It is the season of hearts…sweethearts, and those we love, as well as our actual beating hearts. This February season fits right into our theme of Mind/Body/Spirit…love for others, love for ourselves, and love for our bodies. We certainly cannot the enjoy the pleasures of love for our sweethearts and other loved ones, if we do not love ourselves and take really good care of our bodies. This is the month to focus on our hearts.

Cleveland Clinic, one of my favorite resources for up to date health information, recently posted this excellent infographic entitled: Love Your Heart. Please take time to view it. It neatly walks through myths, misperceptions, and realities of cardiac health that apply to both men and women. We need to take this information seriously as cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the US. It accounts for 25% of all deaths in the US each year which includes all forms of cancer!

The CDC, Center for Disease Control & Prevention, also has important information on their website. This site provides clear and simple information about controlling and preventing heart disease. Prevention is everything! Emerging scientific evidence informs us that cardiovascular disease begins early in life, in childhood, and builds slowly and silently until it does it serious damage later in life. This is great information to guide us in developing healthy lifestyle habits in our children as well as ourselves. Those habits, formed early, stay with us throughout life. It seems to me that good health and a sustained healthy lifestyle are among the greatest gifts we can provide our children.

Stress is a well known contributing factor to cardiovascular disease. Meditation is a way to lower our stress level, pull inside ourselves, and become calmer. Ancient traditions have known this for a long time. In recent times, science has revealed the evidence of this health benefit. See: Benefits of Meditation
Let’s celebrate this Valentine’s Day by taking care of our hearts!!!

- Dr. Shelly Messer

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