As a professional soccer player, cancer survivor, and winner of the hit reality show Survivor, Ethan Zohn has made headlines for his plethora of accomplishments. On January 22, 2010 he was ranked 14th in the USL Second Division Top 15 of the Decade, which announced a list of the best and most influential players of the previous decade. In addition to winning Survivor: Africa, Zohn has also appeared on Survivor: All Stars, Celebrity Apprentice, Fear Factor, and The Discovery Channel.
What many may not know is Zohn’s personal connection to chiropractic. With his brother as a chiropractor, Zohn has been a longtime champion of chiropractic, and recently spoke with Better Living Magazine about his trials and triumphs in life, including the role chiropractic has played. Below is an excerpt of that interview.
So, tell me a bit about your background. We understand your brother is a chiropractor and is someone who has influenced you. Could you tell us a bit about him?
Ethan Zohn: Well, my brother Lee, Dr. Lee Zohn, he is a chiropractor. Having my brother by my side my whole life, working on me, definitely allowed me to perform at a higher level. I personally know a lot of people who believe medicine is more like crisis management. I learned early on in life that one of the keys of chiropractic is maintenance and prevention. You can go to the doctor even when your not sick. In modern medicine, you have to have symptoms in order to be considered sick. Now with chiropractic. And I really feel after each adjustment that I felt better as though I could perform at a higher level, and therefore played better. I owe a lot of that to my brother for keeping me healthy and keeping me aligned.
So, you’ve had your own personal health battles, including the big one, cancer. When you heard the words, “You have cancer”, how did it impact your life?
Ethan Zohn: As you can imagine, my whole life was flipped upside down. And I thought, “Okay, I’ve been leading a healthy lifestyle. I’ve been eating well. I’ve been exercising. I’m a professional athlete, and I’ve been getting regular chiropractic adjustments my whole life., How did this happen to me?” It didn’t make sense. I think one that really helped was that I was in good shape. Not to keep bringing it back to him, but when you get cancer, you feel really out of control, and that your body has turned against you. But the things you can control like chiropractic, food, exercise, that stuff, that was really important for me to maintain. So, even in my worst of moments, my brother was there helping me, aligning me. He put a little pack together to bring to the hospital with rubber bands, small weights, and he gave me chiropractic exercises.
That’s very inspiring and insightful. What kind of treatment did you receive?
Ethan Zohn: Well, my brother, the chiropractor is the one who donated his stem cells to me in order to save my life. So, he’s done it in so many different ways. A true hero.
Who else has impacted your life, and supports your healthy and chiropractic lifestyle?
Ethan Zohn: Ah, well, I’m dating a wonderful woman who has definitely impacted my life! Her name is Lisa Haywood. She’s an interior designer here in New York city, and she gets adjusted as well.
Since winning Survivor, a lot has happened. You helped co-found Grassroot Soccer. Can you explain what that program is?
Ethan Zohn: Yes, before Survivor, actually, I lived and played professional soccer in Zimbabwe. That was in 1999 and 2000. And obviously, soccer was my life, my passion, so I moved to playing professional in the US and traveled to Zimbabwe to play in the Zimbabwe Premier League. That was kind of my first time in an area where I guess HIV/AIDS was such a huge issue. I saw some of my friends get sick, and they ended up being ostracized by the community and getting kicked off the team. So I realized at that time in my life, I wanted to do something, but I didn’t know what I could do. I didn’t know what one person could do to help this massive problem in all of Africa. That’s why I started Grassroot Soccer.
Do you have any daily life tips of what you think a healthy lifestyle is, or general words of wisdom?
Ethan Zohn: Nothing that’s going to shock them and be revolutionary, but for me, I think it’s just being around family. Laughing and sharing the things that matter in life, like a smile and a good meal. Just eat well and stay active, and I think it will extend your life for a long time.
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The Georgia Clinic of Chiropractic Blog is written by Dr. Mark Huntsman.
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