had the opportunity to visit the beautiful Mediterranean Island of Cyprus
once again and could not pass up the chance to reconnect with the interesting
doctor that I met on a plane in 2009. I’d seen his name in the news
in Serbia in connection with the work he did with our famous tennis star,
Novak Djokovic in 2010 and 2011. I was very happy when Dr. Igor Cetojevic
agreed to meet me at the Four Seasons for a cup of designer tea and a
I asked him what he is doing these days. He replied that he is back in
Cyprus, enjoining the nice weather! And the weather was certainly lovely
as we sat in the morning sun on the last day of November.
Of course, I had to ask him about the year he spent helping Nole reach
the Wimbledon championship and reaching the number one ranking in world
“I spent a year with Nole. According to my philosophy of healing
I needed to observe what was going on in the different situations and
places that he travelled. It was like walking and talking at the same
What do you mean by that?
“Life brings different problems and dietary questions that needed
to be resolved. By observing Nole on a daily basis I could know what to
suggest and how best to work with him and his support team. Constant travel
meant constant changes of environments each presenting different issues
to be resolved. The best player will not necessarily win. The winner is
the person who can best adapt to his or her surroundings and maintain
an equilibrium physically, mentally and emotionally.”
In Serbia, we all know about Nole’s gluten issues and how,
by omitting certain food from his diet his health and stamina greatly
improved. Can you explain more about this?
“I am very happy that Nole was open to sharing the story of his
gluten sensitivity with the public. This knowledge helped many people
who were struggling with similar issues and without knowing what was actually
When I started working with him I discovered that he had a sensitivity
to gluten, a protein found in wheat and most grains. Through hybridization
the shape of the natural protein changed. Our body recognizes it as something
foreign and this to be rid of it. ”
Does this gluten intolerance affect everyone?
“Some people are more sensitive than others and cannot digest it
at all. The body fights against what it sees as a toxic invader.”
How would I know if I have a gluten sensitivity?
You may feel heaviness in your stomach area or bloated after eating a
meal including bread, pasta, pizza or other grain products. In extreme
cases, there may even be vomiting.”
Nole is so fit. What tipped you off to his gluten sensitivity?
“In Nole’s case, it affected his breathing. Through my knowledge
of Traditional Chinese Medicine I understand the energetic flow of life
force and how the body functions and. Every organ is connected with another;
they balance each other. More precisely, we have ‘organ couples’.”
Can you give me an example?
“Yes. The large intestines and the lungs balance each other. It’s
very common in today’s modern world, with so much easily available
unhealthy food, for people to have an imbalance in their intestines, let’s
say, and later on their lungs can suffer.
“The body needs to rid itself of toxins in food; artificial preservatives,
colorings, additives, etc. and it’s hard work!”
Did you ask Nole to change his diet?
“Of course! That was the most necessary thing to do; it’s
like changing the oil in a car. We had to find the right fuel to support
rather than to further toxify his body. When the body is unable to eliminate
waste products in the normal way (through stool) because too many toxins
have built up, the normal function of the mucus membranes on the walls
of the large intestine is compromised, allowing toxins to be absorbed
into the circulating blood.
“Since the lungs are paired with the intestines, it’s the
lungs that next try to help eliminate these toxins through the production
of excess mucus. This compromises the lungs’ main function - to
breathe properly and absorb the maximum amount of oxygen. In Nole’s
case, under the extreme pressure of a top athlete, his lungs could not
bring enough oxygen for his sports activities.”
So that’s why Nole’s breathing and stamina improved
when he eliminated grain products!
How long did you work with Nole?
“One year; until his victory at Wimbledon.”
What have you been doing since then?
“I returned to my island to have a rest after a year of travelling
and to get back to my practice here.”
Are you working with other athletes?
“I work with some other less well-know sportsmen and women, applying
Did you change their food, too?
“Of course! It’s one of the main things I do when people contact
me. They think that the only thing they have to change is what they eat!
As a therapist, I need to observe the patient holistically – with
all the pieces of the puzzle involved. Together, we synchronize all of
the parts; psycho-emotional, physical, environmental, social interaction.
When all of these factors are harmonized, we have success – health
What do you do with your patients?
“First, I indentify the causes of the condition or disease. Most
of the time there are a combinations of factors; it’s not simple.
I teach and guide my patients, and, if necessary, treat them to help them
to regain their health.”
What methods do you use to treat them?
“I generally use counseling and energetic medicine; Traditional
Chinese Medicine, magnets or acupuncture.”
But you are also a Medical Doctor, aren’t you?
“Yes, I am a qualified M.D., but from the time I finished my conventional
medical studies I knew that I did not want to prescribe medicine. For
me, the holistic approach is very effective on many levels.”
Do your patients have to do anything beside follow you advice on what
“Of course! A patient plays an active role in the process and needs
to grow up through the experience.”
What do you mean ‘grow up’?
“If you want something to be different in your life, you have to
make some changes! When we establish our main goals, we can proceed. I
counsel and advise my patients in order to establish trust in me and also
trust in him or herself to know that everything is possible!”