From Tragedy to Ecstasy – My Health Journey
I have known the lowest lows in my life, and they have only served to push me forward towards better and better health and well-being. The same can be true for you!
Hi, my name is Vlad and this is my story.
When I was born in Ukraine, it was a place very different from what it is today. Medicine was not nearly as advanced, and alternative healing was still common. There was a sense of connection with nature, a sense of oneness with the world around us. The internet was still nothing more than a dream in the computer engineers' heads, and it was up to the elders to pass on their knowledge to the next generations, all information flowing directly through real people and not through electronics. Foods like bone broth, sauerkraut, kefir, buckwheat that are considered as superfoods or something extraordinary these days were eaten on a daily basis back in the day. That was nearly forty years ago.
Growing up, I learned all about herbs, honey, and wild food. My mother and father taught me how to heal myself and how to forage in order to stay alive. I would spend hours and hours roaming the forest in search of mushrooms, wild berries, and birch sap. That was when I developed a passion for the great outdoors. It was thrilling for me to make my way in the natural world, and I felt like there was nothing I couldn't do.
By my teenage years, I had started ice swimming, jumping into freezing lakes and rivers. This was not as an outlandish activity as many would deem it today, but the world was changing. As technology started to spread, life changed. My lifestyle shifted away from nature and into the city, and although I stayed active as a professional athlete playing basketball, boxing, and practising martial arts, I yearned for simpler days. Injuries plagued me, from my legs to my spine to my head, and even though I was fit, I was far from being healthy, eating the wrong foods, stress and abusing alcohol, eventually running into colitis, chronic gastritis, and ulcers. Digestive inflammation had become the norm for me – and it was every bit as awful as it sounds.
In my early 20s, I relocated to the UK, moving even further away from the natural lifestyle of my childhood. I got out of athletics due to injuries, which led me down a path of unchecked aggression, stress, and unhealthy addictions including gambling. By the time I was turning 30, I had developed leaky gut syndrome and gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, which left me in constant pain. I underwent surgery at 31, and it didn't seem to help. A year after that, both my parents at their late 50's passed away from cancer and my best friend committed suicide. I had hit a low point, and no matter where I looked, I couldn't find any way out. I felt like I was losing my mind.
From the darkest period in my life, I could still see light, though. I knew that I had to make a change. Unless I reclaimed my life, I was going to end up dying young – just like my parents, grandparents and friends.
In China with Master Li Shifu
Western medicine left me scrambling for information, which led me toward self-experimentation, self-education, and self-discovery. Soon, everything seemed to be falling into place for me. I started to feel better, and I knew that I was living a healthier life. It all started, though, with that first step. Before I could ever really overcome my demons, I had to understand them. I spent a lot of time and effort in learning how the mind and body work and how they are connected.
The more I learned, the more I wanted to learn. I travelled the world, seeking out adventures, pushing my boundaries, forcing myself to move beyond my old limitations. Meeting shamans in the Amazon jungles for healing ceremonies, I got to know myself in a way that I never had before. I learned about healing plants, and after spending time with another shaman – Chris Lüttichau in Finland – I learned more about the nature and strength of energy as well. It seemed that my life had come full circle: from the depths to which I had plunged, I had returned to the natural world, which had meant so much to me.
Yes, my life made sense to me again, and after trying out a few different diets, I became a raw foodist, and later tailored my diet to my body's actual needs. Hydration, detox, diets, fasting, exercise: I was picking up a wide range of skills to manage my life and keep myself healthy. I went to India and started to practice yoga
(which healed my back pain and my knee pain, holdovers from my days as an athlete), meditation, and conscious breathing (Pranayama) with BNS Iyengar, the oldest yogi in the world. This was where I was introduced to Ayurveda too, and on my second trip to India, I enriched my knowledge of body energy, chakras, and aura healing even more.
In this part of my life, I took on a new vigour for growth and development. I took part in a healing water ceremony with the High Priestess of Bali Ida Resi Alit, I studied with a Dao master in a mountaintop Daoist temple in China, I trained in Qigong, learned foundations of longevity and energy cultivation. Back in London, I immersed myself in anatomy, nutrition, body healing, psychology (especially of eating), and mindfulness, while also becoming a Reiki Level 2 Healer and a Transformative Coaching Practitioner, attending more than 100 health seminars around the world. It would be safe to say that I extended myself far, and now in my forties, I feel healthier, happier, stronger, and more flexible than I ever did in my twenties. I feel like myself, and although the road here may have been winding and at times treacherous, I have entered into a consciousness that is always bright and always pulsing.
Bali, with High Priestess Ida Resi Alit
As you can see, it’s been quite a journey for me. But that struggle means my experience and training allow me to get people to where they want to be faster than they think possible. So, whilst it was difficult, it was totally worth it because now…I get to change people’s lives with what I have learned. It’s truly priceless information.
Now, I want to help others to achieve better health and better living too. It all starts with the first step. That step may be a little one, but it is an important one. Inspired by my personal journey I created an individualised approach for achieving optimal health through small tweaks and daily habits. My approach based on modern scientific research, ancient wisdom and knowledge about the healing power of nature.
The world is full of challenges, but you have the capacity within you to meet every single one of them. I know how difficult it may be to believe that at times, but trust me when I say that it's true. Your health journey starts now, and I would love to show you the way forward.
Remember - Your health is your own responsibility.