function properly. Get eight to nine hours sleep a night. A hundred years ago the average American got nine hours of sleep a night–as many people got ten hours as got eight. We’re sleep-deprived, and because of this our brains are not going to work too well.
So first of all, make the time for sleep. Then second, take what you need to get solid sleep. There are many natural remedies like we discussed. You do those two simple things and you’re going to improve function markedly. Then make sure your hormonal levels are okay. Make sure your testosterone and your thyroid levels are not too low. But let me give you a quick primer on blood testing. For most blood test the normal range is based on what’s called two standard deviations. This is just a statistical norm. What that means is that they take a hundred people, and measure the blood test. The highest and lowest two and a half out of a hundred are considered abnormal, and the other ninety-five percent in the middle are define as normal. That’s all the normal range means for most tests.
So say you wanted to define a normal shoe size. We take a hundred people on the mall, look at their shoe size, and you get a normal range of maybe four to thirteen. That would get ninety-five percent of people. So say you had a shoe problem, and I measured your shoe size, and you were wearing a size five. I’d say, “no it’s normal. There’s no problem. It’s in the normal range.” I see you lost your shoes, so I’ll just take one out of the pile, and as long as it’s in that range, it’s ok. You would put it on and say, “I can’t get into this thing.” Then I’d measure it again, and I’d say, “no the test says it’s normal. It’s just fine.”
The analogy I just gave you is almost exact, and that presuming that if the test is normal the shoe fits doesn’t work. You have to look at the symptoms. Are you tired? Are you achy? Are you cold intolerant? Do you have weight gain? Then you have low thyroid, and you deserve a trial of natural thyroid hormone. So consider thyroid, testosterone, and adrenal support. If any of those three are low your brain is not going to work very well. So taking the treatments to bring these up to normal, if they’re low, could make a big difference. So start with getting nutritional support, get your eight to nine hours sleep, treat your hormonal system, and treat any infections or toxin exposures. But that’s kind of Vitality 102 at that point. I’d start with 101 for most people.
David: What do you think are the key steps to happiness, and how do you think happiness promotes healing?
Jacob: My book Three Steps to Happiness: Healing Through Joy talks about that. These are the keys steps. Number one would be to be authentic with our feelings. A lot of us are taught we’re not supposed to be angry, hurt, pissed off, or whatever, and the thing is you’re going to feel how you feel. So simply be authentic with your feelings, and feel your feelings, but you also need to know how to let go of them when you’re done feeling them, and start feeling good. So the book talks about how to get in touch with your feelings, and how to let go of them when you’re done.
Number two is that you want go ahead and stop being a victim, because as long as you have a sense of victimization you’re giving up the power to control your life–in which case, you’re dead meat. I’m going to broaden that out. If you’re caught up in blame, fault, guilt, judgment, comparisons, expectations, you are putting other people in charge of your happiness, and that’s a real bad idea. So part of not being a victim is no blame, no fault, no guilt, no judgment, no comparisons, and no expectations, on anybody else or on your self. Now, you can be really pissed off at somebody, and that’s fine. But that’s different than blaming them. You create your own reality. If something happens, it’s what you created, and don’t blame yourself either–because no guilt and no blame apply to you as well. Just recognize, oh okay, that’s what it is. Is that how I want it to be? And if not, then how do you want it to be? And change it.
Then that brings us to step three, the most important step, which is follow your bliss. This means do what feels good. That’s why we have feelings. Our brain tells us what we’re programmed to do to get approval. Our church, synagogue, parents, school, T.V. sets, and society said we needed to be good boys and good girls and get approval. That’s what our brain tells us, or to get attention in some cases, in which case then we can be the bad boys. But either way, it’s to get attention and approval. But that’s not authentic to who we are; that’s just what people are telling us.
Our feelings tell us what’s authentic for us. When you’re authentic, and you’re at one with your spirit–which is what authentic means–it feels good, because spirit always feels good. That’s what spirit it is–a place of bliss. So if you’re feeling good, then you’re connected with spirit. You’re tapped in. When you feel bad it’s cause you’ve cut yourself off. You’re in a place of thinking or believing that’s not authentic, and that’s why we have feelings. So we can get past this computer program we have and get into who we are. So if something feels good I recommend you keep your attention on it. Joseph Campbell, who had studied religions throughout history, and all over the planet, when asked to summarize in one sentence what he had learned from all of these, put it very brilliantly. He said, “Follow your bliss”.
David: What is your perspective on the concept of God, and how has spirituality played a role in your view of medicine?
Jacob: Oh, to me the concept of God is that it’s all one. In other words, if everything is God, Goddess, Spirit–whatever you want to call it–it’s all one. It’s all connected, and that means that all that’s going on is God looking at God’s self. So it’s all simply different perspectives, and that’s a fascinating thing. That means nobody is cut off from God, whether they’re atheists or whatever. You don’t have to believe in God for Spirit to love you and be present, so it means that nobody is right and nobody is wrong. It’s all simply different perspectives, which is very freeing, because now you don’t have to battle anybody. You just have to do your own thing.
This also allows us to recognize our own connection to spirit, which is very healing, because it allows that energy to flow into us, and allows us to stay whole and connected. So that’s a very powerful thing. I mean, my whole life is about Spirit and about God, or Goddess. To think of God as only a man sounds like an insult to God. It’s pretty limiting, because God is everything. It also means that nothing and no one is better or worse than anybody else. And there’s this critical thing that happens, because that’s been the touchstone through much of my life–to recognize I am the equal of all beings, and no one is lesser than me. That means there’s nobody that I meet that’s better than I am, or that I’m better than them. We’re all different perspectives of God. We’re all equal, and we’re all divine, everybody.
David: What are you currently working on?
Jacob: My next book, Pain Free– 1-2-3, which is coming out in November 2004. I’m interested in addressing those areas that are poorly dealt with in modern society, and this is why I spent twenty-five years teaching people about fatigue, vitality, and chronic fatigue syndrome. The next area that I’m addressing is pain management, which is horribly dealt with by doctors, and this is what the new book is about. Pain Free– 1-2-3 will teach people how to get pain free using natural and prescription therapies. They can use either or both. It’s comprehensive, and it guides people step-by-step. If this is what you have, then here’s how you handle it, and this is what you have to do to get pain free. So that’s an awesome book, and it’s going to be out in a month.
So that’s where I’m moving into right now. Then I want to take on the biggest crime and most devastating thing in our society. You know how we look at suicide bombers in the Middle East, and we say, God, these people must be insane–sending their children out to kill other children and die. But then if we look at ourselves, we realize we’re teaching our children that if you suffer you’re going to Heaven, and if you feel good and have a joyful life you’re going to go to Hell. I think that’s more psychotic. So that’s where the three steps to happiness is so important. It’s like I tell the docs, if you help people to get healthy so they can go back to a life they hate, you’ve done nothing for them. I think that’s a really important concept. You want to get healthy so you can get a life you love. And the flip-side of that is having a life you love helps you to be healthy. It goes both ways. So it’s those areas that I’m interested in. It’s a mix of teaching people what they can do to get healthy, but also teaching them how to get a life they love–so that it’s worth it.
David: Is there anything that we haven’t discussed that you would like to add?
Jacob: If I could just say one thing, if there’s one message I could get out for people, it’s follow your bliss. It’s do what feels good, because that’s authentic to you. There’s no one thing that’s good for everybody to do–to eat this or do that. I can only give you general principles. It’s by following what feels good to you that you check in with your own intuition, your own inner wisdom, and that’s how you know what’s good for you. So that’s what it boils down to.