How to take off compression socks!

How to take your compression socks off quickly and easily.

We’ve all been there. Compression socks can be hard to get on and off, especially when you’re dealing with a higher compression or full length pantyhose. It can be even harder in the heat of summer. We put together some tips to help you get your compression socks off quickly and easily.

To get your compression socks off, whether they are knee high, thigh high, or pantyhose, grab them from the top of the stocking where the fabric is – NOT the top band. If you grab the stockings by the top band, they can rip, so be sure you are holding the fabric of the stocking – not the silicone top band.

Once you have a grip on the sock, slowly fold the stocking down your leg, almost like peeling a banana. You should then be able to slip it right off your foot. Here’s a quick video on how to take your compression socks off:

Donning gloves are great to use to get your socks on and off. These gloves protect the fabric and help you to get a better grip. (These work miracles in hotter weather!) There are also tools to help get your stockings off that work like a charm. See how our top rated doffing aids work below:

Sigvaris SIMON Donning & Doffing Aid

Medi Butler Off – Doffing Aid

Sigvaris Doff N’ Donner

Click Here To Learn More Or Shop Doffing Accessories

Still struggling or have questions? Give us a call at 1-877-545-8585 and we’ll talk you through it. Want to get your compression socks back on faster? Check out these tips to get your compression socks on without the hassle!

May is Ehlers-Danlos Awareness Month!

For those of you who don’t know, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) affects the connective tissues such as the skin, joints, and blood vessel walls. EDS symptoms include joints that stretch farther than normal, or have stretchy or fragile skin. EDS symptoms and the severity can vary from person to person.

There are different types of EDS, some of which are genetically inherited. EDS can take decades to diagnose. Many people who are diagnosed were very flexible in their childhood and were often involved in gymnastics, cheerleading or dancing. Others bruise easily and may frequently dislocate something.

Some people with EDS find that compression can help. Compression garments increase blood flow and help speed up muscle recovery after overexertion. Braces can benefit people with the hypermobility EDS type by helping to stabilize the joints to relieve pain.

May is EDS Awareness Month and it is important to help spread the word. Here’s how you can get involved:

  • Share your story online and connect with others
  • Create special events in your local community to educate people
  • Show your stripes! Rep zebra all month and make sure everyone knows why. You never know who you will inspire to advocate.

How are you getting involved for EDS Awareness Month? Comment below to share ūüôā

Additional Resources

Types of EDS – Rare Diseases

Get involved for EDS Awareness Month!

23 Signs You Grew Up With EDS – The Mighty

Patient Support – The Ehlers-Danlos Society

 

Morning Cayenne? We tried it!

“Well, if the Kardashians are doing it – that’s one reason for me to NOT do it.” That was my coworker Scott’s reaction to my suggestion that we all try a new morning health drink routine in the office. I, personally, love everything Kardashian and want to drink what they’re drinking.

Like me, you’ve probably seen or heard hundreds of suggestions and opinions on how to start your day off right. If you do a quick google search, you’ll find thousands of recipes for morning smoothies and drink concoctions that promise a world of health benefits. And, if you pick up any health or celebrity magazine, you’ll find famous faces listing off the strange things they do to keep slim and healthy. Martha Stewart starts every morning off with a green juice, Jennifer Aniston drinks hot water with lemon, Marilyn Monroe drank two raw eggs whipped in warm milk, Beethoven counted out exactly 60 coffee beans for his morning cup of coffee, and Kourtney Kardashian apparently¬†drinks apple cider vinegar every morning.

I wanted to give one of these morning drink routines a shot, so I did some research to find the best recipe and enlisted the help of my coworkers. I specifically looked for recipes that had ingredients shown to improve circulation and reduce inflammation (since that’s what BrightLife Direct is all about!). The recipe includes, ginger, turmeric, cayenne, honey, molasses and lemon.

What do these do?

  • Ginger – Anti-inflammatory super power! It has also been shown to reduce blood sugar levels and improve digestion and blood flow.
  • Turmeric – Another anti-inflammatory spice. It has also been shown to prevent and treat cancers, help with depression and lower risk of heart disease.
  • Cayenne – Great for circulation as it improves blood flow. This super spice can also improve digestion, lower blood pressure, boost your metabolism and reduce hunger.
  • Honey – Rich in antioxidants!
  • Molasses – Unlike sugar, molasses contains vitamins and nutrients,¬†such as iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B6, and selenium.
  • Lemon – Rich in Vitamin C and great for digestion. Lemons also¬† contain¬†bioflavinoids which can strengthen blood vessels.

Personally – I found the drink PRETTY spicy and hard to get down every morning, but I wanted those health benefits so I chugged it quickly! I was fighting a cold during the week I drank this, and by the third day I felt so much better. I also found that I wasn’t hungry for my morning snack (usually around 10:30 a.m.) and that I didn’t need a second cup of coffee because the spice gave me a kick!

We drank it every morning for a week. Here’s what everyone else in our office said –

“It did help suppress my appetite if I had 2 glasses of it. It also felt like it gave me a better boost of energy than what coffee would do, and I lost 2 pounds from drinking it that week!” – David (was drinking in the morning and lunch time)

“I liked the taste, but I love Bloody Mary’s. I lost three pounds and they’ve stayed off, so I would do it again as a cleanse.” – Scott

“I think I had a bit more energy, not so much a boost, but throughout the day I felt more energized. Still needs vodka but otherwise very good :)” – Mark

“I liked it! The spiciness gave me an instant jolt of energy. I didn’t notice a difference in my appetite until 3 or 4 days in, but after not drinking it today I definitely noticed a difference. I’ve been super hungry! One thing I did not notice a change in is nausea/digestion.” – Catie

Bottoms up!

Ingredients:

  • 1¬†cup¬†water
  • 1/2¬†teaspoon¬†ground ginger
  • 1/2¬†teaspoon¬†ground turmeric
  • 1/2¬†teaspoon¬†ground cayenne pepper
  • 2¬†teaspoons¬†honey
  • 1/2¬†teaspoon¬†molasses
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • sparkling water or kombucha¬†for topping

Directions:

  1. Combine the water, ginger, turmeric, cayenne, honey, molasses, and lemon juice. Shake or stir well to combine. Chill until ready to drink. Shake before serving.
  2. Add ice to 2 glasses, pour over the water and top with sparkling water.
  3. Drink up!

What is your morning routine? Would you try this?

NOTE: We’re not doctors. Please check that any medicine you’re taking does not interact with these spices before trying. Check with your medical professional or doctor if you’re uncertain.

Get Involved for Lymphedema Awareness Month + Giveaway

As many of you know, March is Lymphedema Awareness Month. Each year, BrightLife Direct supports the lymphedema community through advocacy, education, and giving back. This year, we are offering a $100 gift card to one lucky winner! You can find the rules and enter below.

What Is Lymphedema?

First, for those who are unfamiliar with lymphedema, here is some background information: Lymphedema is a chronic lymphatic disease that is characterized by swelling (edema), most commonly in the arms or legs. This condition affects over 100 million people worldwide, yet is still unknown to many doctors and patients. Some people are born with lymphedema, and others develop it after a surgical procedure, often following a breast cancer diagnosis.

Today, there is no cure for lymphedema. However, the lymphedema community has made great strides in awareness to bring this condition to light to find a cure. Award-winning actress, Kathy Bates, developed lymphedema after undergoing a mastectomy. She is now the face of the Lymphatic Education & Research Network (LE&RN), sharing her story with the world to help others.

How Do You Manage Lymphedema?

Without proper management, lymphedema can become a debilitating disease. However, with manual lymph drainage (MLD), exercising, staying hydrated, and the regular use of wearing compression garments, swelling can be minimized. Many people with lymphedema struggle with the idea of having to wear compression stockings or armsleeves for life, but compression companies are listening and are making garments that are as comfortable and pleasing as possible.

Well-known compression brands like Jobst, Mediven, and Juzo, all offer compression garments in a wide range of sizes and styles in both the upper and lower extremities. For fashionistas, don’t you worry! There are tons of stylish armsleeves and stockings out there waiting for you. If you want a fun patterned armsleeve with a matching glove or gauntlet, LympheDivas has you covered. Choose from their ever-expanding range of patterns and colors to add some pizazz to your wardrobe. (Check out LympheDudes for men!) Juzo is also hip to fun colors and patterns as well. The Juzo Dream Collection offers new colors for Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter in knee highs, thigh highs, pantyhose, leggings and armsleeves. The Dream Collection is available in 15-20, 20-30, 30-40, and 40-50 mmHg in sheer, tie-dye, and opaque styles.

If you struggle to put on traditional compression garments, we have you covered as well. Compression wraps are a great alternative and are easy to put on. More and more people with lymphedema are turning to wraps for their ability to adjust compression levels and are able to accommodate swelling fluctuations. Therapists love them for their ability to fit like a custom garment at a ready-to-wear price. BiaCare, CircAid, Solaris, and Juzo, all offer fantastic wraps for the legs and arms. If you would like to learn more about these wraps, check out our Compression Wrap Catalog for more information.

BrightLife Direct understands the difficulty in finding the right garment. Between finding the right fabric or size, it can be an overwhelming process. Give us a call at 1-877-545-8585 and talk to our team of certified fitters to find the perfect garment for you. We are always happy to help you.

How Can You Get Involved In Lymphedema Awareness Month?

  • Local Events: Get involved in upcoming events. LE&RN has a ton of opportunities to get involved in your local community and online. Check out their website to find a chapter near you.
  • Online Advocacy: The lymphedema community is growing everyday. Join a Facebook group or search on Twitter and Instagram to connect with fellow lymphies! People from all over the world are sharing their journeys through blogs and social media to support one another.
  • March 6th is World Lymphedema Day. Share posts online and include #WLD2018 to show your support. Many cities all over the world will be lighting up landmarks in blue in honor of World Lymphedema Day.
  • Follow us on social media! This month, BrightLife will be sharing tons of educational information and tips for managing lymphedema. Check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Enter To Win Our Giveaway!

There are many ways to enter to win a $100 gift card. Your options are listed below. You can tweet your entry and comment on this blog post daily to better your chances of winning. The winner will be announced on Friday, April 6th, so make sure you are following BrightLife Direct on social media! The deadline to enter is Sunday, April 1, 2018 at 12:00am EST. Good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Where Can I Find Support And Other Resources?

Learn more about CDT and MLD

Check out some awesome lymphedema blogs and communities

Join LE&RN to keep up with the latest lymphedema news and events

Browse compression garments to manage lymphedema

Stay up to date with the National Lymphedema Network (NLN)

Must-Have Socks of 2017: Best Sellers

Allegro_horiz_generalWith the end of the year rapidly approaching, it’s time to take a look at our customer favorites this year. Allegro continues to be our most popular brand – with consistently great prices and styles, it’s hard for customers to pass up! Jobst, Medi, and Juzo also make appearances in our best-sellers list. These brands have a wider range of sizes, colors and fabrics to suit any legs.

Check out our best selling socks and armsleeves below!

Best Selling Sheer Compression Lines

  1. Allegro Essential Sheers
  2. Jobst UltraSheer
  3. Medi Sheer & Soft

Best Selling 20-30 mmHg Compression Socks

  1. Allegro Essential Sheers
  2. Allegro Surgical Knee Highs 20-30 mmHg
  3. Allegro Essential – Mens Ribbed Support Socks 20-30mmHg – # 102
  4. Allegro Essential – Unisex Cotton Compression Sock 20-30mmHg – # 111
  5. Jobst Relief Knee Highs

Best Selling Compression Accessory

  1. It Stays – Body Adhesive
  2. Juzo Laundry Bag
  3. Hosiery Mate Revitalizing Washing Solution
  4. Jobst Stocking Donner

Best Selling Diabetic Socks

  1. Jobst Sensifoot
  2. SmartKnit Seamless Diabetic Socks
  3. Aetrex Copper Sole Socks
  4. Juzo 5760 Silver Sole Socks
  5. Sockwell Diabetic Socks

Best Selling Lymphedema Armsleeves

  1. Juzo Soft Armsleeves
  2. Mediven Harmony Armsleeves
  3. Juzo Varin Armsleeves
  4. Jobst Bella Lite Armsleeves
  5. Allegro Armsleeves

Best Selling Athletic Compression Socks

  1. Allegro Athletic Compression Socks
  2. Jobst Athletic Compression Socks
  3. TheraSport Socks and Leg Sleeves
  4. Sigvaris Athletic Compression Socks
  5. Therafirm Core-Sport Socks and Sleeves

Best Travel Compression Socks

  1. Juzo Cotton Knee High 15-20 mmHg
  2. Allegro Copper Socks 15-20 mmHg
  3. Allegro Milk Compression Socks
  4. Therafirm Cushioned Core-Spun Socks
  5. Sockwell Men’s Argyle Compression Socks

What were your favorite products from 2017?

Holiday Gift Guide For Everyone On Your List

The holidays are almost here and it’s time to shop! Save big on¬†holiday sales¬†and find awesome gifts for everyone on your list. Time seems to fly by faster every year, and finding the right gift can be difficult and time consuming. Check out some of the gifts we put on our wish list this year. You can either pick a category or start scrolling to see our favorite finds:

Gifts for the Traveler

Gifts for Outdoor Enthusiasts

Gifts for the Home

Gardening Gifts

Gifts for Foodies

For most people, the holidays = travel, travel, travel. 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. To keep yourself entertained, check out some of the gadgets and accessories we’re hoping to get this year:

Universal Travel Power Adapter – $16.58

This is a great present for someone who travels internationally a lot. This power adapter will work in over 150 countries. Perfect for traveling to Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Central America, South America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

AmazonBasics 4 Piece Packing Cube Set – $19.99

Figuring out how to pack in an organized way for a trip can be stressful. These cubes are a great way to smartly store all your things for your next vacation. Great to take on any road trip or flight!

Coloring Book and Colored Pencil Set – $8.99

Coloring books are a great way to relieve stress and keep yourself entertained on any trip. Adult coloring books are the new trend, and I can get behind it! Coloring can be a fun way to unwind and kill a few hours on a long car or plane ride. I suggest colored pencils….crayons can melt and if a cap falls off a marker it can leave an unwanted mark on your vacation!

Rosetta Stone 12 Month Subscription – $117.99

For the international traveler, a subscription to Rosetta Stone is a huge help! Get your fellow traveler a gift they can use this holiday season. Choose from a variety of subscriptions and language options. The Rosetta package we chose is a 12 month subscription for 24 languages.

Airbnb Gift Card – Any Amount!

Traveling can be expensive. What better way to encourage your friends and family to travel than to help them out with accommodations! This also makes a great stocking stuffer. Choose the amount you would like to give on the Airbnb website.

Sockwell Compression Socks – $24.99

If you are a die-hard traveler, you’ve heard about the wonders of compression socks. If you haven’t, here’s the travel game changer you’ve been waiting for: 15-20 mmHg compression is recommended for travel to prevent fatigue, swelling and blood clots, all while keeping your legs fresh, energized and ache-free. Skip boring beige and opt for some fun compression socks, like these ones from Sockwell! Choose from a variety of patterns and colors for men and women.

Bose QuietComfort Noise-Cancelling Headphones – $179.00

Music is a great way to pass the time while traveling, but there’s nothing worse than a baby crying right behind you. Leave those days in the past with a pair of noise-cancelling headphones. Throw in an iTunes gift card with these headphones and your friends or family will be singing praises!

Travel Notebook – $11.95

Get your favorite traveler this vacation-inspired notebook. Great for jotting down notes, attractions and fun things to do. Can’t go wrong!

Go Pro Hero5 Black – $399.00

This present is definitely a splurge, but a worth-while treat at that! Any athlete or traveler would love, and excessively use a pocket-sized weather-proof camera like this. There are tons of camera devices nowadays, so see what they would want! Digital cameras and Polaroids are great options too!

Priority Pass Subscription – $99.00+

This is a great present for anyone who flies a lot. This subscription gives you access to lounges with free WIFI in various airports. Finally, a quiet place to relax before catching their flight!

Habor Digital Luggage Scale – $9.29

I’m one of those people who always needs to check the weight of their suitcase before flying to make sure the weight limit isn’t over 50 lbs. If you have friend or family member like me who has to sit on their suitcase to close it before a trip, this luggage scale could come in handy!

Book Club Subscription – $14.99/month+

Another way to pass the time is to put your nose in a great book. Since everyone loves getting lost in different adventures, finding a good book, especially for someone else, can be difficult. Instead, opt for one of these book subscription services! Here are few different book clubs to see what would be best for your friends and family.

 

If you have a friend or family member that practically lives outdoors, we have some great ideas for gifts this holiday season. Check out some of our favorite camping, hiking and outdoor lounging finds below:

Arctic Zone Cooler – $30.99

This cooler can hold 16 cans and is very durable. It is great for camping, hiking, day trips, or sitting on the sidelines at a game. There are other sizes than can hold up to 48 cans! This one is available in three colors.

Winner Outfitters 2 Person Hammock – $25.99

Nothing says relaxation like a hammock! This one fits two people, or up to 500 lbs. This lightweight hammock takes about 3 minutes to set up and is small enough to bring on hiking trips. Choose from four color combinations.

Shrink Sports Collapsible Water Bottle – $15.99

This nifty collapsible water bottle is lightweight, durable and versatile. It expands into a normal, functional water bottle, but when you don’t need it, collapse it and save the space in your bag. Great stocking stuffer!

Cairn Subscription Box – $27.45+

This is a pretty cool gift. There are a few options to choose from, but this subscription service through Cairn will surprise you with a mystery a box each month filled with surprise gifts you’ll love. You’ll get 3-6 full-sized outdoorsy products monthly.¬†These subscription boxes like Cairn and FabFitFun are the hot new presents to get this year.

Evocrest Collapsible Trekking Poles – $59.95

If you love hiking, grab yourself a pair of these trekking poles. They are collapsible so they can easily be stored when they’re not needed on your hike. They are also shock absorbing and adjustable so either kids or adults can use them. These lightweight poles are a great gift for your favorite explorer.

Venture Pal Backpack – $20.99

This backpack is perfect for a day trip or going for a hike. This durable backpack has plenty of pockets to keep your friends or family organized. It is very lightweight and can be folded up to save space! Great for traveling too. Available in nine fun colors.

KuchenChef Picnic Backpack Set for 2 – $34.95

A picnic to go! This cool backpack has silverware, picnic blanket and room for lots of food, all in one place. This picnic set is set for two, complete with wine stakes for holding glasses upright, a wood cheese board, wood handle cheese knife set, stainless steel cutlery, non shatter acrylic cups, salt and pepper shakers, wooden corkscrew with bottle opener, matching gingham plates and napkins, salt/pepper shakers and fleece blanket with a waterproof backing. This lightweight picnic basket even features a cooler section. What more can they want?

Sigvaris Athletic Compression Socks – $28.76+

Compression socks are a great way to keep athletes healthy and active. 15-20 mmHg of compression promotes muscle recovery to help you get back out there the next day. 20-30 mmHg of compression helps to enhance performance so you can run farther and train harder at the gym. Save an extra 10% off all Sigvaris compression socks through December 31st – no coupon code required.

Toasis Multi Tool for Camping – $8.98

This handy tool is small enough to fit in your pocket to help you out of a quick jam when you’re camping. It¬†can convert into pliers, a knife, wire cutter, screwdriver, bottle opener, saw, nail file, fish scaler, and can opener. Great for Mr. Fix It!

Omni Inflatable Lounger – $34.99

This inflatable lounger doubles as a place to lay down and as a pool floatie! Great for the beach, the backyard, the pool or to take camping. Best of all? This lounger folds into a small, lightweight backpack so it can be taken anywhere.

SuBleer Collapsible Lantern 2 Pack – $15.99

This 2 pack of lanterns are the size of an iPhone 6 and are collapsible for easy storage. Great for camping or emergencies like hurricanes or power outages. Up to 12 hours of battery life with regular, continuous use.

Teryei Portable Solar Powered Charger – $21.99

Low phone battery? No problem! This phone charger is great for hiking, camping or even a day trip to keep your devices alive so you never miss a picture. This is a great present for anyone on your list.

 

Whether you’re looking for a housewarming gift or something to brighten someone’s day, here are some great gifts for around the house:

Handmade Watercolor World Map – $49.99

Looking for a handmade gift? This world map will make an awesome present for your favorite traveler. What better way to mark old memories and plan new ones?

Bonsai Tree – $26.99

This dwarf tree is a great gift for the greenthumb in your life. Bonsai trees are believed to bring good luck. Growing and taking care of it is thought to relieve stress and can be a great hobby!

Chanasya Faux Fur Throw Р$26.99

This super soft, comfy fur throw is a great present that you know they will love! Features velvet on the other side. This particular frost grey throw is available in two sizes. The best part – no animals were hurt making this blanket ūüôā

Capri Blue Stargazer Candle – $14.00+

This cute candle is a simple, easy gift that you know they’ll use. Perfect for those who need to de-stress after a long day at work. Choose from three different options.

Destinations of a Lifetime: Coffee Table Book – $27.19

This book covers 225 places to visit and serves as a great flip through or conversation starter. This hardcover book is made by National Geographic so you know the pictures are to die for! It makes a perfect coffee table book.

Therafirm Core-Spun Compression Socks – $16.97

Compression socks help to stimulate circulation so blood doesn’t pool in your legs. This helps to prevent fatigue, blood clots and swelling. Therafirm offers a ton of different compression socks in a large variety of sizes. EASE are soft, stretchy and come in a variety of colors. Looking for something stretchy? Try the Core-Spun line. Shop now and¬†save an extra 15% off through January 2nd, 2018. Prices already discounted.

Clip Collage Frame – $20.24

Give a sentimental gift. Pick up a picture frame or DIY your own and share your favorite memories together. This is a really great gift for moms!

Mixed Color Agate Coaster Set of 4 – $44.99

These cool coasters are a great present that you know will get used.  This unique, fun gift is great for the artsy type and adds a great splash of color to any room.

COOSA 100 ml Glass Essential Oil Diffuser – $39.99

This oil diffuser is great for the office, living room, or bedroom is a great way to freshen up the room and promote relaxation. A cool mist adds moisture to the air to make it feel more like a spa. This quiet diffuser has 4 time settings and features 7 color changing LED lights.

Assorted Antique World Map Glass Magnets – Set of 6 – $21.50

These cute magnets are a great gift for friends and family of all ages. Great for college kids too! This set of six magnets features a world map. This gift makes a good stocking stuffer as well.

 

Gardening gifts always go to use. We searched the internet and found tons of useful and fun things. If you’re looking for excellent senior products you’re in luck. Here are our top picks of fun garden accessories and tools to help make gardening easier and even more fun for people of all ages:

Windmill Birdhouse – $22.97

This cute birdhouse will look great in any backyard. This is great for the nature-lover or birdwatcher in your life. This rustic windmill birdhouse is sure to brighten up anyone’s day, but there are a lot of cute options out there to choose from. Another notable option is this adorable lighthouse birdhouse.

Costzon Cider Press – $89.99

This is a great gift for families with kids or a passion for apples. This cider press holds up to 1.6 gallons and can be used to make various kinds of fruit juices and even wine. I’d say it’s a win for kids and adults!

Mason Jars – Set of 12 – $21.99

They might seem underrated, but these are one of the most useful gifts you could give! Mason jars are great for crafts, canning and so much more. They’re also perfect for meal prepping and storing salads. These make good gifts for artsy, outdoorsy people. They can always find a use for an empty mason jar! Check out some of these DIY mason jar makeover ideas¬†for inspiration.

Wexley 2 Gallon Watering Can – $29.64

This trendy watering can makes a great gift for anyone who spends their time in the garden. This watering can hold 2 gallons and features a beautiful blue color.

Best Choice Gardening Work Seat Р$64.94 

This is a great gift for someone who has a hard time getting around. Instead of having to kneel down to garden, sit on this work seat and wheel yourself around as needed. It even includes a basket to keep tools in!

C-Hopetree Flower Box – 3 pots – $39.90

This flower box has 3 pots built into it and can be hung. This stylish planter box makes a great gift for greenthumbs, especially in the winter so they can bring the outdoors inside with them. This also is a good gift for seniors who love to garden but have a hard time bending over. Place it on the windowsill for them to enjoy.

Regal Art & Gift Gecko Decor – Set of 2 – $15.49

There are so many cute animals to add to your garden! Between butterflies, birds, lizards, dragonflies, and even artsy mushrooms, suns, stars, and more, you can help someone create a wonderland in their own backyard!

Vegetable Seeds – $0.50+

If you have friend or family member who’s always in the dirt, seeds are a great gift! Get them seeds of their favorite vegetables or bulbs of their favorite flowers. You can buy seeds at your local farmer’s market or even Home Depot, who even has a guide to help you find the right seed and buy it in the same place.

FLORA GUARD 3 Piece Gardening Tools – $19.99

Most people who love gardening have some tools in their shed. So what better than to get them something that stands out from all the rest? These cute garden tools are an awesome gift for your favorite greenthumb.

Mod Hod 3 Stackable Bins – $29.95 each

Another great gift for those who have a hard time bending over. Plus, these stackable bins are a great way to store those yummy veggies straight out of the garden!

VegeAQUA Vegetable Soap Р$11.49

If you know a germaphob…..they will appreciate this! Finally they can wash off their fruit and vegetables from the store and remove all the pesticides and germs with organic soap that is specifically designed to go on produce. It is safe to use and better for you and your veggies. It uses No Detergents, Oils, or Preservatives.¬†You can pick up soap for produce online or at your local grocery store.

Thick Kneeling Pad for Gardening – $15.94

This kneeling pad is a knee-saver. It is perfect for anyone who’s always got their head in the garden or is always on the ground working on their car. This pad is also great to use to sit on while you’re outside too.

3 SunGrow Glass Terrariums Р$11.95

These are a great way to bring the outdoors into the office or house. Place them on your desk or hang them above your table. They can also be hung in a hanger. This set of orbs includes succulents, flowers & colorful stones.

Frog Tree Peeker – $12.98

You’ve probably seen the tree face before…but did you know how many different variations there are these days? There are elf peekers, racoons, bears, frogs, owls and so much more. If you know someone who finds these other tree decals as silly as me, they will love this gift.

 

For the professional chef or the food 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. Check out more gift ideas for foodies below:

Kitchen Gizmo Snap ‘N Strain Clip On Strainer – $12.99

This handy gadget makes life so much easier for the regular pasta eater. Just clip this on to any pot (big or small) and strain without the stress! This present also makes a great stocking stuffer. Made BPA free and is dishwasher safe.

Mr. Beer Premium Homebrewing Craft Beer Making Kit – $49.99

This is an awesome gift for the beer-lover in your life. They can make their own craft beer with this kit. It comes with two beer refills, a convenient 2 gallon fermenter, bottles, caps, carbonation drops, sanitizer and brewing instructions.

Constellation Mug – $15.95

If you know someone who needs a cup of coffee before starting anything in the morning, you know they can always use another mug in the cupboard! This constellation mug will have you thinking big every morning. What’s cooler is that when this cup heats up it reveals the constellations in the starry sky.

Williams Sonoma Gift Card – Any amount!

A Williams Sonoma gift card is a great gift for chefs, waiters, bartenders and passionate food lovers. Let them get the tools they need to run a tight kitchen!

Watermelon Slicer – $7.49

This watermelon cutter is revolutionary. If you know someone who loves watermelon then they need this in their life. This not only slices but picks up each slice easily and without the mess. Bring it to your next picnic and see for yourself! This is an awesome stocking stuffer too.

Deluxe DIY Gourmet Kit With 6 Hot Sauce Recipes – $39.95

This make your own hot sauce kit is a terrific gift for all ages. If heat isn’t your thing, check out other make your own sauce kits like this DIY barbecue sauce kit.

Avalon 7-in-1 Slow Cooker – $69.00

This slow cooker is on my wish list this year! I love meal prepping with a slow cooker –¬† just throw it in and it cooks itself. It’s the easiest meal and tastes amazing every time. But this handy appliance is a total game changer.¬†Features a pressure cooker, a slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, saut√©, yogurt maker and a warmer.¬†

Copper Moscow Mule Mug Set – $59.99

This set is a great present for any adult that enjoys a good drink. Includes six straws, two shot glasses, and six coasters.

Allegro Milk Compression Socks Р$23.49 

If you work in the food industry and you’re on your feet all day, these Allegro Milk Compression Socks are¬†a match made in heaven – they’re our softest socks yet! These socks will give those tired, achy legs life again after that never-ending shift. Mild compression energizes tired, achy legs and feet to keep them happy and healthy. Save an extra 20% off MSRP on all Allegro socks and stockings through December 4th, 2017. Prices already discounted.

Vegetable Spiraler and Cutter – $14.84

This spiraler is a great way to change up the traditional vegetable dish. Includes a cutter so you can even peel and roll your vegetables. This is a great present or stocking stuffer for any healthy nut.

Kamenstein 20-Jar Revolving Spice Tower – $34.49

This spice rack is pretty cool, and price isn’t bad either, but the real sell is that you get refills on your spices for FIVE years. Yes – you read that right. What a great gift!

DEMMEX Copper Sauce Pan – $54.95

This copper pot is a great gift for any chef or food lover. It will make a gorgeous addition to any kitchen. Handmade in Turkey.

Wood Cutting Board – $12.99

This 14 x 10 inch wood cutting board is great for anyone who spends time in the kitchen. There are a lot of different styles available online for great prices!

Vintorio Wine Aerator Pourer – $18.80

This aerator makes your wine taste better than ever. Just attach it to the bottle and pour and taste the difference yourself. Pair this gift with a cute set of wine glasses and voila!

Pineapple Corer – $5.99

Last on the list but certainly not least is this pineapple corer, made from stainless steel. It’s a great price to save a ton of hassle. Just turn the knob at the top and spiral it down and watch it core and slice your pineapple. Pull it out and it’s ready to serve. Yum!

What are some of your favorite gift ideas this holiday season? Comment below to share.

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.

‚ÄúI 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.‚ÄĚ – 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 vs Containment

Sheer stocking show thruWe are often asked if sheer stockings provides the same compression as thicker, surgical weight stockings.  And when one thinks about it, how does a fine sheer fabric give the same amount of support as a much thicker, opaque fabric?  This question can be answered by explaining the difference between compression and containment.

Compression is the force pushing in on an object.  For compression stockings, that object is your leg.  If you wrap a fine thread and a thick rope around your leg, and pull on the ends with the same amount of force, you will be applying the same amount of compression to the area under the thread and the rope.   But what happens if your leg swells, and starts pushing back against the thread and the rope?   This is when containment comes into play.  The thick rope will do a much better job of containing the swelling, than the thin thread.

Now let’s examine the two main reasons people wear compression stockings.  The first is venous insufficiency.  This is when the valves in your veins that keep the blood from flowing south, don’t work properly.  Blood pools in the veins and you develop varicose veins.  Compressing the leg helps the valves work more efficiently.   There isn’t a lot of force pushing back or swelling, so the amount of containment the fabric provides isn’t that important.

The second most common reason for wearing compression stockings is to treat edema or swelling.  Excess bodily fluids that would normally be removed by the venous or lymphatic system accumulate in the tissue, causing it to swell.  Edema can be caused by many conditions and medications.   Here both compression and containment are very important in controlling and reducing the swelling, so a heavier or thicker fabric is probably the best choice.

The amount of compression and/or containment you need will depend on the condition being treated and the severity.  Talk to your doctor.

By: Pete@BrightLife Direct
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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.

Get Dirty

What does dirt have to do with compression…nothing specifically, but it turns out that like compression socks, it can be beneficial to everyone’s overall health.

I grew up in a small town, in central Wisconsin.  As soon as I got home from school, I changed into my play clothes and headed outside until dinner.  I’ve always been very fastidious about cleanliness, but that didn’t stop me from exploring the pond behind our house , the creek across the street, and all the dirt in between.  I played with frogs, bugs, and worms, ate vegetables right from the garden, and my dog loved to lick my face.  Now that I’m closing in on 60, I give a lot of credit for my good health to all of the germs I met as a kid.  Now science is confirming the importance of the microbes and bacteria we are exposed to at a very early age.

Dirt Is GoodIn their new book ‚ÄúDirt is Good‚ÄĚ, scientists Jack Gilbert, PHD and Rob Knight, PHD, along with Sandra Blakeslee explain the importance of germs in the development of our immune system at a very early age. ¬†And, how growing up in an over sterilized environment can actually be detrimental to our health in the long term and cause a lot of the new allergies we’ve seen in the last few years. It’s not just playing in the mud, though. The authors encourage a lot of behaviors that might make parents squirm, like letting a dog lick their child’s face, or eating something that’s been on the floor.

So, if you’re lucky enough to live in a place where nature is easily accessible, don’t be afraid to let your kids go outside and get a little dirty.   It’s great fun for them in the moment, and offers the possibility of significant health benefits years later.  

And to those of a younger generation, when your parents or grandparents complain of aching legs, or you notice spider or varicose veins on their ankles, encourage them to try a pair of compression stockings.   A mild or moderate compression is typically all that’s needed to treat these symptoms.  Both are easy to put on, comfortable to wear, and like a little dirt, can provide health benefits that last into old age.