One needs to be in excellent physical and mental condition to create the best performance on and off the stage and to have a productive enjoyable long life.
The occupation of musician requires long hours of practice, travel, performance, business and equipment moving while having disruptive sleep patterns. The quality of your music, your health and your life is the result of everything you do.
I was given 6 months to live in February 2004. I hadn't yet played all the notes that I had intended to play and didn't want to leave Jill. I was highly motivated to live more than the next six months. While bedridden I studied how to develop my "keep Jack alive" regimen and how to lose weight. I'm often asked about it, so I'll share it with you.
1. MONITOR YOUR BODY’S PH DAILY: The body needs to be at the correct PH for the hundreds of chemical reactions to happen as they should. A junk food diet can make the body "too acidic". This can cause cavities from tooth enamel being eaten away. Vegetables and most fruit make the body basic. "Too basic" can stop the body from absorbing calcium. PH tape can be purchased at most pharmacies. Buy PH tape at a pharmacy and check it occasional. Learn which foods are acidic at www.chirocarehealth
2. LEARN YOUR BLOOD TYPE AND EAT ACCORDINGLY: A person with an O blood type should eat small amounts of meat to be healthy and maintain optimum weight, but only once per day. An A or B blood type doesn’t need to eat dead animal parts. Learn what your blood type is. Read the book “Eat Right For Your Blood Type”.
3. STOP OR REDUCE SALT, SUGAR, AND BUTTER CONSUMPTION: These things destroy your health and make you fat. Jack La Lanne suggests using olive oil instead of butter, even on popcorn. Read his book “Live Young Forever”. So called health / protein bars and health drinks are loaded with sugar. NEVER drink “Soda”. It robs the body of B vitamins, rots the teeth, makes you thirsty for more and creates garbage inside and outside your body. Save a thousand dollars a year by using a water purifier. Carry water with you wherever you go in a reusable container so you are not creating garbage with discarded plastic bottles. Look at the labels on canned food and you'll notice that it's extremely high in sodium (salt). Read “You Living Young - The Owners Manual for Extending Your Warranty” by Dr. Mehment Oz.
4. STOP COW’S MILK CONSUMPTION: Calcium and protein are only partially absorbed from cow's milk. Baby cows can absorb it but not humans. Get calcium from green leafy vegetables. It's readily absorbed. If you feel you must drink animal milk which is intended for baby animals. (Adult cows and adult humans don't even drink their mother's milk). Eat goat yogurt because goat milk has a similar chemical make up to human mother’s milk. It’s calcium is absorbed more readily. It's available at better health food stores. It also promotes healthier looking skin.
5. PERFORM THE “FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH EXERCISES” DAILY: These “Tibetan Rites” use the force of gravity to slow down the aging process and improve health and strength. You can learn these at www.lifeevents.org Twenty one repetitions of the 5 rites take 10-15 minutes. They can be done without equipment anywhere. Start with few repetitions and gradually work up to 21 repetitions 2-3 times per day.
6. DO ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING DAILY: walk, bicycle, lift weights, swim, do yoga / tai chi / karate, alternate the routine depending on how you feel each day. (Don't run as exercise. Often, folks with damaged knees and hips will say that they used to run.) Logging exercise reps or distances reduces enjoyment and promotes failure. Let "how you feel" determine how long and when you exercise. . If you don’t feel like exercising occasionally, give yourself a reduced activity day or an exercise-free day. Learn what the maximum heart rate is safe for your age. Walk or bike instead of using a car or bus. Use the stairs instead of the elevator. Exercise while watching TV. You won't lose weight by sitting on the couch. Get a stationary bike for home (the Schwinn is under $200 and has an onboard computer). Get 2 hand weights 5-10 pounds each, keep them near the TV.
7. CLEAN INTESTINES, BOWELS and KIDNEYS allow for nutrients to be absorbed. The liver, bowels, and kidneys should be cleaned twice a year. The human intestines are not designed to eat meat. Some meat is not defecated and remains stuck to the walls of the intestine which reduces the absorption of nutrients. That's one of the reasons there is so much colon cancer. These organs must be cleaned regularly even if you don't eat meat. Dr. Schulz makes it easy to do this with various over the counter preparations. Go to www.herbdoc.com
8. VITAMINS: One takes vitamins in this country because the food has become impotent since the 50s. However, the vitamin supplements in this country are irradiated which greatly reduces the potency to the point where they do little. Whenever possible buy them in brown glass bottles which protects the contents better than plastic. Vitamins in Mexico are way more potent. You can put Dr. Schulz Superfood in blender drinks to get absorbable vitamins from a natural food source. Prevention magazine had a life extension issue in which some doctors revealed their research. One researcher found that doses of CoQ10, Alpha Lipoic Acid and Acetyl L-Carnitine daily in lab animals greatly increased energy, endurance and life span. Vitamins purchased in Mexico are not irradiated, less expensive and more potent. Taking vitamins at random can damage your health. Before taking supplements, get a blood analysis to find out what is deficient in your body. These levels change regularly due to diet and stress, therefore your vitamin and mineral supplementation should change. You should get your blood tested at least every six months to determine what your ever changing supplementation should be. A good medical doctor will have that service available at his or her office.
9. DRINK TEA DAILY: You have to drink something to stay alive. You have three choices. It can be neutral (water), negative (sugar, too much caffeine, alcohol, artificial coloring) or positive (herbal tea). The population of Thailand drinks Jiagulan tea daily and lives very long, often over 100. The "Immortalitea" brand of Jiagulan is excellent. Other teas such as green tea and white tea may reduce the chances of cancer while imparting energy and mental clarity. Peppermint tea reduces food cravings which can result in weight loss. Your choice of type of tea can be influenced by your personal acute and chronic health goals. Home made tea has no calories and doesn't litter the world with plastic bottles. Jiagulan tea can be purchased on the internet on Amazon.com
10. TAKE A NAP: a rejuvenating nap at 2:00pm when possible. It will help you to work more efficiently, burning more calories later into the night. The Mexican culture takes naps at 2pm and has a 16-20 hour work day, from sun-up to sun-down.
11. INCREASE YOUR IQ: A Korean doctor named Ilchi Lee developed systems for increasing IQ of Korean school children. Learn of his work on the web under “Brain Respiration”. He developed the BR-Q machine to increase IQ by balancing the right and left sides of the brain. A side effect of the BR-Q is that it improves eye sight. I procured a BR-Q 5 years ago and it does exactly what he says it does. I used it to counteract the brain damage I got from the staph infection. A by-product of using the BR-Q may be improved eyesight.
12. FOOD: You have the choice of having what you ingest increase or decrease the level of your health and your weight and your energy. If food is in a package, preserved, or deep fried, it's life force has been reduced and is usually high in sodium and calories. Food that spoils quickly is better for you than something that has an infinite shelf life. Organic carrot / beet /spinach juice drunk immediately upon making has more live force than 3 year old bakery in a cellophane package out of a machine or french fries or other strange fast food restaurant concoctions. One of the best foods I've ever ingested, noticeably enabling my body and mind to function at it's optimal level is called ALIVE N VIBRANT RAW PROTEIN BLEND - available at www.alivenvibrant.com This is a fantastic high protein vegetarian food. I take it every day to increase my daily output and well being. I highly recommend this product.
13. BALANCE YOUR GUITAR: Move your strap buttons so your guitar stays in playing position without you holding it so it doesn't move your body out of alignment and cause pain in various places.
14. THROW AWAY YOUR TELEVISION. Yes. You don't have to have one. Really! Become television-free. How much time do you watch it a year? (4 hours a day is 1,460 hours per year.) One third of that time is spent watching repeated commercials. If you must waste your valuable time in front of a television, watch something positive, without violence, without commercials. Take control of what goes into your eyes and ears. Exercise while you watch. Strong shoulders, arms, and backs are required to play music and carry equipment to and from gigs. Get some hand weights. Start around 3 pounds and eventually work up to 10 pounds. Learn which and how many reps to do to strengthen your body. Start slow and work up to 20 - 40 reps in units of 10 per exercise. Keep your weights next to your television. Watching television is an option and a choice. You don't have to have one. If you already own one and want to keep it, you don't have to turn it on. There are other activities that are more beneficial to your health. Your marriage, children and career are more important than watching television. If you watch 50 sports games a year times 4 hours for 40 years. You've sat on your butt 8,000 hours. That's the equivalent of sitting on your butt one entire year. Instead of watching all these guys fight over one ball. Just give a ball to everyone and then everyone could go home and do something more useful.
15. GET SOME LIGHT ON YOU: The light of the sun is "full spectrum". Your body senses these wavelengths to initiate numerous chemical reactions. You need sunlight to absorb essential Vitamin D. Fluorescent lights blink on and off very fast causing eye strain and headaches and vitamin D deficiency. Ordinary incandescent light bulbs are better for your eyes because they don't blink like fluorescents but aren't full spectrum either. Replace the bulbs in your home and workplace with full spectrum incandescent Chromalux brand bulbs. Spend at least 20 minutes a day year around outside in the sun. Look at the sky and plants. Smile while doing it. It's good for you.
16: LISTEN TO MUSIC: Don't use it as background music for work or other activity. Sit or lie down and actually listen as if it was the last music you will ever hear. Listen to music that's healthy for you like "A Love Supreme" by John Coltrane. Consider it "food for your brain" or "therapy". Once I listened to only that recording daily for 6 months.
17: SMOKING CAUSES CANCER. CANCER CAUSES DEATH AND AMPUTATIONS: Last night on the gig, a guy walked by me while taking a cigarette out of a package and said, "I'm going outside to shorten my life by 7 minutes." I saw him do that several times. I added it up: 7 minutes per cigarette, 2 packs of cigs per day, 365 days per year. 14,600 smokes per year takes 102,200 minutes off his life. 730 packs per year adds up to $5,840 spent each year to shorten his life by another 26 days or 8% of your lifetime. Conclusion: 30 years of smoking costs $175,200.14 and takes 3 years off a life. You could buy a nice house, two cars, three bicycles and four guitars with that money and still have all your body parts if you have never smoked.
18. PROTECT YOUR HEARING: The world has gotten very loud. There are sounds everywhere with enough decibels to damage your hearing. You need to carry ear plugs with you similar to carrying sun glasses or a jacket or any other item to protect you from the environment. Earl Mindell, Ph.D. in his book "Secret Remedies" states that "noise induced hearing damage and hearing loss may be improved by taking 500m of magnesium, 800 mc of vitamin B12 and 60 mg of Ginkgo Biloba 1-3 times daily" "See my discourse elsewhere on this sight regarding "perfect pitch and hearing protection". B12 is gotten from meat. If you are a vegetarian, you can get weekly B12 injections. (Elvin Jones did). They are readily available in most large cities.