Shannon McCluskey, RMT, EPCarolyn Lampshire, L.E.HEALING HORIZONSGrand Junction Free Press Health & Wellness Columnists

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January 23, 2013
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HEALING HORIZONS: Love your heart this Valentine's Day

The American Heart Association has identified cardiovascular disease as the leading cause of death in the U.S., yet our understanding of how to prevent heart disease is well established. Living a healthful lifestyle is becoming the most trusted way to keep the body, mind and heart healthy. While quitting smoking, eating healthy and exercising regularly are at the top of the list for good heart health, stress is more commonly recognized as a major player as well. In fact, a high stress lifestyle maintained for prolonged periods of time is a known risk factor for cardiovascular disease, even when no other risk factors are indicated.A recent study of patients with heart disease found that relaxation, taming hostility, and helping people change the way they look at life's challenges can reduce their risk of having further heart problems by 75% compared to people given only usual medical care and medications. Additionally, there are increasing amounts of research that show seeking relaxing self-care treatments such as massage and facials are ideal to relieve stress.

As well as treating overworked and tight muscles, massage can be very beneficial in relieving tension and stress. How can massage help with stress? The autonomic nervous system responds to massage by lowering blood pressure, heart rate and breathing rate. It also reduces levels of stress hormones in the blood stream, inducing a relaxation response.Another benefit from massage for the cardiovascular system is increased circulation. Proficient blood flow is a key element of good health as it carries oxygen and other important nutrients throughout the body. A consistent flow of oxygen-rich blood is essential to preserve cognitive function, prevent muscle spasms, optimize organ function and maintain healthy skin.

Facials are an excellent regimen to maintain your heart health as they offer emotional health benefits as well as promote relaxation, reduce stress, improve attitude, increase circulation, and help build a stronger immune system. The use of some essential oils in facials can also help lower blood pressure and lift your mood.Healing Horizons has developed a unique treatment that is optimal for achieving stress-relief with our Healing Horizons Pamper Package which includes back-to-back massage and facial treatments. Sessions are uniquely individualized for each patient's specific health goals.This Valentine's Day, help your sweetheart relax and rejuvenate with a gift for the heart.From Feb. 1-Feb. 14, Healing Horizons has discounted its pamper packages which include a 45-minute facial and a 45-minute massage for just $95.Come to Healing Horizons Saturday, Feb. 9, from 10 a.m. to noon to try our sample pamper package free! Call 970-256-8449 to reserve your time slot.Carolyn Lampshire, L.E., has been a licensed esthetician since 2000, and has had training in aromatherapy. Shannon McCluskey is a registered massage therapist and exercise physiologist. Both work at Healing Horizons Integrated Health Solutions, located at 2139 N. 12th St. #7. For more information, call 970-256-8449.

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The Post Independent Updated Jan 23, 2013 06:21PM Published Jan 23, 2013 06:19PM Copyright 2013 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.