How to ‘party like a rock star’ and still stay healthy

Legendary rock photographer Mick Rock knows the rock and roll lifestyle all too well. From David Bowie and the Motley Crue to Ozzy Osbourne and Lou Reed-- he's photographed and celebrated with the best of them.

"There was definitely a never-ending party, and a lot of people willing to ‘play with you,’ shall we say,” Rock told “I toured with David, Lou, Queen, Iggy, Thin Lizzy-- it might be a long night, certainly for my dear friend Lou Reed they were more like long days than nights.”

But after years of the sex, drugs and rock and roll lifestyle---- plus a heart bypass and kidney transplant surgery, Rock knew he had to slow down and turned to Dr. Gabrielle Francis and her natural remedies to help get his health back on track.

Rock now meets with Francis, a holistic physician based in New York City, three to four times a month to receive her trio of treatments-- chiropractic manipulation, massage and acupuncture.

“I can come in here feeling a bit beat up, because whatever you do, life wants to kick you in the head occasionally, and I leave here and I’m totally in a transformed state,” Rock said. His latest photo book, “The Rise of David Bowie: 1972-1973,” was released this month.

For over 30 years, Francis has taught some of music's biggest stars how to live a more balanced and healthy life through natural medicine. Besides running her private practice, she takes her treatments on the road, providing chiropractic care, massage, acupuncture, nutrition support and herbal remedies to artists on tour.

“Massage helps a lot of the structural problems with back pain and neck pain, and I use a lot of relaxation techniques like cranial sacral [therapy], acupuncture and aromatherapy to help with a lot of stress on tour,” Francis told

In her new book, "The Rock Star Remedy," Francis shares her insider tips that can help not only rock stars, but anyone looking to stay healthy while still having fun.

“All the little tricks that I was using to try to keep rock stars healthy on tour I was finding I was using the exact same tricks with my regular patients-- because they want to party and have fun, but they’re too busy or they go all day taking care of their kids and don’t eat,” Francis said. “Everybody is living like these rock stars.”

To help rockers drink more responsibly at a party, Francis suggests drinking organic wine to avoid extra toxins from pesticides and to stick with high-shelf clear alcohols like vodka, tequila and gin that are usually lower in sugar and gluten-free.

If you want to drink less but still keep the buzz, Francis recommends clients try her grapefruit cocktail trick.

"If you mix the alcohol with the grapefruit juice, the grapefruit juice actually keeps things in the blood stream longer and slows the processing, so you can drink one drink and you get the same alcohol affect as you would if you were drinking two,” Francis said, adding that it’s the naringenin in the citrus that causes the liver to slow its metabolism of alcohol.

To balance other indulgences, she refers clients to her 90/10 rule-- where 90 percent is spent focused on a healthy diet and lifestyle while 10 percent is allowed for dining out and partying.

Throughout her book, Francis shares alternative remedies for common issues that can plague anyone with a demanding lifestyle:


If you suffer from insomnia, eat plenty of protein before you go to bed.

“The protein helps to keep the blood sugar stable so it doesn’t crash and wake you up-- and then there’s herbs like St. John's Wort, passionflower and Melissa Officinalis that all help to soothe the nervous system,” Francis said.


Writing love songs may help musicians overcome heartbreak and grief, but herbal remedies can help fight sadness, too.

"I use special grief remedies that are homeopathy remedies, one is from a plant called ignatia, and the other one is called natrum muriaticum. And I use essential oils that have rose in them; essential oil of rose is extremely good for heartbreak and depression.”


Drink plenty of water before you go out drinking, and eat foods with plenty of protein to keep the blood sugar stabilized. For the day after, Francis suggests passing on the greasy cheeseburger and fries.

“You want to wake up and have some protein and drink tons and tons of water and maybe some herbal teas that help to protect the liver like milk thistle, dandelion tea and green tea,” Francis said.

Rock attributes Francis’s treatments and nutritional advice for the healthy lifestyle he’s enjoyed over the last two years.

“She has made a huge difference in making me stronger and I can handle a ton of stress,” he said. “When you’re on top of your game, which is what she does for me, you can handle so much more.”

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