“Stress, the Cocaine of Modern America”

PULLMAN – Dr. Leonard Mees of Health Innovators International will tell why stress can cause the same heart deterioration as cocaine, and how to prevent stress’s effects on the body in his lecture “Stress, the Cocaine of Modern America” from 1 to 2 p.m. Oct. 3 in the Gladish Community Center auditorium in Pullman.

Both stress and cocaine can cause the release of adrenaline, Mees said.  Too much adrenaline can cause heart damage and lead to lethal arrhythmias, he said.

“The only way to detect this is by post-mortem exams. Because people respond to stress differently, it really depends on the individual and the luck of the draw.”

Although many different circumstances can cause excessive stress, reducing daily stressors could be as easy as changing mindsets, he said.

“We have the choice of how we view circumstances in our lives like jobs,” Mees said. “We need to change our perception of the incident, and ask ourselves if it is really worth the stress.”

Mees said activities like meditation and simple physical activity, better communication skills and loving relationships can all contribute to stress decreases and an overall healthier lifestyle.

Mees will speak at the pre-conference seminar for the Department of Environmental Health and Safety at Washington State University. The speech is open to the public.

“Anyone who is interested in stress prevention in their lives is welcome to come to this event,” said Jeff Battaglia, an industrial hygienist for the Department of Environmental Health and Safety.

Mees said he wants to provide people information without lecturing them, or telling them what to do.

“The responsibility of audience members is to take what they hear and incorporate it into their specific circumstances,” he said. “I give them a whole bunch of tools and encouragement.”

Mees has been writing and giving speeches about healthy living across the nation for the past 12 years. Mees practiced general medicine for 20 years before becoming an advocate for healthy lifestyles. He graduated from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in 1972. After practicing in Cape Cod, Mass., and working in Arizona lecturing and consulting on healthier living, Mees now resides in Portland, Ore.

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