Om official review, a gift box for migraine sufferers and a company that gives back

I have been lucky enough to review the Deluxe Om Community Box- “Pioneer.”  Let me begin with saying that this is more than a product review.  It  is a great website and resource for migraine sufferers and people looking to get in touch with their mind, body and soul.   There is a lot of inspiration along with yoga, meditation and information about treating Migraine naturally and thoughts on medication.

Om is a beautiful website run by women looking to help people like you and me.   The products are a thought out package of items that gives back to others while offering a well-rounded gift to those in need.

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So what’s in the box?

 

 

11photo-jpegA feature I love about this box is the personal touch that really makes it feel like a gift.  When I opened the box each product was wrapped and it featured a unique handcrafted fabric packaging from Sop Moei Arts, a non-profit that gives villagers in Thailand (who have long faced poverty and malnutrition) a sustainable form of income by practicing their age-old traditions in weaving.

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Next, I read  an inspirational card along with a handwritten note.  There’s something about a personal note that says present to me.  Thoughtful words from a thoughtful company.

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Steve’s Paleo Bar- Paleo and Ketogenic diets are helpful for reducing inflammation.  I ate my bar on the way to a workout class one morning and found it to taste great while giving me the fuel my body needed.  15% of proceeds from sales of Steve’s PaleoGoods go to Steve’s Club National Program – a non-profit that brings fitness, nutrition guidance and mentorship to at-risk youth.

 

During and after my workout I drank a lot of water! Dehydration is one of the most common migraine triggers. With that said, Om included a deliciously refreshing, soothing, and all organic peppermint tea.

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The Tea Spot-provides a handcrafted organic tea and is a business that gives a full 10% of all sales to cancer wellness and community programs. The Tea spot owner is a also a  migraine sufferer.

 

 

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Natural Calm- Natural Vitality is a magnesium supplement. It can help reduce headaches while supporting heart and bone health, better sleep, natural energy production and natural stress reduction.  I now keep my Natural Calm in my work bag and have drank it before a stressful day or during the day at the onset or spike of a migraine.  It is a packet I throw in my water and enjoy!  Simple, effective and refreshing

Natural Vitality, initiated a natural revitalization environmental action initiative called the Calm Earth Project. Funded by a percentage of product sales, this program is an extension of their corporate mission to change conditions on this planet to promote personal, societal and environmental health.

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Magazines- Three magazine were included in my box.  It interested me in a variety of ways with Yoga journal, Migraine headaches and NIH Medicine plus.  They are great for information and insight into making better health choices and news on Migraine and headaches.

Two products are provided by Erbaviva, in which the owner is also a migraine sufferer.  Erbaviva is a proud financial supporter of The BlinkNow Foundation, a non-profit that runs the Kopila Valley Children’s Home and School for impoverished children in Nepal.

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Erbaviva’s Relax bath salts- Allow your mind and body to let go while the organic essential oils nourish and restore you. This summer I started taking more baths and have found it to be a relaxing and calm way to treat stress and headaches

 

 

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Erbaviva’s Breathe Spray-scent of evergreens transport you to a place of tranquility and calm, while eucalyptus and cedar essential oils in this spray clear away congestion from your migraine.  It can be used in the shower and breathed deeply or I have used it as a body spray.

 

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My favorite product in the box is Oms own Zen nectar- a pain relieving gel with organic bergamot, which is known to soothe nerves and reduce tension, anxiety and stress.  I love to use it on the back of my neck and temples.  It is pleasant smelling and works well for calming a rising migraine.  I typically use it before going out to help calm muscle tension and low migraine pain.  I plan to travel with it and use it often.

Om donates a full 10% of the proceeds from this box to UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund), a leading non-profit helping disadvantaged children with services such as vaccinations and pre-natal care for healthy births.

So while I enjoyed all the Om products and felt pampered by them, I also felt amazing for all the good things that this company is doing with it.  It gives back in so many ways while giving migraine and headache sufferers love!   The Om community has an amazing website, powerful products and owners who truly care about helping migraine sufferers and people who suffer throughout the world.  Thank you Om, for the beautiful box that continues to lift my spirit.   I will gladly buy and send it to others!

Chronic pain, Migraine and having fun in my own way

“Let’s have fun! With so many doctor’s appointments and treatment plans to follow, people with pain have so many decisions to make and serious conversations to hold. Today, let’s loose and do something silly and fun! Take a picture of your enjoyment, despite your pain condition and share it below so that others may become inspired to partake in similar activities! If you are having a difficult pain day, you can share a picture of a day, evening, trip or adventure where you were able to forget about your chronic pain condition for a moment and just have fun!” U.S. Pain Foundation

 Today I am having a higher pain day but am happy I am able to participate in the U.S. Pain Foundation’s month of empowerment post.

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The picture I am posting is of me at my son’s 3rd birthday party.  I have a migraine on almost all birthday’s and holidays.  His birthday was a Paw Patrol party and I was really suffering while setting up for guests to arrive.  We were all wearing masks so I decided to ice my head while staying in the spirit.  While I looked like I was having fun, I was treating my pain and trying to lower my migraine so I would be able to stay at the party.  Although I was not able to fully enjoy the day, I was able to celebrate with loved ones and look cute and festive.  Although I was not able to forget about my chronic pain and “just have fun” I was able to sing happy birthday, watch my baby open his presents and enjoy loved ones.

Share a day that you were able to have fun.  Even if you weren’t able to fully forget about your pain, maybe you were happy about a time you weren’t taken away from an event.  I am grateful for small things.  I may not have been pain free, but I was able to watch my sweet boy blow out his candles.  No matter the pain, seeing him enjoy the day that I had planned was fun in my own way!

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*Love my ice headband?  It’s a Headache Hat Ice Halo.  Stay tuned for a GIVEAWAY soon or go here to purchase one now.

Real Hope, Real Heroes

The INvisible Project creates pain awareness through the photographs and stories of real pain survivors. At last year’s Real Hope, Real Heroes Gala, this video titled “In Their Own Words” was featured. It highlights the intent of the program and what having an invisible illness means to them and impacts their pain journey. U.S. Pain challenges you to:  -Watch this video of Real Heroes within our pain community: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hc51H0tj4z8

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This post is inspired by Pain Awareness Month 30 day challenge run by U.S. Pain Foundation

Chronic Migraine: managing ‘baseball headaches’ interview via Lifescript

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I was interviewed by Diana Lee, a Lifescript contributer, about my life with Chronic Migraines.

check it out here:

Chronic Migraine: managing ‘baseball headaches’

 

Theraspecs review: glasses to reduce migraine, photophobia, and eye strain

“TheraSpecs are precision tinted, thoughtfully designed eyewear that filter out the harmful light that causes eyestrain, headaches, and migraines.” [1]   They have backed up their product with “articles that delve into the effects of lighting as well as independent studies that have verified the benefits of the tint (they) use in every pair of TheraSpecs.”

I am a teacher and busy mom.  That means I spend a lot of time in fluorescent lights.  I teach under them, then go to the grocery store with them and suffer wherever I go. I have used them in stores, restaurants, my gym and more. “Fluorescent lights pulse very rapidly, even when working properly. That rate is too fast to see consciously. However, the brain can still pick up that pulsing as rapid signals from the nerves of the eye. Some repeating patterns, such as visibly flickering lights or even stripes of certain widths, can trigger headaches, eyestrain, migraines, and exhaustion. The pulsing is most intense at certain wavelengths.” [1]

theraspecs_logo_1418418998__87188Since I have been lucky enough to review TheraSpecs, I have worn them everywhere!  I use them in my classroom.  I use them when the lights are too much and also when the morning sun is shining in.  My TheraSpecs glasses provide enough protection so that I am not wearing super dark sunglasses but also am not squinting and suffering in the brightness.

TheraSpecs “uses a specialty tint that has distinct, known, and predictable light filtering properties. This is different than a typical tint where the specific filtering properties are unknown or vary with each lens application. Other glasses may appear to have a similar reddish tint. However, they do not focus on the specific parts of light that cause or exacerbate such problems as migraines, eyestrain, headaches, and exhaustion. But through (their) precision tint, (they) can ensure that each pair of TheraSpecs accurately filters that problematic light.” [2]

I have also used them while writing my migraine  blog , working on the computer and using my phone.  It has really helped.  According TheraSpecs, “this makes sense: the backlight in most LCD monitors and TVs is actually a small fluorescent light!” [1]

Besides being so helpful with my migraines, headaches, and photophobia, I really like the look and feel of TheraSpecs.  Glasses often times are uncomfortable and heavy on my face.  TheraSpecs are light weight, have flexible fit and wrap around coverage if needed.  The tint is nice for indoors being I don’t feel like they look like special need glasses or too dark sunglasses.  They provide the perfect combination of indoor glasses and protective eye wear.

Along with all of these wonderful attributes, I really like TheraSpecs as a company.  I always feel good about working with and buying from companies that really care about their clients.  Their customer service is very responsive and they have a 60 day full return policy.  They are dedicated to helping each individual and their specific need so that there is no reason to hesitate to buy.  I have invested in a lot of migraine related products over the years and knowing that I can try them and if they don’t work return them, is a great incentive to go for it!

So as a mom, teacher, migraine and photophobia sufferer that can’t hide from light all day, I recommend TheraSpecs!

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[1] https://www.theraspecs.com/frequently-asked-questions/

[2] https://www.theraspecs.com/

 

Music Therapy: Chronic Pain, Migraines, Children and Special Needs

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I have experience teaching children with severe special needs.  It was an extremely difficult job while so rewarding at the same time.  During my time teaching these special children, they received Music Therapy.  I have written about how much music helps me (feeling better makes me sing) but have seen the actual clinical side of how it can benefit many.  The American Music Therapy Association has provided fact sheets and extensive information on music therapy.

After reading many informative articles on Music Therapy, I thought I’d share some information I found intriguing and hope you will follow the links to learn more about how Music Therapy can benefit so many.

Music therapy is using music to address physical, emotional, cognitive and social needs of an individual. Treatment includes creating, signing, moving to and/or listening to music.

Music therapists are more than music teachers.

To be a music therapist, one must “complete one of the approved college music therapy curricula (including an internship) are then eligible to sit for the national examination offered by the Certification Board for Music Therapists. Music therapists who successfully complete the independently administered examination hold the music therapist-board certified credential (MT-BC).” [1]

What can one expect from a music therapist?

“Through a planned and systematic use of music and music activities, the music therapist provides opportunities for:

  • Anxiety and stress reduction
  • Nonpharmacological management of pain and discomfort
  • Positive changes in mood and emotional states
  • Active and positive patient participation in treatment
  • Decreased length of stay

In addition, music therapy may allow for:

  • Emotional intimacy with families and caregivers
  • Relaxation for the entire family
  • Meaningful time spent together in a positive, creative way” [2]

How does music therapy make a difference for medical patients?

“Music therapy has been shown to be an efficacious and valid treatment option for medical patients with a variety of diagnoses.  Music therapy can be used to address patient needs related to respiration, chronic pain, physical rehabilitation, diabetes, headaches, cardiac conditions, surgery, and obstetrics, among others.  Research results and clinical experiences attest to the viability of music therapy even in those patients resistant to other treatment approaches.  Music is a form of sensory stimulation, which provokes responses due to the familiarity, predictability, and feelings of security associated with it.” [3]

Not only am I interested in how it can help migraine and chronic pain sufferers, but I am also interested in how it can help children.  I am a firm believer in teaching children through music and think it can benefit them for mild to severe needs.

How Does Music Therapy Make a Difference with Young Children?

“Music stimulates all of the senses and involves the child at many levels.  This “multimodal approach” facilitates many developmental skills. Quality learning and maximum participation occur when children are permitted to experience the joy of play.  The medium of music therapy allows this play to occur naturally and frequently. Music is highly motivating, yet it can also have a calming and relaxing effect.  Enjoyable music activities are designed to be success-oriented and make children feel better about themselves. Music therapy can help a child manage pain and stressful situations. Music can encourage socialization, self-expression, communication, and motor development. Because the brain processes music in both hemispheres, music can stimulate cognitive functioning and may be used for remediation of some speech/language skills.” [4]

Natural treatment

“Research in music therapy supports its effectiveness in many areas such as: overall physical rehabilitation and facilitating movement, increasing people’s motivation to become engaged in their treatment, providing emotional support for clients and their families, and providing an outlet for expression of feelings.” [5]

 

This post is inspired by the U.S. Pain foundations 30 day challenge during pain awareness month (Septmeber). The focus of the challenge is a month of empowerment!

For more information on how you can participate and support the U.S. Pain foundation please go to: http://uspainawarenessmonth.com/30-day-challenge/ #PAM16 #PainAwarenessMonth #USPain

For more information on Music Therapy please go to the referenced links or visit: http://www.musictherapy.org/about/musictherapy/

References:

[1] http://www.musictherapy.org/faq/#39

[2] http://www.musictherapy.org/assets/1/7/MT_Medicine_2006.pdf

[3] http://www.musictherapy.org/assets/1/7/MT_Medicine_2006.pdf

[4] http://www.musictherapy.org/assets/1/7/MT_Young_Children_2006.pdf

[5] http://www.musictherapy.org/about/musictherapy/

Why it’s important to be connected to a self care movement and be a self care advocate

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I was approached by SelfCareMovement to share why it’s important to be connected to a self care movement and be a self care advocate.

First, what is the self-care movement?
“The mission is to transform perspectives about chronic illness and the way we manage it, to celebrate the greatness in ordinary accomplishments that patients face every day.”
“When people think of chronic disease, they typically think about the medical aspects of managing and coping with it. The less palpable aspects of everyday life with a chronic illness are often left unspoken about.” (see spoon theory)
Secondly, why is it important to be part of this movement and advocate?
That answer is a bit more complicated and ongoing.  I guess the simple answer is, if I don’t take care and love myself, my health will dramatically fail.  And if mama’s not well, the family can’t be its best.  So I take care of myself for myself.  I also do it for my kids, my family, my friends and my coworkers.  But the bottom line is, self care is for me to be able to enjoy those people, be with those people and be there for them at my best.
This is why I think it is important to advocate for self care.  As a mom, wife, and all those other roles I play, I have put myself last.  Putting myself last ends up triggering me and making me sick.  So I have learned that by taking care of myself takes care of them.  I advocate to be an example and reminder to those who don’t put themselves at the top of the list.
I post pictures on Instagram that I hope inspire healthy living, mind, body and soul.
I tweet and retweet migraine and chronic illness information to spread awareness and knowledge
I blog about My Migraine Life to show my readers that life is full of suffering and growth which can turn into something beautiful.  I try to be positive in the dark times and lift those up who need it.  We all go through a rollercoaster in life and being a positive light as a migraine sufferer and mom hopefully brings hope and inspiration.  I find great inspiration from comments, shares, likes and support I get from sharing my stories.  Knowing that I’m helping is very rewarding!
“Self-care is about experiencing greatness in the ordinary and simple day-to-day activities that help people feel better despite the challenges of illness.”
— Grace Soyao, Founder & CEO, Self Care Catalysts
Some examples of what I do to feel better despite migraines are:
  • Working out.  Walking, hiking, yoga, elliptical, stretching
  • Drinking lots of water.
  • Eating well.
  • Quality sleep routine
  • Acting like a kid again.  Playing, listening to music, singing,  games, sports, art, reading, and being creative
  • Pampering myself. I love massages, Espom salt baths, saunas and mani/pedis
  • Snuggles.  Touch is a powerful thing.  Tiny arms can give big  love and furry friends can be therapy.
  • Strong relationships.  Weather it’s date night, girls night out, family dinner, coffee talk or a quick chat at the water cooler.  Having positive people that lift you up important for self care
  • Vacation. Long, short, near, or far.  Feeling like I have gotten away changes my mentality
How do you connect to the Self Care Movement?  How do you advocate for yourself with self care?  Your ideas may inspire someone to take better care of themselves
For more information on Self Care Movement go to:
Website
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Instagram