, browse some cute fitness accessories that she can wear during her next workout, such as weightlifting gloves or a sweat headband. If you really want to impress her, choose a pair of athletic compression socks or leg sleeves to enhance athletic performance, shorten muscle recovery and prevent injury like shin splints.

Sweaty Bands Elastic Headband
$14 – nordstrom.com

Allegro Athletic Recovery Socks
brightlifedirect.com

If your mom is a trendsetter, get her a makeup or beauty set from her favorite store. To keep her legs energized, healthy and ache-free, get your mom a pair of compression stockings, available in a wide variety of fabrics, styles, colors and sizes to find the perfect look for her wardrobe. Take it a step further and complete the look with a matching phone case! Keep it simple yet personal with custom jewelry or pick up that necklace she’s been eyeing.

Anne Klein Watch
jomashop.com

Enter to win a $250 gift card for Mother’s Day. Mom’s don’t be shy, enter for yourself! You know you deserve it. ; ) Enter by commenting below, following us or sharing this post on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at @supportsocks. Entry ends on Thursday, May 11, 2017 at midnight. The winner will be announced the next day, so make sure you check your email to claim your prize. Good luck everyone!

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Compression Socks for Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is characterized by chronic muscle pain, fatigue, sleeping problems, and tenderness. Other symptoms may include cramping, tingling or numbness in the feet or hands, headaches, anxiety, poor concentration, or depression. Although doctors have not been able to determine what causes fibromyalgia, your family history, trauma, or an infection may increase your risk. You are also more likely to develop fibromyalgia if you are a woman, or if you have rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.

Wearing compression socks can help manage fibromyalgia symptoms such as pain and inflammation. Compression stockings help to improve circulation and provide relief for swelling and fatigue. You can even find stylish compression socks for men and women, that don’t even look like traditional compression stockings. If you are unsure about what compression level you need, ask your doctor, then give us a call at 1-877-545-8585 to find a great fit for you.

Shop fashionable compression socks

With fibromyalgia, there always seems to be a new symptom that arises that you finally realize has some connection to the disease.  Swollen ankles and leg pain are one of those symptoms. Support hosiery seemed to be a logical try for a solution. They worked wonders at making my legs less painful, and lessening the swelling. This is just one of the suggestions being offered to sufferers of this strange disease.
– Peggy Bright wears Mediven Comfort

 

National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day is May 12! If you or a loved one has fibromyalgia, please take some time to share an informative article or educate someone else about fibromyalgia. If you want to help make a difference, here are some ideas of how you can get involved for National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day.

How do you manage fibromyalgia? Comment to share your tips below!

Resources:

The National Fibromyalgia Association

Standford Medicine – Fibromyalgia

Questions and Answers about Fibromyalgia 

14 Gadgets To Relieve Fibromyalgia Pain

Benefits of Compression Socks For Fibromyalgia

Can Compression Socks Reduce Chronic Pain?

What is Fibromyalgia?

Endive, and Pine Nuts, and Parmesan, Oh My

Visiting downtown Geyserville, CA is like stepping back in time.  There’s Bosworth & Son General Store for hardware, paint, tack, feed and western wear, a few other small shops and Diavola Pizzeria.  Blink, and you’ll miss it.  If you’re lucky enough to be passing through, try to make it at mealtime with a stop at Diavola.  The food here is delicious. They make incredible pizza’s, pasta, and salads, and the best cheesesteak I have ever eaten.

This is my take on a radicchio and endive salad I had the last time I ate at Diavola.  The salad is heart healthy, and it tastes great with that steak and cheese sandwich!

Ingredients
1 medium head radicchio
4 medium heads Belgian endive
4 TB pine nuts
15 cherry tomatoes
2 TB chopped parsley
¼ cup shredded or shaved Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
4 TB rice wine vinegar
6 TB extra-virgin olive oil

Lightly toast the pine nuts in a saute pan over low heat, stirring often.  Let cool.

Quarter radicchio and remove core from each quarter.  Slice each quarter crosswise into ½” strips.  Place in large mixing bowl.

Remove any blemished leaves from the outside of the endive and cut into ½” slices.  Add to radicchio.

Slice cherry tomatoes in half and add to bowl, along with parsley.

Drizzle with olive oil, then toss.  Add rice wine vinegar and toss again.  Taste, and add more of either if needed.

Coarsely grind the toasted pine nuts.  This can be done in a mortar and pestle, if you have one, or with a plastic bag and a rolling pin.

Add pine nuts and Parmesan to salad, and toss.  Season with salt and pepper.

Fresh corn is a great addition, when in season.

Why this recipe is good for you…..

Endive and radicchio are loaded with vitamins!  One head of endive provides 1481% of the daily recommended dose of Vitamin K, which is essential to proper blood clotting. Both are also very good sources of dietary fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium, Iron, Potassium, Zinc, Copper and Manganese.  Who knew!

Pine nuts contain heart-friendly monounsaturated fats, which help lower bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol.  Pine nuts are also a very good source of B complex vitamins, Vitamins D and C, and iron which is essential to a healthy nervous and circulatory system.  Extremely high in antioxidants, pine nuts are also packed with protein and magnesium, a great source of energy.

New Juzo Dream Colors for Spring/Summer 2017

We’re two days into Spring, which means it’s time for the new Juzo Dream Colors!  Here’s a sneak peak of the newest Dream colors for Spring and Summer. Dream colors are available in the Juzo Soft, Naturally Sheer, and Dynamic lines of compression garments, in knee high, thigh high, pantyhose, leggings, armsleeves and gauntlets.

 

Colors this season are more muted than the recent past, and coordinate beautifully with the colors of nature that are hot this year.  Choose from Magenta, Clay, Cool Gray, Amethyst, Royal Blue and Pewter. These beautiful colors will also be available in tie dye and black tie dye in the Juzo Soft and Dynamic lines. Naturally Sheer Dream colors are only available in solid colors.

For customers that need a durable garment but want something more colorful than the basic black or beige, you’re in luck! The Juzo Dream color program includes the Dynamic Collection and will also be available in tie dye and black tie dye.

These new colors will be available starting on Monday, April 3rd, 2017. Please remember that these products are dyed to order and can take 1-2 weeks to ship.

Join our blog email list on the right, to stay up to get the latest news on the Juzo Dream Collection.

 

Promoting Lymphatic Research + Giveaway!

Lymphedema is a chronic lymphatic disease that affects 10 million Americans and hundreds of millions worldwide. Symptoms include swelling in one or more parts of the body. Although many people are affected by lymphedema, many patients go undiagnosed or untreated due to a lack of knowledge and resources. To change this, many organizations, companies, doctors and patients are coming together to promote awareness and find a cure for lymphedema.

LE&RN

The Lymphatic Education & Research Network (LE&RN) is a non-profit organization founded in 1998 to promote research in the fields of lymphatic diseases, lymphedema, and related disorders. Through their industry outreach program, LE&RN has established partnerships with the biotech and pharmaceutical industries working to find improved treatments and cures.

The Lymphatic Education & Research Network offers support and provides resources to lymphedema patients, including a tool to find a local lymphedema therapist. LE&RN has established a patient registry and tissue bank to serve as a repository of information for current and future researchers. Several fellowship grants are awarded each year to doctors, scientists, and organizations working in the field of lymphatic research. The immediate goal is to expand our understanding of the lymphatic system.

Actress Kathy Bates partnered up with the Lymphatic Education & Research Network (LE&RN) to build awareness about lymphedema. Some people are born with it, others, like Kathy Bates develop lymphedema after a mastectomy. Lymphedema is commonly caused after the lymph nodes are damaged or removed from breast cancer treatment, or it may develop after injury or surgery.

Medi For Help

Mediven, a compression hosiery company, is making a difference in Haiti. Medi For Help was founded in 2010 after an earthquake struck the country leaving more than 300,000 men, women and children injured. This relief project provides amputees with lower limb prostheses and offers orthopedic, wound care and lymphedema treatment. Medi For Help has provided treatment to 4,500 Haitians and counting. The project provides support once the patient starts walking again. Medi For Help also now treats patients with diabetes or those recovering from a car accident.

Compression Garments To Manage Lymphedema

Although there’s no cure for lymphedema (yet!) the condition can be managed with the help of a lymphedema therapist, compression garments, Manual Lymph Drainage, and other techniques. Many compression companies are paving the way in wound care and lymphedema treatment to provide innovative, comfortable and effective high compression garments.

Strong & Durable Wraps

Compression wraps are a great alternative to high compression garments and are much easier to put on. Many brands like CircAid, BiaCare and Solaris offer durable and effective options to manage lymphedema. Browse our Wrap Catalog for a variety of ankle, thigh high and full leg wraps.

Everyday Compression For Lymphedema

Many brands offer compression knee highs, thigh highs, pantyhose and armsleeves in high compression levels to manage lymphedema. Choose from a variety of sizes, styles, fabrics and compression levels to find the perfect fit for you. Each brand offers different sizing, so make sure to check the size charts for an accurate fit. Save yourself some work and use our Size Machine to automatically calculate your size in all the biggest brands!

Stylish and Supportive Options

Say goodbye to boring old beige armsleeves and stockings. Introducing LympheDivas fashionable compression armsleeves, gloves and gauntlets in a variety of sizes, lengths and compression levels for the perfect look and feel. Looking for more patterned armsleeves? Try the Juzo Signature sleeves, available in three compression levels. Add some style to any outfit in the Juzo Dream Collection, available in a variety of knee highs, thigh highs, leggings, pantyhose and armsleeves in solid and tie-dye seasonal colors.

Lymphedema Awareness Month Giveaway!

In honor of the second annual World Lymphedema Day on Monday, March 6, 2017, BrightLife will be offering a $100 gift card for lymphedema compression garments. Through the month of March, enter to win below!

To enter, log in with your email address or Facebook information below. Then, choose how you would like to enter: You can answer a question, leave a comment about the blog post, follow us on Twitter, or tweet a message. Click here for more help. Good luck!! The contest ends Friday, March 31st at midnight.

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Pete@BrightLife Direct

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Cold Shower? Soak up the health benefits in 90 seconds!

Early last week, I saw a segment on the Today Show about a 90-second shower routine that will increase circulation and alertness in the morning. Since BrightLife Direct is all about healthy circulation, I thought it warranted an investigation.

The idea is simple. Follow your normal cleansing routine in the shower, but instead of jumping out after your final rinse, stay in for an extra 90 seconds and adjust your faucet to the following:

30 Seconds: COLD
30 Seconds: HOT
30 Seconds: COLD

Then get out of the shower!

Sound terrible? I have to admit the first time it was! A few of us in the office experimented with this showering technique and reported back about a screaming 30-second countdown, dancing in circles and screaming, or simply standing and screaming. The cold water is a real shock, but each of us reported feeling some immediate effects. Hearts were pounding, blood was flowing and we all reported feeling wide awake!

Personally, having lived in Russia, I know that hot-cold therapy is an ingrained part of many cultures including Nordic countries. Russians consider going to the bath house (or banya) an important part of their weekly routine. There they sit in a incredibly hot sauna, jump into a cold pool of water or snow, and then head back to the sauna.

So, why do they do it? A myriad of health benefits! Entrepreneur.com did a full analysis and found that cold showers can help reduce stress, burn fat and improve both the vascular and immune systems!

Not enough to convince you to get under the icy water?

A journalist at the New York Times also experimented with cold morning showers and found that it increased his productivity during the day. He says that turning the shower to COLD every morning is a real struggle for him, but that “…the point is that starting your morning by tackling challenges head-on will help encourage similar behavior throughout the day.” And there’s plenty of research to back that up as well! When people tackle difficult situations first thing in the morning, they’re less likely to procrastinate throughout the day.

Your last piece of trivia on cold showers? Kathryn Hepburn was a huge proponent of them!

After a week of showers, our company’s founder is a full convert! He says that the experiment is “life-changing.” While I’m not a morning shower person, I plan to keep it up on the weekends. How can I skip out on all of the potential health benefits? If you’re a bit nervous to go full throttle on the cold water, ease yourself into it by going a bit colder (in the same short spurts) every day. You can work your way up to ice cold after a few days.

Try it out and let us know what you think!

Disclaimer: Many of the articles I read warned that people with heart conditions should check with their physician before experimenting with cold water therapy! So, please check with your doctor if you have any concerns.

Roasted Beet and Quinoa Salad with Pistachios

When one thinks of food in New Orleans, the word healthy rarely comes to mind.  The Crescent City has a long history of serving rich, fried, and often over-the-top food combinations.  On a recent visit, between beignets and etouffees, I ordered a beet and quinoa salad at La Petite Grocery on Magazine Street.  It was delicious, and healthy by any cities standard.  Here’s my recreation.

Ingredients

3 medium heirloom beets
Olive oil
1 cup red quinoa
1 cucumber
2 stalks celery with leaves
¼ cup shelled pistachios
Sriracha mayonnaise (see recipe below)
Salt and pepper

Dressing

3 TB lemon juice
2 TB balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375.  Wash and dry beets.  Rub each beet with a small amount of olive oil.  Wrap in foil, and roast for 1 hour.  Cool, then peel the beets.  Cut each beet into 8 wedges and place in a medium size mixing bowl.

Add approximately 2 qt of water to a 3 qt sauce pan, and bring to a boil.  Add quinoa and cook for 15 minutes.  Drain quinoa in a fine mesh sieve and rinse with cold water.  Drain very well, and place in a separate medium size mixing bowl.

Peel and seed the cucumber.  Dice cucumber and celery with leaves.  Add to the bowl with quinoa.

Toss beets with 4-5 tablespoons of dressing and season with salt and pepper.

Toss quinoa mixture with remaining dressing and season with salt and pepper.

Arrange beets in a row down the middle of a large serving bowl or plate.  Spoon quinoa mixture along each side.  Sprinkle with pistachios and drizzle with sriracha mayonnaise.

Sriracha Mayonnaise:  
Mix 1 cup mayo with 4-5 tablespoons sriracha, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and a pinch of salt.

Why this recipe is good for you…

Quinoa is full of fiber.  Fiber helps prevent heart disease by reducing blood pressure and diabetes.  Quinoa contains iron, lysine, magnesium, riboflavin and manganese.   All are essential to healthy blood and tissue cells.

Beets help to lower blood pressure, fight inflammation and are packed with essential nutrients and fiber.

Pistachios have fewer calories and more potassium and vitamin K per serving than any other nut.  They also contain 1-arginine, which helps make the lining of your arteries more flexible and less likely to develop clots.

And, of course, the sriracha mayonnaise may not be the healthiest ingredient… but it sure tastes good.

What You May Not Know About Reconstructive Surgery

The main problem is using the word “feel,” said Dr. Clara Lee, an associate professor of plastic surgery at Ohio State University. Many women who undergo reconstructive surgery often face broken promises from doctors. They don’t want to give patients false hope or the wrong information, but misconceptions still occur. Dane’e McCree decided to have her breasts removed after learning she had an increased risk of breast cancer, but she didn’t feel like the doctors warned her about the full picture. Although the appearance looks natural, Ms. McCree reports that they’re completely numb, unable to feel anything. “I can’t even feel it when my kids hug me,” she said.

While the breasts may feel “natural” on the outside post-surgery, the patient is unable to feel anything, not even air blowing on the skin. This can be very dangerous! According to the New York Times, “several women interviewed recounted times when they had not realized a bra was cutting into their skin until they saw blood.” Reconstructive surgery focuses on the appearance of the female body, not how the woman feels.

As of now, roughly 25 to 60 percent of mastectomy patients experience nerve damage. The best chance for sensory restoration is to use the woman’s own body tissue instead of an implant to increase the chance the nerves regenerating, but even this results in limited feeling. Luckily, this may be about to change.

A Houston a plastic surgeon, Dr. Aldona J. Spiegel, is working to reconnect the nerves to improve sensation, but Spiegel is careful to explain that it won’t feel like it did before. There are many factors to consider, including the risk of causing chronic pain in an attempt to restore sensation. If you or someone you know is considering breast reconstruction surgery, make sure they know all the facts to make the best decision for their health.

Check out this feature in the New York Times to read more.

Additional Resources

Is Breast Reconstruction Right For You? – BreastCancer.org

Reconstructive Breast Surgery Options – Johns Hopkins

Breast Reconstruction – Susan G Komen

Custom Compression For Kids!

Custom compression garments can be made for people of all shapes and sizes, even kids! It can be difficult to find great compression clothing for kids, especially when it comes to comfort and the fit. Luckily, we’ve found some great options and an awesome story that will give you hope. That being said, meet Lucia.

A popular lymphedema blog, Little Miss Lucia’s Lymphoedema Life, shares the life of Lucia, a young girl diagnosed with Primary Lymphedema. This is a rare condition that is characterized by chronic swelling. Manual Lymphatic Drainage and regularly wearing compression stockings help to manage lymphedema symptoms. While there are plenty of compression stocking brands on the market, nearly all of them are targeted at adults – not children. Though size might be the first problem you think of when buying an adult product for a child, getting a fabric and style that is comfortable for a young person to wear is also a huge issue.

In a touching blog post, we learned about Lucia heading back to school, happily and in style. She was surprised with colorful custom compression stockings made for children that perfectly matched her school uniform! These flashy red compression stockings are custom-made by Juzo to Lucia’s measurements and provide the medical compression she needs. Most importantly, these custom stockings are comfortable for her to wear and allow Lucia to attend school with her brother, Max. For children who need custom compression garments, Juzo offers a variety of colorful options in high compression levels.

Juzo also makes flat knit compression garments for children, including armsleeves! If your child experiences arm swelling from lymphedema in the upper extremity, armsleeves, gauntlets and gloves can help to manage their condition.

More options for kids? Therafirm offers SmartKnit Kids, a line of ready-to-wear socks, compression shirts and more, for children experiencing sensory processing differences. These innovative garments are made with a moisture-wicking fabric to keep your child dry, comfortable, and healthy. Therafirm offers comfortable, healthy clothing for kids, including seamless socks that don’t hurt sensitive feet! Therafirm’s SmartKnit Kids collection offers great, comfortable options for your kids.

Many brands like Juzo offer custom compression socks for children and adults. If you’re in the market for adult custom compression garments, check out our online custom garment options, or to talk to our specialist about custom orders, just give us a call at 1-877-545-8585.

 

Travel Comfortably: Choose the Best Compression Socks for Travel

Travel Compression Socks

A strong Dollar, compared to the British Pound and Euro, means now is a great time for Americans to travel to Europe.  And every trip to Europe needs a pair or two of compression stockings.  Frequent flyer miles are great, but you don’t want to arrive for your dream vacation with sore, swollen legs and feet. The reason your legs and feet get so achy when traveling is that your muscles are not being flexed or used enough, and blood pools in your leg veins. This lack of fresh oxygenated blood can cause soreness and cramping in your legs, and swelling in your ankles and feet. If you’re at higher risk for blood clots, are overweight, or you have notoriously poor circulation, this could lead to more serious problems like Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).

There are a number of ways to increase circulation when you’re on a long flight. First, and most important is to get up and move! Stand up, shake your legs, and walk the aisles when possible. Unfortunately, that’s not always an option if the seat-belt light is on. The easiest way to increase circulation is by wearing compression socks or stockings, often called “travel socks.”  Travel socks provide graduated compression from your ankles to your knee. This increases circulation naturally, coaxing the blood to flow back to your heart, instead of getting trapped in your legs and feet. Here are a few things to look for when shopping for compression socks to take on your trip:

  • Medical-grade compression socks will have a compression rating of 20-30 mmHg or 30-40 mmHg, but for traveling, it’s fine to wear socks that have a compression rating of 15-20 mmHg. (This is assuming you don’t suffer from other venous disease.) These ratings simply tell how tightly the compression socks will squeeze your leg (i.e. 15-20 mmHg is a lighter compression than 30-40 mmHg, which will feel much tighter on your legs and be more difficult to put on).
  • Find socks that have graduated compression. This means that the compression will be tighter at the ankle, and will gradually become looser as the sock extends up your leg. This will help return blood to your heart.
  • Pay attention to the material the socks are knit from. Travelers often prefer natural fibers like cotton, because they’re plush, absorb moisture, and are very comfortable.  Polyester, merino wool, and fabrics embedded with copper and silver are great for absorbing excess moisture on the skin, keeping your feet cool, and decreasing foot odor. No one wants stinky feet on a plane!
  • Socks don’t have to be labeled as “Travel Socks” to be used on a long trip. You only need to find socks with a stated compression of 15-20 mmHg, and at least knee high.  If you prefer thigh-highs or tights, they work just as well in the same compression level.

If you’re looking for the best quality compression socks at a great price, be sure to check out our full selection of Travel Socks.  If you think of compression socks as thick, flesh-colored tights your grandmother wears, you will be pleasantly surprised with these. No one will know you’re wearing compression!

Allegro Premium – Italian  Cotton Socks are a favorite among flight attendants – so you know they’re good!  They are priced at $19.09 per pair, and during the month of January, like all our Allegro stockings, they are part of our Buy-3-Get-1-Free Sale.  You can mix and match any Allegro items, so everyone in your travel group can get a pair or two.  Compression socks are great for everyday wear while traveling too.  They provide all day leg comfort while hiking, on city tours, and country walks.

If you’re someone who likes to roam the plane in only socks during flight – try Top & Derby’s Random Stripe, with 15-20 mmHg compression. These socks have a fun striped design you’ll want to show off and cost $24.09 a pair.

Finally, the Sockwell brand offers a wide variety of natural fiber blend socks that are a customer favorite.  We stock the full line, and there are colors and patterns available for every taste. Plus, they’re Sarah Michelle Geller’s travel socks of choice. If Buffy the Vampire Slayer wears them – you can too!

Don’t travel without compression…. And Bon Voyage!