Finding Wellness from Within

One trainer’s groundbreaking approach to healing at its core


After years of being shunned by conventional doctors, alternative and natural healing methods have gained recent attention in western society. Further research, eastern influence, and a desire for many to move toward ditching pills have contributed to the surge in popularity of other avenues for healing in the US.

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and science-based medicine (SBM)) are two very different healing methods that have sparked debate among scientists and doctors over which is more effective in treating patients.

One popular example of CAM in the United States is acupuncture. Acupuncture is a pseudoscience, meaning the theory and practice are not based in scientific knowledge, and therefore it is not yet widely accepted by doctors and scientists. Conclusions of many acupuncture trials and numerous systematic reviews are largely inconsistent.

Although alternative medicine isn’t yet widely accepted in America, some studies have shown convincing evidence that acupuncture successfully treats conditions ranging from musculoskeletal problems (back pain, neck pain, and others) to nausea, migraine headache, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and infertility.

In a study financed by the National Institutes of Health and carried out over five years, the new research consisted of a detailed analysis of nearly 18,000 patients. The researchers, who published their results in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found that acupuncture outperformed placebo treatments and standard care when used by people suffering from osteoarthritis, migraines and chronic back, neck and shoulder pain.

In addition to acupuncture, other types of alternative medicine and healing include yoga, diet/herbs and aromatherapy. Decatur senior Lukas Aaro-Hansen prefers using a natural approach.

“My mom is a Master Gardener and knows a lot about plants and their healing potential,” Aaro-Hansen said. “Instead of taking prescription medicine when I get sick, she throws the pills away and makes me herbal tinctures, and I often feel better within the hour.”

Aaro-Hansen believes that many will look to alternative healing methods in the future.

Vladimir Chubinsky works and lives in his Sandy Springs studio.

“I think everyone would benefit from looking into other options instead of just popping a pill,” he said. “There are so many options out there that aren’t very well known in western culture.”

Another approach which is relatively new on the alternative therapy scene is Gravitational Wellness. Enter Vladimir Chubinsky, program director.

A native of Kiev, Chubinsky received advanced training at Kiev University of Physical Culture and Sport as a wrestler and physical therapist. During the height of the Soviet Union, Kiev University was known as a major center for sports education. Chubinsky later worked there as a physical therapist for Soviet Olympic athletes.

Chubinsky was trained by Professor Anatoly Samodoumov, a Russian physiologist, weight trainer and licensed spiritual healer. After exploring alternative approaches to weightlifting for more than 40 years, Samodurov developed the Gravitational Wellness system.

Chubinsky maintains that the Gravitational Wellness method accomplishes critical healing functions which include stimulating stem cell production, accelerating the healing of damaged tissue, balancing the endocrine system, and stimulating a positive immune response.

By incorporating a short range of motion and a Belt Lift technique that applies pressure against an opposing surface versus traditional lifting, clients can lift more weight than they ever dreamed possible. The Belt Lift safely applies stress within the body where the most bone marrow and adult stem cells are produced.

“I make people much stronger than they initially are. My work deals with improving people’s energy, improving bone density, and relieving other chronic issues,” Chubinsky said. “We have technology unknown to most people.”

The belt lift is a key component to the Gravitational Wellness program. It applies a positive stress to the area in your body where the most stem cells are produced.

In 1990, he moved to Atlanta, opening his business, Gravitational Wellness, and has since worked with influential clients including Home Depot founder Bernie Marcus, former Atlanta Braves pitcher Tom Glavine, media mogul Ted Turner and actress Jane Fonda, among others.

“Those who have completed the program have seen significant improvement with musculoskeletal injuries, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and even Asthma,” Chubinsky said. “Additionally, many have experienced profound documented increases in bone density.”

One such client is Decatur resident, Susan Johnson, who was referred to Chubinsky by her doctor last year after her bone scan revealed early stage Osteoporosis in her spine.

“As I was a premature 3-pound newborn, it is quite likely that my bones started out thinner than most,” Johnson said. “I’ve typically relied on western medicine to respond to illness or disease, so I wasn’t sure if this could reverse further decline.”

Growing up, Johnson’s dad was a doctor who was always able to treat her if needed.

“Whether it was a blemish or a super scratchy throat, there always seemed to be a medicine that sent the symptoms on their way,” she said. “Modern medicine just worked, so we didn’t look for alternative methods.”

After her doctor suggested she consider trying Chubinsky’s program, Johnson was enthusiastic about postponing medication and seeing if she could improve naturally.

“Being able to safely lift so much weight was exciting,” she said. “I could tell that Vladimir was confident this training would bring results.”

And results it did bring. Five months into the program, Johnson went for another bone scan and was encouraged to see that the trend was shifting.

“For the first time in 10 years, my bones have stopped declining,” Johnson said. “It seems our bodies already have what they need to function at their best and are designed to mend and heal on their own. If we can let them take over versus letting a medication do the work, we might surprise ourselves at our own strength and propensity for well-being. I think the less pharmaceuticals you put in your body, the better,” Johnson said.

Johnson hopes others consider alternative options for improving their own health to feel better and gain a sense of control.  

Clients wear these wool Siberian Camp shoes that mold to their feet for protection while lifting.

“It’s empowering to know with the right training and practices, the opportunities for healing and exceptional well-being are there,” Johnson said. “We don’t always need to pursue medicines as we’ve traditionally done.”

Decatur resident Joseph Martin looked to the Gravitational Wellness program for relief from Plantar Fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is a disorder that results in pain to the heal and bottom of the foot. However, unlike Johnson, Martin’s experience was not quite as conclusive.

“I still have some pain in my feet, but the underlying problem I was addressing has improved,” Martin said.  

Chubinsky said Martin’s pain wouldn’t go away quickly and he might not notice an immediate improvement, but as his body strengthens, his foot will have an easier time healing. After 12 sessions, Martin reported a reduction in his pain.

“I’ve played soccer all my life and my feet have been put through a lot. I think it’s better, but it’s hard to be sure. I don’t really know how it all works, but it does.”

Both Johnson and Martin agree that Chubinsky’s approach was not intrusive.

“He didn’t act like a salesman; he didn’t guarantee success, but instead he said you have to see for yourself,” Johnson said. “He believes in his craft.”


Contact the writer, Benjamin Greco, at