НСБ «Хранитель» Национальная безопасность Охранная деятельность Видеожурнал "ХРАНИТЕЛЬ"
 
 
 
 

09 january, 2007 | By Alexander Gubanov

A Tuner for Film Director (16790)

 How does he do it? Alexander Gubanov asked Mr. Mikhalkov’s personal physician, Alexander Kim, a few questions. 

A.G.: If your patient’s vitality is anything to go by, what with being here, there and everywhere, he seems to be a stranger to any indisposition. Why does he need a personal doctor then? 

A.K.: Let us think back to the famous traveller Marco Polo who arrived in China in days of yore. The traveler saw that the emperor was not ailing from anything, but the court physicians lived in clover. “What does your well-being rest on?” he asked them in surprise. They spelled out for him the difference in treating doctors and medicine in the East and in the West. In Europe a doctor would visit a patient when the latter fell ill, treat him and get paid for this. In the East, however, it was assumed that if a person fell ill, it was the doctor’s fault. But if a person of comfortable means were reasonably fit, they would reward the doctor amply. 

A.G.: Oh well, this is simply prophylaxis. Hardly much news in that. 

A.K.: The point is not in there being anything new there, but in the standards of disease prevention. Superficial prophylactic checkups cannot properly be called prevention, can they now? There is little point in going to the clinic once a year to learn what else you have contracted; if you want tangible results, you’d better painstakingly work on your health on a daily basis, on the assumption that by and large there should not be anything at all wrong with people. God created man as a wonderfully perfect instrument; his bones are like a piano frame, and the muscles and ligaments resemble strings. And so on. Day in day out, this instrument/organism is to be fine-tuned. 

A.G.: Which is what the Mikhalkov-Kim duo is doing every day? 

A.K.: Every morning, weekends included, Nikita Mikhalkov spends up to two hours to tune himself up for the day of work. In that I assist him giving him a special massage for muscle and ligament stretching, toning him up. It is of the utmost importance to know how my charge slept and in what mood he woke up. That would indicate how well his system recovered after the strain of the previous day. Mr. Mikhalkov sleeps for four or five hours and nearly always wakes up in a buoyant, cheerful mood. The tiniest deviation from the pattern is a sign that some psychological tuning is indicated. Then I need to find out what caused the discomfort; this must be discussed to remove the first elements of stress. My main object is to force my patient to abandon all thought of unpleasant matters – upcoming difficult meetings, press conferences, talks, etc. Then comes the turn of physical exercises, games, martial arts, massage, body building…

A.G.: When you say massage, do you mean something of a general nature, according to the same set of methods? 

A.K.: There is no such thing as general massage. One should be able to see and sense the system of one’s charge. Here is evidence of a slight ligament contraction on the left leg, for instance, while the right leg is right as rain. In that case why give both legs the same kind of massage? An ailing element needs a special approach, extra efforts to bring it back to normal. 

A.G.: Anything else that distinguishes your massage from the usual kind as performed by, say, a registered nurse in an ordinary clinic?

A.K.: The “nurse massage” is simply warming up the body. Now, a really good medical masseur knows down to the tiniest detail the anatomy and physiology of the human organism, the dynamics of every organ. The masseur’s fingers should feel with the utmost precision the difference between musculus profundus and superficialis, for instance, and massage each in a specific way. 

A.G.: And what herbs do you use to keep your charge’s system in good health? 

A.K.: I’ll name just one, knotgrass, which is the commonest weed growing just about everywhere around Moscow. It is a good diuretic, it rejuvenates the blood and improves the metabolism. The herb is picked in good weather, best of all during a full-moon phase, then dried and brewed like tea. I also use new leaves and buds of black currant; the infusion is a perfect blood cleanser, and it also cleans the kidneys, eases the pressure on the liver and generally tones up the system. The vascular walls can be strengthened by a brew from black choke-berries; the important thing is that these berries lose none of their medicinal qualities in cooking. Dysbacteriosis is effectively treated with salads of dandelion leaves and new nettles, which, on top of everything else, are rich in vitamin E.

A.G.: Kim sounds like a Korean name. Rumor has it that you come from a family of doctors who used to treat Korean emperors for centuries. Is that so? 

A.K.: Indeed, our entire clan, from generation to generation, for over a thousand years, looked after the health of Korean rulers. How did I happen to be in Russia? In the late 1940s Soviet troops entered Korea; my father was an orphan then and was taken to the Soviet Union. People like him could hope to master only one trade in those times, namely become a construction worker, but I already managed to complete a course at a medical college. However, what really matters is not the official diploma, of course, nor even the medical education as such, although standard knowledge of anatomy, say, will never come amiss, as I have said before. Medical secrets have been passed down by word of mouth in our family, through practice at home. My father and my uncle were both custodians and “transmitters” of such secrets.  My ten-year-old son can see no profession for himself other than medicine, and it is my duty now to teach him everything I know.

A.G.: And how exactly is the transmission of that medical knowledge effected?  At college it is obviously done by means of lectures and exams. But what is the methodology of family training? 

A.K.: First and foremost, practice. Thus from the youngest age a boy learns to give a massage to his family members. He is shown how to massage the arms, the back or the neck, and so on. If he fails to do something properly, he is corrected. And this practice goes on day in, day out. It is essential that a male descendant should get used to doing all that in a natural way, without any special classes. But once he has mastered the ABCs of some medical manipulation, he is also given the relevant theory, as his practical ability gets more complex. What is the purpose of massaging these points rather than any other, for instance? Why should the fingers move in this way and not in any other?

A.G.: How did you first meet Mr. Mikhalkov?

A.K.: I bumped into him in a gym, and I was amazed at the vigor with which he exercised. I also learned accidentally that virtually every day he ran a distance of seven kilometers or rode several dozen kilometers on a bike. That on top of all the other physical, artistic and administrative work he did routinely. I came up to him and offered my services. Mr. Mikhalkov got interested, and there it is – we have been together for over two years now.

A.G.: Incidentally, is Mikhalkov really a person of extraordinary physique? 

A.K.: I am no mean judoka myself, I have been practicing sports since childhood, but quite often I would not be up to much of the physical strain sustained by my charge. I remember trying to run a seven-kilometer race in the Portuguese mountains. I have been practicing running for a long time and on a large scale, but the speed we kept up just about finished me on a long steep rise. I had to limp back. In the end five of the seven runners had to withdraw. Two managed to cover the distance, and one of them was Mikhalkov. Moreover, his running up the slope was just as effortless as running down; he reached the top and ran back, none the worse for his exertion, and finished first. The runner-up arrived half an hour later. 

A.G.: I wonder how the ancient Korean art of emperor healing can relate to the present reality, especially Russian reality. Say, how did Korean rulers cope with stress? Surely they must have encountered serious problems, disappointments and grief in life? 

A.K.: To begin with let me observe that on their doctors’ advice they tried to avoid any tranquillizers, even herbs. Because physical calm, without calming the mind and the soul, is not only useless but is actually dangerous. Emotional strain, or stress in modern parlance, is merely forced in and blocked, while the cause and essence of the malaise are still there biding their time and will pounce on the person at the slightest provocation. 

Now, what would be really effective? Obviously, the best way is to address the cause of the trouble itself. And apart from that, there were two means used at the imperial court at all times, which are still valid I believe. First, meditation, i.e. contemplation of something or other. The simplest kind goes like this: you examine a fish tank, say. You engross yourself in the details of its occupants’ existence, noting how the fish wave their fins, how the winkles crawl about, how the algae sway… Block out everything else! Every other thought and feeling must be banished; there is just the picture in front of your eyes, and you dissolve yourself completely in it. When you revert to your normal state, you are a different person, with the tide of those negative emotions that oppressed your psyche only a short while ago completely gone. Possibly a novice will require some time to get this method to work, while a pill will take effect a lot quicker. But then the benefits will be real, not imaginary. 

The other method is more or less the reverse of that (Korean medicine generally prefers to rely on opposites, for the essence of the whole is made up of the opposites Yin and Yang, the female and the male principles). Korean healers urged their charges to engage in fighting contests in order to “discharge” them through effusions of negative energy. It is a well known fact that modern enterprises in Korea and elsewhere in the East have effigies of top bosses so that each member of the staff could pummel one and thus get rid of dark thoughts and feelings. 

A.G.: Throughout human history people have always wanted to look their best, haven’t they? Does the ancient Korean medicine have its own secrets on that score?

A.K.: The chief secret consists in getting your system to function well and tune it in to the required regime first thing in the morning. And if you would like a truly tiny national secret hoary with age, here you are… You mustn’t leap out of bed the minute your eyes are opened. Upon waking you should lie still for a while. Your soul must be allowed time to return into your body. After that you should click your teeth 36 times, while still keeping your eyes shut.

A.G.: Dear me, what’s that supposed to be for? 

A.K.: Korean healers used to believe that a person, above all, consisted of sounds. Even our thoughts are a combination of energy and sound. The atom itself consists of sound. Accordingly, teeth clicking will send waking signals to every organ in the human body. The number nine is the number of the morning, but why it should be four times nine I can’t remember I’m afraid. Having opened your eyes, you should stretch yourself gingerly, then carefully place one foot on the floor, and after that the other. Then drink a glass of warm water, to further wind up your system. 

A.G.: A rather delicate question, if I may. How do your oriental origin and medical art go with the inner world of Nikita Mikhalkov widely known as a devout Orthodox Christian? After all, the Russian Orthodox flock tends to view with suspicion all kinds of oriental methods. How do you get on with your patient in this respect? 

A.K.: The answer is simple. I am myself an Orthodox Christian. I received baptism as an adult, it was my conscious choice; moreover, I did it at a time when it was still officially frowned upon. I came to God through medicine; the more I learned about man, the more I saw that He alone could have created so perfect a creature capable of both great spiritual uplifts and, alas, of just as tremendous falls. As for my methods, they are purely professional and are not based on philosophies and world outlooks alien to Orthodox Christianity.

A.G.: And how do you feel about those Orthodox Christians who think it wrong to consult doctors at all? Meaning that whatever kind of life and health one has must be accepted meekly as God-given. The ideas of one’s Maker must not be meddled with, and disease should be endured in the name of soul cleansing.

A.K.: This does not seem to me a correct approach. Various trials are indeed sent to us by God so that our soul could be purified and strengthened. But there is something else too: it has been said that the body is the temple of the soul. It must not be left unattended, or worse, deliberately destroyed. This is a sin. The Holy Writ also speaks highly of the doctors’ service. “All healing is from God,” says Jesus the son of Sirach in his Book of Wisdom (38: 2). On the same page one can read, “Honor the physician… The skill of the physician shall lift up his head…” 

Incidentally, prevention of disease is far from being strictly a prerogative of oriental philosophies. The Bible says: “Before sickness take a medicine, and before judgment examine thyself” (Sir. 18: 19). And speaking of the causes of disease, it says: “He that sinneth in the sight of his Maker, shall fall into the hands of the physician” (Sir. 38: 15); “For in many meats there will be sickness” (Sir. 37: 33). 

A.G.: Of “many meats” and “few meats” now. Does Nikita Sergeevich observe fasts? 

A.K.: He does indeed, devoutly.  Even according to the canons, travelers are allowed a degree of indulgence in fasting, and Mikhalkov is virtually always on the move. But even there he tries to observe what is needed as far as he can, and he can do amazingly much, as we have noted. During the last Lent we were in Paris, editing a movie. The pressure was enormous; France is a foreign land where people love a good meal, but we observed a fast. Interestingly, when beside Mikhalkov, one is not greatly tormented by thoughts of sausage or chicken. We would go to a restaurant, order rice and lots of greens – cabbage, carrots, and so on. Or else we would opt for fried potatoes, again with various greens. 

A.G.: I know that Mr. Mikhalkov is not much of a meat eater. But how does he cope with virtually total fasting that lasts for days – twice a year if I am not mistaken? 

A.K.: Looking at it from the point of view of medical science, let us recall that our ancestors preferred bread to any other food, establishing that the daily intake of bread should be about one pound (440 grams). The optimum calorie value of one’s daily rations is 2,353, with the protein-fat-hydrocarbon ratio of 1: 0.8: 4. In our daily diet hydrocarbons come from sugar (and also fruit and vegetables), but 75 percent comes from bread and other farinaceous foods. Actually, even ordinary meadow grass has everything required for building up huge animals. Peas, lentils and beans are superior to meat in terms of nutritional value, and a single wheat grain has all it takes to ensure the human body’s normal functioning. 

As for Mikhalkov, he fasts wonderfully. To quote him, only the first three or four days are difficult. After that one feels a remarkable clarity of the mind and – tremendous energy. I have more than once seen this man work round the clock without so much as a bite of something, and achieve his best.


Комментарии

02 июля 2012
Pintu
I really eyjoned listening to this. I would have liked to hear more about the context of production. It was produced at the same time that movements such as village prose were popular and I'm interested in the very positive portrayal of Moscow. I've seen various accounts of the film where it is described on one hand is propagandistic and on the other as purely propaganda. I've also heard that certain scenes were censored. I'm very curious about the relationship between this film as quintessentially thaw in form, but politically benign in content. Any thoughts?
08 марта 2012
liskaeru
Магазин обуви: каталоги женской одежды и обуви Liska (Лиска), женская обувь джованни фабиани Liska (Лиска), женская обувь челябинск Liska (Лиска), женская обувь геокс Liska (Лиска), интернет каталог женской обуви Liska (Лиска).
29 февраля 2012
liskaere
Магазин обуви: заказать женскую обувь Liska (Лиска), женская осенняя обувь Liska (Лиска), женская обувь skandia Liska (Лиска), женская обувь на высокой платформе Liska (Лиска), недорогая женская летняя обувь Liska (Лиска).

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