When we connected with Laura of RA Life Hacks, we were immediately inspired by her resilient, resourceful and generous nature. To top it all off, we discovered Thermotex has been her constant companion for over 10 years! We’re grateful to have been a part of Laura’s journey navigating Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) all these years and honoured to share it with you today.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself personally and professionally?
I’ve been married for 21 years (and counting), and as a couple we’ve made being with our son a priority, so I’ve worked part time or from home for most of the past two decades. I’ve long been passionate about the health and wellness industry and loved working at a few health & wellness spas over the years. I started as a receptionist and ended as a reflexologist. I’ve always enjoyed helping people feel better, so it was a great environment for me.
After getting RA and becoming unable to do reflexology due to losing my hand strength, I was eager to find another way to help people. I saw a need in the online community for simple, practical tips that can help people suffering with inflammatory arthritis. I created RA Life Hacks to share my story and the tools that have helped me manage my RA.
What do you love most about running RA Life Hacks?
I LOVE getting messages from people saying that the tips I’ve shared have helped them and that my page has given them hope. It REALLY makes my day when someone goes out of their way to let me know that my content has made a difference in their life. I know how painful each keystroke can be for some people, so it means a lot that they would use some of their energy to say thank you.
How do you get ready for your day?
I start my day with gratitude. Before I even get out of bed, I always say a prayer of thanks for at least three things I’m grateful for. Then I do some deep breathing. I’ve been researching the benefits of deep breathing on the vagus nerve, and I try to incorporate that into my day several times, but especially first thing in the morning. If I have time, depending on the day, I do stretching and reading or listening to an audio book.
Let’s talk about your personal experience with RA. How did your pain start? What has your journey been like?
It’s been a long journey for sure! It took me 6 years to get a diagnosis! It started with my feet. They would hurt when I got up in the morning. Like, not just sore, but an “I can’t even walk down the stairs” kind of pain. I would be sitting down doing one stair at a time to move around. I went to the doctor several times. They said I had plantar fasciitis and later they said osteoarthritis.
Then it started in my hands. My fingers would lock up and it would last hours or sometimes days. My hands would be stiff in the morning and I would have trouble making a fist or even brushing my hair or brushing my teeth. They actually sent me to physiotherapy for the trigger finger, but the exercises aggravated my other muscles and joints, and I ended up with a huge flare that landed me in ER. It was during that flare that the doctor said I probably had Rheumatoid Arthritis, so we started another round of tests and X-rays, and in January of 2018 I was officially diagnosed.
What has your methodology/treatment plan for pain and inflammation been?
When I landed in the ER, I was given a few days of Prednisone to get me out of the flare. I’ve taken it a couple of times for a flare, but at this point I’m working with a Functional Medicine Doctor and managing it with diet, supplements and lifestyle changes. I’ve had a lot of improvements over the past couple of years, but I still have days (especially with certain weather changes) that affect me. So, I’m thankful for the comfort and relief that I receive from my Thermotex Platinum!
How did you first discover Thermotex?
We were introduced to the benefits of far infrared heat through our acupuncturist. My husband had an injury in his foot and the acupuncturist recommended far infrared heat to help speed up the healing. That was when we made our initial investment with the Thermotex Platinum. It was 13 years ago, and that same pad is still going strong – now being used by me every day!
How has Thermotex supported you with your pain?
Thermotex has been amazing for bringing me comfort and relief. When my muscles are stiff or my joints are sore…out comes the heating pad! When I have cramps or a sore back…out comes the heating pad! I take it with me pretty much everywhere I go. It comes with me to the office, when I travel it’s in my suitcase, and it’s always beside my bed in case I need it through the night.
In your opinion, what are some of the benefits of far infrared heat when compared to other treatment options?
First off…it works! Because it penetrates so deeply, it works so much better than a traditional heating pad (which I had gone through several of before I got my Thermotex). I love that it’s convenient and not messy. I can also use it inconspicuously without drawing attention to myself. It’s simple to grab and go, and it’s so adaptable. Everyone in my family has used it at one time or another. It’s also something that feels great, so it’s a pain management tool I look forward to using, rather than dreading.
What does wellness mean to you?
My idea of wellness has definitely changed over the years! It’s become more of a journey than a destination. It’s comprised of many small decisions that are made each day. My wellness journey has had twists and turns and bumps along the way, but in the end, I think it’s about making good decisions with the information you have, and making the most of each day.
What are you excited about these days?
I recently branched out and expanded my Instagram page to a blog (RALifeHacks.com) so I can dive deeper into topics and share helpful hacks to improve the lives of others who suffer with chronic pain and inflammation. I share my own personal experience, so that’s why I specifically mention Rheumatoid Arthritis, but people with many different chronic conditions benefit from the hacks I share. I’ve received a very positive reception so far from the online community, so I’m really excited to see where it goes.
To soothe her Rheumatoid Arthritis pain and inflammation, Laura uses the Thermotex Platinum Far Infrared Heating Pad.
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$30.50 off a Thermotex Platinum Far Infrared Heating Pad +free shipping
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The Platinum System is the most studied, popular and versatile far infrared therapeutic device in the industry. Boasting 3 patented heat inserts, the Platinum System provides targeted, safe and effective infrared heat to almost every part of the body.
Engineered to flex and wrap to relieve pain and inflammation with far infrared heat therapy; the Platinum penetrates 10x deeper to increase blood flow in large muscle groups in the body including the upper and lower back, hamstrings, abdomen, arms and legs.