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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Credit for this tasty dish goes to Positive Wellness, an awesome resource for recipes, fitness tips and healthy living.
At the age of 76, Cindy Peterson has run 49 marathons, is a founding member of the Mercury Masters running team, and is also a member of the Seven Continents Club, a privilege she earned from running in at least one marathon on each continent. Cindy ran her first marathon at the age of 55 back in 1994 and has no plans to stop running anytime soon. She is currently looking forward to running her 50th marathon in a few weeks.
We found out about this amazing woman when she called our customer service staff to reorder one of her favorite running accessories – Allegro compression hosiery! She mentioned her upcoming milestone and we just had to know more. We had the opportunity to get to know Cindy in a recent interview, and pick her brain about marathon advice, strategy, training. Here are Cindy’s best tips and what fuels her motivation and dedication to marathon training.
Q: What motivated you to start running?
It all started about 35 years ago when Cindy made a bucket list of 30 things she wanted to achieve in her life. She looked at it for 2 weeks, then put it away, and forgot about it for a little over 10 years…only to find that 28 things were achieved without even trying! The 29th thing was “own a Jaguar”, and the 30th goal was “RUN A MARATHON”.
“I watched the NYC Marathon in 1993, when the Founder, Fred Lebow, ran with a brain tumor. I was so motivated that if he could run with a brain tumor and complete the Marathon, I could also run it, even though I had varicose veins, couldn’t walk a block, and was 20 pounds overweight. I was motivated!!”
Cindy crossed off the last item on her bucket list in 1994, (a year after rediscovering the list), when she completed her first marathon in NYC. Now, flash-forward to 2016, as she prepares to run her 50th marathon back in NYC in a few weeks.
“Reaching my goals with the training every day, makes me feel great, makes my mind sharp, and feel a lot younger than my 76 years of age.”
Q: Tell us about your experience with the “Mercury Masters.” How does getting involved with a group change the running experience for you?
Cindy is one of the Founders of the “Mercury Masters,” a running team for women 50 and over. It all started with a handful of runners who met in NYC once a week and trained together in Central Park.
“We really bonded together when we ran the Mini Marathon, which is a 10K women’s only race in NYC. Then we set out to run the 1996 100th Boston Marathon, where 5 of us came through the finish line together holding hands. Since then, we have 74 members in the group.”
The Mercury Masters team encourages each other by running together, attending running classes together and supporting each other. The President keeps the group motivated and informed about upcoming team races, as well as any other member news. This group of ladies have played a big role in encouraging Cindy to run.
“Running with The “MERMS” as we are referred to by other teammates, has been a wonderful experience through the years, without which I would not have completed so many marathons. We motivate each other.”
Q: How do compression stockings benefit you during training? Why do you love Allegro Sheer Open Toe Pantyhose for running?
Many runners wear compression socks to enhance performance, speed up muscle recovery afterwards and prevent injury like shin splints. Cindy loves wearing our Allegro Sheer Compression Pantyhose for training and marathons. In her early running career, she started wearing compression hosiery to manage varicose veins and relieve the pain caused by them. Compression socks have played a vital role in allowing Cindy to train.
“The support pantyhose were a big relief. I will not go out for a run without wearing support pantyhose. They give me stability, comfort and confidence, and are a part of my uniform. I would not train without them because I would not be able to run very far with the pain from the varicose veins. They were a miracle for me. I had absolutely no pain after a 6, 10, or even a 15 mile run.”
Cindy wears the Allegro Essential Sheer Open Toe Pantyhose (#32) in 20-30 mmHg compression for long training runs and marathons. This level of compression is ideal for boosting athletic performance and for managing varicose veins. Cindy also likes to wear the Allegro Essential Sheer Open Toe Pantyhose (#14) in 15-20 mmHg, which is great for speeding up recovery and relieving muscle fatigue and minor swelling.
“The Allegro open toe pantyhose gave me great support on my calves, quads and my toes were free. They had more stability than my previous hose, and I was able to start running again. It was an amazing find!!”
You may have seen runners wearing bright colored athletic knee high socks. Other runners and gym-goers opt for compression leggings or pantyhose for full leg coverage. Cindy loves wearing sheer pantyhose with an open toe. Since there is no difference in the compression provided between an open or closed toe style or between a sheer or opaque fabric, it’s mostly up to personal preference.
“I love the sheer style because it gives my legs a great look. It does not look like I am wearing pantyhose at all. The reason for the open toe is so my toes are not constricted at all. Two years ago I had major surgery on my toes, which made my feet wider. My support pantyhose would constrict my toes and cause me great pain and discomfort.”
Q: What’s an overall week of training look like for you?
When Cindy isn’t training, she is running about 6 miles a day, 6 days a week, adding up to a total of 30 miles each week. While prepping for a marathon, Cindy averages 50 miles weekly. If you want to run a good marathon, Cindy advises completing at least three 20 mile runs. To prepare for a marathon, it’s a complete lifestyle change. Diet is also important, just like exercising and staying hydrated.
“When setting out for a run, I eat a banana, and that’s great for a 6 to 8 mile run. When running a long run, I bring “Gu” which is an Energy Gel. I also have a product called “The Right Stuff”, which is an electrolyte drink additive for hydration to make you perform stronger and recover faster. It is developed by NASA for astronauts.”
Q: After completing 49 Marathons, what advice do you have for beginner runners?
Cindy’s advice to a runner preparing for their first race is to partner with a friend or join a group like the Mercury Masters for motivation. This will help you stay dedicated, the time will go by faster and you have someone to push you. When you’re running with a friend, they won’t let you make excuses for missing a run! It also makes it more fun to train for the same race and help each other grow.
“The time spent running will go quicker and you will begin to feel the energy you get from the daily run. Eventually, you can plan for your first 5K, and move on to a 10K. Training is the key, and maybe you can even plan to do your first marathon. All you need is DETERMINATION! I ran my First Marathon at age 55. You can do it too no matter how old you are!!” – Cindy Peterson
Want to know more? Check out this interview Cindy did with New Jersey TV: