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Archive for the ‘Aromatherapy’ Category

Can You Put Epsom Salt in a Hot Tub?


Can you put epsom salt in a hot tub?

Hot tubs and Epsom salts are synonymous with relaxation and pain relief for sore joints and muscles. Wouldn’t it be great if you could combine the two? Of course! In fact, many people use pure Epsom salts in their bathtubs at home. But can you put Epsom salt in a hot tub? In most cases, the answer is NO. Here’s why.

Chemical Reactions

Pure Epsom salts are an alkaline compound also known as Magnesium Sulphate. The mildly acidic properties of Epsom salts can very quickly disrupt the total alkalinity and pH balance of the water in your hot tub. Unbalanced water can launch a cascade of other problems, including reduced sanitizer performance and corrosion of your hot tub equipment (metal parts, plastic pieces, seals, gaskets, etc.).

Total Dissolved Solids

When using a regular bathtub, the standard recommendation  is to add 2 cups of Epsom salts to feel the full therapeutic effects. Now, let’s think about that for a minute. The average bathtub holds about 80 gallons of water. On the other hand, the average hot tub holds about 400-500 gallons. To reach the same concentration level in your hot tub would require 10-12 cups of pure Epsom salts. That’s a lot of solids being added to the water! A bathtub can be drained quickly and easily, and the water is only used once. Unfortunately, a hot tub can’t be drained as often or as easily, which leads us to our next point.

To avoid scale buildup on spa surfaces and equipment, many spa manufacturers recommend draining and refilling a hot tub when the level of total dissolved solids (TDS) reaches 1500 ppm or higher. Failure to do so can potentially void the warranty. High TDS levels can also cause problems with cloudy water. Using our previous comparison, adding 10-12 cups of Epsom salt to your hot tub will quickly raise the TDS reading far past the 1500 ppm maximum threshold. Spa heaters usually sustain the most damage from scale buildup, but water lines, jets, pool pumps and tub surfaces can also accumulate scale if proper water balance is not maintained.


Rather than pour pounds and pounds of pure Epsom salts into your spa, risking long-term damage to the tub, plumbing and equipment, why not try a safe yet effective alternative instead?

spazazz aromatherapy productsHot tub aromatherapy products offer many of the same benefits as Epsom salts. In fact, most aromatherapy crystals use Magnesium Sulphate (Epsom salt) as the primary ingredient. The key difference is that spa aromatherapy crystals have been specially formulated for use in spas and hot tubs. Smaller quantities are needed to achieve the same effects, and they don’t negatively alter the water chemistry or cause problems with spa equipment. Most spa crystals are also formulated with vitamins, minerals, moisturizing nutrients and natural herbs and botanicals. And of course, there’s the unique aromatherapy experience that can elicit any desired benefit or mental state. De-stress, detoxify, rejuvenate, reduce pain and inflammation, breathe easier, boost energy levels or promote a better night’s sleep – anything is possible with aromatherapy.

There are also alternatives to aromatherapy crystals that promote the same therapeutic benefits. Spa elixirs help you to relax while also softening the water and moisturizing your skin. Revolutionary new spa bombs offer the same benefits as the increasingly popular bath bombs. However, unlike standard bath bombs, spa bombs won’t damage your hot tub equipment, alter the water chemistry or clog up your filter.


In most cases, you should never add pure Epsom salts to your hot tub. Despite this warning, if you still want to try, just be sure to drain and thoroughly clean the hot tub immediately after you’re done soaking to avoid long-term damages to your spa. You can achieve the same therapeutic effects by using spa aromatherapy products, which are specifically formulated for use in spas and hot tubs. These products won’t upset fragile water balance, harm the equipment or cause scale buildup on tub surfaces. Hot Tub Works carries dozens of aromatherapy products from top brands like Cover Valet, PharmaSpa, Spazazz and Zodiac. 

Spa Scents & Hot Tub Aromatherapy


candle-spaWith Valentine’s Day coming up, I thought we could talk about some ways to make your Spa and Hot Tub a little more romantic!

To create a romantic ambiance around your spa or hot tub, you need soft lighting, soft music, and soft spa scents. For lighting, I recommend tea candles in small votives, nestled safely on one side of the spa. For music, well, whatever floats your boat, but for spa scents, also known as spa fragrances or spa aromatherapy, just shake or pour in a capful and it’s like “Calgon – take me away!”

The nose knows, you know – it’s very sensitive and connected to our sense of well being. Using spa scents helps you to enjoy your spa or hot tub more. Spa scents will instantly trigger certain parts of the brain to relax your body, while invigorating your senses.

It just so happens that our romantic marketing team have put our most romantic scents on sale, like our Mood Crystals Romance and Mood Crystals Passion, both expertly crafted by Spazazz. The label states “CAUTION: THIS AROMA IS SO ALLURING IT SHOULD CARRY A WARNING LABEL.” 🙂

spazazz-romance-spa-crystalsStrawberries and Champagne
Set “The Mood”… with ROMANCE

Immerse into a romantic fantasy of luscious strawberries drenched in tingly champagne as the bubbles transcend ecstasy straight to the head. Become dizzy with desire. (straight off the label!) Just shake in a capful of these crystals just before you get in, and your spa instantly freshens up, and smells of sweet strawberry pie. The effervescent spa crystals give off champagne-like bubbles.




passion-spa-crystalsSex on the Beach
Set “The Mood”… with PASSION

Immerse yourself in a passionate fantasy with this sexy peach schnapps and exotic nectar blend. Hot water and crystals are intertwined to ignite your passion.

This spa scent smells like the drink Sex on the Beach, with a sweet smell of peaches and citrus. A little sweet and a little sour, it may take over your senses!




vanilla-musk-spa-scentWhite Musk Vanilla Jasmine

Set “The Mood”… with WHITE MUSK

Indulge yourself with this enlivening blend of sensual aromas with therapeutic benefits and moisturizing botanicals. Spazazz aroma therapy crystals set the mood, arouse emotion, and relax your state of mind. Feel the calm and natural release of aches and pains. Free the spirit with passion and emotion, as tension and stress melt away. 12 oz bottle is good for dozens of treatments.




sensual-river-and-tiger-balmTiger Balm


All-Natural fragrances are formulated especially to relax and pamper you after a long day. Soothe your senses, relax your muscles with the exhilarating scents of these amazing fragrances; which stimulate the senses. Tiger Balm helps with muscular aches, sprains, and helps boost circulation, if you know what I mean. Sensual River is inspiring, helps attract and retain moisture, if you know what I mean! These are high tech aphrodisiacs, use with care!


So remember, if you want to set a mood in your spa or hot tub, for Valentine’s Day, or any old day – here’s how to make your spa or hot tub – a little more Romantic, if you know what  I mean!

  • Soft lighting, candles or light dimmer
  • Soft music, Sade or Barry White, lol
  • Hot chocolate or other warm drink
  • Soft and sensual spa scents
  • Flower Petals
  • Your Valentine

Hot Tub Water Meditation Techniques



A hot tub is a perfect place for meditation, if you can get it all to yourself that is! I’m fortunate to have one evening per week when I’m alone with my tub, and take the time to practice short mindful meditations.

Emphasis on the word ‘practice’, because meditation is something that gets better each time you do it, and becomes easier – the more you practice.

If you’ve never tried to meditate, or have given it only a few sporadic efforts, you are missing out on one of the best ways to relieve stress, pain and fatigue. There are too many benefits to list; trust me – meditation is good stuff!

Meditate in your own spa or hot tub!


Set the Mood

Turn down the lights, turn down the heat, and turn off the pumps and air blower. You can light a scented candle, or add aromatherapy salts to your hot tub. Put the heat at whatever temperature you like, I tend to prefer 100°, but it depends on the outside air temperature. 104° is really too hot for quiet meditation, but something between 90-100 degrees (32-38° C) seems to work for most people.

You don’t necessarily need to be alone to meditate, but it helps if others also remain still and quiet, preferably meditating as well. If you like,  you can add some soft music, without lyrics. Yoga music or meditation music works well. I prefer the still sounds of the night, but then my neighborhood is fairly quiet. If you have more urban sounds, or cacophony of crickets, meditation music can be helpful – to set the mood.

Focus on the Body

The first step to hot tub meditation is to focus briefly on the body for a quick minute. Find a comfortable kneeling or seated position, cross legged or not, and sit up straight. Now begin to slowly check the sensations in each body area, and allow yourself to relax, bit by bit. Start at the toes, and move up the body to the top of your head. Focus your attention on your bones, muscles and joints, and allow the buoyancy of the water to take over. Pause along the each section of the spine, and you move up the body. Allow your arms to float freely in the water, limp at the wrist. Finally, relax any tension in the neck, face and scalp, and allow your body to become buoyant.

Focus on the Breath

The Yogi Complete Breath, from the book Science of Breath, written by a Yogi over 100 years ago, is a long and slow breath, combining low breathing, mid breathing and high breathing techniques. It takes time to master fully, but most people lock onto it after a dozen or so attempts. Once you have a comfortable seating position, sit up straight and start by ‘belly-breathing’, pushing out your stomach, as you breath deep into your stomach for a count of 2. On count 3 and 4, allow your side ribs to open up, and fill up your lower diaphragm. On count 5 and 6 fill up the upper diaphragm as your upper sternum rises toward your chin. Hold for a two count, and then slowly exhale for a 6 count, in the reverse order of inhalation. Chest down, ribs inward, stomach deflates. After much practice you can increase the time, until a complete breath takes a full minute!  Advanced breathing can add-in elements of Pranayama, by breathing-in through one nostril and exhaling through the other.

Breathing is the ladder to the next step in meditation, it is used to quiet the mind as you focus on the simple mechanics of inhaling and exhaling. Counting the breaths in your mind, with a 1-1 thousand, 2-1 thousand (or Mississippi if you prefer) can also help to drown out other thoughts and help you to remain focused on the breath.

Focus on the Mind

When we breathe deeply, the increased oxygen wakes up many dormant cells, and the mind can wander easily. Try to stay in the present moment, and don’t allow your mind to play tapes of the past or predictions of the future, just be here, now, in the present.

When thoughts come into my mind, this sounds silly but, I like to imagine them coming in near my ears, and a broom in the middle of my head sweeps them out the other side. The key is to catch yourself drifting into a thought, and let it go, sweep the thought away, or just let it go, and return to focus on the breathing.

Don’t chastise yourself, or wince at catching yourself thinking again, just make the neutral observation, let it go, and return your focus to the breath and body. What I do is – I relax my body and breathe deeply, and bring my attention to a spot behind my forehead, which some call the third eye, or the 6th chakra, and my thoughts diminish.


Water Meditation

Water is a symbol of purity and a cleansing element. Our connection to water in this world is profound, it flows through our rivers and oceans, and through our bodies. Scientists recognize water as one of the most important elements on the planet, next to the sun’s energy, in allowing life to exist.

A water meditation is allowing your mind to wander into a short story. As your breathing continues, guide your mind to another place, a wet place – and since you’re already floating in your hot tub, why not !?!

Waterfall Meditation

Imagine yourself sitting in a warm, crystal clear tropical pool, surrounded by lush foliage of all types, with a soft waterfall cascading down in front of you. The waterfall fills you up, and joins the rhythm of your breathing. A clear mist fills the air around you as you move under the waterfall. The soft waters dance over your shoulders, cleansing and purifying.

Stream Meditation

In this mindful meditation, you’ll take a seat near a small babbling brook, choose the season you like, I usually use autumn. Feel the water as it rushes around you, flowing to ever larger tributaries, and eventually out to sea. Allow the river’s flow to match your rhythm of breath, while it cleanses and purifies.

Hot Springs Meditation

Same thing here, just a different location. You don’t even need to leave your spa – sometimes (Ok, this is getting embarrassing) I imagine my hot tub in different locations, and in my water meditation, my spa is transported, deep into the jungle, or to a cliff overlooking the ocean, or on a desert island somewhere. 🙂


Bonus Tips for Hot Tub Meditation:

  • Start with just 10 minutes, and build up to 20 minutes over time. Set an alarm for safety.
  • Meditation Music – search on Google, and you can find long songs or videos to play on your phone.
  • Aromatherapy – Aroma really helps with water meditations, and can become the entire meditation!
  • Mantras – short words or numbers said slowly to yourself, on the exhalation.
  • Asanas – simple yoga poses or postures, some of which are done while seated. I don’t use these myself in hot tub meditation, but you can try a few positions.


“Open your pores and bathe in all the tides of nature, in all her streams, and oceans, in all seasons”.

 –  Henry David Thoreau



Gina Galvin
Hot Tub Works


Spa Aromatherapy – Crystals, Beads and Elixirs


spa-aromatherapy-spa-scentsThe sense of smell is one of the most powerful senses of the body, and like the others, it can be manipulated. Scents can soothe the mind, and relax your muscles. It can also help trigger release of serotonin in the brain, bringing peace of mind.

It’s why resort spas always use relaxing scents throughout, the same with savvy department stores. It’s also why your grocery store has a bakery, and your movie theater has a popcorn counter.

Using spa scents in your spa or hot tub just makes sense! Without you even being very much aware of it, spa scents make your time in the hot water more tranquil and serene. Or, they can also energize and invigorate.

Here’s a run down of 3 types of spa scents for your hot tub, Beads, Crystals and Elixirs – such sexy names!

Spa Crystals

spa-crystals-hot-tub-works-Spa crystals are crystallized spa minerals as colorful as their scent. They come in an unbreakable, easy to open containers. Just shake a capful or two of spa crystals over the water, right before you enter the spa. Instantly the aromas dance off of the water, and the natural botanicals leave your skin supple.

There are 4 groups of Spa Crystals by Spazazz. I recommend that you have at least one from each category, so you can set the mood accordingly.


escape-spa-crystalsEscape aromatherapy crystals are formulated to help you escape the stress and tension of the time spent outside of your spa, and transport you and your lucky spa companion to a state of blissful relaxation. Allow yourself to drift into a citrus grove, a tropical island, or a field of lavender. Escape spa crystals are available in 8 tranquil scents, in a 24 oz. bottle.


original-spa-crystals by SpazazzOriginal spa crystals are tranquil and luxurious. Indulge your senses with mind-mending  olfactory therapy and repair your skin with moisturizing botanicals. Spazazz aromatherapy crystals relax the mind and stimulate your natural rejuvenation processes. Feelings of calm security waft over you as you release the stress of the mind and muscles. Original Spa Aromatherapy Crystals are available in 8 delicious scents, in a 17 oz. bottle.


mood-spa-crystalsMood crystals are for when you’re feeling passionate; with names like Temptation, Seduction and Fantasize. Potent love potions arouse feelings of intimacy and heighten sensual response. These seductive spa scents can really set the mood, so turn down the light and turn up the Barry White. Sprinkle just a few capfuls in the tub to ignite a fire! Mood spa crystals are available in 7 sexy scents, in a 17 oz. bottle.


rx-spa-crystals - detox, energy, respiratory, muscle, brainUse Rx spa crystals to take care of aches and pains, Detox the body, improve respiration or energy levels. “Soak in Vitamins” is the tag line for these spa scents, and they may be just what the doctor ordered! Rich botanical moisturizers and natural vitamin extracts rejuvenate as you soak and breathe rejuvenating natural minerals. If you’re sick, sore or dog tired – Rx spa scents will improve energy, breathing and rid the body of harmful toxins. Rx spa crystals are available in 5 quick relief blends, in a 19 oz. bottle.

Spa Beads

spa-beadsSpa beads are another way to add the power of aromatherapy to your hot tub experience. Instead of crystals, these are smooth balls about the size of a peanut, you just toss a small handful in the spa.

Quick and fun to use, and the sensuous scent of Capri Colada and the euphoric experience of Fiji Apple will transport your spa soak into something special. Spa Beads are available in 2 sensual scents, in a 5 oz. bag. I have a bag of these in my car, and they are a great air freshener, too!

Spa Elixirs

spa-elixirsSpa Elixirs are a liquid form of spa scent. Just pop the top, and squirt in a small amount, about a tablespoon or so, to quickly infuse your spa with fragrant botanical extracts and moisturizing emollients. The same most popular spa scents that are available as Spa Crystals are have been liquified into a rich, pearly honey for your spa. Spa Elixirs are available in 12 indulgent scents, in 9 oz. and 12 oz. bottles.


Try some of these spa scents, if you can decide which one to choose! To make it easier, I suggest selecting one from each group. They are cheap enough that you can buy a collection for under $20.

Added bonus to the spa aromatherapy experience is soft skin, and no chlorine smell on your skin when you leave the spa. You’ll keep a soft scent and a lingering aroma of your scented spa or hot tub – all night long.



Gina Galvin
Hot Tub Works


Spa & Hot Tub Aromatherapy Guide


spa-aromatherapy for hot tubs
By the end of a day, my olfactory senses are dulled by offices and highways, but a dip in the hot tub always restores.

Did you know that you can distinguish over 10,000 scents? Certain aromas or scents have a very real physiological effect on humans. They can soothe, energize and produce a sense of well being. Certain scents are also known to give a sensual or euphoric feeling, especially to those already relaxing in a hot tub.

I’ve been using spa scents for as long as I remember, but recently I was given a box full of spa scent samples – to test out for you, my dear reader! I have to admit that I haven’t had time to try them all – after all we have over 60 different spa crystals, beads and elixirs. I grouped them into ‘scent categories’, to simplify the testing of the different spa scents.

What resulted was a list of my favorite hot tub scents – used to create different moods in your spa or hot tub, sometimes serene, sometimes sensual.


Lavender has been used for thousands of years, since Romans added it to their bath houses. It’s a known antiseptic, useful in treating mild infections, especially candida, but is mainly used to bring calming to the mind. Inhaling the aroma of lavender can help with sleep problems, depression and worry. As a circulatory stimulant, it brings relief for muscle pain, cramping, migraines and other head and body pain. Lavender is also good for your skin. It helps skin cells to regenerate, and is used to treat scarring or stretch marks, and can also be used with rashes, sunburns or skin infections.lavender-spa-crystals

We have lots of Lavender spa scents at Hot Tub Works. I’m told it’s one of our best selling scents. It’s one that people know, commonly used in soaps, pillows or sachets. I like the Lavender Spa Crystals. They come in a large, 2 lb. box with a scoop, and is so fragrant I began to relax before even opening the box. I sprinkled in the spa scent crystals, watching them sink slowly, while they immediately release the soothing scent, along with natural plant moisturizers, into the water.

lavender-palmarosaAnother Lavender spa scent that tested well with me was the Lavender Palmarosa Escape Elixir. As opposed to the spa crystals, Elixirs are a thick and shiny liquid, in beautiful colors, that is poured into the water. Lavender is mixed with botanical oils, and in this case, Palmarosa, which is a type of Lemon Grass. Lemon is another scent that rejuvenates, and I really liked the experience more than just the lavender alone.  The Lavender Palmarosa Escape Elixir is a thick liquid, but if you prefer spa crystals to liquid – the same scent by SpaZazz is also made in crystal form, as the Escape Crystals – Lavender Palmarosa.



Jasmine is a rich and warm floral fragrance, seductive and sensual. It has an ancient reputation as an aphrodisiac, and I can see why! Jasmine is sweetly exotic, and is also called ‘Mistress of the Night’ or ‘Moonlight of the Grove’, because the seductive scent is at its strongest in the middle of the night. When you add Jasmine to a hot tub, you may be calling for your lover to join you! Jasmine is sweet, soft and very sexy.

Jasmine is considered a mild sedative, and it certainly also helped me to relax, and really enjoy the spa session. It helps with anxiety, depression or a general blah feeling. It relaxes the central nervous system. Jasmine is also used in some countries as an aid to skin healing, by adding a few drops of Jasmine essence to a mineral or vegetable oil.

Jasmine Spa CrystalsThe samples of Jasmine that I had included the Jasmine Spa Crystals, and the White Musk Vanilla Jasmine Escape Crystals, with the word “Soothe” on the label. The Jasmine Spa Crystals were more fruity and floral, and the Escape Crystals were also sweet, but less so – toned down by the Vanilla and Musk aromas. musk-vanilla-jasmine-aromatherapy-for-the-spa

I used these scents on consecutive nights, so I could best compare. Both Jasmine crystals were soothing and sensual, and when I closed my eyes, I could easily imagine that I was in the south pacific, on a floating island. The Musk Vanilla Jasmine blend was definitely the sexier of the two, as you may have guessed.



Mint is one of the most widely used aromatic herbs, used in everything from food and drinks to lip balm. In 1879, the British Journal of Medicine noted that the vapors of menthol gave relief to headaches and nerve pain. It improves alertness and helps one to concentrate, and could be perfect after a long day, to prepare for a long evening. Peppermint increases blood flow, reduces itching and is helpful with arthritic cramps or muscle pain. And, it’s good for your skin, stimulating natural skin oil production.

Mint grows wild throughout North America, Europe and Australia. It’s an abundant perennial in some areas, like my backyard! For this test, I picked a small basket of leaves and laid them in the spa water, to give peppermint aromatherapy a more authentic feel.

eucalyptus-mintAdded to the leaves on my peppermint trial, I used the SpaZazz Eucalyptus Mint Elixir, also available in crystal form. The packet was labeled “stimulate”, so I was prepared and ready for stimulation. It was a calm stimulation – I felt my breathing open up, like when Mom would rub Vicks on my chest. After 15 minutes, I noticed that my skin did feel stimulated, almost to the point of goosebumps. This fresh feeling lasted for hours, as did the energy boost – which may have come from deeper breathing in the hot tub.



Eucalyptus leaves have long been used in early cultures, for relief from aches and pains, and for treatment of altitude sickness. Early Incas, in the highlands of Peru would bathe in natural hot springs, filled with eucalyptus leaves. Similar to peppermint, Eucalyptus has an element of camphor, and can be used to treat sore throats, sinus problems, flu and fever.

The Eucalyptus tree is fast growing, to heights of 80 foot or more. Popular in sub-tropical regions (like California), you can often find wild eucalyptus trees that you can harvest for your spa aromatherapy sessions. In fact, I did just that – a neighbor down the street has large Eucalyptus trees lining their driveway. I’m sure she wouldn’t mind, so I trimmed a few stems.eucalyptus-spa-crystals

Added the Eucalyptus directly to the hot tub and then sprinkled in a scoop of my 2 pound “sample” of Eucalyptus Spa Crystals. Energizing and pungent, my soak in eucalyptus oils, with the mist surrounding me, was the most stimulating of all the spa scents that I tried. It also completely removed a headache that I had brought home with me. Like the peppermint aromatherapy, my soak in eucalyptus also made my skin dance a bit, and allowed my sinuses to open up for some deep breathing in the spa.

In summary, if you are looking to increase your spa relaxation, try a Lavender spa scent. For a romantic evening, go with a Jasmine fragrance. For a rejuvenating and energizing aromatherapy spa session, use Mint or Eucalyptus.

This has been a fun experiment, and I have enough left over spa scents to host some fun hot tub aromatherapy parties!



Gina Galvin
Hot Tub Works


Favorite Hot Tub Aromatherapy Products


Hot Tub Scents




My favorite sets of items that we have on the site are the 2 lb. containers of spa crystals. Not only do they come with a little measuring cup but the scents are my favorite out of the aromatherapy items that we sell on the site.

The Eucalyptus has an earthy eucalyptus scent, the lavender has a scent almost like fresh laundry with a hint of lavender, the jasmine has a vanilla scent with a hint of jasmine, the cucumber melon has a sweet fruity scent, and the lime basil mandarin is the lightest scent and has a hint of citrus.

My most favorite scent is pomegranate. It has a strong fruit smell and reminds me of the scent of jolly rancher candy.

I love these crystals because not only could you use them in your hot tub but they are also great to use in a bath as well. If you want to learn even more about these items please give us a call and we could answer any of your questions.


Spring is in the…Warehouse


I was on my way to lunch and took a shortcut out the back door through the warehouse. It sure smells good out there…wonder why?

Another shipment of SPAZAZZ has arrived!

If you’ve never tried spa aromatherapy, treat yourself this year to some great smelling, soothing spa salts.


The Perfect Get Well Gift – Spa Aromatherapy


Rx Crystals - Detox Therapy

If the cold and flu have got you down – try Detox Therapy!

April is here and in Southern California that means unpredictable weather. One day it can be sunny and over 80 degrees then the next day cool and cloudy with a high of 60 degrees.

Unpredictable weather usually means the predictable spring cold. Boy did I get one! The cold came with fever, aches, sore throat and cough. Other than cold medicine and sleep the only relief I found was a soak in the tub. I tried for the first time Our Spazazz RX Crystals.

I used the Respiratory Therapy Crystals and the Muscle Therapy Crystals. Wow is all I can say! Both of these really worked well. I used both of these in the bath tub and I recommend them to anyone who gets a Spring Cold like I did.

Tonight I plan on trying the Joint Therapy Crystals. I also think this trio would make the perfect “get well” gift for any friend or family member who gets sick.