Leah Ester is a nutrition, health and personal development coach in Beit Shemesh. She draws on her background in herbal medicine, aromatherapy, laughter therapy and medical clowning to help her clients heal and thrive. Leah is currently developing a unique personal development workshop, incorporating her knowledge, skills and experience to help women discover and fulfill their full physical, emotional and spiritual potential in a safe and fun environment. We asked her some questions about her work and her plans for the workshop.
How long have you been working in the field of nutrition and health?
For the past 10 years I have worked in various health establishments, consulting on nutrition and proper use of vitamins, supplements and herbs. Four years ago, I opened a private clinic as a health coach.
What motivated you to enter this field?
I was inspired watching my mother adopt a healthy lifestyle as I grew up. She made her own yogurt, sprouted her own seeds, used only natural peanut butter, took vitamin supplements, and practiced yoga and daily meditation.
Approximately 25 years ago, I was afflicted by a very severe case of eczema that Western medicine was unable to resolve. My doctors prescribed creams and ointments but none of them helped. Finally, I was referred to an herbal medicine practitioner who provided herbal remedies and adjusted them, until we saw results. It took a year to heal from the eczema, but after eight years of failed conventional treatment I finally found relief.
What do you see as the intersection between physical, spiritual and emotional well-being?
When someone comes to me with a physiological issue, there is usually an emotional issue behind it. I develop a connection with my clients, and it helps me understand what is going on emotionally and spiritually, which may be the underlying cause of their current physical ailment.
To treat the physical ailment, I suggest a diet tailored specifically to the condition which includes a balanced diet and supplements. Sometimes I recommend a referral from their doctor to have blood work done, since it may be an imbalance in their system that is causing an emotional response. Perhaps they are stressed and overwhelmed by family life and work, or have unresolved fears and low self-esteem.
Having a more spiritual state of mind is essential to eliminating or alleviating these issues. As soon as we let go of our own will and ask for guidance and strength from Hashem, physical and emotional symptoms can begin to heal.
Tell us about the workshop you will be running.
I will be running a 10-session series entitled, “Body, Mind and Soul: Take Charge, Be Happy, Love Yourself!” The workshop will enable women to empower themselves and reach a sense of fulfillment in all areas of life.
I will be offering a safe forum where participants can feel free to express themselves. There will be discussions and fun activities that facilitate sharing and reflection. We will combine empathic, non-judgmental listening, laughter therapy, pair-sharing, music, movement and dance. I believe magic can happen in a truly open and honest atmosphere.
I believe that ultimately, most individuals desire continual personal growth and seek out ways to achieve it. Sometimes life gets us down and we get stuck in certain areas. Through self-development and self-discovery, everyone can find within herself a gift waiting to be revealed.
What topics will be covered in your workshops?
I will share my personal journey as well as my knowledge drawn from the fields of medical clowning, aromatherapy and more.
What, in your opinion, is the key to happiness?
I believe happiness comes from gaining awareness through self-work. It is often a long and sometimes painful journey to self-discovery, but also a wonderful and fulfilling one. Being happy is not achieved by outside stimuli; external circumstances create momentary relief, but once they have faded, you find yourself trying to fill the void. True happiness means learning to love, trust, value and accept all aspects of yourself.
How do you differentiate yourself from other consultants in the field?
First of all, I love people and I have a natural ability for understanding them. I see who they are, and love helping them discover their potential. My treatment approach is holistic and on-going. I consider myself a “shaliach” of Hashem, a vessel that channels His healing power.
Do you have any tips for our readers to improve their general well-being?
First of all, be positive! A good attitude is the first step to a healthy lifestyle. Live today to the absolute fullest. Listen to your body; it knows what it needs
Exercise; eat clean – avoiding sugar, processed foods and fat; and drink lots of water. I believe in the Rambam’s philosophy of moderation and try to apply it in all areas of life.
Breathe, and relax! Don’t let everything get you down. Strive for happiness as you use every moment as an opportunity for growth. Try meditating; it’s very effective for achieving a calmer state of mind and developing your ability to be in the moment.
Lastly, take charge of your health. Don’t be afraid to inquire beyond the conventional methods of treatment. It’s your right to take care of yourself!
Leah Ester Zerbib can be contacted at 052-265-0807 or firstname.lastname@example.org.