Podcast 402: Overlooked Hacks to Rebuild Health from Pain

Mainstream medical practitioners practice symptom-oriented treatments, covering the symptoms. Functional medicine focuses on the root cause resolution, fixing what is causing the problem. If you can understand which approach is better, you are already halfway there. Your Health Coach will help you understand the other half!

Welcome, everybody! This is the Life Enthusiast Podcast, and today we are going to talk about Chronic illness and the overlooked hacks that will help you rebuild your health. My name is Martin Pytela, I have been a health coach for about 15 years, well actually even longer! I am a certified metabolic typing advisor since 2011, I was previously certified as a clinical hypnotherapist, and I worked in the field for a little while, but then I ended up doing management consulting. I spent 20 years in the computer industry, management consulting, and information technology. I trained people in the use of software, highly complex technical software. I have a university education in computer science and business administration, and I worked in the field as a business consultant.

I became very health challenged, my problem was mercury toxicity. I got 12 mercury amalgam fillings from a dentist, and that precipitated a very serious health problem. My genetics are such that I don’t detoxify very efficiently. So my situation got worse fairly quickly. In my case, it was pretty rough. I’ve spent at least 15 years in pretty rough shape. I tried to get help from the mainstream first. I went to the orthopedic surgeon because my problems were collapsing arches in my feet, plantar fasciitis, and I had carpal tunnel syndrome, so my wrists were hurting, and then my back started hurting. The orthopedic surgeon injected me with cortisone shots and said: “well, that is all I have.” Six weeks later, the effects wore off, and I was back to being worse than before.

I sought help from chiropractors, very good, well-meaning, well-educated, highly skilled people. I saw many in my life, I may have spent tens of thousands of dollars in chiropractic offices over my life. It helped, it was treating my symptoms, but it was not getting me better, it was just helping me cope. And that seems to be the model for both the allopathic, the mainstream medical system, and the alternative medicine. They treat the symptoms. It is about creating a practice and having an income stream, more than it is about healing the person and having them free of their health problems. That is why you see the words ‘root cause resolution’ on the screen. 

Functional medicine practitioners do that. They seek the root cause resolution, fixing what is causing the problem. I eventually got certified as a metabolic typing advisor, and that is one of those disciplines where we understand how food, diet, and nutrition are intersecting with the genetics of a given person. There are individual differences, and if we don’t take those into account, we end up not being able to get to a happy outcome. I’ve been doing that since 2011.

So let’s get to the core of this. What are the important things we must do to regain and maintain optimal health? As a health coach, I’ve talked to several thousand people over the years, and I see some patterns, I see some tendencies. First of all most of us are oriented toward ‘new’ instead of toward ‘tried and true.’ Instead of turning to the basics that everybody should be doing, we are trying to look for what is new, trendy, different. We are naturally oriented towards that. 

The mainstream medical world, most allopathic, and even some alternative health practitioners practice symptom-oriented treatments. If you tell them you have a headache, they will give you a pill for the headache, instead of trying to find what is the cause of your headache. We can see this approach in the whole society. We are trying to solve the drug problem by trying to suppress the drug dealers or the drug users, instead of asking what is in our society, that is giving us so many people who are emotionally so desperate and destitute that they want to numb themselves with drugs that help them not feel anything.

And then there is the ‘easy button.’ Something that someone else will do for us because we don’t want to have to do the hard work. We want the pill, the surgery, the easy solution. We want to hand the problem to somebody else and have them solve it for us. I speak to a lot of people who come with a problem and say: “just fix it for me.” They want to hand over their body and their life to me as if it were an automobile driven over to a repair shop and they say: “fix it and then return it to me.” And then they want to go back to the way things were without having to change anything. 

Advertising, online advertising especially, has made it look as if the information were free, as if education was free, but that is an illusion, nothing is really free. Somebody had to work to create it. he television programs that you are watching, the advertiser pays the channel to show you the advertisements in the hopes that you are going to do or to buy whatever the advertisers are trying to show you. It is not free. Your attention is a commodity in this exchange.

And the last bit that I run into a lot is that people are induced to demand certifications. “What is the body that has licensed you,” or “how are you certified to be able to tell me what to do.” That is primarily caused or created by the dominant industries. They are creating barriers to entry for others. The medical industry, the medical association makes it difficult to enter the field, they even got politicians to grant them the exclusive license to practice medicine. These days, for example, I cannot say in public that I can treat or prevent or make any medical condition better, because I am not a doctor, I am not a licensed medical professional. I can talk about symptoms, but I cannot name a disease. For example, I can’t tell you that I can help you cure your hypertension, or that I can prevent you from getting cancer. That would be outside of what I’m licensed to say, only a doctor could say that, even though we could be saying the exact same thing, recommending the same treatment or supplement. And then the FDA enforces the statements about products. For example, I cannot say that a certain product will help you cure cancer because that would turn it into a drug, and the term ‘drug’ is reserved in this commercial space, only for things that have been certified by the FDA, and they require a large study that costs 200+ million dollars.

So how does this really work? When you say “do it for me, fix it for me,” I can’t! The problems that we are discussing are caused by your behavior, it is your nutritional habits, the foods you eat, the exercise you do or don’t do, your lifestyle decisions you make. I can’t do it for you. I can tell you what you should be doing, but you will have to make the change. If you are going to keep doing what you’ve always done, you are going to be getting what you’ve always got. 

Nothing is free, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Somebody has to pay for it. Normally it is the consumer who is hiring the service that ends up paying for it. I’m able to give this information away for free in the hopes that you will come to our store and shop in our store, and I hope that you will understand how and why that is. I can explain to you that there are products that you can buy that will help you with your health, that will make you healthier, but I am not going to be making a claim that a product will heal or prevent or improve any medical condition, I can’t do that for reasons I described earlier. 

What we work on is removing blocking factors or supporting health factors. Your body does the healing. I heal nothing. Your body does it all. And when we go back to the demand for certifications, think about this: natural foods should not be required to be certified the same way as toxic drugs are. They are not poison, they are real food, growing in the trees or in the ground. And yet, I can’t tell you that black cherry juice prevents high blood pressure, I can’t tell you that malic acid in apples helps to dissolve gallstones and that an apple a day will indeed keep your gallbladder healthier.

The thing I wanted to point out is the double-blind study, the touted, wonderful invention of the medical mainstream. The result of it will be skewed by the statistical distribution of the biological individuality of the subjects. I know from my metabolic typing experience that for example, a fast oxidizer will react in an opposite way to a specific nutrient compared to a sympathetic dominant person. We have these four major dominances, and we react differently to different inputs. If I give potassium to one person, it is going to lower their blood pressure. And if I give it to another, it is going to raise it. Go figure. So therefore a double-blind study is oftentimes just nonsense.

So how do I see my job as a health coach? I see that there are these very basic tools or behaviors that we need to focus on every day. In fact, that is what matters. What matters is the small things done every day, as opposed to the occasional heroic action. And we know that what is measured gets done, therefore we need to try and measure our behaviors. So if we keep a journal or a food diary, where we write down everything we ate and how it made us feel, it can be a very helpful thing to have. Having somebody to whom we are accountable for our behaviors is also helpful, a person other than yourself, because when it is just you, you can kind of excuse it. But when you have to actually go and show the diary to another person, you are going to have to account for your behavior. So if you can change your ways and do it for about 21 days, you will establish a new habit, and it will change the trajectory of your life, hopefully towards better health! 

You may remember coach John Wooden, he took care of the LA Lakers, and he led them to eight I think consecutive victories of the NBA championship. And what he focused on were just the basics: hoop shots, layups, long shots, whatever it is in basketball. And people practiced and practiced and practiced, and they had it down cold. They didn’t have to think, it was all muscle memory. That is what we are trying to go for, a few basic things, turning them into habits, turning them into automatic behaviors, so you don’t even have to think about it.

There are several categories of things that we need to focus on, and the air is one of them. The air we breathe is either a source of health or source of illness because, in the air, there could be a lot of toxins. You want to breathe in clean air that is rich in negative ions because those are the healthy ones. You will find those in forests and in parks, so I strongly encourage you to go there. If you can’t go outside, having an air filter in your home is a good thing, especially if you are living in a polluted environment, or if you are working in a place like an automotive shop, whatever environment that has a fairly high amount of toxins in the air. It is definitely a wonderful idea to get one of the air filters. We have professional-grade air filters on our website for different types of environments

On the lower end are negative ion generators. They are great because negative ions get the small dust particles out of the air. The indoor air is quite rich in positive ionization, and you need to neutralize it. Negative ion generator puts the negative ions into the air, they collide with the positives, and they help the circulating particles to just drop out. Electrostatic filters on furnaces are a wonderful idea too.

I have listed a couple of products here. One of them is ionic silver. I use it every time I feel I may have been exposed to viral or microbial contamination, so these days, when I come home from an outing, I just squirt a couple of squirts of ionic silver to the back of my throat and call it done. I don’t have to worry about me being in an incubation phase, waiting for two weeks for some symptoms to appear, because I know I have wiped it out right there, just on arrival. Another product contains reactive oxygen species, the product is called BioHydrox, we sell it under the trade name Amazing Soak. You can put that in a humidifier or nebulizer, and those dispersed negative ions will sterilize the air, completely wipe out any microbes, viruses, bacteria, all of that. Also, check out our blog for more information about negative ions!

The second most important input right after air is water. We need to understand the difference between ‘hydration’ or ‘cellular hydration’ and ‘irrigation.’ Just because I drink, doesn’t mean that the water is getting inside my cells. Healthy water is not contaminated by industrial pollution, has low surface tension, negative ORP (that is Oxidation Reduction Potential), is slightly alkaline in the pH, and its clusters will be small. In nature, spring water or creek water, that is cascading down across rocks, will be like that. Freshly condensed dew. For example, if you look on surfaces like windshields or other flat surfaces in the early morning, you will see condensing dew. That is nature’s distilled water. There is humidity in the air, and it will come out of suspension on cold surfaces, which is cold distillation without having to come to boil and steam. It evaporates from the lakes and rivers and oceans, comes across as clouds or just plain humidity, and settles out. 

City water is a different situation. We use chlorination as a means of killing off dangerous microbes. The problem with chlorine is that it kills microbes, so if you drink chlorinated water, you are going to be killing the microbes in your gut. That is very undesirable, so I highly recommend that you drink water that is dechlorinated.Even a simple countertop filter will do that. You can remove more toxins using either RO, reverse osmosis, or distillation. RO is wasteful in the fact that it spills five to eight times as much water as you get out, distilled is wasteful because it wastes a lot of heat, a lot of energy. What is missing there is that the water is stripped of all minerals and it is not well structured. We do have devices that help with the structured water, you can look it up on the Life Enthusiast website, clicking on this link. What happens with water as it passes through pipes is laminar friction. That friction builds up an electric charge, and this raises the surface tension, so the water is not nearly as absorbable as it needs to be. We need to discharge it first, and we also have devices to do that, either vortexing or ceramics or crystals are needed to do that.

It would be wise to eliminate chlorine before your shower, because when you use hot water, there is a lot of steam around you, and 10 minutes of showering is like drinking a gallon of chlorinated water. You absorb it through breathing, and you absorb it through your skin. That is not very desirable. I already talked about drinking chlorinated water causing damage to your microbiome in your gut, but there is also metal contamination. Flint in Michigan was in the news not long ago with phenomenal lead contamination in the water. And lead is very dangerous to human health. Many cities, especially in the Northeast, that were built in 1850-1900 still have lead pipes. If the pH of the water isn’t controlled, it will start dissolving the lead and leaching it in the water. I’m quite sure that there are many cities whose water supply is dangerous. We also have tools for treating water if you go out into nature, so you can drink creek water and don’t need to worry about microbial contamination. For that, we have Oxygen Drops.

What is one of the most important things we need to do? Lower the toxic load. Toxicity is always a problem to watch: the air, the water, and the food you eat. You don’t want to be eating contaminated food, but you may not be remembering that toxins come into your body in all kinds of ways, through your skin, for example, through cosmetics, cleaning products, air fresheners, that is my favorite thing to complain about. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) are complex molecules that may have a pleasant smell to some people, but those things are actually quite toxic, and your body is not designed to deal with it. It is perfectly capable of dealing with the natural scent from lemon or orange or eucalyptus, but it is not able to deal with the compounds created by the chemical industry. Of course, there is a lot of gassing off going on from furniture, carpets, packaging, clothing, toys, paints, and dyes, you name it, all kinds of things around the house. 

In all of these situations, we all have a choice to make. I think I should mention that in the economy, the currency, the dollars, is like oxygen. And we vote with our wallet all the time, right? When you pay for something, that was a vote for the manufacturer to make more of that. If you are carefully choosing what you want to support, it won’t take very long before the undesirable things are gone, and if fewer and fewer people demand those things, they will eventually disappear from the market. All we have to do is just convince each other, so all of us do the right thing.

Next point is electromagnetic pollution, we did a webinar on it recently, check it out here for more details, I’m just going to mention it briefly here. The electromagnetic interference is causing a disturbance at the cellular level, and causing all kinds of stress load on the body, so finding tools that mitigate that is a really smart thing. 

And what doesn’t get talked about in the mainstream is that drugs, all prescription and over the counter drugs, are actually toxic. They are toxins that block the natural expression of the cells, and when they talk about side effects, they are not really side effects, they are the actual toxic effects of the drugs. Some of them are more dangerous than others, like ACE inhibitors, that are heavily prescribed for blood pressure management. We are now finding that those are the ones that are causing the greatest danger to people who get infected by the coronavirus because it enters the body through the ACE (angiotensin controlling enzyme) pathway. So when you are on that drug, you have a lower ability to resist. 

And my ‘favorites’ are statins, these are the cholesterol-lowering drugs. High cholesterol numbers are a result of the body reacting to the foods we eat. If we eat the wrong foods, we will have high cholesterol, it is as simple as that. You should be changing your inputs, instead of trying to control it with drugs. 

And the last bit is the dust, the micro particulates. The urban life, living in cities, means a lot of toxic burdens, for example, the brake pad dust, tire dust, automobile exhaust, industrial exhalations, all of that is adding to the toxic burden that your body has to deal with.

The other really important basic thing that you have to look after is your gut health. You need to focus on building a healthy microbiome. These days, it is not common to have a strong, vibrant microbiome, because of chlorine, antibiotics, and other disruptors. So if you drink chlorinated water, or if you had a run or two of antibiotics, you have distorted the microbiome, and you need to rebuild it. Also, C-section deliveries cause the limited transfer of the microbiome from the mother to the child. So we need to restore the proper function, we need to take probiotics, those are the living microbes, and also prebiotics, those are the foods that these microbes will live on. Prebiotics are usually known as fructooligosaccharides, or fiber, insoluble fiber.

The other things that are much needed in the digestive tract are humic and fulvic acid. Humic got its name from humus, it is the factor in the dirt that makes your gut work correctly. Imagine that thousand years ago, somebody was trying to feed themselves, so they would go into the garden, pull the carrots out of the ground, wipe them on their clothing or something, maybe swish it in a creek, but it would still have all kinds of soil-based microbes on the surface. These days that carrot has been washed in chlorinated water, sprayed with diazinon, and who knows what else. We need to reintroduce the dirt back into the gut, otherwise, it will suffer. Humic and Fulvic acid contribute to that. 

And we also need fiber. Some studies suggest that our stone-age ancestors ate about 100g of fiber a day. These days, the recommended number is 35g, and many people get only 10-15g. Herbs and bitter foods are also really important because they help us stay healthy. Herbs and bitter foods. Remember those, if you are running into any problems, talk to your health coach, they will know what to suggest, you can call me if you need help.

And lastly, things that wreck your gut health. The modern foods. Homogenized and pasteurized dairy is really problematic. Pasteurized means that all of the microbes have been disabled and all the enzymes have been killed. So it becomes practically indigestible. Homogenized means that it has been run through a microscopic sift, and instead of being in larger globs, fats are now in very tiny globs, tiny enough that they can pass through the protective barriers in your digestive system, which means that it gets into the bloodstream. Your body then reacts to it with an inflammatory reaction. 

And, of course, gluten. Modern wheat, since about the 1970s, has been hybridized in such a way that it has more gluten than it used to have, it has gone from 7% to about 13%. It means that many people that used to be able to eat grains in the past can’t do it now. Gluten causes gaps in the gut barrier that separates the sensitive inside from the hostile outside, and under digested bits of food are able to pass through this barrier. The barrier becomes permeable, the condition is known as permeable bowel or a leaky gut. Many people are gluten intolerant or at least sensitive, they have to stay away from modern grains. 

One other new thing since about 1995, glyphosate, or RoundUp, has been applied to our cereals as a means of drying them out, making them more consistent. And that has its own problems. The interface between the hostile outside and the sterile sensitive inside of our bodies is protected by our skin and by our hair, and in sensitive areas are protected by the mucosal barrier. The mucosal barrier is somewhat permeable, more permeable than your skin, it is the lining of your nose, lungs, mouth, the stomach, the guts, the kidneys, and the urinary tract and a reproductive canal in women. And finally the brain barrier, the blood-brain barrier. The brain needs to be protected from many, many toxic inputs. That is probably the tightest barrier we have, but it still can be breached. So the barrier has to be functioning correctly. It needs to be keeping toxic things out, but allow nutrition in.

We exist as the yin and yang, as the dynamic balance with the environment. We need to allow things to come in, and toxins to come out, and we need to prevent the toxins from getting back in. I already mentioned gluten and the homogenized dairy, that are causing the problems, causing the permeability. I also mentioned antibiotics and toxic chemicals making it worse. Iodine makes it better! Iodine supports your thyroid gland, and the thyroid gland in other languages is called the ‘shield gland.’ Iodine is the element that provides your body the strength to defend itself. So if you are deficient in iodine, your shields are weak. 

Mucopolysaccharides are another thing, for example in Aloe Vera or other plants, that are helping to defend the body, keep the barriers intact, strengthening them. The concept of a zeta potential should be mentioned here, that is the ability to resist, the electrical integrity of the body. That which has the higher zeta potential is able to resist the incoming fire or incoming harm. This shouldn’t be underestimated, people with leaky barriers end up with all kinds of problems. Of course, all the viral infections get through the weak barriers, bacterial infections like Lyme disease as an example, or viral infections like herpes.

So let’s talk about what to eat. The comparison is organic foods versus industrial foods. I already mentioned the concept of voting with our wallets. Every time we spend our money, we are supporting somebody. So when you buy a toxic item, you have just told the manufacturer that they should make more of it for you. Here is what is important in food – nutrient density. Back in 1937, a congressional panel put out a report that said that 70% of mineral density had been lost by the year 1937, since they first started measuring it, somewhere around 1890. Well, it has gotten much worse since, we are now finding that genetically modified foods contain about 10% of the mineralization, compared to organically grown foods. So when you are buying something that has been grown in a fertilized field, it may look right, but it is hollow on the inside, hollow in a chemical sense, you would need to eat 5-10x as much of it to get the same nutrients that are supposed to be there.

This is happening because of the agricultural practices that deplete our soil, industrial methods, fertilizers like NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium). It drives the plants to grow fast, but they don’t extract nutrients out of the soil. Glyphosate, or Roundup, has been responsible for the phenomenal destruction of the soil microbes, which is resulting in contaminated water, contaminated lakes, it is now in the aquifers, it is now raining contaminated water… If you look at the map, you can see that the entire Mississippi basin, the agricultural heart of America, is draining down the Mississippi River, and in the lower reaches of the Mississippi River, you can find the greatest incidents of chronic illness, especially cancer. These practices are leading to desertification, loss of topsoil, the erosion of good soil. Who knows how long this is going to go, but it may come to a point where all of a sudden the yields are diminishing dramatically, and we will be looking for solutions there.

Enzymes are the function of life, the sparks of life. When there is an enzyme present, the food is able to be digested. When the enzyme is not present, your body has to manufacture it somehow. Raw foods naturally contain these enzymes. Once you preserve it, by cooking, steaming, or pickling, these methods disable the enzymes. Pasteurization, right? When you buy yourself a bottle of healthy fruit juice, you check the label and you see: “Oh, it has been pasteurized.” So the nutrients are there, but the enzymes are gone, so you might want to supplement it.

And one last bit about food is factory farming of animals for meat. When the animals are raised in tight quarters, under a lot of stress, they live stressed lives. They evolve in an unhealthy manner, and by the time they are brought to harvest, when they are butchered and sold to us to eat, you are actually eating food that has been stressed all their lives. There is a hormonal impact. You will probably notice it if you just allow yourself to eat healthier meats, the free-range chicken, grass-fed beef, or pastured lamb.

Minerals are also extremely important, to make sure our bodies are functioning well in this chemical soup that we live in. The major minerals are calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium. Calcium and magnesium regulate the sympathetic versus parasympathetic, the autonomic nervous system. Magnesium allows you to rest and repair and digest, calcium supports your stress side, fight or flight, get things done. Sodium and potassium are involved in energy exchanges. Potassium on the inside of the barrier, sodium on the outside. They are allowing the cellular detoxification to function correctly. Other major minerals that are required are sulfur, phosphorus, iron, and chlorine. Chlorine is required for carbon and oxygen exchanges. CO2 is regulated by the chloride ion. Iron is involved in the oxygen transport in your blood, phosphorus is involved in almost every function, sulfur is involved in the building of proteins.

Then the trace minerals, such as iodine, chromium, vanadium, manganese. Iodine helps with endocrine regulation and skin barriers or membranes, chromium, and vanadium are involved in carbohydrate conversion of food into energy. Zinc and copper help to regulate the immune system and emotional health, for example, copper balance is involved in ADHD or anger management, people with high copper tend to be very aggressive, people with high zinc tend to be very stoic. Molybdenum is required for protein assembly, silica or silicon is required for connective tissue, so if you don’t have enough of that, your hair, skin, and nails will suffer, your skin will be sagging. And then there are ORMUS minerals, all of that needs to be on board too, you can’t be eating foods that are deficient in these things and thrive. So check with us on that, give us a call, visit our website for more information.

I started talking about enzymes, they are definitely a requirement, you have to have sufficient enzymes. So if you are not eating fresh, raw, uncooked foods, you must supplement digestive enzymes. We have amylase that digests carbohydrates, protease that digests proteins, lipase that digests fats. There are more of them, of course, these are just the most basic. And the famous systemic enzymes, those that are dissolving structures that need to be taken apart. Serrapeptase deals with fibrin, which causes  the scarring and hardening of the body, so if you are suffering from injuries or just general hardening of the body, taking serrapeptase is very helpful. Nattokinase deals with blood and circulatory issues, clotting of the blood. And then there are many others, lactase digests milk, maltase digest malt, cellulase digests cellulose, many more. The main point is that enzymes are disabled at about 140°F, so when you heat foods above that temperature, the enzymes are destroyed.

The last bit I want to talk about is how we rot and how we rust. Oxidation is rusting, and reduction is rotting. And the currency in these exchanges is the electron. We talked about electrons before, we talk about them a lot here. When you take away an electron, that is acidification, the oxidation. Donation of the electron is the alkalization or reduction. And we need to be balanced, I mentioned dynamic balance. A static balance would be a marble statue, it doesn’t breathe, it doesn’t take food, it doesn’t move. A living human has to exist in a dynamic balance, we need to ingest and eliminate, inhale and exhale, expand and contract, and the energy that is made for this is produced by mitochondria, which are little structures inside our cells, that convert food into energy in presence of oxygen. The efficiency of mitochondria is going to reflect itself in how much energy you have to function, do to basically anything.

Grounding is one of the best tools we have for resupplying the electrons into the body. So if you have a chance to walk barefoot on moist ground, like grass or beach, that is great. Check out our previous podcasts dedicated to grounding for more information. If you need an electron kick, we sell a machine called Electron Charger, you may want to check into that, it is well worth understanding why that is important and why you would want to have it. At the very least, ingest enough raw foods because raw foods grow from the ground, so when they are in contact  with the dirt, with the planet, they are taking in the electron-rich ingredients. When you eat it straight from the ground, you are ingesting the electron currency, basically. Once it is cooked, these beneficial electrons are lost.

We offer you access to our health coach services, you can find it on this link, and you can also hear me talk about various topics in greater depth on our podcasts, so visit our website, we have now over 400 episodes online. Also make sure to subscribe to our newsletter so you are always up to date with the latest health news and information, as well as links to webinars like this one.

I would just like to encourage you to review what we have just talked about, those nine points of all that is important, all of which you have to handle. Health is a lot like a team sport, like football, if any one of the players is playing badly, the opposition will probably find a way to defeat you. So you need to fix all of it. And if you have multiple problems, just pick one of these and work on that, and then return back to fix the others. You can contact me directly, the phone number is (866) 543-3388, I am always here to help. Thank you so much for listening, this is Martin Pytela for Life Enthusiast, restoring vitality to you and the planet!

Author: Nina Vachkova