Meet the BrightLife Scholarship Recipient!

For the second year in a row, BrightLife Direct is giving back to the physical therapy community by providing a scholarship to help an aspiring physical therapist continue their education.

The 2017 BrightLife Physical Therapist Scholarship was open to all students studying to be an occupational therapist, physical therapist or physical therapist assistant. We received so many wonderful applications from students who are incredibly passionate about helping their community and returning their patients to a state of independence.

With so many amazing occupational and physical therapy students all working to improve the lives of others in their own way, it was challenging to choose a winner. The recipient of this year’s scholarship is one that is very deserving. It is our pleasure to congratulate Kara Arps as this year’s Physical Therapist scholarship recipient.

Kara is a student at Emory University pursuing a Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree. She also has a BS in Neuroscience and Kinesiology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She serves as the Emory class of 2018 president and maintains a 4.0 GPA. She has helped to give back to the community through volunteer work at the Emory Pro-Bono Clinic, Gigi’s Playhouse, the Special Olympics, the Exceptional Foundation, Bell Center and more.

Kara’s personal experience with physical therapy played a significant role in inspiring her to pursue this career. When she was younger, she struggled with limitations of wearing a restricting brace due to scoliosis. Combining the impact of her physical therapist with her love for science, Kara was drawn to becoming a physical therapist herself. Once she graduates, Kara plans to pursue a residency in pediatrics.

“I will educate families on caring for their child and empower them with all available resources, so that the benefit of their rehab persists beyond their time in therapy. I will discover what each child values and incorporate his interests and ambitions into therapy goals. I will encourage them to find joy in each day, even the most difficult, while being sensitive towards their physical and emotional conditions.” – Kara Arps (excerpt from essay)

We are very proud of Kara and we wish her all the best in her journey. This scholarship was created to help ease the financial burden of students and give back to this dedicated community of professionals. We received many fantastic applications and praise all of those who applied in their hard work and passion.

Compression Socks for Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information between the brain and the body. Most people who are diagnosed with MS are between the ages of 20 and 50 years old. Additionally, women are 2-3 times more likely than men to be diagnosed with MS.

Multiple sclerosis can affect your brain, spinal cord, muscle control, vision and your balance. Symptoms and their severity are different for everyone. MS occurs when your immune system attacks and damages myelin, a fatty material which protects your nerve fibers. This limits the brain’s ability to successfully send signals throughout your body. To diagnose MS, blood tests, physical exams or other tests can be performed.

There is no cure for multiple sclerosis, but symptoms can be managed through a variety of treatment options, depending on the severity of the symptoms. It is important to rest and maintain a healthy, balanced diet. When you feel up to it, exercise is important to help build strength and keep your body healthy. Be aware of what your body is feeling. Limit stress and be cautious of your body temperature rising, this can cause symptoms to get worse.

Compression socks can be used to help manage swelling in the ankles, feet, and legs. Compression stockings are designed to increase circulation, which helps to prevent fatigue, swelling, and pain. They also help to prevent and manage blood clots (DVT) and varicose veins. Ask your doctor what compression level will benefit you best.

Generally, 15-20 mmHg compression is ideal for mild swelling and fatigue. This level of compression is also recommended for travel, everyday wear and to help speed up muscle recovery after a long run or tough workout. 20-30 mmHg compression is often used to manage moderate swelling and fatigue. This moderate can also help manage dysautonomia symptoms.

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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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?

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.

 

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.

 

Real Men Wear Pink Compression Socks

We love hearing from our customers! We recently had a customer send us feedback on our vast selection of compression socks and customer service experience. Bruce was very excited to learn how many different styles and colors there are to choose from when purchasing compression stockings. After 25 years of wearing basic black, navy, brown and white compression socks, Bruce was thrilled to find more stylish options with the medical compression he needs.

Bruce tried out kneehigh Sockwell compression socks and was just as happy with the look as he was the feel of them. Before finding these stylish socks, Bruce would wear two pairs of socks, one for support, and one on top for fashion, and would have to keep adjusting them from slipping down. Now there’s no need. Sockwell compression socks are available in a variety of colors and styles, so you can always find the look you want.

“The look is just great, just that bit of stripe adds the fashion that I need. No more need for wearing 2 pairs of socks, no more pulling up socks, and, the [Sockwell] socks pull on so easy. The Sockwell support socks fit so nice that you don’t feel like you have the ugly support hose on.”

On top of the large selection available, Bruce was very happy with the customer service he received. He says the order shipped fast and the customer service representative was knowledgeable in the latest fashion trends, and also helped assist him in determining the correct size. They even gave him a style tip!

“The representative had the expertise to help with the right size and the latest styles and yes, I was talked into PINK knee high support socks, as I was told only real men wear PINK.”

Thank you, Bruce, for the great feedback. We take great pride in our excellent customer service and are always happy to help our customers. If you’re looking for more fashionable options, or want to share your own feedback, just give us a call at 1-877-545-8585, or send us an email with any questions or comments you may have. We are always happy to hear from you!

 

Holiday Gift Guide For Everyone On Your List

The holidays are almost here and it’s time to shop! Save big on end of the year sales and find awesome gifts for everyone on your list. Click the gift boards to learn more or shop the products. Here’s what’s on our wish list this year:

Gifts For Her

Give her the gift of well being this year. From beauty sets to fashion accessories, here are the best products out there to keep her feeling happy, healthy and pampered like a queen:

Holiday gift guide for women

If women’s fashion isn’t your thing, opt to get the woman in your life lotion, body wash, or other toiletries to give her a nice, relaxing girl’s night in. Holiday quick tip: check out makeup or spa gift sets for a quick gift that’s already put together.

If you do know a thing or two about women’s fashion, upgrade her wardrobe with these stylish pieces, all under $50! Pick out some clothes for her next business trip, or stop by the mall and get those earrings she’s been eyeing all month. If you don’t know her size or style, no worries! That’s what gift cards are for 🙂

gift guide for women

Gifts For Him

Men aren’t always thrilled with shopping (especially when it comes to clothes!), so pick out some new stuff for him this holiday season. You can’t go wrong with a good pair of gloves, shoes or a hat in the wintertime. If the man in your life is on his feet a lot, sits all day at a desk or travels often, pick him out a nice pair of compression socks. Shop now and save big on his favorite brands like Jobst, Sigvaris, Medi, Juzo, Therafirm and more!

men's gift guide

From business meetings to family road trips, these are some great gifts he will love and use. Show some personality in the new Core Spun striped compression socks, available in a variety of patterns and compression levels. These stylish striped socks are now an extra 15% off through January 3rd, 2017. Or, opt for a more sophisticated look in Mediven for Men and save an extra 12.5% off until December 11.

For The Traveler

Going somewhere? Whether you’re going on a long road trip or catching a flight, make sure you wear compression socks to protect your legs against fatigue, swelling and blood clots. They help to keep your legs feeling fresh and energized, so you can enjoy your time when you get to your destination.

holiday gift guide for travelers

Even if you are healthy, you are at risk of developing a blood clot or DVT while traveling, especially when flying. Athletes like Serena Williams have suffered from life-threatening blood clots while traveling. Stock up on a variety of styles for you, your friends and family while these comfortable socks are on sale! In need of ideas? Check out our favorite travel socks for everyone on your list.

For the Athlete

Between practice, games and making dinner, athletes have a lot on their plate! It can be tricky to make the time to work out, especially in the winter. Here are some gadgets to help them stay motivated and improve their game this holiday season.

Athlete Gift Guide for Women

Athletic compression socks are designed to enhance performance, speed up muscle recovery after a tough workout, and prevent injury like shin splints. Check out our collection of athletic compression socks for men and women to step your game up this winter! Remember, the sooner you shop, the more you’ll save!

Athlete Gift Guide for Men

For The Teacher

Teachers deserve a break, just like their students! Help them feel refreshed during the holidays with a good book, a nice cup of coffee and a pair of soft, comfortable compression socks. The Sockwell Meta Cushion Compression Socks are perfect for teachers on their feet all day to prevent fatigue and swelling, while keeping your legs and feet feeling fresh and energized.

gift guide for teachers

You can also surprise your favorite teacher with gifts to brighten the classroom after winter break! Pick out a fun mug to help early mornings or school supplies like pens to grade those endless stacks of homework and quizzes. Bring your classroom to life with an inspiring poster or a live plant! For a low-maintenance option, try succulents, they only need to be watered once every two weeks!

For Nurses

Doctors and nurses are constantly worrying about their patients, after all, it’s their job. Switch their focus to some much deserved me-time this holiday season with these nurse-inspired gifts! Give them the gift of comfort with these stylish compression socks for nurses to battle fatigue and tired, achy legs. These soft, comfortable socks keep your legs feeling energized even after a long shift. Top that off with a pair of NurseMates walking shoes and they’re set!

gift guide for nurses

For The Chef

For the professional chef or the foodie fanatic, these gifts will take their cooking to a whole new level. Pick out cooking utensils or a funny apron for them to use their next meal. For the friend or spouse that struggles to cook, you could sign them up for cooking classes to learn how to make quick and simple dishes that everyone will love. Top it off with our softest compression socks yet – the Allegro Premium Milk Socks and it’s a match made in heaven. These socks will give those tired, achy legs life again after that never-ending shift.

gift guide for cooks, waiters, waitresses, bartenders, and other restaurant workers.

SHOP SALES

 

 

Spice Up Your Dinner With This Recipe!

Say goodbye to boring, bland dinners with this Chicken Fajita recipe! The best part about this dish is that it only takes about 18 minutes to whip up. Here’s how you make it:

chicken fajita recipe

STEP 1:

Start by slicing one onion and the bell pepper into thin strips, then sauté in a frying pan. While the vegetables cook, slice the chicken into thin strips and place it into the pan as soon as it’s cut. Add some spices to your dish for flavor.

chicken fajita spices

 

I chose coarse ground black pepper, cilantro, paprika, crushed red pepper and chipotle sea salt. You could also add cumin, a tablespoon of soy sauce or cayenne pepper on top.

STEP 2:

As the chicken is cooking, dice the second half of the onion, three tomatoes and the jalapeño pepper. Add salt, lemon and pepper to taste. Once the dish is done cooking, shred the lettuce into thin strips and place over top.

chicken fajita recipe ingredients

 

Did you know? Tomatoes are good for the heart, eyes and can help to prevent certain types of cancer? Onions help to regulate blood pressure and reduce inflammation. Boost your Vitamin C intake with jalepeños, each one contains ~17 mgs.

STEP 3:

Top your delicious fajita dish with the shredded lettuce, sour cream, salsa, cheese, guacamole or whatever combination you like. Serve with flour tortillas, corn, beans or rice.

fajita dinner recipe

Credit for this tasty dish goes to Positive Wellness, an awesome resource for recipes, fitness tips and healthy living.