Don’t let MS-related heat stress keep you from the things – and people! – that you love.
When Marilyn B. was diagnosed with MS, one of the first things she noticed was that more than ever before, she needed to stay cool just to manage her symptoms. As an active mother of three, she tried one thing after another with no success.
She had a cooling vest that she soaked in water to activate, but it just made her clothes soggy and didn’t even last that long. She had cooling neckties, but those just didn’t cool her down enough. She even tried a little novelty misting fan.
When she couldn’t take it anymore, she did some research and found that Dave Bexfield from Active MSers (http://www.activemsers.org) had one top-rated cooling vest that he labeled “the perfect cooling vest.” He said the PhaseCore® Standard Basic Cooling Vest was comfortable, concealable, convenient, and best of all: cool.
So Marilyn tried PhaseCore and everything changed.
“Oh my gosh, it’s been a life saver,” said Marilyn, who wears her vest while spending time with her family and while doing exercise classes at the gym. “PhaseCore keeps my body temperature at a constant where I’m not overheating. I wore it for the 4th of July – I put it on in the morning for the parade and then again I put it on later in the evening and I felt wonderful!”
PhaseCore Cooling Vests are heat-activated to keep the wearer’s body temperature at a constant 72°F (22°C) for up to four hours. As the cooling elements absorb body heat, the user feels a gentle cooling effect that doesn’t overcool, like ice can. And when it comes time to recharge, PhaseCore just needs to be taken indoors to room temp – no ice, no water, no refrigeration, no freezer.
Melissa K. and Krista C. also discovered PhaseCore via Active MSers.
“It’s very practical,” said Melissa, who lives in upstate New York where the humidity made an evaporative vest impractical. “I don’t have to carry ice or worry about where a freezer is. And I don’t have to worry about being wet!”
Krista said the simplicity of PhaseCore is the best thing about it, hands down.
“It is a lifesaver for a person that loves to be outside and camp, bike, and hike,” she said. “And the ease of use is awesome – no frozen packs to deal with!”
With a variety of vests available, there is something for everyone. Many MS patients love that PhaseCore looks more like clothing than traditional cooling vests, but some people (like Melissa) love how easy the vest is to conceal underneath clothing.
“I was looking for something I could wear under clothing; something that would be somewhat concealable,” said Melissa. “I was amazed – all the sudden I could do things when before I was pretty isolated in the summer. I could do things like weed in the garden and mow the lawn. It really opened up my life in a way. Since I’ve had MS I haven’t been able to do those things.”
PhaseCore, from First Line Technology, was originally developed more than a decade ago for first responders like firefighters and soldiers. First Line’s research shows that the vests in use by those men and women were generally ice vests, which caused cold shock and proved to be dangerous at times. Not only does ice have the potential to leave behind painful burns, but putting ice directly on the skin can actually to the opposite of what the user intends and leave the body even warmer than it was before!
“When you put ice on your body, your body starts reacting as if it were in danger of going into hypothermic shock. Your blood starts flowing faster and your internal organs start trying to warm you up, so even though your skin feels cold, your body is actually attempting to counteract that feeling,” explained First Line Technology President Amit Kapoor. “With PhaseCore cooling to a gentle 72°F, it’s just as if you’re sitting in air conditioning: not uncomfortably hot, but not uncomfortably cold, either.”
PhaseCore is ideal for people with MS who suffer from both heat and cold sensitivity, and for people – like Marilyn –who don’t suffer from cold sensitivity but just want to stay safe (and comfortable) while treating their heat sensitivity.
“I’m a mom of three kids who are extremely active in sports,” said Marilyn, who has two high school aged children in marching band and track and one toddler who loves to be outside. “In order for me to be able to do things with my children, I need a way to stay cool.”
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