Valentine’s Day is almost here and I know what you are all thinking, “Wait, I still have my Christmas wreath hanging on my door! How can we be talking about Valentine’s Day already???!!!” Though that may be correct and a little close to home (I still have my Christmas wreath on my front door), we must acknowledge the truth, and that is this: the day we all pay an incredible mark up on glittery cards, stuffed animals, and flowers to convey all things “lovey-dovey” is right around the corner.
Since there is no going around cupid on the calendar, we might as well embrace it. Moreover, if you or someone you love has lupus, instead of flowers and stuffed animals, we, at More Than Lupus, thought we would bequeath to you Valentine’s Day gift ideas that are perfect for your partner, pal, or person of affection!
SKIP THE BORING BACKRUBS - GO FOR THE MYOFASCIAL RELEASE MASSAGE
This ain’t no typical massage. Myofascial release therapy or a “myofascial release” massage, focuses on relieving tightness of the muscle fascia. Fascia is the thin sheath of fibrous connective tissue that covers the muscles. Different disorders that cause tightening and pain of the connective tissue like lupus, fibromyalgia, TMJ, and carpal tunnel syndrome have found relief from MFR.
Through MFR, an experienced therapist can use special massaging techniques to release the tight fascia, causing the muscles to relax. This can help with muscle spasms, migraines, improve range of motion in the joints, and, most importantly, decrease musculoskeletal pain! Personally, I think that is worth more than all the over-priced Hallmark cards in the world!
SKIP THE PERFUME - GO FOR THE CBD OIL
Recently, I was surprised when my rheumatologist mentioned how in favor she was of CBD oil to treat lupus pain, arthritis, and even help with lupus related insomnia. If you are unfamiliar with CBD oil, CBD is short for “cannabidoil” and while it is derived from cannabis, does not contain psychoactive properties; therefore, there is no high or supposed addictibility. There are a lot of anecdotal claims that CBD oil can help with various lupus symptoms, and more research is being conducted by the medical community to help validate those claims.
Personally, I don’t have experience with cannabis use, however, with the opioid crisis being what it is, it is nice to know that it is an option in many states where it has been legalized. Regarding how to take it, most doctors would say the safest way is to apply the oil to the painful area or take droplets under the tongue. Doctors recommend to NEVER smoke cannabis, because it still contains carcinogens and can be very damaging to the lungs, particularly if you have lupus. Research high grade CBD oil manufacturers and talk to your doctor about it. It won't cost a million bucks like a expensive perfume, but, it may help you feel like a million bucks!
SKIP THE EXPENSIVE CANDY - GO FOR RUSSELL STOVERS SUGAR-FREE CANDY
For many people with lupus, sugar can be a real problem. This is primarily due to long-term use of steroids that can induce diabetes or high glucose levels. Prednisone (corticosteroids), can be very helpful with reducing inflammation, however, it can cause blood glucose levels to elevate, which means that any additional sugar intake can be unhealthy. So instead of indulging in regular sugar-filled Valentine’s treats, try opting for sugar-free options! I know what you are thinking, “Come on Kelli, sugar-free NEVER tastes the same!” But, I speak from personal experience because I have done extensive taste tests and Russell Stovers Sugar-Free Candy is the best! Try the mint patty’s or caramels! They are so good AND very affordable!
SKIP THE FLOWERS - GO FOR THE ALOE VERA PLANT
Don’t get me wrong, big bouquets of flowers are beautiful and nice to receive on Valentine’s Day. However, they can be very expensive and wilt in a few days time. An aloe vera plant is a great substitute; it is much longer lasting and comes with many benefits. Aloe vera has been used for thousands of years, from China to the Roman Empire and contains many essential vitamins and minerals. You can cut a leaf from your aloe plant and use it to rub on a sunburn or as first aid relief in the kitchen. Just having the plant in the house alone acts as a purifier since it actually releases oxygen and absorbs carbon dioxide at night. You can also drink the juice of the aloe vera plant! In fact, Ghandi credited aloe vera juice as one of the main reasons his body could withstand long periods of fasting. There are so many reasons why I love aloe vera and feel it is such a more valuable purchase than cut flowers.
More Than Lupus wants to wish you the very happiest of Valentine’s Days! Hope you enjoy some of the suggestions shared above and time with your loved ones!