Guest Blog: Chimaira Frontman Mark Hunter, "Health"
Mark Hunter is the vocalist and founding member of Cleveland metal act Chimaira. For more than a decade, Chimaira has been imposing its gravity on the metal community by continually touring the globe and selling more than a million albums worldwide. Their brand of heavy music has evolved and transcended both itself and the trends while maintaining its persistent, bludgeoning force. The band released its newest album, Crown of Phantoms, last year. Watch the video for “Wrapped in Violence” at the bottom of this post.
“Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.”–Mark Twain
We live in a health conscious society, and it’s an exciting time. Thousands of inventions are in development that will essentially help humans live forever. From 3D printed organ transplants to disease fighting nanobots, we are on the verge of immortality.
The flip side to the sci-fi world is the rising popularity of holistic methods. Simple techniques such as eating smarter, exercise, adequate rest and meditation, have had a transformative effect. We have the power to change our biology without medical intervention.
Despite all of this, I still sense a giant disconnect. It’s hard to navigate the vast portal of information, and it’s often contradictory to what we’ve learned. Every other week there’s a food scare. Bananas are bad! They’re high in sugar! Bananas are good! They’re high in potassium! So, which is it?
Another common problem is, we often accept things as fact without doing any further research. We're also willing to blindly follow advice. My guess is there's an extremely high ratio of people that would rub goat semen on their nipples if their favorite celebrity told them it was the key to success.
Like so many, I too find it easy to make mistakes and fall victim to disinformation. While I have not gone the route of goat semen, I've certainly done some dumb things.
So how do we navigate this terrain, who has the best advice, and what can be done so we can take better charge of our health?
The way I try to detect nonsense is by checking out the real scientific studies. If someone tells you that monkey urine is the latest trend in weight loss, and there is peer reviewed scientifically tested data to support the claim, you can probably start adding monkey urine to your kale smoothie.
But, if the news comes from The Daily Soul Cleanse and “experts agree”…I’d think twice before following that tip.
Learning both sides of the story is always a good idea. Remember 2012 was filled with end of the world talk caused by the galactic alignment? Nobody thought to look if the same alignment happened every year. It does.
Finding a reputable source to follow can be a challenge. My general rule of thumb is to find someone with consistent longstanding results. If someone has a claim that sounds mystical and outlandish, it probably is. Applying the principles of bullshit detecting is key here.
The best thing I've done to take charge of my health is making the choice to. It starts with that. If you're not ready to dedicate your life to change, then it will never work.
While it might seem strange for a metal dude to talk about health, for me it's quite normal. My mother was a head nurse for over twenty years. I accompanied her to work often and was both fascinated and desensitized at a young age.
My family pushed for me to become a doctor, especially after the success of Doogie Howser, but I discovered Slayer and became a musician. I was stoked to learn that other metal heads knew about the medical world like Carcass.
Health is important because I want to be in the best shape I can be when I perform, and I wish for the audience to feel alive and vibrant--filled with energy.
It’s a good idea to take better care of yourself and now is the time to take advantage of the gadgets that do most of the work for you: Apps, home exercise gear and pedometers. The technology is there. The only thing preventing us from feeling awesome is ourselves.