The Role of Nutrition in Mental Health with Duane Law
A Shrink Rap Radio Interview
Dr Dave interviews Duane Law, L.Ac., an accomplished acupuncturist, naturopath, speaker and author, about diet and mental health. Dr Dave has been interviewing a few people lately about the importance and impact that diet has on our mental well being and you will find Duane is well versed in these intricacies and provides a wealth of information about how food modulates our mental state, especially in regards to the dopamine driven reward system. Click on the Shrink Rap Radio icon to the left to go to the landing page for this interview, or click here to download the MP3.
Duane Law is the Self-Care Advisor. His company, Natural StressCare, helps clients create programs that support their mental and physical health using the tools of Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
“Being healthy isn’t about being a saint,” he says. “It’s about being informed and taking action.”
Law is among the earliest westerners licensed as acupuncturists in the US. The only acupuncturist ever on staff at world-famous Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic, he has a special gift for making the body’s mysteries simple and clear. He draws on his experience as a poet and performer, weaving visual images, helping people understand what goes wrong in the body and what they can do about it.
In college Law did as many students do. He lived on the cheapest food he could find. That usually meant processed carbohydrates. Like many stressed people Law rapidly became addicted to sweets, pasta and breads. “I lost my ability to speak in anything but routine interactions. I was on the verge of suicide.”
Law found his way to an orthomolecular MD, who took him off all carbohydrates that convert easily to blood sugar. “At first it was terrible. But then after a few weeks I started feeling better than I could ever remember. I realized—for the first time in my life—I wasn’t depressed!”
Intrigued by the dramatic change he’d experienced and curious about what else was hidden in medicine, Law became one of the early westerners licensed as acupuncturists in the US.
Law quickly noticed acupuncture didn’t seem to work in the west the same way it did in asia. But then slowly he realized a few patients stood out—responding ten times faster than all the others.
“I quizzed them,” Law says. “And I realized all these patients, the ones responding so quickly and completely, had grown up on diets that didn’t come out of supermarkets.”
Law began insisting all his patients add crucial micronutrients back into their diets. “I saw that the ones who did did much better with my work and maintained their results much better too.”
Today Law’s company, Natural Stresscare, teaches motivated businesses and individuals how to use these and the other tools of holistic health to calm anxiety, lift depression and increase cognitive ability. He uses Skype, email and IM to reach his clients worldwide.
“It looks like supplying the right micronutrients restores crucial control systems, helping the body keep itself young, helping keep the mind focused, the heart calm.”
Law doesn’t sell any of the supplements he recommends. “Trust is everything in this business,” he adds. “I remember why doctors’ offices aren’t also drugstores. But I will tell people where to go to get the best stuff and the best deals.”
Law’s blogsite, Self-Care Advisor, shares these same tools and more to address everyday health challenges.
Law also does corporate presentations, webinars and CE courses for The Holman Group, a large provider of EAP programs throughout the U.S.
When outside of the pod, “Dr. Dave” is also known as David Van Nuys, Ph.D. He is Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Sonoma State University and served as that department’s Chair for seven years. The department has a longstanding reputation for its commitment to humanistic, transpersonal, and existential approaches to psychology. He has also taught psychology at the University of Montana, the University of Michigan, and the University of New Hampshire. He has served as a dissertation advisor for doctoral students at Saybrook Institute and the Institute for Integral Studies, among others.
David also runs a market research consulting business www.e-focusgroups.comwhich has served a distinguished list of clients, including The New York Times, Apple Computer, IBM, Hewlett Packard, and QuickenLoans, among others. He was on the board of directors of the Qualitative Research Consultants Association and served as Editor-in-Chief for that organization’s magazine, QRCA VIEWS. He has also served on the board of the Humanistic Psychology Division of the American Psychological Association.
David received his doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Michigan and has worked as a licensed psychotherapist in both California and New Hampshire. He has led and/or co-led personal growth workshops at various growth centers around the U.S. and abroad including Ireland, Kauai, Mallorca, Switzerland, and Sweden.
David has written scores of articles and reviews for a variety of professional and popular publications. At one time, he wrote a nationally syndicated newspaper column. In 2001, he co-authored the book, This is the Zodiac Speaking: Into the mind of a serial killer, in which he profiles the murderer in this famous, unsolved case. HBO picked up an option on the book with the idea of possibly using it as the basis for a mini-series.
David also periodically posts to his blog, “The Happiness Dispatch,” for the Psychology Today magazine.
For a number of years, David also hosted another psychology interview series on topics in Mental Health, Wellness and Psychotherapy called, “Wise Counsel“. These interviews are still available at www.mentalhelp.net.
In 2012, David joined the advisory board of the online journal, The International Journal of Neuropsychotherapy.
David has always been a person with wide ranging hobbies and passions, the latest of which is Podcasting (as in this psychology podcast), which he sees as “The Next Big Thing.” Over the years he has been involved in ham radio, sport judo, freight train hopping, folk guitar, recorder, piano, didjeridu, sky diving, flying sailplanes, windsurfing, mountain biking, road cycling, motorcycles, cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, and Tai Chi.