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No Need to Go to the Caribbean ... Relief From Winter Blues is Less Than 2 Hours Away

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.V., Nov. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Coolfont Resort in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia (100 miles from Washington, D.C.) and The SunBox Company of Gaithersburg, Maryland have joined forces to create an ideal vacation spot for those who suffer from winter blues and winter depression. The U.S. Public Health Service estimates that 36 million Americans are affected to some degree by the change in seasons, experiencing symptoms such as fatigue, oversleeping, overeating, carbohydrate cravings, winter weight gain, and loss of self-esteem. Severe cases, known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.), may also suffer clinical depression.

Coolfont, a resort, health spa, and conference center, has created an atmosphere where guests can fight winter blues by using products provided by The SunBox Company. For more than a decade, The SunBox Company has been the nation's leading producer of light therapy products for clinics, health professionals, and patients.

Coolfont Resort has been on the cutting edge of spa technology and wellness for many years. In 1990, the United States Department of Energy presented an award for Energy Innovation to Coolfont for its solar-powered spa facility. Coolfont has hosted programs by many pioneers in the promotion of new approaches to wellness and fitness, including Doctors Gabe Mirkin and William Taub. Now, Coolfont is aligning itself with The SunBox Company to help bring light therapy to some of the millions of people who suffer from winter blues and S.A.D.

"We are very happy to be working with The SunBox Company and its president, Neal Owens, on this project," said Coolfont co-owner and Spa Director Martha Ashelman. "Our intention is simple: to provide a retreat where people suffering from winter blues or S.A.D. can come and experience some relief. We want to be a place for those who know they have winter blues or S.A.D. to come and feel better and we want to be a place where people who suspect they suffer from these conditions can come and try out The SunBox Company's products."

Coolfont's exercise room features treadmills, bikes, and a stepper situated to receive very bright full-spectrum light from a SunBox SunRay or SunSquare lighting device. Studies have shown that doing aerobic exercise in bright light is highly effective in reducing some of the winter blues symptoms such as fatigue and winter weight gain. Guests can receive the benefits of light therapy while relaxing or reading in Coolfont's meditation loft or Treetop Library which are equipped with SunRays.

Guests may also borrow dawn simulators provided by The SunBox Company to use in their rooms. These devices attach to any standard lamp and turn the bulb on slowly in the morning to mimic the light of a rising sun. Dawn simulation, in addition to helping people awaken more easily than they would with an alarm clock, have been shown in several studies to show promise as a treatment for the effects of winter blues and S.A.D.

In addition to the integration of light therapy devices throughout the facility, Coolfont also offers other treatments recommended for fighting winter blues, including aerobic exercise, outdoor walks and hikes, stress management programs, and a low-fat, high-fiber diet.

The SunBox Company's President, Neal Owens, knows what it is like to be affected by the changing seasons. Diagnosed in the early 1980s with S.A.D., he founded The SunBox Company to help others find relief. He sees this new venture between The SunBox Company and Coolfont as an opportunity to achieve his goal of helping others.

"I'm excited about this project," says Owens. "I think we can help sufferers in the mid-Atlantic states to 'get away' during the winter, for a week or a weekend, without having to go far from home. At Coolfont, they can experience the benefits of bright light therapy in a relaxed environment, and decide for themselves if they can benefit from light therapy at home."

Assistant Spa Director Gary Halperin, also diagnosed with S.A.D., developed the idea for this project and will coordinate the project at Coolfont. For more information, or to book a "Fight The Winter Blues" vacation, please contact him toll-free at Coolfont Resort, 1-800-888-8768.

SOURCE The SunBox Company
 -0- 11/25/96

/CONTACT: Gary Halperin, assistant spa director of Coolfont Resort, 800-888-8768/

CO: The Sunbox Company; Coolfont Resort ST: West Virginia, Maryland IN: HEA LEI SU:

SL-KS -- DCM011 -- 3610 11/25/96 10:11 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 25, 1996
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