By: Wayne Robins
The Catholic Church scandal, the Enron debacle, and terror in the Middle East got your readers feeling under the weather? They may be suffering from an overdose of troubling news. So suggests Dr. Eddie Erlandson, a vascular surgeon who is executive vice president for medical consulting for the Carpinteria, Calif.-based Worth Ethic Corp., which focuses on lifestyle enhancement to improve corporate and individual well-being.
A Business Wire item alerted us that the good doctor says “recent headlines are bad for our health,” so we decided to call Erlandson to find out whether the news was literally making readers sick.
“When I operated with people with vascular disease, I used to ask myself, ‘What is this disease about?'” he told E&P. “Not just the genetic, environmental, and health causes but the ways people shielded themselves against the stresses in their lives.”
What Erlandson finds especially troubling about the impact of today’s news events is that they are “shocks against integrity,” which “seem to resonate biologically” in a deeper way than the usual surprise of ordinary bad news. Pedophile priests and unaccountable accountants may raise blood-pressure, glucose, and insulin levels, and depress the immune system. To counteract the effect that the bad news bears, he recommends deep breathing, meditation … and cutting back on one’s news intake, at least for a day. Not exactly the prescription for what ails us — but a few deep breaths couldn’t hurt.