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Lauda Wellness Lecture Scheduled for March 24

Published: March 16, 2009

Dealing with stress and the last 20 years of discovery on stress-related health issues will be the focus of the 2009 Donald P. Lauda Wellness Lecture on Tuesday, March 24, in The Pointe at The Walter Pyramid at CSULB, beginning at 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Titled “Managing Stress for a Healthier Life,” this year’s address will be delivered by UCLA psychology Professor Michael Irwin, who has been working in the area of psychoneuroimmunology for nearly two decades. His research is broadly based on the interactions between behavior and immunity with an emphasis on the consequences of major depression on immune processes relevant to infectious disease risk as well as inflammatory disorders.

The 2008 Stress in America Survey, conducted by the American Psychological Association, found that stress levels have increased significantly over the last two years, especially in the past 12 months. Chronic stress weakens the immune system, making people susceptible to infections. The consequences of inflammation contribute to a number of conditions, including stroke, diabetes, arthritis, depression, acceleration of aging and frailty.

Irwin will provide an overview of interrelationships between behavior and immunity accelerated by stress with a focus on depression and insomnia, examining the clinical implications of immune alterations during depression or sleep disturbance on inflammatory and infectious disease risk. Additionally, he will discuss the ability of psychological interventions and mind-body treatments (tai chi, yoga, meditation) to affect immunity and improve health functioning.

Named after Donald P. Lauda, longtime dean of the College of Health and Human Services who retired in 2002, the Wellness Lecture Series is an innovative compilation of presentations by experts in mental, physical and spiritual health. This annual series hosts lectures in the field of wellness with the goal of providing information and insight in this subject area for all individuals.

Michael Irwin
Michael Irwin

Lauda’s interest in wellness as well as complementary and alternative medicine began in the mid-1980s when he was first introduced to traditional Chinese medicine. He embraces a mind/body/spirit approach to wellness and has visited hospitals of traditional Chinese medicine in Japan, China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Cuba. Lauda serves as vice chair of the board of directors of the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco.

The lecture is sponsored by the College of Health and Human Services with support provided by Kaiser Permanente. Parking is available in Lot 13 off Atherton Street next to The Pyramid, and those using the lot should ask the parking attendant for a free parking pass.

For more information about the 2009 Lauda Wellness Lecture, contact Mary Harris Robinson at 562/985-4194.