by: Barbara DeMarco-Barrett
A talk with Dr. Mamak Shakib, public affairs host of "Health Matters," airing Wednesday mornings at 8 a.m. Pacific time.
Barbara DeMarco-Barrett: How did you find your way to KUCI, Mamak?
Dr. Mamak Shakib: A friend of mine was a music DJ at KUCI at the time and it sounded like an interesting thing to look into!
BDB: What’s the focus of your show?
MS: Bringing the health-related news that does not make the headlines— not because it is trivial or unimportant, but because it is not moneymaking to the Big Pharma and its servants.
BDB: You’ve been broadcasting for a couple of years, now. How is it that you’re able to do a good job filling each show without booking guests?
MS: (laughing) Yes, it is rather amazing to myself too. I started having guests on every other show, leaving it guest-free in between just so I could get to answer the questions that were brought to my attention via email by my listeners. So many times I was not able to answer all questions in a timely manner and months would go by before I'd get to them. On top of that, sometimes I'd face the technical difficulties conducting phone interviews. To avoid the stress of the technical uncertainties, I started minimizing the guest interview shows though I still occasionally have guests come in to the station or call in to the station.
BDB: Are there any radio health-type shows that served as a template for your own?
MS: Not that I am aware of. I'd like to think that I have come up with the style and the unique delivery of the information.
BDB: What do you hear from listeners?
MS: Generally, I hear the desire to want to change, but the fear of unknown and the direction that one ought to choose in order to avoid the not-sick-care paradigm that is so skillfully being imposed upon us as a society.
BDB: You’re so passionate in how you put forth information. I’ve got to think that motivates listeners to take positive action.
MS: Thank you Barbara and yes I think it does. It is always reassuring to hear that you are not alone and to have a mentor to go to if need be. I'd like to be that person but at the same time always encourage my listeners to look into the information that is provided to them no matter what.
BDB: In your daily life, you’re a chiropractor. Did you know as a kid you wanted to do this sort of work?
MS: Not at all. I did not even know what chiropractic was. I was intrigued by the simple, yet elegant message of chiropractic and am pleased to be a chiropractor who practices true chiropractic, removing nerve interference, allowing the body to do what it is inherently supposed to do-- taking care of the person who has the body! I am not into blending in with what the governing agencies wish to see but to do what is right.
BDB: On your show, Health Matters, you explode food- and health-related myths on your show. In doing research for your show, have you come across information that was surprising to you?
MS: YES. Not necessarily with regards to food and nutrition though. My mom was, and is, way ahead of her time and back when people fried and cooked food for its taste, my mom steamed and gave us raw food. I had already seen its impact on our health and knew that the closer we stayed with common sense and the inherent nature of food, the better off we were. As for the surprise factor though, I am amazingly surprised, in fact on a daily basis, how the Big Pharma manipulates people and how our supposed agencies that are there to watch out for us do a sad, pathetic job of it. I never ever thought, as an 18 year old who migrated to US back in the '80s [from Iran], that this stuff happened in the U.S., the Land of the Free.
BDB: What’s your radio dial in your car tuned to?
MS: I do not listen to the radio. I listen to CD's that encourage and show me how to be positive. After all, if I don't tell the story, who will?
BDB: How has the station changed since you arrived a couple of years ago?
MS: Since the traffic of DJ's and PA hosts is rather frequent, it is unfair to evaluate the station for the changes that have occurred. I can say that as a PA host, I am much more comfortable and have been able to streamline my own show's production much efficiently.
BDB: Any tips for readers, and KUCI listeners, who might want to do a show at KUCI?
MS: Other than the fact that having a show is not something that everyone builds a courage to do, you will gain the value of sharing the news or music that is underground. Having a radio show puts you on the 20 percenter side instead of the 80 percenter. Be a leader in whatever it is that you believe in. If you don't do it now, when will you?
BDB: And any health tips?
MS: Yes!! Do know that you are born with the raw material to be healthy, that you are in charge of your own health and life and that if you go with the natural design of things, you have a much better chance of being healthy. Focus on quality of life and not the quantity and do know that everything of value is a pursuit and not an event.
Barbara DeMarco-Barrett's son was four when she started "Writers on Writing." He's now 16. She's Orange Coast Magazine's new literary critic, author of Pen on Fire, and has a story in the newish collection, Orange County Noir (Akashic). More at Pen on Fire .