SOURCE: Claire Michaels Wheeler, MD, Ph.D.

April 10, 2007 11:35 ET

Readers Proactively Fight Everyday Stress With Medically Based Mental Exercises in New Book by Former E.R. Doctor, Ph.D. in Psychology and Single Mother of Three

"10 Simple Solutions to Stress: How to Tame Tension & Start Enjoying Your Life" From New Harbinger Publications Praised by Former Dir. of Clinical Psychology Training at U. of Michigan; Goes Beyond "Take a Deep Breath" Mentality

PORTLAND, OR -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 10, 2007 -- The best way to deal with stress -- short of a cure -- is to treat it like a vacation: start planning for it, according to the author of the new book, "10 Simple Solutions to Stress: How to Tame Tension & Start Enjoying Your Life."

Many people view stress as little more than a basic fact of life that affects their jobs and their relationships, which they can control with feel-good activities and venting sessions, said the book's author, Dr. Claire Michaels Wheeler, MD, Ph.D., a professor of integrative medicine at Portland State University and professor of family medicine at Oregon Health & Science University. Typically, she said, people underestimate the power of stress until it affects basic human functions such as sleep, memory, eating and sex or leads to chronic conditions such as autoimmune disorders, coronary heart disease and depression.

Dr. Wheeler's book gives readers 10 exercises or practical antidotes for stress that are based on current medical research and backed by a 15-page bibliography. The exercises help readers mentally prepare for and confront stress before it takes hold of their lives. Today, for instance, about 90 percent of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress-related problems, according to Dr. Wheeler.

"We all know stress is this bad thing, but what a lot of people don't know is just how bad it is over time and how preventable major stress-related problems are," said Dr. Wheeler, the spokeswoman for "Take 10," the new promotional campaign for Nonni's Biscotti. "People are so used to just getting through the day and reacting to stress, and, medically speaking, that's just not good enough. There are plenty of well-documented ways people can keep the impact of stress on their lives to a minimum and learn to thrive."

For example, the book helps readers re-consider their notions of relationships, self-expression, food and exercise to see them as tools that can help them be less susceptible to illness and lead happier lives in spite of everyday stress. Each exercise and chapter in the book gives readers a set of positive behaviors that allows them to better cope with stress -- or a sequence of events that lead to a perceived threat.

"The trick is to really get a little creative and deliberate in how we approach stress and look at what's worked for people medically," Dr. Wheeler said.

Dr. Wheeler's book is based on years of her research and rooted in mind-body or integrative medicine, which focuses on the effects of stress on a person's body, mind and spirit. Dr. Wheeler is on the faculty of the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Mind-Body Medicine, which has seen its mind-body medicine curriculum adopted by eight leading universities, including Stanford and Georgetown.

For her part, Dr. Wheeler, 47, isn't exactly a model of stress-free living. She's seen death up close in the E.R., been through a divorce and experienced the fallout of cancer in her immediate family. She runs a private medical-consulting practice, speaks nationally and works as a professor.

Yet the mother of three has kept it together over the years by heeding her own advice. Dr. Wheeler makes time for skiing, dancing, sailing, golf, traveling, the piano and her love of digital photography.

"I have my bad days just like anyone else," Dr. Wheeler said. "But it's all about doing what inspires you and has meaning for you -- even if it's not always fun -- and knowing that it will really make you a better, healthier person. Stress management is a process, not a reaction, that's very much tied to lifestyle choices. Honestly, you can't start reducing stress until you start living life."

For more information on Dr. Wheeler, including a headshot, visit her Website: http://www.stresshappiness.com/about/.

Readers can find or order "10 Simple Solutions to Stress: How to Tame Tension & Start Enjoying Your Life" (ISBN: 1-57224-476-3) at most local bookstores, major online bookstores such as www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com and through her publisher, www.newharbinger.com. The 170-page book retails for $12.95.

Journalists interested in obtaining a copy of Dr. Wheeler's book can contact Chris Ehrlich, principal of Ehrlich Written Communications, at 503-825-4473 or at info at ewcomm.com

About Claire Michaels Wheeler, MD, Ph.D.

Claire Michaels Wheeler, MD, Ph.D. is a physician, psychologist and professor of integrative medicine at Portland State University and a professor of family medicine at Oregon Health & Science University. She has run MindBody Medicine of Portland, P.C. since 1999 and counseled both groups and individuals on how to combat everyday stress and chronic medical conditions with integrative medicine, nutrition and art. Dr. Wheeler holds an A.B. in physiology from the University of California, Berkeley, where she graduated with highest honors. She received her MD from the Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine and her Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Michigan. Dr. Wheeler has practiced emergency medicine in emergency rooms in New Mexico and West Virginia. She completed a year of training in Dr. Andrew Weil's program for MDs, the Associate Fellowship in Integrative Medicine, at the University of Arizona. She is the spokeswoman for "Take 10," the new promotional campaign for Nonni's Biscotti. Dr. Wheeler lives in Portland, Ore., with her significant other, Matt, their five children (ages 6 to 16) and two dogs.

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