Dysautonomia Hacks and Facts Giveaway!

Dysautonomia Awareness Month Hacks And Facts From BrightLife Direct!

In honor of Dysautonomia Awareness Month this October, here’s your official spoonie guide, complete with tips and information to educate your friends, families and doctors. Plus, enter to win a $50 gift card in honor of Dysautonomia Awareness Month. See below for entry and details.


FACT: Dysautonomia symptoms can include lightheadedness, fatigue, fainting, blood pooling in the extremities, brain fog, chest pain, heart palpitations, nausea, migraines, shortness of breath and more.

HACK: Laying down or wearing compression socks can provide relief for some symptoms of dysautonomia. Many POTS patients have difficulty standing, so laying down can help your body improve the blood flow and reduce symptoms. A proper diet and exercise regimen can also help regulate symptoms.


FACT: Dysautonomia is an umbrella term for disorders of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS), which helps to maintain the ideal blood pressure and body temperature, controls your heart rate, breathing, sleep cycles and digestion. Many dysautonomia patients look “normal” because their symptoms are invisible.

HACK: Educate others about the symptoms of dysautonomia and be aware of your own. The severity of symptoms varies between patients. Keep track of medications that work or don’t work, activities that provoke symptoms and note how your body reacts to different situations, so you can stay in control of your symptoms.


about dysautonomia


FACT: Over 70 million people worldwide have developed various forms of dysautonomia. A common form of dysautonomia is Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), which can be found in people of all ages and genders. POTS impacts an estimated 1-3 million Americans, and is most often found in women.

HACK: The most important thing to remember is that you are not alone. Get involved with a local support group or volunteer with an organization like Dysautonomia International or participate in Dysautonomia Awareness Month activities to help fundraise to find a cure.


FACT: Dysautonomia is a relatively unknown condition to doctors and patients.

HACK: Find a doctor or a specialist who is knowledgeable about Dysautonomia or autonomic disorders. It’s important to work with someone who can determine the most appropriate medications for you to effectively manage your symptoms, and who can answer any questions you may have. Finding a doctor who can create an individualized treatment plan is crucial. You can click here to find a doctor near you.


Spoon Theory - Dysautonomia Awareness Month


FACT: Although Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) is not a rare condition, it is frequently misdiagnosed. The average diagnosis can take almost six years.

HACK: Participate in Dysautonomia Awareness Month this October to educate patients, doctors, friends and family about this condition. Share your story or get involved with organizations like Dysautonomia International and support research to find a cure.


FACT: There is no cure for Dysautonomia.

HACK: Adapt your lifestyle to assure your symptoms do not get worse. Remember to wear compression socks to prevent blood from pooling in your legs and relieve the dizziness or lightheadedness from orthostatic hypotension. Get organized, fight off stress as much as possible, and eat lots of lean proteins, fibers, fruits and vegetables. A high sodium diet of about 2-4 grams of salt a day is recommended, along with increasing your fluid intake to about 2-3 liters of water each day. Refrain from consuming refined sugars and caffeine as much as possible. Make sure you are staying active as much as your symptoms allow and are getting a good night’s sleep. Most of all, stay positive!


Have some great tips and tricks of your own? Comment below to share!


ENTER TO WIN OUR DYSAUTONOMIA AWARENESS MONTH GIVEAWAY!

To win, follow the rules below and participate in Dysautonomia Awareness Month for your chance to win. Just comment on this post or share it on social media. Good luck!

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month Giveaway!

Breast Cancer Awareness Month Giveaway Contest

Here at BrightLife Direct, our customers are very important to us. Each day, we talk with people who have been diagnosed with lymphedema and hear not only their questions, but their struggles. Lymphedema is commonly overlooked by doctors and can go undiagnosed for a very long time. Many people battling breast cancer are unaware that lymphedema can be a side affect to treatment and are unprepared for managing this condition. It can also be hard to obtain the resources needed to manage lymphedema due to a lack of regional availability of therapists and the financial cost. Since there is no cure for lymphedema yet, patients must wear a compression armsleeve everyday which can be costly, especially depending on the severity of the swelling.

The BrightLife Direct Armsleeve Assistance Program

BrightLife Direct Komen Armsleeve Program for LymphedemaIn light of this, BrightLife has partnered with the Susan G. Komen Foundation to provide compression armsleeves to those who may not otherwise be able to afford it. We will be providing free compression sleeves to patients at six different Komen grantee organizations here in Washington, D.C. These awesome organizations will help the patient measure for the correct fit and find the best armsleeve to help manage their symptoms. They will then send this information to us, and we ship out the armsleeve free of charge the same day. Check out Francia, pictured on the left, happily showing off her new compression armsleeve!

Enter Our Breast Cancer Awareness Giveaway!

You can win! In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, BrightLife Direct wants to give back to the lymphedema community. To help others with the financial burden of lymphedema, we are offering a $100 gift card for one lucky winner to choose any armsleeve or compression stockings of their choice! See below for entry and details.

lymphedema fashion compression armsleeves and compression socks

Lymphedema Style Guide

BrightLife Direct offers tons of compression armsleeves in a variety of sizes, colors, patterns and fabrics so you can find the perfect sleeve for you. If beige isn’t your style, we have lots of fun patterned armsleeves like LympheDivas and the new Juzo Signature Prints. The Juzo Dream Collection offers armsleeves and lower extremity compression garments in fun seasonal colors and tie-dye patterns. If you’re looking for eye-catching patterned leggings, try the new Juzo Soft Print Leggings, available in a large variety of patterns. Check out our style guide below for our customer’s favorite lymphedema options:


Lymphedema Compression Garments for Fashionistas

Mild to Moderate Lymphedema Garments

Moderate to Severe Lymphedema Garments

Lymphedema Compression Wraps

Juzo Soft Fashion Compression Socks and Lymphedema Armsleeves

Sizing Help

If you’re shopping on your own and don’t know your size, check out our Size Machine! Just enter your measurements and we’ll tell you what fits you best in all of the major brands. If you still have questions or would like some help deciding, please contact our customer service team.

You Can Win!

The rules are simple – the more you share, the more likely you’ll win! You can comment on this blog post to share your experience with Breast Cancer or Lymphedema, or share this post on social media. For details, see the Rafflecopter Contest Box below. Good luck!

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Compression garments, coming to an astronaut near you!

Nasa is working with BSN Medical on compression garments for astronauts!

According to recent NASA research, compression garments can help astronauts once they return to earth to prevent orthostatic intolerance (OI). Once gravity hits, many astronauts experience a rapid heart rate, low blood pressure, the feeling of lightheadedness, or even like they might faint. Whether you are in space for two weeks or six months, once you return to earth your body experiences many changes, such as a lack of strength, blood volume, differences in coordination and balance, and even a struggle to walk or stand.

To help astronauts transition better back to life on earth, NASA is teaming up with BSN Medical, an international company that supplies therapeutic medical compression garments. BSN engineers are designing custom three-piece elastic gradient compression garments to protect astronauts against orthostatic intolerance (OI) symptoms, which occur when the body reacts to an upright or standing position.

It’s not just astronauts who can benefit from wearing compression garments to prevent orthostatic intolerance. Other chronic orthostatic intolerance conditions such as Postural Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) and Neurally Mediated Hypotension (NMH) fall under the OI category. NMH occurs when your blood pressure is normal while sitting or laying down, but is much lower after standing or being in an upright position. POTS refers to an increased heart rate while standing, but remains normal while in a resting position. Wearing compression socks can help fight symptoms of dysautonomia and prevent the feeling of dizziness or lightheadedness after standing up.

While we have compression stockings that help manage these symptoms, this new, innovative garment designed for NASA is still in the research phase and shows a lot of promise. Check back for the latest on the development of this cool new compression garment.

Horses Wear Compression Bandages Too!

 

equicrown horse bandages by juzo

There are many reasons to wear compression garments for humans and animals alike. Did you know that horses can wear medical compression bandages to stimulate the lymphatic flow in their legs? This helps to remove lymph fluid and toxins while managing swelling. Yes, after a long day of standing or running around, even horses get tired and swell up like the rest of us!

Interestingly enough, horses have about 8,000 lymph nodes, which is the most out of any mammal. This makes them much more prone to developing moderate to severe swelling, or lymphedema. In comparison, there are about 500-700 lymph nodes in humans, which are much larger than the lymph nodes in a horse.

Luckily there’s a solution. Juzo manufactures medical compression bandages that are specifically designed for horses to support and stimulate lymph flow. However, horses can benefit from wearing compression bandages for more than just swelling. Compression garments are recommended for anyone (humans and animals) standing for long periods of time to help increase circulation, to prevent and relieve swelling or fatigue. Since horses are almost always standing, compression can also be used as a preventative method to keep your horse in the best shape possible. Here’s how EquiCrown bandages can benefit your horse:

EquiCrown by Juzo Benefits for Horses

Juzo’s EquiCrown bandages provide precisely-defined pressure to relieve swelling in the horses’s legs. These flat-knit compression bandages are soft, durable and stretchy as to not interfere with performance. EquiCrown bandages are designed to promote circulation, treat wounds and scars, prevent and relieve swelling, and for managing injuries. These breathable bandages are even safe to machine wash and dry! EquiCrown compression bandages are available in ready-to-wear and custom sizes to fit mild to severe swelling. Here’s how it works:

equicrown horse bandages - how it works

Still have questions about how these innovative bandages work? Comment below!

 

Meet the BrightLife Scholarship Recipient!

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

The 2016 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. This student’s hard work ethic, professional goals, and dedication to patients in need stood out to our Scholarship Committee. It is our pleasure to congratulate Lacy as this year’s Physical Therapy Scholarship winner!

Lacy is a hardworking student at Angelo State University, recognized as one of the top students within the program. She goes above and beyond the course requirements to impress the Angelo faculty with her ability and commitment in the classroom. Lacy is a natural leader and is involved in many community service activities and organizations, all while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. As a child, Lacy was passionate about science and helping others. She was inspired to pursue a career as a physical therapist after seeing the outstanding progress and happiness of patients and their families as they heal and are able to get back to their normal lives. Experiences like watching someone walk again for the first time after a stroke motivated her to pursue a career as a physical therapist.

“Experiences with my brother’s vehicle accident, a friend’s back surgery, my mother’s frozen shoulder, and volunteering at a local therapeutic riding facility all introduced me to the idea that this field could restore a broken, pained person to a functional and pain-free daily life. Such an idea is wholly beautiful.”  – Lacy (excerpt from essay)

As the first member of her family to graduate from a university, we know that she will continue to break barriers and make her family and professors proud. We look forward to seeing her grow as she continues down this path of excellence, and we wish her the best in the future. To learn more about Lacy, click here to read the press release.

Physical Therapy Scholarship Winner

Father’s Day Gift Guide + Giveaway!

With Father’s Day right around the corner, we have the ultimate gift guide for last minute shoppers, plus a chance to win him a gift! Dad’s can be difficult to shop for, but we searched the internet to find some gifts that every dad will love and use! Plus, one lucky winner will bring home a BrightLife Direct gift card for their dad this Father’s Day – giveaway details & entry below.

Father's Day Gift Guide

Instead of going out for dinner, prepare a nice barbecue for your dad this Father’s Day. Pick up his favorite snacks, grill some burgers, and sit back and relax. If your dad is a sports enthusiast, throw around the football or play some backyard baseball. If you really want to surprise him, pick up some tickets to see his favorite sports team, or head over to see that movie he’s been talking about.

When it comes to getting presents, for my dad I always find my mind blanking. I want to get him something that I know he will love and use. Every dad always tells you it’s the thought that counts, but every now and then it’s nice to get him a gift that “wows” even him! For the fitness-friendly dad, pick him up some accessories for his next game or workout, like a golf bag or weightlifting gloves. You can even cheer him on from the sidelines in a customized beach chair.

SIGVARIS MICROFIBER SHADESFor the dapper dad, think of Mad Men’s Donald Draper, and ask yourself what he would like for Father’s Day. If your dad has a beard, introduce him to beard oil or conditioner – it’s all the rage in the beard community these days. No beard? No problem. The Art of Shaving has you covered on travel accessories, aftershave and all the shaving essentials your dad could want. When it comes to grooming, you can’t really go wrong and your dad will appreciate one less stop on his list of errands!

Let’s face it. All dads can use a watch. Whether it’s to be on time to that board meeting or to pick the kids up at school, time is of the essence. If your dad frequently says “if you’re not five minutes early, you’re late,” a watch is a great present for him. Or on the other hand, if your dad tends to run a little late, a watch is a perfect Father’s Day gift to help him keep track of time. You can even get a watch with a built-in GPS and fitness tracker if your dad is focused on being healthy or active. Another practical gift he’s sure to love is a new wallet. Hopefully your dad isn’t rocking the George Costanza wallet from Seinfeld, but if he is, definitely do him a favor and help him get organized. He will be very thankful!

Another thing every dad will be thankful for? Compression socks! If your dad has a bold style, pick him out a pair of Sigvaris Microfiber Shades compression socks. Available in four striped colors and two new shades – heather navy and heather graphite, these socks provide 15-20 mmHg compression to prevent fatigue and swelling while energizing legs. Microfiber is moisture-wicking, so it will keep him cool and dry. These socks are great to wear while exercising, or afterwards to promote muscle recovery.
Sigvaris Shades compression socks in pink  sigvaris shades compression socks in onyx  sigvaris shades compression socks in graphite heather  sigvaris shades compression socks in graphite  sigvaris shades compression socks in navy heather  sigvaris shades compression socks in navy

Give your dad the gift of comfort. The Allegro Milk Socks aren’t your average compression socks. These socks are ridiculously soft and come in a variety of solid colors to pair with suits or jeans. The Milk Socks provide 15-20 mmHg of compression for travel and everyday wear. If your dad sits at a desk all day or is standing for long periods of time, these socks will prevent his legs and feet from being sore and tired at the end of the day.
milk sock in black  milk sock in navy  milk sock in white  milk sock in grey

Lastly, don’t forget a personal touch. A handmade card or nice picture frame goes a long way. Handmade gifts are always worth more than any present. A nice dinner at home, swapping old stories and spending some time together will make a memorable Father’s Day. Plus, it will give him a chance to reminisce about the “good ol’ days.”

And finally, the part you’ve been waiting for – enter below to win a $50 gift card for Father’s Day! Share the giveaway on social media or leave a comment on this blog post to win. The winner will be announced on Friday so you can surprise your dad with a gift card on Sunday. Good luck!

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Shop These Gifts For Father’s Day:

Spring-Inspired Armsleeves Are Here!

The flowers are blooming, the sun is shining and the grass even seems greener. Yes, Spring is finally here! Welcome the warm weather with new armsleeves from Juzo and LympheDivas to revamp your wardrobe this season.

If you’re looking for a striking pattern this Spring, you’re going to love these new LympheDivas compression armsleeves, gauntlets and gloves. If you have a bold style and favor armsleeves that stand out, the Festival armsleeve in a hippie-meets-paisley pattern is a great choice for you. For a more relaxed look, the Ava armsleeve is designed with colorful birds and is a perfect option for your Spring wardrobe. If you’re browsing for something more hardcore, the Misfit armsleeve features skulls that are complimented with vibrant butterflies. You’ll feel like you’re at the beach with the ocean-colored Sea Breeze armsleeve, decorated with starfish and seashells. All LympheDivas gloves and gauntlets are designed to match your armsleeve and are available in 20-30 and 30-40 mmHg compression levels.

Juzo Dream Colors Spring 2016 - BrightLife DirectFinally, the wait is over. The Juzo Dream Collection for Spring 2016 is here! Introducing new, spring-inspired colors in knee highs, thigh highs, pantyhose, leggings, armsleeves and gauntlets in three compression levels. Choose from Cosmo Blue, Fiesta Red, Mardi Gras Purple, Copper Beach, Appletini, Kitty Cat Grey, and Yoga Yellow in Naturally Sheer, Juzo Soft and the Dynamic lines. Juzo Dream colors are available in tie dye and black tie dye in Juzo Soft and Dynamic only.

Don’t see what you’re looking for? Give us a call at 1-877-545-8585 or send us an email at custserv@brightlifedirect.com and we’ll add it for you!

Our Easter Bunny Wish List

Are you ready for a great Easter weekend? Why not grab a few extra things to help decorate your home and fill your family’s Easter baskets. We’ve put together a list of things that we would personally love to get from the Easter Bunny (*hint*hint*) including some great egg-themed centerpieces, floral serving ware, and socks in fun spring patterns. Check out our favorite things below!
Easter Socks!

The First World Lymphedema Day!

BrightLife Direct Supports World Lymphedema Day

We are so excited to share the highlights from the very first annual World Lymphedema Day. March 6 is dedicated to honor lymphedema patients and this year, this great day was made official by the US Government. World Lymphedema Day is meant to promote awareness to this condition and show appreciation to everyone who is affected by lymphedema. More than 150 million people suffer from lymphedema worldwide and it is time that we find a cure.

One of the leaders in lymphedema advocacy, the Lymphatic Education & Research Network (LE&RN), led the effort to officially dedicate March 6th as World Lymphedema Day. This organization strives to raise awareness and educate people about this condition and has worked side by side with Kathy Bates to get the voices of lymphedema patients heard.

Senators Chuck Schumer and Chuck Grassley introduced a Resolution to the US Senate to recognize March 6th as World Lymphedema Day. Many lymphedema patients shared their stories and talked about how they were celebrating the day, urging others to spread the message.

Many people are aware of the fight against cancer, but few know that many breast cancer survivors develop lymphedema as a result of treatment. Others are born with it. Lymphedema can develop in the arms or legs and symptoms range from mild to severe. With so many people suffering from this condition, it is surprising that so few doctors are aware of it. This results in many patients going un-diagnosed for much of their life, and their symptoms worsening without proper treatment.

March is Lymphedema Awareness Month. We urge you to take some time to learn more about lymphedema, talk about it with your friends and family, and see how you can help make a difference this month. To show our support, we are giving away one Juzo Soft compression garment of your choice! The winner can choose one of the following in any size, color and compression level: knee highs, thigh highs, pantyhose, leggings, gauntlet, glove or armsleeve.

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Relief for Ankle Pain!

If you experience pain or swelling in your ankles, we have some great tips and products to help you feel better, fast. Ankle pain is most often caused from a sprain, osteoarthritis, tendinitis, gout, stress fracture or an injury. Symptoms of ankle pain can include numbness or tingling, swelling, redness, weakness and stiffness.

TREATMENT

Rest:

Try to stay off your feet for a while. The less stress you put on your ankle, the better. With most pain and injury, giving your body a break and a little TLC is all it needs to heal. For more serious injuries or ongoing pain, you may want to look into daily or weekly regimens to help manage and treat your pain.

Ice and Elevation:

At the end of the day or when you have the time, prop your ankle up above heart level with pillows or on the back of the couch. Putting ice on your ankle for about 20-30 minutes a few times a day will help reduce the swelling and pain. For an injury, the swelling should go down in a couple of days and depending on the severity, the pain should subside within a week or two at the most.

Ankle Braces:

If you are experiencing pain, it is important not to push yourself. The more stress you put on your ankle, the longer it will take to heal and you will increase your chances of it becoming a more serious complication. It is important to support your ankle with an ankle brace or wrap to help it heal, prevent injury and get relief.

MalleoTrain Ankle Brace by Bauerfeind

MalleoTrain Ankle Brace by Bauerfeind

To reduce ankle pain and swelling, try out the MalleoTrain ankle brace. It has won several awards for design and functionality.

This knit brace has two cushions on the inner and outer ankle bones that massages the ankle joint as you walk and helps to support and stabilize your ankle.

If you are injured, have osteoarthritis or recently had surgery, this brace will help you get relief. The MalleoTrain ankle brace is available in three different colors and is great for everyday wear.

 

PREVENTION

Make sure you are wearing comfortable and supportive shoes, especially when you are exercising or plan on doing a lot of walking.  If you notice tenderness in your ankle or you have been more active than usual, take a couple of minutes to stretch.
Orthosleeve FS6 Compression Foot SleeveIf you have suffered from an ankle injury in the past, it is extremely important to make sure your ankle is supported. If you are exercising, try wearing a foot sleeve or an ankle brace to protect and prevent injury.

If you’re looking for a foot sleeve to wear everyday or while exercising that isn’t bulky, check out the OrthoSleeve FS6 Compression Foot Sleeve. It can be worn under your normal socks or shoes and is safe to wear overnight. It is made from a lightweight, moisture-wicking fabric and helps to relieve symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis, Achilles Tendonitis, swollen feet, heel spurs and chronic arch or heel pain.

If you have tried numerous remedies to reduce the pain and swelling and have had no luck, make sure you see a doctor immediately, especially if you can’t put much weight on your ankle.

BROWSE ANKLE BRACES AND WRAPS

If you have tips on relieving ankle pain or have questions about prevention or treatment, comment below!