How I Got Here

"How Sugar Addiction Made Me A Healer"


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My path to a healing career began over 35 years ago in the back of a Datsun station wagon. I’d driven deep into a northern California forest armed with a vacuum cleaner hose, duct tape, a cardboard box, a knife and a bottle of tequila.

Financial hardship had forced me out of college and into the back of the station wagon. Like a lot of college students, I’d been living on a diet made up largely of cheap, processed carbohydrates. I was deeply depressed. I’d lost my ability to speak except in all but the most routine interactions. I was losing it.

Unbeknownst to me, my brain was swimming in cortisol. It would be years before I finally nailed down the neurochemistry involved; the concept of hypoglycemia was under attack by medical researchers who couldn’t actually find low levels of blood sugar in the people ostensibly suffering from it. (For details on why they couldn’t, check out my Sugar Story video.) And in any event, it would be awhile before I even heard the word.

The upshot: my brain was pumping out enormous quantities of stress hormones in a frantic effort to balance the unnaturally high levels of insulin my pancreas was secreting to control the elevated blood sugar levels stemming from my overindulgence in processed carbs. My soul was in a death spiral.

But all this was still unknown to me at the time. Luckily for me, that bottle of tequila saved me. Instead of gassing myself, I went into a deep sleep. When I woke up in the morning the sun was shining. I decided maybe life was worth another shot after all.

AP Style: Duane Law Bio

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.

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Months later an interesting set of synchronicities led me to Harvey Ross, an early orthomolecular psychiatrist. Under his guidance I stopped consuming all processed carbs, including sugar. After a few more hellish weeks I began climbing out of a deep pit of blackness that I’d been living in since early childhood. I felt better than I’d ever felt before. These days, when kids with shotguns lose it in their high schools, I get it. It’s appalling of course ... but I just thank my lucky stars I found Harvey Ross before I found Smith & Wesson.

At the time it astonished me that something so ubiquitous, so generally accepted, so seemingly innocuous as sugar (or its close counterparts, bread & chips) could have had such a powerfully negative influence on my moods. I began wondering what else along those lines had been hidden from me.

It turns out that modern industrialized food creates huge imbalances in our nutrient intakes (Cordain, Eaton et al, 2005.) The issue sits perennially on the fringes of big science. Corporate interests dominate most medical research today. Valiant researchers who have pursued these ideas have sometimes found it the death knell of their careers (The New York Times, April 17, 2011.) As Mark Twain famously put it, “it can be impossible to get someone to understand something when their livelihood depends on their not understanding it.”

Fortunately there’s a simple nutritional approach that effectively stops sugar cravings. Watch the Sugar Story video to learn more. But that’s just the start.

That early experience started me down a path toward becoming one of the first westerners doing acupuncture in the US. But my first love’s always been nutrition.

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.

Law also does corporate presentations, webinars and CE courses for The Holman Group, a large provider of EAP programs throughout the U.S.