May 1, 2023
Hot Flashes Suck!!! Working for a cooling vest company is awesome!
Watch Julia explain what it’s like when she is having a hot flash and how she gets relief in the office.
She also answers questions about sizing, insurance, recharging, and using the vest for hot flashes and night sweats.
Hi everybody! I am Julia from ThermApparel. Today we're going to talk about hot flashes because I'm actually having one right now and I’m a hot sweaty mess. I'm getting irritable. I am so hot and sweaty that my neck is actually sweaty. I just want to fan myself off because I feel like the heat is rolling off of me. I don't know how anybody else experiences their hot flashes but for me, the heat comes rolling off my chest, arms, and neck.
I didn't go into natural menopause I am BRCA2+, that's the breast cancer gene, and the bad one. The one that affects your breasts, ovaries, uterus, and cervix. So I've had a complete hysterectomy and a double mastectomy. But because I don't have my ovaries I can't regulate my body temperature very well.
Because of my BRCA2+ gene, I didn’t go into menopause naturally, I went into what they call surgical menopause. I went in for a hysterectomy, lost my ovaries, lost my ability to regulate my body temperature, and as a result woke up like a volcano on fire. I am hot all the time.
So right now I'm having a hot flash and here's one of the benefits of working for a cooling vest company. There are cooling products in my office all the time that I can use. I am hot. I am sweaty. I just put my hair up into a ponytail because the back of my neck is sweaty.
ThermApparel makes a cooling vest and we originally made it for people with MS, Lupus, Fibromyalgia and other neurological disorders. MS happens when your immune system attacks a fatty material called myelin, which wraps around your nerve fibers to protect them. Without this outer shell, the nerves become damaged. The signals from the nerves get crossed. So if people with MS get too warm they can collapse straight down to the ground, but if you cool them off they recover.
Let me show you the cooling vest. We keep a whole bunch in the freezer, so this is the vest, the guys designed it to be worn underneath your clothing and it's completely invisible at that point. But you can also wear it over your clothing just like this and it instantly starts cooling you down. I feel so much better already and within 10-15 minutes the hot flash will go away. It lowers the body temperature, it lowers my core temp, I stop sweating and then I'm not cranky and irritable.
The velcro panels in the front of the vest suck in your belly a little bit which is nice! You don't have to wear it underneath your clothing, but to get the optimum cooling experience it’s best to wear it against your skin.
I had someone ask me, “I feel my heat coming off my neck, I feel my heat on my chest, I want something there to help cool me down.” You don’t really need cooling packs right there. Our cooling packs are designed to start melting and refreezing at 70˚F / 21˚C meaning they're warmer than ice.
What happens when you put ice packs on your body? It cools down that specific area but it doesn't cool your whole body. That's because your blood vessels constrict and your blood stops flowing. Our cooling packs do not constrict your blood vessels. Your blood keeps flowing and as your blood flows past the cooling packs on your back they cool down your blood and then cool blood is pumped through your entire body.
Give the ThermApparel UnderCool Cooling Vest 20-30 minutes, let the cool blood pump through your entire body, and then you don't have to worry about your hot flash anymore. You can just keep doing what you were doing.
...and this thing feels so good oh-my-gosh. I forget that we even have these cooling vests sometimes. I know that's stupid, I work for a cooling company I should know this... well, when I get really hot, cranky and tired I don't think of these things and the guys are like “Hey put a vest on.” and I'm like oh yeah...duh. Oh, we got a question.
I would have given a lot to have had this when I was going through this. When is the best time to apply the vest? Can it be worn at night?
Good question. Okay, so here's the neat thing about the ThermApparel UnderCool Cooling Vest and this goes back to the 70˚F / 21˚C cooling temperature. I get hot flashes at night, usually 2 or 3 a.m. and that's the hot flash where you're just drenched and you have to get up and change your pajamas and then you get back into bed the sheets are wet so you put a towel down. We've all been there, so here's what you do.
Because the cooling packs freeze and melt at 70˚F / 21˚C they melt very slowly. I leave my vest in the freezer and when I go to bed at 10 pm I take it and put it right on my nightstand. Because we keep our bedroom cool, it's usually about 65˚F / 18˚C, and the cooling packs will stay frozen. They won't melt because the room is below 70˚F / 21˚C. So at 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning when I start getting hot I just roll over and grab the vest. Then I lay it across me. I don't bother putting it on and velcroing it. I just lay it across my stomach or I lay on my side and drape it so it hits my back. It cools me back down, I go right back to sleep and it stops the hot flash.
Yes, you can sleep in it. But don't wear it, just drape it across yourself because here's the thing about the cooling packs. When they completely deplete they actually start warming you back up. Once the cooling packs go back to their liquid state they don't cool you anymore. They actually start putting heat back into you. It's kind of a two-way system. When you've cooled down and you're feeling better just pull it off and dump it on the floor. Then in the morning pick it up, put it back in the fridge, or freezer and you're good to go in about an hour.
The other neat thing about our cooling packs is the refreezing time. You can re-freeze the cooling packs in ice water in about 30 minutes, you can refreeze them in the fridge in about an hour or in the freezer in about 45 minutes. For the fridge or freezer, fold it up like an accordion, put it in a plastic bag, if you have one, and put it into your fridge or freezer and just leave it there.
For the ice water, I recommend putting the cooling packs only in the ice water because otherwise putting the vest on when it comes out of the ice water is very shocking. It's very cold and then you have wetness dripping all over you.
What about traveling with one? Can it go in a cooler?
Yes, you can take it camping, you can take it anywhere you go because the cooling packs can re-freeze in ice water. Put the cooling packs into the cooler with some ice water, and push them down so they lay flat otherwise, they'll freeze in funny shapes. If they freeze in funny shapes, run them under some warm water until they get a little squishy, and then try it again. If you don’t have warm water just put them in the sun and let them melt. They'll melt if it's hot out. Let them melt until they're squishy. Flatten them back down and put them back in the ice water.
If you take your frozen vest out of the freezer and put it into a cooler it will stay cool for a few hours so you can travel to where you need to go and then put your cooling vest on.
If you're going to travel on a plane, that's a whole other topic, we have an awesome blog about it called How To Prep for the TSA. The gist of it is, yes, you can travel with your ThermApparel UnderCool Cooling Vest.
We highly recommend traveling with your cooling vest in its frozen state. Don't travel with the cooling packs in their liquid state because the TSA agents kind of freak out. They're like, what the heck is this?! And the other thing is, in their liquid state the cooling packs are above the three-ounce rule so they won't let you take them on the plane. If you need to take the vest with you on the plane, make sure it’s in the frozen state and put it in your carry-on luggage.
Also, in the blog there are two links, one to the TSA Notification Card which you can print out and fill out, then the other one is ThermApparel Safety Data Sheet. That shows that the cooling packs are non-toxic, and non-flammable, there's nothing dangerous with them.
Oh man, I am feeling so much better. When I started this live video the heat really was rolling off of me and it's been about eight or nine minutes of having it on and the heat is definitely coming down. I'm still warm, I can still feel the hot flash going on but it's like I can feel it receding. It's not rolling off of me anymore, it's coming down. I'm starting to feel much better.
I have MS and this sounds great. I have a cooling vest but it can become heavy.
Great question! We invented this vest actually for people with MS. The guys (Brad Dunn and Kurtis Kracke, the co-founders) and I did over 300 discovery interviews with our local MS community here in Rochester, NY and when we talked to them they said they wanted a vest that's lightweight, comfortable, and concealable.
If you've seen other cooling vests they are these huge bulky things. They can weigh 10+ pounds. They look like a flak jacket or a fishing jacket. They have big ice packs in them, six in front and then six in the back, and six on the side. Those things are just heavy and they're actually very ugly too.
So that's what we did, we invented a vest for people with MS and other neurological disorders or anybody with heat sensitivity like me with my hot flashes. You wear it underneath your clothing and nobody knows that you have it on. In fact, I'm wearing it right now. This is the cooling vest, all cooling packs are in the back. There are four of them and it velcros right in front. See? It's very slim. From the side, it's really slim and from the back, it's really slim. It weighs less than 2 pounds so it's perfect. It's perfect for people with MS, perfect for people with hot flashes, and perfect for anybody with heat sensitivity, especially if you want to wear it underneath clothing.
We've had beekeepers, a lumberjack, race car drivers, and a race boat dragster guy that discovered the cooling vest. They're telling us things like, “This is amazing!” “Why didn't I ever see this before?”
There are two different kinds of cooling packs. SlimCool lasts about 1-2 hours of cooling time and ExtendedCool lasts about 2-3 hours of cooling time. The overall cooling time depends on the ambient temperature and your level of activity. If you are out exercising and you're in hot weather it's going to be on the lower end of the time scale but if you are inside air-conditioning, especially if you're just draping it across you at night, it's going to be on the upper end of the time scale.
The thickness of the cooling packs is very minimal.
How about sizing?
The 3.0 has 5 different sizes, and the 2.0 has 7 sizes. Sizing is all based on your natural waist. Not your hips or chest, and that's awesome, especially for females, it doesn't matter what your cup size is, it doesn't matter how big your boobs are, the vest will fit you and you're going to wear a size smaller than you think.
I have the medium 2.0 on right now and, yeah this is too big on me, I usually wear the small. I am 5’ 7” and 155 lbs. and I wear the small. Finding your measurement is really easy, bend to the side and where you naturally crease is your natural waist. You can find it that way or you can find your rib cage and measure right below your rib cage but above your belly button.
So my natural waist is 33” and that actually falls into the small section. Here's another cool thing! We designed a tape measure that has the sizing on it. To get one all you have to do is go to the sizing page, fill out the form and we'll send you a FitKit which includes the tape measure and some tips on how to get your right size.
Since I actually wear a small one, let me show you a small one because it fits better. Okay, i'm starting to cool down more, I don't feel so manic and crazy which is awesome.
Like I said, I'm 5’7” and 155 lbs. and the small size fits really well. When I was 184 pounds the medium size fit me really well. There are two pieces of velcro so you can pull it a little loose or a little tight. There is some leeway. If you fall in the middle ground of the 2 sizes, go with the smaller size.
I live in Kansas and the heat and humidity is unbearable. I am a gardener so I use my vest to be able to not only get out into the garden but to spend more time in my garden. What do I do when the vest begins to warm up? Can I re-freeze quickly or do I have to put in new packs?
Excellent questions. The vest will work in humid or dry climates such as Arizona's dry heat and Kansas's humidity. When your packs start to deplete you have three options. You can take them out of the vest and put them into ice water. They'll freeze in about 30 minutes. That's the fastest way to recharge or take the whole vest and put it into the fridge or freezer. In the freezer, it'll take about 45 minutes or 60 min in the fridge depending on where you have your temperature set.
All right, so this is a small size and I'm going to put it on. I can feel more of the cold packs. Before when I had the medium size on I could completely feel the two side cooling packs and I could feel the bottom and the top of the middle packs but I couldn't feel the two middle sections of the middle packs. But by going down a size now I can feel all four of them on my back and it feels so stinking good.
How about cleaning the vest?
For cleaning the vest take your cooling packs out of the vest. Do not put them in the washing machine. Trust me, I have done this, it explodes and gets all over everything. Just hand wash the cooling packs. When they are sweaty or dirty, put them in the sink with a little mild soap and water, rinse them off, and let them dry.
The vest itself is spandex and mesh so treat it like you would yoga pants or exercise clothing. Make sure you close the velcro otherwise, it gets stuck to everything in the wash and it gets stuck to the vest and then it nicks the spandex.
Usually what I do is put it into a little lingerie or laundry mesh sack and toss it in the washing machine. When it comes out of the wash don't put it in the dryer as it shortens the life of the spandex so by putting it into the dryer it'll just shorten the life of the vest. When it comes out of the washer, lay it flat to dry or hang it over a chair and it'll dry really quickly, it'll dry within 10-15 minutes. If you do hang your vest up don't leave the cooling packs in it because it will stretch and then the straps get really long and it just doesn't fit as well.
I’ve also done this, after my workout I will take the whole vest into the shower with me, use some mild body soap on it, rinse it off, and then lay it flat to dry on a towel.
How much are they? Do they come with the packs? What is the cost for an extra set of packs?
They start at $199.99 and go up from there depending on which cooling pack you choose and which bundle. There are three different bundles.
The UnderCool Bundle which is 1 vest garment and 1 set of cooling packs in your choice either SlimCool or ExtendedCool. The UnderCool with SlimCool cooling packs is $199.99 for $20 more at $219.99 you can get the ExtendedCool cooling packs which give you an extra hour of cooling time.
Then from there, the price goes up. The Festival Bundle is 1 vest garment and 2 sets of cooling packs, and when I say a set you get 4, so there are 4 cooling packs to each set. The cool thing about the Festival Bundle is you have your choice of getting two sets of the SlimCool cooling packs, two sets of the ExtendedCool cooling packs or you can get one set of each.
Why do you want to have two different sets of cooling packs?
For example, when I do pilates there's a lot of floor time. I wear my vest when I do pilates because I overheat. When I'm exercising I have a hot flash and that's normal because when you exercise you're raising your body temperature. You're basically giving yourself a fever so you're hot.
If I'm wearing my vest with the ExtendedCool Cooling Packs and walking on the treadmill I can walk for 45 minutes to an hour and I don't overheat. If I do not wear the vest I can only walk for 30 minutes and then the heat is just rolling off me to the point that I feel sick. That's what we call heat sickness or heat exhaustion, heat stroke is a step above that and that's where you lose consciousness.
Without wearing my vest I experience heat exhaustion. I overheat, I get tired and oh wow am I tired and cranky and irritable, and that feeling of exhaustion will last me into the next day. I will wake up the next morning and be so tired that all I want to do is just stay in bed.
But if I wear my vest and I wear my cooling packs I don't overheat. Now, I still sweat and you will still sweat but you won't overheat to the point of exhaustion. The next day I'm fine, I can get up, I can keep going, I'm not tired, I'm not cranky, I'm not irritable and I've gotten a better workout too.
Apologies, I'm jumping all over the place today, but it will all make sense. Hang with me.
Okay, so we're talking about Pilates and the Festival Bundle. With the Festival Bundle, one option is, one set of the SlimCool Cooling Packs and one set of the ExtendedCool Cooling Packs. So for pilates, I like to wear my vest with the SlimCool Cooling Packs because then I can lay on the floor, stay cool and get my workout in.
It's actually pretty comfortable. The cooling packs are hard when they first start out but because they're segmented they follow the curve of your back and you can lay on the floor. You can do mat work with SlimCools.
David Lyons of the MS Fitness Challenge really loves our vest and he wears it when he's doing bench work and lifting weights. Some days he wears the ExtendedCool Cooling Packs and some days he wears SlimCool Cooling Packs. For example, if he is doing bench work and needs to lean up on the bench to do arm presses then he wears the SlimCools. If he's just doing curls or pull-downs he'll wear the ExtendedCools.
The last option for bundles is the Adventure Bundle which comes with 2 vests and a choice of 2 sets of cooling packs. This is awesome because then I can get a black one and a white one or I can get two blacks or two whites and then the same thing with the cooling packs you can get two sets of the SlimCools or two sets of ExtendedCools or one of each.
What are the benefits of having a black vest and a white vest?
This is actually good info for our customers that are in the really hot parts of the country like Arizona and California. Many were wanting to make sure they got a white vest because they don't want to wear dark clothing. When you're in that kind of heat you don't want to wear a dark T-shirt, you don't want to wear black because that absorbs the heat. Actually, it's okay if you wear black underneath clothing because it's not going to absorb that much heat. Think of the vest garment as a black bra and a white bra. If you wear a lot of light-colored clothing get a white vest, if you wear a lot of dark-colored clothing get a black vest, if you have a mix of clothing get one of each.
For medical conditions such as MS will insurance pay for them?
Possibly but not likely, about 95% of the insurance companies don't deem a cooling vest medically necessary. There are things you can do to work with your insurance company. On our insurance page on our website, there are steps, tips, techniques, and things to say to the insurance company and things to talk to your doctor about.
If you want to try and go the insurance route we're happy to provide you with a Letter of Network Deficiency. This will help because we are the only company in America that sells it and Rochester, NY is probably out of your network. We can also give you a medical invoice to prove to the insurance company how much it costs.
Ask your health insurance company what their threshold on durable medical goods is, because the threshold for most insurance companies is about $500 and if the durable medical good is below $500 they usually will approve it and the good news is 99.9% of our products are below the $500 durable medical good threshold limit.
All that info is on the insurance page on our website. Check it out and if you have any other questions you can always reach us via live chat on our website thermapperl.com. Just hop on there and ask us your question. 99% of the time it's me answering otherwise it'll be one of the boys (Brad Dunn and Kurtis Kracke the co-founders) You can call us on the phone at 855-232-7233 and we're happy to talk to you or just stop by if you are in the Rochester, NY area.
Thanks for watching, see you next time.