Cardiologist, Physician, Coach and Lifestyle Medicine (LM) Specialist. Leading people from the fear of illness to the joy of life with the help of Lifestyle Medicine
Tell us a bit about yourself and your background in medicine.
Since my childhood I have been dreaming of becoming a doctor. My uncle, a neuroreanimatologist, was the main inspirational and motivational character for me. Later I enrolled at Sechenov University FMSMU and pursued the regular medical degree. I regularly interned in different hospitals, enriching my experience. The most visited place during my student years was the intensive care unit of the Neurosurgery Research Institute of Burdenko (the Academician N.N. Burdenko Research Institute of Neurosurgery of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences), where my uncle Savin I.A. was working. After graduation, I chose to specialize in «Therapeutics» at the Clinical University Hospital. It was during that internship, where I discovered the «amorous greed» for the knowledge and clinical experience. I picked the most complex and intricate cases and turned them into «cases» for conferences and training programs, such as Internist. Owing to my teachers (Ivashkin V.T. and Drapkina O.M.), I learned how to diagnose and competently analyze the patient’s condition based on a dialogue with the patient, his history and primary examination.
After internship, I entered the department of arrhythmias (heart rhythm disorders) in the Research Institute of Cardiology named after Myasnikov. By the end of my first year, I was offered to write a thesis, so I decided to go to graduate school. However, after passing the exams, the admissions conditions suddenly changed and I couldn’t enter on the budgetary basis. I made a decision to quit this path. It was difficult, but I did not give up. I had «plan B».
For the next six months, I went to Sevastopol to be the head of a new private clinic «Myata», combining my work as a cardiologist and physician. During that time, I participated in establishing several things such as internal processes, service sales, school for future mothers, we achieved absolutely all our financial goals, we formed a friendly and supportive team and most importantly we started to have visitors.
How did you become a Lifestyle Medicine specialist?
I started with myself. In 2017, I quit smoking and gave up alcohol altogether, changed my diet to a whole plant-based diet, found myself in professional dancing, normalized my sleep, learned to work with stress through meditation and more. Now my personal experience helps to support every client who is on the path of change. I firmly adhere to the opinion that when claiming leadership in any field, you cannot be a «barefoot cobbler» and to be completely immersed into the subject,you need to go through the path of changes yourself.
In 2020, I received an international certificate as a Lifestyle Medicine (LM) Specialist and Coach.
In 2021, I was invited to join the international community of LM specialists and in March 2022, I received a personal invitation for the BSLM conference in London. There I finally met world-class physicians, the leaders of LM in the world, face-to-face.
In February 2023, the World Lifestyle Medicine Organisation (WLMO) was formed, which unites all Lifestyle Medicine Organisations in the world and from that time «Lifestyle Medicine Specialist» became a medical specialty with primary accreditation.
Now I am the official Russian delegate in the international LM community, member of the European Lifestyle Medicine Council (ELMC) and the WLMO.
My main mission is to promote a safe approach to the treatment of diseases to the public, to grow the society of LM specialists in Russia and to introduce this specialty to our Universities and integrate it into the Healthcare System.
For this reason, in December 2022, I left the clinic I was working at.
Now I am fully dedicated to my personal projects and the foundation and development of the Association of LM Specialists (ALMS), which is a non-profit organization, officially registered on July 4th, 2023 in Russia.
What personal projects do you have going on at this stage?
Currently, I offer personal consultations on lifestyle analysis to treat diseases and restore health, personal coaching programs on lifestyle changes and healthy thinking and also my online course «Manage Glucose», which helps people control their blood sugar levels. Glucose management skills can improve everyone’s health without exception, increase energy, avoid dizziness and headaches, cease excessive cravings for sweets, normalize the hormonal level, improve memory, prevent the development of the majority of chronic diseases and reduce inflammation inside cells. There have already been 5 streams of the course over the year and this is just the beginning.
What evidence-based research do you use in your practice to support your recommendations?
Large multi-center randomized trials on the effectiveness of lifestyle changes have been conducted by leading scientists and physicians around the world at Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic, Harvard University. Research results are published in the oldest and the most cited journals such as NEJM, JAMA, BJM and others. And now global projects and research in the field of Lifestyle Medicine are underway to study how different lifestyle factors influence the development of inflammation and chronic diseases: Alzheimer’s disease, hypertension, diabetes, oncology, coronary heart disease, polycystic ovarian syndrome, endometriosis, autoimmune processes. Interim results are in and they support the notion that eating whole plant foods, dealing with stress through cognitive behavioral therapy and meditation, normalizing sleep and increasing physical activity improves health condition and conversely, animal and processed foods, sedentary lifestyle, disrupted circadian rhythm and toxins are the main cause of these chronic diseases. These are the pillars of Lifestyle Medicine.
What results have you already achieved in your work in changing people’s lifestyles?
I have seen 25,000 patients during my practice as a physician. In the last 2 years, by the means of Lifestyle Medicine (LM) coaching, hundreds of people have achieved persistent changes: weight loss, normalization of cholesterol and sugar levels, improvement of immunity and memory, reversal of insulin resistance and diabetes mellitus, normalization of creatinine, stable work of the gastrointestinal tract, elimination of hypertension without medication, stabilization of thyroid function, reduction of cravings for sweets, overcoming panic attacks, rapid recovery from coronavirus, treatment of skin diseases and bringing them into remission. The main result of my work is that my patients get rid of anxiety, fears and illnesses, become happy, calm and confident due to their health management skills.
How does your specialization as a cardiologist, physician and arrhythmologist help you in your work in lifestyle medicine?
My clinical experience helps me utilize the tools of LM effectively and safely, regardless of the stage of disease progression. I can work with a variety of clients, taking into account their unique needs and conditions and I am able to anticipate outcomes and make recommendations tailored to each case. It is important for the practitioner to think ahead and understand the underlying processes in order to earn the trust of patients and achieve the real results.
How do you plan to promote and spread the concept of lifestyle medicine in Russia?
Mainly through social networks, website and personal brand, «word of mouth». My plans are to integrate lifestyle programs into private, state and federal centers for treatment and prevention of diseases, to attract specialists, to speak at Healthy Lifestyle platforms and to hold LM-conferences. The main goal is to introduce the specialty of Lifestyle Medicine Specialist at the state level. I want to repeat the successful experience of other countries and implement it in Russia.
What benefits and opportunities does your project provide for people who want to change their lifestyle?
Lifestyle Medicine is rapidly developing evidence-based medical specialization which provides a safe and the most effective way to live a healthy, full and long life without fear of sudden death or disability for everyone. By the means of health managing skills, everyone can feel alerted and energized without the use of «dopings»: energy drinks, coffee, alcohol, nicotine, dietary supplements, IVs and antidepressants and without fear of burnout. High concentration, mental clarity, lots of energy, no body aches, stable mood, peace of mind for your health, confidence in every day – aren’t these what we all want in life?
How do you plan to attract people to the idea of lifestyle medicine and what sponsorship opportunities are available?
My main method of reaching a large audience is through online education. In the near future, I plan to launch various online programs such as «Stable Weight», «Healthy Heart», «Cancer Prevention», «Women’s Health and Healthy Pregnancy» and others to help improve wellness. My signature «Glucose Management» program has shown great results in 2022 and I managed to help a large number of people. I also team up with other experts to conduct workshops and trainings to expand my impact. In terms of sponsorship, I see opportunities in developing and supporting the Association of LM to implement the mission of promoting and educating general public and physicians about the new format of medicine, as well as conducting research in this field. For example, research into the regression of vascular atherosclerotic plaque against the backdrop of intensive lifestyle changes. Sponsors get the opportunity to associate themselves with a healthy lifestyle trend that is supported by science. Lifestyle Medicine will be the backbone of healthcare in the next decade. Lifestyle change programs require sponsorship for maximum promotion, just like medications. Lifestyle changes supported by research can be considered as true health care and everyone interested in a healthy nation will have an opportunity to invest in the development of this field.