At HBFit, we are all about healing from the inside out. When we’re sick, we look to food and supplements to treat our ailments, rather than the traditional Western practice of “cure-all” medications. While we try to navigate the waters of holistic medicine, we are constantly on the hunt for a nearby Naturopath or holistic expert. One of our recent discoveries was Vicky Vlachonis, Osteopath to the stars. Osteopathy is a branch of alternative medicine that focuses on balancing the musculoskeletal system in order to align all of the body’s systems. We felt so lucky to have the opportunity to sit down with Vicky to discuss all things holistic, her practice and how her roots fostered her health-based intuitions:
How did you get into Holistic healing in the first place? From the time I was very young in Greece, my dad (a professional tennis coach) and my mom (a yoga teacher and my spiritual mentor) taught me the importance of the mind-body connection to create a life full of vitality and spiritual growth. Raised with strong values of a Greek family, I was taught to feed my body and soul with what Mother Nature gives us unconditionally. Among her abundant blessings are many powerful pain-relieving compounds; from healing foods to self-healing trigger points. This inspired me to move to England to study European Osteopathy.
What is it like being an Osteopath? This is my passion and purpose—I love my job! I have always wanted to travel and help people. I’m not going to say it wasn’t hard work and that there weren’t sleepless nights, but I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world. Coming from my parents being in the different aspects of wellness, I’ve combined both worlds to take it to another level. This has always been my calling.
Who are other women you look up to? Honestly, I simply look up to women who follow their passion and help others. Whether you’re a CEO, actress or teacher, the key is to spread happiness and motivate others around you. When you feel your best, something inside you just wants to help others feel the same way. We are all a team and must support each other. I recently started working with Shelley Zalis and her Ipsos Girls’ Lounge, a place where confident, driven women support each other. I agree that women need to empower each other, but we must begin by empowering ourselves. If your mind is positive, you’ll want to eat healthy, meditate and exercise. The key is to be powerful in your mind, body and soul—and then give back.
When did you move to the US? What attracted you to LA? I moved to the U.S. a little over two years ago. When I was a young girl, I would dress up as a nurse and tell my mom I was flying to America to help people. I traveled frequently to the U.S. to work on movie sets, so I’ve always felt that there was something calling me here. I had a gut instinct that LA is where I wanted to be. I always go with my gut because after all, our gut is our second brain!
What do you think is the biggest difference between Healthcare in America and elsewhere? Americans have access to the latest medical technology, which gives patients with the financial resources more options. Being on the Advisory Board of UCLA’s Digestive Diseases Division has allowed me to work closely with the top specialists in the field and has taught me that prevention is their main focus. The UCLA team has developed blood tests, ultrasounds, new medications and technology all geared to preventing rather than just curing diseases in the future. This has been my focus too: to increase people's awareness of the practical, proven methods from around the world that have been effective in helping people lead long, healthy and happy lives.
Do you think that the widespread movement towards wellness and health is a trend, or a genuine shift in mainstream priorities? I truly believe that the widespread movement towards wellness and health is a genuine shift in mainstream priorities. Too many people have gotten a taste of what it’s like to eat the proper foods, exercise regularly and take better care of themselves overall to ever go back to an unhealthy lifestyle. They have also recognized that being active and mindful about what you put into your body makes you more productive and keeps your mind clear. This “wellness movement” is here to stay: spread the word!
Take us through a day in your life: I begin my everyday with my Morning Glory Ritual. First, warm water with the juice of half a lemon. Lemons are very high in bioflavonoids that destroy harmful free radicals, unstable oxygen molecules that damage blood vessels and cause inflammation. I follow that tonic with the Tibetan Rites of Rejuvenation, an exercise composed of 5 yoga-type movements. This routine keeps your circulation flowing, your balance fine-tuned and your muscles strong. Then, I dry brush before getting into the shower. The benefits of dry brushing include increased circulation, shedding dead skin cells, and stimulating lymphatic drainage. Finally, I do a meditation or positive affirmation in front of the mirror to send me into the positive mindset for the day. One of my common mantras is: I am safe. I envision my success. I bring happiness everywhere I go.
What has been the most rewarding part of your job? Finding the positive in people’s pain. I say pain is good because it awakens the truth about your life, your relationships and your body. I am fulfilled when I see my clients make the mind-body connection as we go through the healing process, because this means not only are they on their way to recovery, but they can now spread their newfound knowledge with others.
We love your book, The Body Doesn’t Lie: The Three-Step Program to End Chronic Pain and Become Positively Radiant! What was the process of writing a book like and how has it changed your business? Writing my book was a wonderful experience! The best part was being able to break down my treatments down into a 3-step, easy-to-follow program. This book has given me the opportunity to reach more people suffering with pain, both physical and emotional. As much as I’d love to treat everyone, hands on, it is just not possible. My book allows me the spread the same message I’ve been sharing with my clients for the last 16 years to the masses, so I couldn’t be happier.
What are 3 tips that our readers can incorporate into their daily lives to feel better? When you are in pain your body is trying to send a signal that something is not quite right. Pain uncovers the truth about your life, your relationships, your work and your health. Therefore, if you are in pain, your body doesn’t lie; you must change something.
- Reflect: You need to be your own pain investigator. Keep a journal to track whenever something is physically or emotionally hurting you. This will help you get to the underlying cause to end your pain for good.
- Copy my Morning Glory Ritual: Doing this alone will make a difference in your mood and body—the warm water with lemon, Tibetan Poses, dry brushing and positive affirmations—will give you a strong structure.
- You are what you eat: Eliminate sugar, cow’s dairy, and wheat, all of which increase inflammation, bloating and sluggishness.