Vicky Vlachonis Shares Her 3- Step Feel Better Program: Reflect, Release, Radiate

We all want to feel better, right? Whether it’s getting rid of that lower back pain, reducing stress or simply having more energy, you must look at the entire picture. As a holistic Osteopath, mind-body pain specialist, I use the musculoskeletal system as a decoder ring to diagnose dysfunction throughout in the body. Based on how my clients react to my treatments—including spinal manipulations, cranial sacral therapy, acupuncture and other modalities—I can tell how well or poorly certain organs are functioning before an illness flares up.

I like to look at everything, especially my client’s emotions. What is the person eating? How is the person sleeping? Are they happy at work? Are they feeding their emotions? When was their last doctor’s visit? How is their vitamin D level?

I look at the family history – their emotions as a child, their upbringing, if they’ve had any trauma. All of these questions will help me find the source of the pain, because your emotions are born in your nervous system. Emotions trigger neurochemical changes in your brain and hormonal releases in your endocrine system. If you have a negative thought in your brain, your nervous system will carry the imprint of that negative thought directly to your spinal column, which leads directly to your heart, your liver, your ovaries – all your vital organs. I want to help you listen to your pain, reflect on it and learn from it, so you can release it and live radiantly. vicky vlachonis body doesnt lie

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Step 1Reflect

Check in with yourself—how do you eat? Do you avoid refined and processed foods? Do you follow the Mediterranean diet, which is the ultimate anti-inflammatory diet? The foods you eat have a direct effect on your energy level, physical health and mood. A diet comprised of fresh whole foods, especially fruits and vegetables and deep water fish rich in omega-3 fatty acid, can greatly reduce inflammation and keep your brain well nourished and content. I outline a full eating plan in my book, The Body Doesn’t Lie.

How do you move? Do you exercise 4-5 times weekly? Do you hit 10,000 steps daily?

How do think? Are you filled with self-doubt and negativity? Or are you positive and optimistic? I don’t think any of us realize what a detrimental effect our negative self-talk has on our confidence, happiness, even our level of discomfort. That’s why a critical part of my program is helping you rescript negative self-talk into positive, affirming inner speech. To gain an understanding of how you truly feel, you must dig deep into every area of your life, home, work, family medical history and connect the dots.

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Step 2Release

Once you’ve uncovered the truth behind your pain, it’s time to release! In the Release stage, you’ll let go of inflammatory foods, harmful habits, unhealthy relationships and negative self-talk. Release everything toxic using simple tools. I believe structure governs function and motion leads to positive emotion, so having a routine will help you stay in the positive. The Morning Glory Ritual, detailed in my book, is designed to keep you mindful and present. Do this every morning:

4 Key Elements of The Morning Glory Ritual

  1. Warm Water with Lemon: Lemons are very high in bioflavonoids that destroy harmful free radicals, which are unstable oxygen molecules that damage blood vessels and cause inflammation. Lemon’s high vitamin C content also helps decrease cortisol, a stress hormone linked to higher inflammation. Lemon balm has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal powers, all of which fight off any harmful invaders (colds, flu, bacteria) that can trigger inflammatory responses. And the smell is just heavenly and invigorating!
  1. Dry Brushing: Dry brushing has pain-releasing power. Our lymphatic system does not have its own interior pump (like our cardiovascular system does—the heart!). Our lymph nodes rely upon external stimulation to help release and flush out their toxins. Dry brushing helps do this on a daily basis. Dry brushing also helps exfoliate your largest organ—the skin!—to allow greater oxygenation of your tissues and give you a healthy, radiant glow. Learn the dry brushing fundamentals here!

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  1. Five Tibetan Rites of Rejuvenation: The five Tibetan Rites of Rejuvenation is a sequence of five yoga-like exercises handed down through many generations that helps to tone the nervous system, preserve good balance, stimulate our circulation and encourage lymphatic drainage. Watch this video to learn all five poses.
  1. Positive Mirror Affirmations: Beginning your day with positive thoughts is powerful! I don’t think any of us realize what a detrimental effect our negative self-talk has on our confidence, happiness, even our level of pain. Rewiring negative self-talk into positive, affirming inner speech may even help reshape our brain structure. So, look in the mirror and say kind, positive words to yourself. For example:
  • I am strong
  • I am beautiful
  • I love my body
  • I love my life
  • I am grateful for every single day

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Step 3Radiate

The Radiate stage is the time for planning for the future, reigniting passions you may have abandoned, deciding how you want to share this new glow of joy and gratitude with the world in everything you do—how you move, how you think, how you talk, how you eat, how you work, how you pray or give thanks (and yes, most definitely, how you look). By the end of step 3, you’ll be glowing inside and out! You’re eating the right foods, spending your time with positive people, exercising regularly, keeping up with your daily pain-free routine—all of this now comes naturally to you! This is your time to find your passion and purpose. Think about the happiest day of your life as a child and try to recreate it mentally in as much detail as possible to help discover your true passion. Use these questions to dig deep into your childhood memory and perform a Radiant Deep Dive:

  1. Where are you?
  2. Who is with you?
  3. What time of day is it? Time of year?
  4. What are you wearing?
  5. What are you doing?
  6. Are you excited because of what you’re doing, or who you’re with, or for some other reason?
  7. If you could do this activity right now, where would you be?
  8. Who would you be with?
  9. If money were no object, where would you be standing right now?
  10. What would you have done today if you didn’t have to conduct your ordinary routine?
  11. Where would you be going tomorrow?

[Read Maria Shriver’s latest ‘I’ve Been Thinking’ essay]

Now, how can you merge your childhood best day with your current best day? What would it take to get there?

We tend not to give ourselves enough credit. Sometimes we forget that we have all the answers we need, we just need to dig deep!

{Image credit: Alexander Shustov, Unsplash}

About the Author

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Vicky Vlachonis was born in Athens, Greece, to a tennis coach father and a yoga teacher/health guru mother. After becoming the first women in Europe to earn a masters of science in osteopathy, she began her professional career as a European osteopath and musculoskeletal specialist treating dancers from the Royal Ballet and major productions such as Cats and The Lion King. Working in London’s most prestigious holistic clinics, including the Hale Clinic and the Integrated Medical Centre, she decided to establish her own practice in 2001. Today, Vicky shares her holistic healing treatments and methods all around the world, helping clients release their pain and get radiant before PTA meetings and play dates, concert halls and board rooms, movie sets and red carpets. Vicky currently serves as Chief Wellness Officer to notable personalities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Cameron Diaz, Katy Perry, Nicole Ritchie and Elton John. In addition to her Beverly Hills practice, she serves as a Goop Contributor, Advisory Board Member for Women’s Health Magazine and member of UCLA’s Leaders Council. Learn more at

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