Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Hunka Hunka Burnin' Bod

Recently a dear male friend of ours underwent fairly long-term radiation therapy. He said he could finally identify with the hideousness of hot flashes since his radiation caused not only bouts of the daily surges, but night sweats too. His clinical explanation of the two-for phenomena: “They suck.”

Yes indeedy-do.

Coldfront®, a product that at first glance might seem like it’s just for aging women, turns out to be a good all-around nongender traveler’s match. Although I do believe the largest target market is menopausal women, the rest of you, dear male readers (and women too), can find so many more uses. Suggestions range from minor burn comfort to sore muscles after a workout. Freeze first, put the pack in your flight bag, then move to your gym bag since one package freeze lasts for up to 12 hours of recooling pleasure. Why, you could even use them to help you when the big guy seated next to you on the plane is a hot body and you’re trying not to ignite.

In the process of full disclosure, I know what I’m talking about. Horrid bouts of inferno heat waving began attacking my body in my late thirties. I’m now sixty-seven and still endure them, especially the night sweats. I was temporarily rescued from this pit by low dosages of estrogen (I WANTED TO KISS MY DOCTOR FULL ON THE LIPS!), but quickly grew a rare tumor surmised to be fed by estrogen, so off the happy pills I had to go.

PHOOEY, although that’s not exactly the term I used. Several times. Still utter it. Often.

[So you don’t get hung up here worrying about my tumor, it is, for all practical purposes and according to a fine doctor at Mayo Clinic who studied the dumb thing for a year, currently just taking up space. This is a Good Thing. Since this rare el stupido interruption has the propensity to cause severe issues, if it shows the least signs of growth, out it’ll come, but odds are looking better it won’t. The more they learn about these rare tumors, the more they find watching and ignoring the small stable ones causes the least trouble. YAY!]

I used to write for the healthcare industry so I still occasionally receive PR pitches, most which I ignore. But when an email arrived publicizing Coldfront®, “interval cold therapy originally invented for menopausal hot-flashing women, and now being used by everyone” (does this mean YOU?), it sounded like something I ought to try, especially since drugs grew me that thar tumor. So again in the process of full disclosure, it’s only decent to admit that after desperately begging for a sample (okay, they offered one), I received the product free in exchange for an honest review.

Oh, baby, I LIKED it!

Since I often observe women (and myself) trapped on airplanes and in hotels and business meetings speed peeling outer layers of clothing and fanning their red-faced sweating selves, again, the product review seemed like a good traveling match. (Since I’m so aggravated by these blast-furnace episodes, I even cursed one of my fictional characters with them.) And since I’ve learned about so many other more general uses, here ya go.

Coldfront® is a simple idea: flesh color, palm sized, portable cold pads in a nice “ergonomically designed” insulated zipper case. No direct electronics needed. Feel the wave or need begin, unzip the case, put each pad discreetly in your palm and place them where they offer the most relief, like one on your forehead, the other on your neck. Or both on your neck, or on a wrist, or under your arm pit. Or just keep patting them around your blazing zones, perhaps inside the knee. All those around you will see is you resting your hands on yourself, same as we all do anyway.

But like I said, uses far exceed menopausal women. The most well-rounded list of situational uses for Coldfront® can be found here. While I was on the Coldfront® site, I watched several short video testimonies, which were as effective and convincing as my personal experience and response. I also read reviews. One woman said a fire fighter recommended them. Brilliant! Perhaps they could work miracles on hot-headed executives? Perhaps I’ve just recommended next year’s gift idea for your less-than-calm boss?

To keep the little pads cold throughout a day, you simply put the entire case in the freezer for 12 hours (overnight). You can chuck it into your briefcase or purse, if your purse is large enough, which mine currently isn’t since I'm in one of my scale-down bouts, which will probably last another two days since I never have what I need. At about 7 by 4.25 by 3 inches, along with everything else in my ridiculously small bag, I’d currently also have to carry a tote to keep the Coldfront® with me--another reason to just go back to the bigger back-breaking bag so that I can decide I need to scale down again. **sigh**

The entire loaded Coldfront® packet only weighs about 13.5 ounces, which is amazing, considering it works like a mini refrigerator. Since the whole enchilada contains three total gel packs (one large one which you don’t use, but which freezes and keeps the other two cool [“and patented Recool Technology” – more later], I wondered about TSA acceptance. (But then I wonder lots of things about the TSA.) I visited the Coldfront® website to see if there was anything official on that topic, and as luck would have it, the last person to write a review talked about successfully taking it on the plane with her--although one woman's experience doesn't necessarily add up to legality. Here’s Coldfront®'s official website statement on the topic. Read carefully. There are some limitations.

Q. I want to fly with coldfront. Are there any rules I should know about?

A. coldfront® provides cooling relief on both short and long, DOMESTIC flights! When coldfront® is in its frozen state contained in a carry-on item, going through security is a breeze as it meets Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requirements. If partially or completely thawed, bring coldfront® to the attention of a Security Officer, or place in your checked luggage. Use of a cooling device for the management of surgically, chemically, or hormonally induced hot flashes, or medically necessary heat relief, is permissible. For details on TSA compliance, go here:, and... enjoy!

And another tidbit:

Q. I want to take a long trip, how should I keep coldfront cold?
A. Enjoying overnight accommodations? Ask to use the facility's freezer! We've found that staff members are happy to honor this request. If you don't plan on staying at a hotel or somewhere with a convenient freezer, then you might be better off keeping coldfront in your freezer at home so upon your return, it's extra frosty.
The FAQ page with other pertinent info is here.

I realize I sound like an infomercial, but to be honest, in this day of gadgets and our over indulgence in pill popping, it’s lovely to see something come along that’s based on common sense and practicality. Using the Coldfront® sure beats putting your head in the freezer when flashing, which I’ve done—seriously—on many occasions.

The packet also comes with a small sweat mopper, although they refer to it with more decorum. The Recool Technology implies exactly what it means: you can put the used packets back in the holder and within twenty minutes, they’re recooled for your next use. I successfully tested this, several times throughout a day. Some folks keep them bedside. Hey, buy two packs and never go without! Twenty-four hour sanity!

I was going to post a bunch more pictures, but to be honest, the ones on Coldfront®’s website are quite effective. Although $49.94 plus a chunk of bucks for shipping might seem steep, when you consider that no melting ice cube messes are involved in this simply technology, and that the pads are discrete and recoolable for up to 12 hours, and that you’re not drugging yourself, and that you don’t have to keep buying new disposable breakable packs that cool you, the Coldfront® offers worthy game. If you think about it, they've even got the name right, because what sounds more appealing when your body is on fire than a cold front?

I receive no compensation for this testimonial, other than the product sent to me for an honest review.