How to Beat Stress

Daniela HerzbergDaniela Herzberg

Daniela Herzberg is a Life Coach, Nutritionist and certified Feng Shui and Chinese Astrology consultant from Abama Golf & Spa Resort in Tenerife, and is responsible for the award-winning Abama Total Wellness programme. Together with her partner she founded 5-elementos.com, a widely known internet portal for healthy living. Her comprehensive knowledge about the Chinese philosophies is a result of her work with Derek Walters, one of the most respected Feng Shui masters in the world and several other internationally renowned teachers.


Interview with a Nutritionist and Life Coach

How relevant are Chinese philosophies and Feng Shui teachings in our modern day lives? What do you find most appealing about them?

Nearly all ancient Chinese philosophies deal with the harmony between ourselves and our surroundings - so they never really go out of date. Most of us live their lives with a speed and intensity, that leads to stress that effects us on an emotional and physical level. As a consequence mind and body need to be balanced out. With the help of Chinese philosophies such as Feng Shui, 5 elements nutrition, Healing Breathing and Qi Gong we can achieve an inner harmony, that keeps us healthy, fit and quite immune to daily stress.

Did you know, that doctors in ancient China were only paid, if their patients were healthy? The most appealing about all those Chinese philosophies is, that you concentrate on preventing rather than fixing. On top of that, I love the idea that you see body, mind and spirit as a unit - so all physical problems are related somehow to our state of mind.

While adhering to the five elements method of preparing and consuming food, what are the nutritional benefits?

According to the oriental philosophies, nutrition and respiration are the most important energy sources we have to replenish our inherited life force. Hence a healthy nutrition can help to boost your energy level and/or to get rid of stagnations and blockages.

We are all unique. This is why our nutrition has to be adjusted to meet our personal needs, which depend on our individual elements balance. As the elements correspond to the organs, sensual organs, tissues, emotions, body fluids and so on, imbalances can be discovered with the help of physical symptoms. If the elements are in harmony in your body, you will not get ill and will be strong enough to even out smaller imbalances. This is no diet, that you should only apply in certain situations.You rather develop a deeper understanding of the effects that our daily food has on your organism and find out, what is good for you and why.

If you have too much dampness or phlegm in your body or if you are suffering from excess weight, your earth element needs attention and you should eat more draining spices from the metal element such as ginger, pepper or clove. If your kidneys are not strong enough and you tend to have bladder or kidney infections, in ancient China they would have given you salty consommés to strengthen your water element.

What are the benefits of practising Qi Gong and how does this improve your health and well-being?

In my opinion, Qi Gong is one of the most powerful forms of exercise ever invented yet it involves only small movements. The words Qi Gong (or ch'i kung) mean "working the energy" and refer to a wide variety of traditional cultivation practices that involve methods of accumulating, circulating, and working with breathing and the life energy.

You can practise the exercises for health maintenance purposes, as a therapeutic intervention, as a spiritual path and/or component of martial arts. With Qi Gong you can feel energetic all day every day, stay calm and focused and develop a strong immune system. On top of that continous practising can balance out high blood pressure, heart problems and circulatory disturbances as well as balance out emotions and reduce stress symptoms.

I practice and study Qi Gong for nearly 15 years now with a lot of different teachers. The five elements Qi Gong we offer at Abama is the result of my own personal experience and the different training methods I have learned throughout the years.

How do clients at Abama benefit from the individually tailored wellness programs you offer?

Our clients come to spend time at our facilities mainly to de-stress and disconnect from their busy daily schedules and life styles. We pamper them with treatments and classes and take a very close look at their needs. The beautiful surroundings with tropical gardens and a beautiful beach, the luxurious and relaxing atmosphere at the Abama Spa together with the famous mild climate all through the year help to forget about work problems and stress right away. While you stay with us, you can benefit from a programme that combines the latest technology of diagnostics with a holistic approach to balance out health and well-being. The Abama Total Wellness programme does not stop, when you leave our Spa. As a life coach, I stay in contact with the clients - open to reply to additional questions, giving out recommendations to help them to stay fit and healthy.

Abama Golf and Spa Resort

What is an EIS health consultation?

This consultation is the base of our award-winning Abama Total Wellness programme. The EIS System is a new, scientifically validated, total body health scanning device that allows me to, quickly and non-invasively, estimate the health status of the major organs, muscles and spinal column of the body helping them make better decisions as regards to treatment. The scanner is measuring and interpreting resistance to the flow of electric current through interstitial fluid (fluid between the cells) throughout the body. With this information we can then create tailor-made wellness and health programmes for our clients.

What is the most popular treatment at Abama, and what treatment do you specifically recommend to de-stress?

It is really hard to pick a specific treatment - we have a lot of extraordinary rituals and massages that you can find in no other place. Very popular are our subtropical rituals, which use tropical fruit such as banana, coconut, papaya and maracuya to create a completely relaxing experience. Starting the day with a relaxing breathing, stretching or yoga class, then enjoying one of those beautiful rituals and afterwards chill out in our luxury water circuit  - this is the perfect way for me to disconnect and de-stress.

How does life coaching benefit your clients in the long term?

As a life coach I am ready to support my clients in every aspect of their lifes. Sometimes it is very helpful, if somebody checks on your lifestyle, habits, nutrition, etc. from the outside and points out ways to get back on track. This is basically what I do, when I work with my clients during their stay.

For some of my clients it is all about adjusting their eating habits and shred some pounds, others just want to be fitter, recover from an injury or illness or work on their emotional balance. A lot of them need advice on how to reduce their stress level and how they can change their live patterns to find a healthy balance between work and private life.

What are your top tips for staying healthy and stress free?

Just keep the balance - which is easier said than done... Below I put together my personal rules for a happy and healthy life:

  • First of all, do not pretend to be someone else than yourself! Stay true to your beliefs and allow yourself to enjoy every moment of your life.
  • Nobody is obliged to have a miserable life! If you are not happy, work to change the situation. Start with a small thing: Dedicate 20 minutes a day to something, that you really love to do. Read a book, play some music, meditate, prepare a nice meal.... it does not matter what it is, as long as you thouroughly enjoy yourself doing it.
  • Bring your body in line with environmental conditions. Adapt your nutrition to the seasons, consuming nostly local, organic products and adapt your activities to the adequate time of day.
  • Make sure, that you live out your emotions. Show your outside, if you are angry, sad, worried or stressed and learn to transform those negative emotions into positive energy for your body.
  • Take responsibility for your own well-being. No doctor or fitness instructor knows you better than yourself. So listen to the signs of your body and take good care of yourself.


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