[06:07] About John Schott
[09:35] John’s Walker and How He Uses It
[12:00] Calcification as Explained by John and His Mentor
[16:00] Deionized, Not De-iodized Water
[36:40] How Iridology Works
[48:15] The Macro Lens John Asked Ben to Buy for his Phone Camera
[56:35] How John Rewilds Miami
[1:01:55] How Infrared Light Helps with Deep Tissue Bodywork
[1:07:38] End of Podcast
Ben: Hey folks, it’s Ben Greenfield here. If this audio sounds a little bit different than usual, it’s because I am recording it on my super special travel microphone that’s a teeny-tiny microphone. Phenomenal, cosmic powers, meaning that I can sit here in Hawaii, I’m in Hawaii, I’m bowhunting and spearfishing for the week in Hawaii but I wanted to get an episode out to you. And this episode is with my friend Jonathan Schott, a real wealth of knowledge who lives down in Miami, Florida who is kind of a fellow health-geek. Super strong guy, amazing bodywork practitioner, kinda into some of the woo-woo stuff like infrared lights and putting special things in your water. In other words, a man after my heart and your heart, so before we jump in with Jonathan, I wanna tell you about our sponsor for today, because this podcast is brought to you by a pretty cool solution for guys and girls who wanna optimize their sexual performance. Because a lot of people now are on Viagra, a lot of women are not sexually satisfied, they’re not orgasming the way that they want to, a lot of guys aren’t getting it up even if they don’t have E.D. per se, or Peyronie’s disease or something like that. This non-drug, non-invasive, totally safe treatment called GAINSWave, which I personally do for better erections and better sex and better orgasms, is a really good answer. It just uses pulsating sound waves to increase blood flow to your nether regions, and in men that allows for a firmer, more resilient erection. And for women, its better oxygen, better nutrient delivery, better blood flow, who doesn’t want that? So like I mentioned I’ve tried it, it works like gangbusters. You get 30% off your first treatment with GAINSWave, super simple, you just go to gainswave.com/ben.
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“And then from there, he taught me a lot about the walker, the calcification, how to break cells, the fibrosis and all this stuff that we accumulate that’s unfortunately more common than not.” “The iris is one of the most complex tissues that the body has, and it’s connected to your brain and your spinal cord, and if there’s any inflammation, tissue degeneration, or anything happening inside the body, basically it sends a signal through the nervous system into the eye and I read it like a map.”
Ben: Hey John, you got your lights on? Are you bathing yourself in infrared light right now, like I am?
John: I am, 100%.
Ben: Are you? I’m doubling up, bro. I got one on the front and one on the back. I’m literally surrounded by infrared light right now, can you even keep up with that?
John: [laughs] I just got it behind me and circling the whole room, so you one-upped me on that one.
Ben: Alright. Well the last time I was down there in Florida and you did bodywork on me, you were just like blasting me with infrared. Which was really cool honestly, because, and we can talk about this later on the show, it kinda warms tissue and softens tissue and seems to have a pretty, kinda profound effect on deep tissue work specifically. I never thought about shining infrared on myself while I get a massage or while I get deep tissue work but it actually works really well.
Ben: You’re chock full of a whole bunch of very cool ideas like this, and I know we just jumped right in so let me introduce Jonathan for those of you who don’t know this cat. Two years ago, I raced the South Beach Triathlon in Miami, and afterwards, I met up with this local bodyworker and gourmet whole-food chef who offered to come work on me. I think you emailed me or tweeted at me or something like that, John, and that happens to me a lot. And a lot of times it’s like some kind of soft-handed hippie playing Enya music who comes up and gives me a rubdown and is a podcast fan and then has me sign a business card or whatever. So I kind of expected a ho-hum rubdown, maybe a coconut, beef jerky, kale snack, but… dude, you showed up, you had a walker, like the kind that old people or surgical recovery patients use, that you then proceeded to use for teeth-grittingly deep bodywork all over my body. You were holding a walker and like using the walker all over my body, and literally folks, we’re talking about the kind of walker that you put tennis balls in the bottom and yeah, the old people walker. You showed up with this cornucopia of friggin’ like… I don’t remember what you had. You introduced me to bone broth baked donuts and organic local beef tacos and fermented vegetable salads. All I remember was this spread, people were giving us weird looks as they walked by because it was literally like a gourmet whole-food spread on the ground there in the park in Miami at the South Beach Triathlon. And then you were filling me in on urinology and, eye-reading, and a special kind of water that you were drinking, and some really interesting thoughts about the fascia, infrared.
And so anyways, for those of you listening in, in case you haven’t figured it out yet, we’re gonna talk about some cool things today. My guest is Jonathon Schott, and he opened South Florida’s first gourmet whole-food restaurant and now he works with a bunch of high profile celebs and athletes and executives down there and leads workshops and detox retreats from Florida to New York City to South America. His wife has a really good podcast as well called the Pemaculture Podcast, and John, for the past 12 years, has been in the alternative health field, studying with a whole bunch of really good practitioners on nutritional cleansing and bodywork and wellness and lifestyle and trigger points and fascia and infrared and a whole bunch of longevity strategies. So, he’s a wealth of knowledge and I have a feeling that there may be some copious show notes to go along with this episode. So if you want the show notes for everything John and I wind up talking about today, just go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/schott, as in Jonathan’s last name, bengreenfieldfitness.com/schott. Can’t spell it? I’m sorry, you’re gonna miss out. John, welcome to the show, man.
John: Thank you brother, it’s an honor to be here and I’m happy to share as much knowledge and information here with you and everybody else who’s listening. It’s a privilege.
Ben: Yeah, for sure man. And I guess there’s so many places that we could jump in, but I just wanna start here coz this was like my most memorable first experience of you. What’s with the walker, dude?
Ben: Walk me through that, pun intended.
John: As you mentioned before, the darn walker. The walker’s a nice tool, man. I like it for many reasons, number one, when it comes to the process of doing the bodywork on somebody, it’s a really good leverage tool for me. I’m using my feet, basically, to dig deep into the fascial networks and start to break down fibrosis, calcium deposits, things that are imbedded in us because of numerous amounts of reasons. But the walker’s good because I can hold my weight on the walker while I use my feet and strategically dig into certain areas, especially the big muscles or the legs and things like that that could be harder or more taxing for me to do with just my hands or my elbows which I also use on a table.
Ben: Now did you make this up? And by the way, for people listening, this is called a… I think the technical term for this in the industry is a “two-button walker”, meaning it’s got four little legs coming off it, you can lean on it but you can… It didn’t seem like you were working hard at all and you were getting so deep into my body.
John: Yeah, like I said using this tool gives me a lot of leverage with my feet so I can manipulate my weight, of my legs, to dig in places where it would be usually pretty difficult to do with just your hands or even a tool, which I’ve used tools too doing bodywork. And that has its place but I like it too because it serves as a really nice visual, too. We see a lot of people who are a little bit more advanced in age who are stiff and they’re really calcified, they have so much fibrosis and calcification that they can hardly move. And you see it a lot here in Miami, where I’m from, where I live, where you’re getting a lot of old people who can barely walk and they’re actually using the walker but not the way I use it. So it’s kind of like a really good visual to showcase the polar opposites or the extremes of what’s possible if you don’t have any of that stuff in your body and you can age gracefully, 60s-70s without any of that fibrosis, without needing any kind of walker. You mentioned, before you asked me if I invented it. I wish I did, but the truth is, that style of bodywork I learned from a gentleman in California called Glen Caulkins. He has a place which is fantastic there in Laguna Beach, and he calls it the GC Method. But basically he really taught me how to use that walker in that way, and previously from that, the walker is somewhat of a popular tool in bodywork in the area of what’s called mashing. So a lot of people use the walker to…
Ben: Mashing, that sounds exactly like what you were doing to me, mashing.
John: But what we do with the GC Method or the way I use it and stuff like that, we take it up to a whole another level. Coz if you work with somebody who uses a walker to do some mashing, they usually go in a somewhat superficial level and their intent with the walker is just stretch out the fascia, stretch out the tissue, which is very valuable as well. But you don’t really experience the depth that I use to kinda give you that experience that you had. And with my experience, bodywork doesn’t always have to be painful. There’s different modalities, there’s different things, and I use different elements to it, but when you wanna go hardcore and you wanna see other levels of circulation, other levels of flexibility and mobility and all this stuff, sometimes you have to go that deep, especially when you have, like I said, calcium deposits because of nutrient deficient soils, inflammation, stress, electromagnetic frequencies, lack of light, and all these genetically modified foods and the stuff that they’re spraying on the crops, and all these things that we have been challenged with because of the way we live our lives now. And just to finish up with that, the whole image of getting away from the walker, these gentleman who I mentioned, Glen, he’s very impressive.
Ben: You said his name is Glen Caulkin, C-A-U-L-K-I-N, like that?
John: Exactly, yeah. And he’s a character, man, he will blow your mind. This guy is impressive in many ways, but one of the ways is that he’s 64 and he’s as flexible as a 10 year old gymnast. This guy’s doing pull-ups and doing all these things at his age, and I’ve walked on him and he feels no pain. So that’s what got me, that was the thing that got me to go “God, this is what’s possible.” I was digging into this guy hard, like I did to you in South Beach, and he was laughing at me. He was like “is that all you got?” Now he’s a character, he’s over the top, and he’s done… so his story’s like when he was 40, he was basically sentenced to “oh, you gotta be on these medications, you’re stiff as a board, you can’t do anything else, and you’re done.” And he didn’t take that, so he has a lot of bodywork in his belt from age 40, so it’s not like I’m gonna walk on you overnight, but it’s a system. And it so happens that I’ve used his water system which we can talk about a little bit later, which to this day I still feel is one of the best water systems you can get because of the nature of how it’s put together. And I can talk a little bit about that whenever you want, but yeah, the walker, man [laughs]. The walker’s impressive, and I use it. My daughter uses it often.
Ben: I wanna buy one, they’re like… you can get it for like $20-30 on Amazon. I’m actually writing a note to myself right now to get one because I actually wanna teach my kids, the same way you’ve taught your daughter how to walk, and they’d probably get a kick out of it, honestly. So it’s kind of a cheat, my kids have fun and I get a free massage out of it deal. Hey, so this Glen guy…
Ben: John, how did you hook up with him in the first place? Coz from what I understand, you already dropped the word calcification.
Ben: Which is something I would love for you to explain coz you said I had a lot of calcification when you were working on me down in South Beach. And was that what Glen was fixing in you or how did you come to kinda hook up with Glen and begin to fix your body using these methods?
John: Well I first hooked up with him through the water, believe it or not. That was in the days when I was running my restaurant and I had a lot of the food principles down pat, and I started looking at the paradigm of wellness with different eyes. I was just all about food, food, food, food, food, and at some point you’re like “this is not just about food because my knees hurts, I have this perfect, pristine diet but I still have this problem and I still have this and that.” So I started opening myself up, and water of course is something that a lot of people are talking more about, thankfully. But 10 years ago, it wasn’t’ even in anybody’s radar, so I set out to find the best water system that you can get, and I found Glen.
And then from there it was like thing after thing after thing that this guy’s doing, and he actually has a whole system of longevity and decalcification strategies precisely to get yourself to the youngest form you can and the flexibility and the amount of optimum wellness that you can achieve. So I hooked up with him, and I’ve known him for many, many years and his system and his products and things, so that’s how I got a hold of him. And then from there, he taught me a lot about the walker, the calcification, how to break cells, the fibrosis and all this stuff that we accumulate that’s unfortunately more common than not. A lot of people need work in that area and that’s just part of the complexity of this whole wellness paradigm and I’ve taken on since then.
Ben: Yeah, so when it comes to this idea of you meeting up with Glen on your search for the best water and then how that ties into calcification, I realize this may be kind of like a detailed topic for you to delve into, but we’ve got time.
Ben: What was it that you were looking for when it came to water? What was it that you found and what does that have to do with this whole idea of calcification?
John: Well I was looking for… the element of water I was basically looking for at that time, what we call the best water. So then with that came the onslaught of the market, right? And then you start looking at ionizers, you start looking at distilled water, you start looking at just RO water, and you start looking at Herky filters. This and that, and then you start to analyze the whole spectrum of things, and it’s like complete education. So I went to him just for the water. He was one of my last steps in this whole thing because for me, I have really positive mind, I’m the geek, I’ve been studying this stuff for a long time, and I love to read like you. And just one layer of it, “oh this guy gives me a presentation for water ionizers and that they’re using it in Japan”, blah blah blah, that wasn’t enough for me. I tried all of it, so what pressed me about his system and what he did, is the way he put it together because everything that basically he’s putting together is basically mimicking nature as close as possible.
So the filter’s designed after the hydrological cycle of the planet, which when we’re talking about food, when we’re talking about what we’re gonna ingest and even the supplements and things like that, we want to recreate what nature has created as close as possible. So some of us don’t have access to what’s called Aquifer deep, deep spring water, and even at this day and age that’s even questionable in certain places, coz you’ve gotta take into account fracking, you have to take into account acid rain that’s been flogging our planet for a long time. So the next step was “okay, how do we recreate the best water we can get that approximates that pristine, what they call the Hunza water” which is one of the elements that he used to model this system, and that’s what impressed me the most. What I found was something that brought that into the hands of a person living in the city, in a very close proximity, what’s called living water or natural-based water. So the system, what I’ve learned is for you to have pristine water is not that hard. In a laboratory setting, all you need is a couple of deionized filters, not ionized, but deionized which basically strips the water…
Ben: Deionized filters?
John: It basically strips the water out of every single contaminant that it has. In a laboratory setting, you need that kind of water, because when you’re doing experiments and so forth and so on, the water has to be completely neutral. But that’s not necessarily…
Ben: Yeah, you’re not saying de-iodized, you’re saying deionized?
John: Deionized, right.
John: Which is a dual resonating mechanism that basically changes the mineral composition, it takes the fluoride out, heavy metals, and all this stuff from the water. Now that’s part of this guy’s filter, that’s a stage in it but that’s not the whole thing because after you get to a point where you want to clean the water 100%, you wanna make it into what’s called a living water, something that has that element of nature. And there’s a couple steps to achieve that, one of them is you wanna vortex the water. Usually that’s the mechanism that nature uses to structure or give the water the hexagonal pattern, gets it close to that fourth phase of water, and all those elements and vortexing is what you see everywhere in nature when it comes to water. Even you see it in your own body, not to get too graphic or anything like that, but when you go to the bathroom, you pee. If you ever notice the stream of how the pee comes out of your body, it actually comes in a vortex or tornado style of movement. That’s the internal water…
John: Yeah, notice the next time you go pee. [laughs]
Ben: Yeah, I gotta pay closer attention next time.
John: Yeah, yeah. It comes out in a spiral. And that gives you an idea of the pattern and the hexagonal shape of the water and all this stuff, which is akin to honeybees and things like that and their hives. But anyways, so that’s one of the mechanisms that the system actually does for you. It puts magnesium bicarbonate into the right ratio, and all the electrolyte linking salts, then it runs it through low zone quartz crystal. So low zone, it’s the stone that comes from space that breaks down as it falls down to the Earth, and it gives it a magnetic effect to the water, and then the quartz with that is an imprint of something that’s living or something that’s from nature. So in the end you’ve taken municipal system water which is we don’t even need to get into that but it takes that and converts it into what’s called living water. You can eve take tons of water because it’s using bicarbonates, and that’s what impressed me the most, man. And then I’ve been drinking that water for over 8 years and you feel it. You feel the difference.
Ben: You’re calling it Hunza water, which is really interesting. A lot of people are talking about this Hunza water these days because the population of Hunza is an area that’s a blue zone, the Hunza Valley. Do you remember where the Hunza Valley is, John? I don’t remember. It’s like the South Americas somewhere, I believe.
John: No Hunza is more, if I’m not mistaken, close to…
Ben: Close to Pakistan. Yeah, and they found out these people are drinking this water that’s got a bunch of negatively charged hydrogen ions and hydrogen is an extremely potent antioxidant for neutralizing free radicals.
Ben: A ton of what are called mineral colloids, which means that the water has minerals in it, but from what I understand, the water’s moving over rocks and streams and underground springs and so there’s some minerals in them but the minerals have been charged, so to speak, from all this movement. It’s got a very low surface tension, which is actually based very similar to University of Washington research by Dr. Gerald Pollack on the lower surface tension of water in plants, or even in cardiovascular, like vessels within the human body, having less resistance to flow. Relatively high pH and higher net charge, and so what you’re doing is you’re figuring out how to take those same minerals that have been exposed to sunlight, rocks, etc., and what you use is a filter that essentially creates that same type of scenario through mineralizing the water, through structuring the water, and you also deionize the water prior to that.
Ben: To remove all the contaminants. That’s kinda similar to my water setup, dude. I don’t know if we’ve talked much about this but my dad is big-time into water filtration technology.
Ben: And he develops these structured water filters that, just like that vortex you described and actually that vortex has been described by multiple previous podcast guests including Dr. Thomas Cowan, who talks about how the heart is not a pump and the heart actually relies on a vortices-like flow of blood through it to actually move blood through the body and experience less resistance to vessels or to vascular resistance with each pump. And so this idea is that my dad develops these structured water filters, I structure the water in my home, I have a little bit different setup than you do, but it makes sense. We wanna drink mineral-rich water that has the right type of charge on it and if we live pretty much anywhere where we’re getting municipal water or like me, live in a place where we’re getting well water but wanna restructure it after it’s sat in pipes and cisterns and stuff like that, it makes sense. This particular water system that you’re talking about, I just wanna do like full disclosure here. Is this something that you sell, is this something they kinda pieced together themselves on Amazon ordering the right equipment, or how does that actually work when it comes to someone figuring out how to make this water for themselves?
John: Well, they actually sell the system in California, so that’s part of their business.
John: And I’ll give you a link to their website that describes the water and all that stuff. Off the top of my head, I think its tolivepristine.com.
John: So it is their proprietary system that they put together, so you can’t find it on Amazon.
John: Wow, we found something you can’t find on Amazon [laughs].
Ben: Yeah. I’m gonna show it to my dad, I always run this water stuff by him. But bigger picture, let’s say somebody goes and buys on of these filters, they understand what you’re saying when it comes to the importance of ionizing water, structuring water, and also consuming water that has a proper electrical charge that is slightly alkalinic as well. All of this makes sense but what does it have to do with calcification?
John: Okay, so one of the things that has to do with calcification is number one, water, if it’s pristine and if it’s in that state, the theory behind it is that it starts to gently dissolve the excess calcium that we started to accumulate. Part of it is the magnesium bicarbonate portion that’s in the water. Now in my experience, just the water by itself is not enough to dissolve the calcium, but the idea is that bicarbonate, which is basically combination of hydrated salts with all the other electrolytes that we need and silicic acid, starts to internally dissolve this up from the body. So it goes in there and starts to clean the arteries down, starts to take down the accumulations we have in the tissues and things like that. Calcification, like I said before, there’s many reasons why we develop this. The older we get, the more it accumulates in our body, in our tissues, in our arteries, things like that, but part of the… so you mentioned Dr. Cowan who was talking about the heart.
One of the things that impress me about this approach is that it’s one of the things that impact the circulatory system and the delivery system of oxygen through your blood to the extremities especially, because of the dissolving of this excessive amount of calcium. So, it’s a tool. I use the bodywork in conjunction with more concentrated forms of magnesium and the water to start to get people to the optimum level of circulation and the optimal level of dissolving some of this fibrosis and just basic rock formations inside the body. I’m here in Florida, imagine a coral reef and a lot of us have been exposed to either visually or have touched coral, it’s really, really sharp. So the whole theory behind this calcification thing is that we create some of this sharp coral inside our cells and inside our tissues. So when I run my feet through your tissues using the walker, a lot of what you’re feeling is me polishing down that coral inside the body. That’s what hurts, so when you dissolve this stuff out internally with the water, with the bodywork and the magnesium, that pain starts to go away. And then…
Ben: So if someone’s gonna get massage work done, they’ve got areas where they’re sore, they have aches and pains, what you’re saying is that this concept of calcification, in the same way that calcium can build up in the arteries for example and cause calcification in an artery…
Ben: Calcium can lodge anywhere in your body. If it lodges in bones and joints, it’ll mimic arthritis or if it would be in muscles, it would perhaps manifest itself as fibromyalgia. And the idea is that magnesium displaces calcium, and allow for, once the deep tissue work is being done, more efficient removal of the calcium which is actually causing the limited range of motion and/or the stiffness and pain?
John: Exactly, you nailed it.
Ben: Okay, gotcha. And I would imagine it probably helps out a little bit, a lot of people are taking high dose vitamin D which they don’t realize increases the risk for calcification. Or some people have high dose calcium supplements and if those are taken in the absence of magnesium and also the vitamin K2 to a certain extent, you do get elevated risk of hypercalcemia. So it’s not just about getting adequate magnesium and adequate water, pairing that with deep tissue work but also being careful with things that might cause calcium deposition like extremely high dose vitamin D in the absence of vitamin K or perhaps consuming too much of a calcium supplement.
John: Absolutely, 100%.
Ben: Okay, got it.
Ben: So you hooked up with this cat in California, you learn this about water, you learn this about calcification, did you start to do a lot of this stuff with your own body?
John: Yeah, absolutely. It was a game changer.
Ben: What do you mean when you say it was a game changer?
John: It was a game changer because I had, previous to meeting him and his system, I feel like I had reached a plateau with what I was doing, which was mostly just food and super foods. I was doing all these super foods, spirulina, chlorella, I was doing… I even knew about shilajit which we can talk a little bit about later. I didn’t know about shilajit back then but I started to megadose a little bit initially with the shilajit after I met Glen coz he was using too. So it was a game changer because a of the things, I had some challenges myself… I’m really grateful that I haven’t been faced with some kind of health challenges that makes your life transforming things, but I am very intuitive with my own body, I’ve got to know my own body very well. And I got to a point with just the diet where it wasn’t giving me the return I was looking for, and I started getting a few pains here, a few pains there, and I was like “I’m doing everything right, why is it that I still have this new pain, why is it that I have this and that?” And it all pointed out to that, and when I had my first session on that walker, it was very similar and it was the most agonizing thing. You can walk on my tissues, on my legs without a walker, and it’s night and day. Major difference, I hardly feel any of that pain anymore, so it does get better and it gets to a point where man, most days I feel like I’m still 17-18, and I’m pushing 40.
Ben: That’s really cool. You looked great when I hung out with you in Florida, you’re very full of vitality and you move well. I can tell your body’s not all stiff and sore, you’re very strong, too. I can attest to this because you’ve done the deep tissue work on me. So it sounds to me like people, like athletes that are listening in, they may want to consider for example, looking into this concept of mashing and perhaps even buying a walker and giving it to their loved one, having their spouse learn to walk on them, both front side and back side to kinda knead the tissue. Pair that with magnesium-rich water intake, preferably water that’s been structured and has a good amount of minerals in it. Be careful with excess calcium intake while you’re also eating a good whole food diet. And that’s kinda like the next thing I wanted to ask you about, John, was where the cooking came in. Where’d you learn to cook and prepare the type of meals that you’ve made for me when I’ve come down there? Oh and by the way, everybody, at the time that you’re listening to this show, John and I are currently planning a possible half-day little workshop there down in Miami so if you wanna come eat some of John’s food then stay tuned for the end of this show.
Ben: Coz we’ll talk a little bit more about that, but John, where’d you learn to cook these type of meals? What’s influencing you as far as the cookery is concerned?
John: So it’s been an evolution of sorts because when I first started making food, I’m not just talking about cooking, but making food was actually after college. And when I was in New York, studying with a gentleman called Dr. David Jung, who had a center there which was mostly about liver cleansing and doing these liver/gall bladder cleanses with olive oil, herbs, and things like that. And he had a small, basically raw food or life food café, and from there I was fascinated by a lot of these concepts, and that’s when I first started to create things in the kitchen because I thought “okay, so if food is part of our makeup and nutrition is so important, then this is an area I need to master for sure.” So my first step into creating food was actually in the raw food and/or life food vegan world which taught me many things about working with oils, working with herbs, seeds, and nuts and all these things. But also, as I evolved and came back to Florida, I started making food at a farmer’s market and then I open up a restaurant. And throughout this whole process, as my evolution into my health and my discoveries happened, my food approach also started shifting in that way.
So going back to when I said I hit a wall, there was a point where I hit a major wall with the whole raw vegan thing. I pushed it really too far. I was vegan for almost 8 years and I’m mostly raw food vegan, and I tried all the vegan programs: Fruitarian, Natural Hygiene, Gourmet Raw, Junk Food Vegan, thankfully that was like a few months. But throughout that whole process, I also started getting some demitting health factors come into play, like my drive went down, I couldn’t put muscle anymore, my energy started tanking, I was detoxing way too much, and I was like… you met me, imagine me with 25, almost 30lbs less who I am now.
Ben: You mean like less muscle?
John: Less everything. I was like 30lbs lighter, about 25lbs lighter, and most of it was muscle. So I didn’t see it but I was way too skinny, and I had some issues and stuff like that. So that was another thing, not to get crossed ideas but iridology, one of the things that got me from that was the first time my iris got read from one of my teachers, she scared me a little bit because you can’t fake reactions, body language and stuff. And she gave me this look and this reaction of like “oh my God, what have you been doing, are you okay, have you had a hard life?” And at that point I thought “I wouldn’t consider that I had a hard life per se.” And she started saying “well because I’m looking at this and you’re losing calcium from your bones, and you have bone density issues and your gut and this and that.” And I was like “wait, that’s impossible, I’m a raw food vegan” you know?
John: I’m doing all these things and I’m not eating the best pristine diet, and you’re telling me that I actually have issues?
Ben: Eat my tofu and my green beans, baby.
John: Yeah so [laughs]… so that was a very humbling slap in the face. So from there, I started looking at the Weston A. Price Foundation. At that moment, my wife was just getting pregnant. She had less time being a vegan, but when you start to have a kid, man, it’s one thing to experiment with your own body and your own adventures and things like that, but when you have a child that’s another game changer. And that’s where you have to be like “okay, I need to step back here, I need to be a little more wise about this and this is a responsibility that’s of epic proportions. Do I wanna play with my child’s health?” And the answer was, of course, no, and at that point I put on my geek glasses on again and I started diving into what I was missing. And it turns out I started going deep into primal paleo, Weston A. Price.
Ben: Now when you say you started going deep, what were you doing? Were you doing stuff like self-quantification and blood testing? Were you just kind of researching what the effects of different diets were? When you say deep dive, what do you mean coz some people just punch over a keyboard in their mom’s basement, just read about diets all day?
John: [laughs] I did all of the above. So I did read a lot about it, I did experiment, I tried all the diets, I did do some blood work which… I hadn’t done blood work in a little while but back then my cholesterol was like 165. And you know what they say about low cholesterol, it’s an issue. It explains why I wasn’t making the hormones that I was supposed to be making. My testosterone was probably super low, I didn’t test for that, but with cholesterol 165, which is not just the number and this and that but even just a little cholesterol, you start to think “man, this guy’s not making the right hormones.” And it was obvious with my body makeup, my energy, my drive was like, I wasn’t too interested in being with my partner and all this stuff, and I was like this is not right. So again, I started diving deep so I started a lot of dairy. I started experimenting with that, and getting foods directly from Amish farmers. And then I did the whole paleo diet, ketosis, I did the whole gambit of all these diets, I did. And I got a lot of feedback from clients that I work with at that time, so it was a multi-level growth experience.
Ben: Okay, so coming out of all that in terms of what you learned, what’s the actual dietary philosophy now? Coz you make delicious food, I’m just curious if you have any type of rules that you follow or you’re just pretty much an eat real food kinda guy now?
John: I’m a mostly eat real food kind of a guy. You can eve say something like conscious, omnivorous diet, and basically approaching it with the concept of binding ancestral foundations with modern day innovation. So basically I mixed both together as the foundation and from there we… an individual buys it based on myself, my kids, my clients, and all this stuff but real food is the foundation. I also approach it, I like to approach it with a perspective and awareness that there’s four kingdoms of food that we have access to. Plant food, animal food, the fungi which is the mushrooms whether it be edible mushrooms, medicinal mushrooms, and the bacteria. Bacteria’s basically cultured foods, things like coconut water, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and all those things, and I tried to place a little bit of those elements in most meals that I make. Nothing’s ever perfect but I tried to approach it in that sense.
John: So that’s kinda my approach and then after that you kinda individualize it depending on where you’re at.
John: I’m a huge fan of contrast, you know?
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Ben: Now one of the things that I noticed, John, I think this was the second time I hung out with you, you gave me a shot before we ate. It was this shilajit stuff that you already brought up. Is shilajit
much different than cumic acid or folvic acid that you see in a lot of these soil or mineral based supplements these days?
John: It’s similar but shilajit is the actual organic ingredient of it. So shilajit naturally has the cumic, folvic and olmic acids that are… they’re basically gentle, organic acids that help the body maintain a level of cleanliness and bioactive processes in the body, and so forth. So the shilajit itself is a mineral pitch that’s harvested from elevations of anywhere from 8,000-13,000ft, and it’s a breakdown of an abundance of microbial life and activity. Typically around Himalayas and things like that, but it naturally has those folvic minerals in there and 84 organic trace elements which are missing in the soil nowadays, that’s why I take it. And honestly, I’m a big “how does it feel” person as well, so out of everything I’ve tried in this entire journey, shilajit is still the thing that I noticeably feel energized with, and there’s something to it every time I take it. So you know, it’s called the destroyer of weakness for a reason [laughs] so I’m a big fan of it. But yeah, it’s the full complex of all those things is basically the actual original food.
Ben: Yeah, the interesting thing about shilajit, I interviewed this guy from Lost Empire Herbs, John. His name was Logan.
Ben: And he went into how when you take a shot of shilajit with other supplements, it helps to drive those into the cells a little bit better. It’s actually one of those things, it’s not synergistic. I forget the term used when a compound enhances the absorptive ability of another compound that it’s taken with. Kinda like copiba oil is another common one.
Ben: I’ll remember, but anyways yeah. So it’s interesting how if you kinda like take your supplements with a shot of shilajit, it would technically assist with the actual absorption.
John: Yeah, I concur with what Logan says. I usually mix it up with many different things, too, like for instance today, right before we started, I did an elixir that I often take, and I call it my cacao nootropic elixir. I basically take cacao paste, cacao butter, I put a tiny bit of honey and then I put shilajit, bacopa mucuna, a little bit of tribulus, and a little cacao powder, a little maca. And I mix that in and it gives me a natural nootropic effect without having to use any kinda of synthetic nootropics, which I like better. The cacao synergistically mixes with these things and then when I add the shilajit to it, not only do I get the minerals and the folvic acid and all these elements, but I feel that it does bring all these things together and kinda sets it up in a nice bowl and it gives me an effect that’s unparalleled to any kind of nootropic I’ve tried. So it helps me get going, too.
Ben: Yeah, I’m a big fan of using my little nutribowl and just blending a bunch of stuff together like cacao and mushrooms and a little bit of fats to make them more absorbable. Everything hits your system a lot more completely when you do that, but I’ve got some shilajit actually up in the fridge, like this black, pitchy stuff. I should try throwing them in there and see if I notice anything different with the shilajit added in.
Ben: Now you also, I definitely want to address this elephant in the room, you read my eyes. I believe the eyes of both me and my wife.
Ben: And I, again pun intended, kinda have a raised eyebrow about some of this stuff, but you did what’s called an iridology report based on some pretty high-resolution photographs that my wife and I sent to you.
Ben: You even had me buy a special little thing on Amazon, you’ll have to remind folks what it is, that I slid over the camera on my iPhone to get an even more in-depth resolution of my eyes. Then I sent those to you and you sent me a report back, and normally I would be somewhat skeptical of anything like that, however your entire report agreed perfectly with all of my blood work and all of my lab work, saliva, urine, stool, everything that you were unfamiliar with. So I put a little bit of credence in this iridology stuff, but fill me in on what iridology is and how this actually works. What was it that you did when you got this photograph of my eye?
John: Yeah, it’s one of those things that is more on the “alternative-holistic” and yeah it garners a little bit of skepticism, but I’ve used it as a tool. Again, I’ve used it as a tool, this is not like “I’ll read your iris, get this report and that’s it, that’s your diagnosis.” I’m not a doctor, I’m not licensed to do that, but again, I use it to individualize people’s programs simply because it’s immediate access that I get to biofeedback mechanisms that the body has built in to it. The iris is one of the most complex tissues that the body has, and it’s connected to your brain and your spinal cord, and if there’s any inflammation, tissue degeneration, or anything happening inside the body, basically it sends a signal through the nervous system into the eye and I read it like a map. It sounds far out, but man, the amount of valuable information I’ve been able to extract from people, like with your example, has been fascinating. It humbles me every time I use it. And so for instance, there’s people who have signs in their iris that point to infection, I can’t tell what exactly the infection is per se, but I can send them in the direction of “okay, maybe we need to do this test, maybe we need to do a stool test for this so we can find out what exact parasites…”
Ben: Yeah, get a little bit more in depth with me, man. Where’d you learn how to do this and what’s the actual science behind it? How’s it actually working?
John: Okay, so iridology stared in late 1800s more or less, when the physician that I’m pretty sure he’s from Hungary, his name was Ignaz von Peczely, I think. He’s a physician, he was a doctor and he started noticing marks on an owl that got injured. I think it was an owl that got injured in his presence or something like that and he started to notice a mark at the 6-o-clock portion of the iris which is the colored part of the eye, that coincided with an actual injury that he had as well, of the legs. And from there he started studying these different elements, and then there was other Swedish and German practitioners as well that were doing, parallel to him, the same type of research into it. And then it started to develop in that way, with pictures and building iris charts, which you can easily find online, and they were very, very complex. For instance, the heart is at 3-o-clock on the left iris, liver is on the right, and so forth and so on. So the little fibers in the iris start to separate or form shapes or color variances and different things that basically tell the iridologist or the person reading the eye, a lot of information of where to look for weakness, tissue wear and tear, things like that. So in the United States, Bernard Jensen is called the father of iridology. He did a lot more research into that, and as time has gone by, there’s been a lot of more scientific outlooks into what iridology can be. I mean I could see…
Ben: You mean they’ve actually studied this?
John: Well, some people have studied it. This is not something that has clinical peer-reviewed medical… even though some doctors are getting more interested in something like this, it’s still questionable. Even media, if I’m not mistaken, calls it a pseudo-scientific practice. So I use it as a tool, that’s all I do, and then I talk to people. So instead of just taking an intake form with a client for instance and asking what are you eating, this and that, which I do as well, we look into the iris as well. So we stop, we don’t need to guess. It’s very reliable, we worked on the acupuncture meridians and it’s almost like reflexology through the eyes. So it has a lot of potential with the technology and all that stuff, I can kinda see how people get to wearables and things like that, with the ring measuring HRV and things like that. I can see really high quality cameras starting to be paired up with a software, which they use now. There’s iridologists who just rely on software, and I use both.
Ben: I’d do that.
John: Yeah, I like to see the actual fibers and the person. But even a picture, if you take a really good quality picture of the colored part of the eye, it gives you incredible amounts of information. And it usually correlates with blood tests and all these other things that people do. For somebody who doesn’t have the funds to invest in thousands of dollars in blood work and urine tests and even hair or mineral ones, that’s not that much more expensive but it’s a tool that can be very profound.
Ben: Yeah, so for people who don’t really understand this, the iris is the part of the eye that surrounds the pupil, the black part and then the white outer part is the sclera, right? And so basically the iris has, if you look at it really closely, there’s all these lines and all these little colors coming off of it. And there are all these iridology charts where you look at all the lines, all the little colors, and certain defects in those or breaks in them or changes in color, etc. might be associated with colonic inflammation or an inflamed liver, things like that. And so you then have to have the photograph of the eye, you go through it, you identify all these areas and use, like you were saying John, software. You could then get some clues about what’s going on. I wouldn’t put all my eggs in the basket but if you do iridology and you get something back that, whatever, you have an inflamed prostate, maybe you should go get your PSA checked or get a doctor to stick their finger up your butt. So there are certainly things that it can give you clues about and again, I was kinda floored when I got my results back from you and they actually agreed with everything my blood work was saying. What was the little camera, you had me buy a little camera for my phone for this?
John: It wasn’t a camera, it was just like a macro lens clip-on, which is like… I think those cost anywhere from $15-50. And clip-on, you put over the lens…
Ben: Yeah. Macro lens, right?
John: You’re right. So the macro lens basically gives you a really close-up picture of the eye.
Ben: Okay, got it. Now your wife does this podcast called the Pemaculture Podcast. I took a listen to it, she does a lot of holistic healthy living for… kinda feels like it’s a little bit for chicks but it’s a pretty good podcast probably for men and women. And your wife’s awesome by the way, I met her the last time I was down there in Florida and you did some bodywork on me. But you guys kinda seem like you’re very into this concept, I think you call it re-wilding, and I’m curious, down the in Florida, living in freakin’ Miami, if you can give me a few examples of how you’re actually doing that while living in a relatively urban environment.
John: Well thankfully I have a backyard. [laughs] I’m big into the elements, the traditional elements, fire, water, air, and earth. And part of the whole idea behind re-wilding, again is what I do with food, right? I take the ancestral approach and combine it with what’s in front of us which is a more technological, modern-based approach. And the idea behind re-wilding is just to mix that up and get nature back into your life, and also some of the taboos that a lot of the programming that we’ve been handed down can become limiting, and we’re all about getting freedom back into our lives and the lives of people and getting people healthy enough to make better ethical choices and helping and having more compassion, things like that.
So the way I re-wild here in the city, I actually opened up another Instagram account which I’ll start feeding at some point, called Re-wild the City, because most of us are living in a city. And I’ve noticed that in the whole re-wilding camp, which is not my idea by any means, there’s usually two extremes. There’s one that wants to just go out, unplug, and get into hunting, gathering, and live off the land and have nothing to do with society. And then on the other opposite extreme is more of the technological printed, 3D printed food, reliance on everything having to be technology, who cares about the trees and everything else. But mostly in the middle is a lot of us who live in the city, and re-wilding is basically being mindful of the circadian rhythms, getting sun in the morning and grounding to the earth, getting the right water. So my re-wilding strategy for the water’s this system because I have no access to natural, deep, aquifer spring water, so I’m trying to recreate that water in the best way possible. So that’s my re-wilding strategy for water. Get infrared light, that’s why I use these lights that are behind me, with the red 650-850 nanometer range because it’s the antidote for excessive blue light that we have. That’s a way of re-wilding, we getting that heat element in the mix.
Ben: So that’s why you do that, that’s basically coz you’re surrounded by the mall lights when you go to the mall in Miami or the indoor fluorescent lights at the doctor’s office or the grocery store. Basically what you’re doing, by using infrared light, is you’re combatting the effects of excessive blue light without having to require you to just fry your skin all day long in the sauna?
John: Exactly. So that’s the idea, and then as far as the Earth, that’s more in conjunction to what foods we eat. So I’m trying to bring as much wild food into my diet, whether it be through things like wild codfish, wild herbs, shilajit, and all these things. And you do the best you can, like wild coconuts, I have a plethora of coconuts here in South Florida and that’s a good semi-stable food for us here. So I use that, and that’s the whole idea behind it, and those are ways that are re-wilding our city. Now also inside, we put plants, indoor plants, we recreate the air, we use the HEPA filters and all these things to recreate a better air environment inside the house. But I go outside a lot in the yard with the kids and just hang out there for a little bit and take in deep breaths and do breathing exercises and things like that. So all these things made the human animal a little bit more feral, you know? Like if we went from being kept in a zoo, it’s a better step than being in a factory farm, for instance. And there’s a lot of humans that are in a factory farm environment right now, and they might not necessarily know it, and there’s other humans like us that are trying to be re-wilded and bring them over to a more zoological adept environment that can get us back closer to a sustainable, regenerative planet that is just going to be a little bit more the best of both worlds. So that’s kinda the idea behind all that.
Ben: So it sounds to me like big picture is you’re not just walking outside in your backyard in Miami in a loin cloth and digging a hole to find water. You are instead using, you’re almost using, ironically enough, things like fancy water filters and infrared light generators, and some of these supplements that you’re getting from freaking Pakistan, to fight the uphill battle against living in a relatively urban area that’s kind of de-wilded, so to speak.
John: Absolutely, yeah.
Ben: Okay, I gotta do that up here in my own place. Little bit of ancestral living outside but also a lot of little biohacks inside to engage in natural better living through science. Now this idea behind near infrared and using that during massage work and deep tissue work, what’s the reasoning behind that?
John: Well my understanding is that the near infrared spectrum travels about three layers deep into your tissue, it activates your lymphatic system and all these other mitochondrial processes inside the body. So as I’m having these red lights penetrate the tissues as I’m working, it makes the collagen more malleable, it makes me have a better ability to take that calcification and break it down more efficiently. So I’m basically stacking some of these therapies together so that we can get a better outcome faster.
Ben: So does the near infrared penetrate more deeply into the body and have a better effect in your opinion, compared to the far infrared?
John: Therapeutic-wise I think yeah. My research says near infrared is better for that aspect. Now far infrared’s amazing too, if you have access to both, why not use both. But the near infrared tends to be more detoxing deeper penetrating, to basically, if you use it as sauna, which I use it as well. I use the same platform and I put it in the shower, with the water off, obviously [laughs] but I have to say that coz some people actually copy that. And I sit on a stool in front of it and I put a sheet on top so that the heat doesn’t escape. In a matter of 20-25 minutes, I’m sweating like crazy, and again the theory is that I’m digging deep into the tissues to extract any kind of heavy metals, chemicals and things like that that we’re all exposed to. There’s no way around that so it cleans the body out that way. And I use the same infrared lights for that purpose as well, so I love it. It’s a part of my lifestyle.
Ben: Okay, so near infrared, basically what it comes down to is that’s better for like tissue penetration and pain relief and cellular or fiber-like pliability, whereas far infrared would be better for a full body, kinda like a heating, detoxification effect. Might not penetrate quite as deeply but it’s actually warmer?
John: Yeah, it’s warmer.
John: Even though the heat lamps do activate heat shock proteins and all these things too, so somebody on a budget, I would tell them go to Home Depot, get the lights, put them on a socket or something and use them. That’s another thing I like to do a lot, you know? The Joovv is great, for instance, but it might be out of the price range for a lot of people, so if I can give them a tool that they can use safely that doesn’t cost them a whole lot, I mean these lights are like $11 and they’re near infrared lights, 250 watt red lights that you can get at Home Depot. They can get three of those, three sockets and clamp them on something and then they have red light there within the time they spent to get them and hook ‘em up. I’m a big fan of detox baths, for instance, once in a while you take the good water, put it in a bath, put in some salts, baking soda and put borax in it. And that starts to clean your skin, which is one of the biggest… it needs to breathe, right?
John: Liposomal vitamin C, it’s just a matter of getting some [1:04:02] ______, which is in vitamin C and putting it in a nutribowl or something and you get a bioactive form of vitamin C. These are things that I like to do with people to give them options.
John: And I’m pretty passionate about that.
Ben: Cool, I like it. And I’m taking some notes as we’re talking, obviously. You can go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/schott to dive into some of the things that John and I talk about or to just get yourself a walker that you can hire someone who you love to use on your body for deep tissue massage therapy while you throw back your glass of decalcified water. Also, a couple of other things, if you’re listening to this podcast, when it comes out I am gonna be in Miami, and if you stay tuned to the calendar over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/calendar, then you’ll be able to get the details, or if you subscribe to the newsletter over at bengreenfieldfitness.com, we’ll meet up where John and I are gonna do some infrared therapy, bodywork, excellent food, and just kinda do a little Miami meetup for people down there who wanna dig more into John and what he does, say hi to me and come hang out. Party, like people who are healthy party, and then also if you want to try out iridology or you wanna hook up with John in any of his other services, whether that be having him look over your diet, nutritional consulting, help you to re0wild yourself. Any type of consulting that you want, he does a lot of stuff, he also does deep tissue work if you’re down in the Florida area.
I’m gonna put a discount code and a discount over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/schott that you can use on those type of services with John, too. I’ll put all of that into the show notes so if you want to hook up with John, whether you’re in the Florida area or if you wanna talk to him on the phone, send him a photo of your beautiful eyes, anything like that. I do recommend the iridology, it’s actually really he interesting, he does a good job. All of that is over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/schott. Jonathan, thank you for coming on the show and sharing all this stuff with us, you’re a fascinating guy. I love what you’re up to and I have a love-hate relationship with your walker, but ultimately I’m a fan man. Keep doing what you’re doing.
John: Thank you, it’s my pleasure and thank you for having me here, man. It’s an honor.
Ben: Alright folks, well I’m Ben Greenfield along with Jonathan Schott signing off from bengreenfieldfitness.com. Have an amazing week.
Two years ago, I raced the South Beach triathlon in Miami.
Afterwards, I met up with a local bodyworker and gourmet whole food chef who had offered to come work on me. I expected the usual ho-hum “rubdown” with some kind of coconut-beef jerky-kale snack, but was instead treated to not only some of the most intense and effective bodywork I’ve experienced (including the use of a walker – you know – like old people or surgical recovery patients use), but also a cornucopia of everything from bone broth doughnuts to organic local beef tacos to fermented vegetable salads and beyond – along with some very stimulating intellectual discussion on iridology, fascia, detoxification, magnesium, water and much more.
So who was this guy? His name is John Schott, of Schott Health. Establishing himself as one of South Florida’s most groundbreaking and pioneering leaders in the health field, John Schott set himself aside from the pack with the opening of his restaurant and retail space, Lifefood Gourmet, South Florida’s first gourmet whole food restaurant. His wellness services have touched the lives of high profile celebrities, athletes, and executives. John leads workshops and detox retreats in Florida, New York City, and South America. He has attained certifications such as Iridologist from NY Center for Iridology based on Bernard Jensen Iridology, Lifefood Culinary Chef & Phoenix Fastician from Jubb’s Longevity Live Food Culinary Chef from NYC.
John has studied closely with the top pioneering authors & practitioners for the last 12 years in the alternative health field. His knowledge of and experience with detoxification, nutritional cleansing, bodywork, wellness & lifestyle coaching has led him to create a unique model evolving from a decade of apprenticeship, self-study, and hands-on application with hundreds of clients. He has in-depth insights into areas of health pertained to nutritional timing (or “ time conscious” eating), trigger point & fascia bodywork, nutritional cleansing, near infrared therapy, and other alternative healing modalities & longevity strategies. John has created health and performance programs for some of the world’s highest performance professionals.
During our discussion, you’ll discover:
-Why John uses an “old-person” two-button walker for deep tissue massage therapy…[9:35]
-John’s theory of calcification and the mentor in California who taught this to him…[12:00]
-Why John uses deionized water, and how he ensures the water removes areas of calcification within the body…[16:00]
-How something called “iridology” can be used to allow health assessments via photographs of your eyes…[36:40]
-The camera attachment you can get for your iPhone to do your own iridology photos…[48:15]
-How John is “rewilding” himself and his family while living in a relatively urban area of Miami…[56:35]
-Why John uses near-infrared light therapy when he does deep tissue work…[61:55]
-And much more!
Resources from this episode:
–Schott Health – be one of the first 10 sign-ups and receive the assessment for free, or try a longevity & restorative initial bodywork session for 40% off
-GAINSWave – Get 30% off ysign-upst treatment at GAINSWave.com/Ben.
-Kion – Promote joint comfort, mobility, and flexibility with Kion Flex. Try it out at GetKion.com.
-HealthIQ – To learn more about life insurance for physically active people and get a free quote, go to HealthIQ.com/BEN.
-Organifi – Try the new Organifi Gold at Organifi.com, and use code GREENFIELD to receive 20% off your order.
-Omax – GO to TryOmax.com/Ben to get a box of Omax3 Ultra-Pure, FOR FREE! Terms and conditions apply.