Born in Khabarovsk, second largest city in the Russian Far East, in the late 60’s, my early life in Communist Russia was challenging. Hardship on every level was a daily experience in our lives.
As a child, I always loved helping people and animals, and also knew I had a God given gift of healing with my hands. These passions led me to become a doctor, starting my study at age 16.After qualifyingas a Doctor at age 22, I continued my studies to become a qualified facial reconstruction surgeon at age 25.
Being a very successful reconstructive surgeon in one of Russia’s biggest university hospitals meant that I not only had a big name, and big expectations, I also had a very big EGO! At that time I thought it is was my Dharma, my destiny, to be a top level doctor and surgeon, and that I would do this for the rest of my life.
But the Universe had totally different plans for me…
At age 23, on a cold and very dark and rainy night, I was involved in a terrible car accident, leaving me with injuries to my brain, spinal cord, liver, internal organs and a fractured neck. I was unable to walk.
At that time I already had a small child, and being paralyzed, I was unable to care for myself, let alone my daughter. Miraculously, 2 months after the accident, a small Korean man came into my life. Like an angel he saved me. Using acupuncture needles, physiotherapy and his magical skills, coupled with my willpower, he helped get me back on my feet, much to the surprise of the doctors who had said I would never walk again.
It was then that I felt guided onto the path of Holistic Medicine, so I started taking private lessons in acupuncture.
In 1998 I moved to Belgium to work at University Hospital in Gent where I continued to study acupuncture for another 3 years. It was a very intense and busy time in which I forgot to look after myself.
Needless to say, I soon burnt out. Another huge block. A simple morning shower took me 1.5 hours and all my energy. I had to sit in a chair – in the shower – just to wash myself.
I was forced to take 6 months sick leave to heal and regain a reasonable balance. The Chinese herbs and continuing Acupuncture helped a lot. Without it, I would probably have followed the common path of Western Medicine with a diet of anti depressants, calming pills, sleeping pills and so on. They would probably have made me a zombie. In this moment I believed just one thing: “I will recover. I have a strong mind and a strong willpower.” I believed in the power of Holistic medicine and knew I would make it through. It took me a couple of months to recover and it gave me many very powerful life lessons.
Through all these life challenges, I constantly studied. I learned how to appreciate and enjoy every moment of life, happy just to be alive, even to do nothing more than enjoy nature and stillness. I found pleasure in very common life tasks, like dancing, painting, and singing.
In 2003, I decided to become a fulltime Holistic Doctor, combining Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine and I finally took the leap from Allopathic to Holistic Natural Wellness. I courageously left the hospital to set upmy own acupuncture practice. My zest for learning remained and I continued to study Tuina, Herbs and Nutrition, all the while maintaining a balance lifestyle where I took care.
I also started to do yoga in this period of my life, because my back had become more and more painful and stiff. The car accident continually reminded me that I needed to move, or I would be
back in a wheel chair.
During this time, in my work with patients I also became very aware, that MOVEMENT is one of the important components of the healing process. My patients had also started to ask for yoga lessons, so I trained up as Yoga Teacher and started conducting Yoga workshops. I was really interested in the energy aspect of yoga, Meridian yoga, and Therapeutic yoga.
While living in Antwerp, Belgium, I was a member of the biggest Yoga school in Belgium called Antwerp Yoga, which is the best place to study real yoga. All the best teachers in the world study there … such gurus as Rusty Wells (Bhakti Yoga), Petros Heffenrichter (Jivamukti Yoga), Gurmukh (Kundalini yoga), Nancy Gilgoff (Ashtanga Yoga), Katiza Satya (Ashtanga Yoga).
But my path was still to be challenged, with a couple more “bad” experiences, which gave me more powerful lessons. In 2001, in my early 30’s, I had another near death experience when I drank a beverage, which gave me an anaphylactic shock. My vocal cords became so swollen, that I stopped breathing. In this moment I fully realized, that food really could kill. Luckily, I was not so far from the hospital and the emergency medical staff saved my life. I did not have any allergy problem after this accident,however, in 2011, this allergy problem flared up again with a very severe allergy asthma attack.
I had already studied Nutrition therapy and Macrobiotic therapy and applied it tomylife and with many successes with my patients. However, this asthma experience brought meinto a verydeep awarenessof the energy of my body. I had thought I was healthy, Iwas eating healthily, and living very well, but then Irealized there was a whole lot more to know and understand. I started looking at ways to fully living in this deeper level of wisdom.
At age 45 I also realized I was no longer willing to endure Belgium’s humid and polluted climate, and that my very busy Holistic Practice was really harmful for me. My Chinese doctor advised me to move, to find a more sunny and dry climate. At which time I moved to Bali, Indonesia, and set up my Holistic Wellness practice in the magical wellness town of Ubud.
Here in Bali, I like being able to help people from all countries of the world. It is a totally different method of working than in Europe. In Antwerp (Belgium), most of my clients mostly wanted me to ‘fix’ them. In Ubud, however, people are open to healthier, natural therapies and tend to want to change themselves, they’re more open to understanding that many problems lay within their control, and that a healthy lifestyle and the food they eat plays vastly into their overall wellbeing.
During all those years, my clients, students, friends, and even my daughter were always asking me to share my knowledge and medical proficiency, which had become very broad. Having studied and worked now for 30 years, it felt very right that I started to channel this collective knowledge and wisdom into “The Living Wisdom Academy” Online Wellness Education, website, “Whole Life Detox” and into my books and courses.
I have not had an easy life, but it is my best teacher. The Universe also gave me also the best teachers and masters on my way, and showed me my TAO. My life gave me a lot of different and adverse experiences to help me to understand ill-health, recovery and wellness from first hand experiences. I treat my patients with full understanding of what it means to be a very ill and unhappy person who has walked the path to wellness and joy and living fully.
I sincerely want to share with you all my experiences, knowledge, my tears and my happiness so you can take a part of it and then you can choose the part that you need or want to have, the part, that helps you to make a choice to be happy, healthy and live fully.
So I will finish my story with my favorite mantra which is very powerful:
Saha veeryam karavaavahai
Tejasvi navadhitam astu
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti
May we be protected together
May we be nourished together
May we work together with great vigor.
May we always be free and
May there never be any obstacles between us.
Let there be peace, peace, peace