In this special feature, we are privileged to share the inspiring story of Silvia Panakova, a naturopath whose path to holistic medicine is deeply personal and transformative. Driven by a mother’s love and the serious illness of her first-born son, Silvia Panakova turned to natural therapies and quality nutrition as a beacon of hope, marking the beginning of her journey into naturopathy.
In this revealing interview, Silvia Panakova recounts her transition from a successful career in law to founding her own company focused on organic food, and ultimately, to studying and practicing holistic medicine and naturopathy. Today, as a practicing naturopath, she is devoted to helping her patients maintain their health, educating them about personal responsibility for their well-being, and guiding those with chronic illnesses towards restoring their health permanently.
1. Could you share a bit about your journey into naturopathy/nutrition? What inspired you to pursue this field?
My path to naturopathy. Every mother wants the best for her children. When my first-born son became very seriously ill, and from the point of view of medical care, it was impossible to do anything more for him, I became interested in natural therapies, quality nutrition and changed my attitude towards life. This is where my journey to naturopathy began. I studied law, and until then I worked as a lawyer in court, later I founded my own company, which focuses on the sale of organic food. I started studying holistic medicine, naturopathy. After successfully completing my studies and practice, I opened my own practice, where I try to help my patients first and foremost to maintain their health, teach them their own responsibility for their health, also educate them on how to restore permanent health in case of a chronic illness.
2. How do you approach treatment plans for your patients? What role do you believe natural supplements play in these plans?
The most important thing when planning a patient’s treatment is to get to know the patient, to get to know his approach to life, his mental state, his diet, and his health problems. Proper nutrition is part of every patient therapy. Of course, in terms of current food quality, natural supplements are a must in the patient’s treatment plan.
3. In your view, how important is a holistic approach to health and wellness, and how do you integrate this into your practice?
In my practice, I exclusively use a holistic approach to health and wellness. From the beginning of my care, I approach the patient with a holistic attitude. From the consultation, through the mutual solution of the health problem and the setting of the therapy, I use care that looks at the patient as a physical and mental being.
4. What are some common health issues you encounter in your practice? How do you address these with natural therapies?
In my practice, I encounter both acute and chronic health issues. Some of the common ones are e.g., muscle pain, nerve pain, chronic headaches, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, insomnia, lack of energy, digestive problems, chronic skin diseases, chronic digestive problems, metabolic disorders, malignant and benign diseases.
5. How do you perceive the connection between gut health and overall wellness? Could you share your insights on this?
I think gut health is very closely related to overall wellness. A person’s immunity depends on their healthy gut. In the case of any health problems of the intestines, the overall immunity of a person is reduced and, in this sense other health problems that are individual for each person then occur. In the sense of a holistic approach to health, I try to improve the health of the intestines in patients generally, as it is directly proportional to the improvement of their other health ailments. A healthy intestine requires modification of the patient’s diet also the introduction of natural supplements.
6. What general dietary and nutrition advice do you often find yourself giving to your patients?
First, I explain to my patients how important a proper and high-quality diet is if they want to improve their health with a chronic illness. My general advice is that unless they change their diet, no miracle, even natural, supplement will improve their health. The fact that they will supply their physical bodies with proper nutrition is essential for their subsequent improvement in health and mental state.
7. When introducing supplements into a patient’s regimen, what key factors do you consider?
When I introduce nutritional supplements for a patient, it must be a real benefit for their health, not just a supplement. It is very important for the patient to feel a change when taking nutritional supplements, together with a balanced diet, which, in addition to other therapies, will improve the patient’s health status for the better.
8. Without disclosing personal details, could you share a memorable success story from your practice involving natural treatments?
Each patient is individual and in the case of naturopathy and a holistic approach, the adjustment of his health condition requires a change in the patient’s perception. Every single patient who understands that he must take care of his own health is a success. One of my successful patients was a woman, 55 years old, with a malignant skin disease, suffering from general fatigue, insomnia, poor digestion, overweight. In this type of chronic disease, we focused on overall change. The patient radically changed her diet, became a vegetarian, began to devote herself to strengthening and recreational sports activities, and found a mental counselor. As part of the transformation of her state of health, we used several natural therapies and nutritional supplements to mainly achieve an improvement in the malignant skin disease. Through this holistic approach, and great effort and understanding of the patient, she managed to eliminate the chronic disease. Today, at the age of 57, she feels healthier than ever before, no longer suffering from previous health problems.
9. What are some challenges you face in the field of naturopathy/nutrition, and how do you overcome them?
I think one of the challenges in naturopathy is for this holistic approach to health to be widely seen as one of the fundamental approaches to health. People still have little responsibility for their own health, and for any chronic problems they look for quick solutions for relief, instead of a total change in the perception of their health. I see another challenge in the approach of classical medicine to naturopathy. In this direction, there are many open possibilities for cooperation in solving the patient’s health.
10. Where do you see the future of naturopathy and functional medicine heading?
In the future, I see naturopathy and functional medicine on the same level as classical medicine, where they interconnect and complement each other in a successful solution to the patient’s health.
11. What personal wellness practices or routines do you follow to maintain your own health?
As a naturopath, I live by my own advice, I take care of a high-quality and balanced diet, essential nutritional supplements, I take care of my mental health, my family, I do sports and I try to perceive and live life every single day.
12. Finally, what advice would you give to individuals aspiring to enter the field of naturopathy or nutrition?
My advice for interested individuals who would like to enter the field of naturopathy is that they should not be afraid to cross their own boundaries, to be interested in new knowledge in the field of health. Working in this field of natural therapies to help people restore their health is truly miraculous.
Connect with Silvia Panakova
To learn more about Silvia Panakova’s work and to stay updated with her latest insights and offerings, we invite you to visit her website:
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this interview are solely those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CanXida. The content provided is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Readers are encouraged to consult their healthcare provider for any health-related questions or concerns.