Nestled into a little corner of the Artists Quarter, the Shem-en Tov Natural Health Clinic has, for twelve years, been working to promote natural healing through essential oils, good nutrition, and natural products.
Gila and Shimon Halag work together in the clinic, which has a treatment room, workshop room, and shop. It is here that they slowly introduce people to the idea that good health care can come from sources other than one's local health fund.
Sources of Health Problems
"We look at where a problem may be coming from" Gila explains. "Skin problems, especially, are often manifestations of other types of issues that the body is fighting, such as stress and emotional pressures, as well as medical problems. We try to go to the source of the problem, rather than treating what is on the surface".
Gila's husband, Shimon, has an extensive background in medicine, both conventional (as a paramedic) and alternative. He brings many different disciplines to their work, including aromatherapy, holistic massage and reflexology, bio-energy healing, crystals, and knowledge of herbal therapies.
The Halags use some products of large companies, but they make the majority of the products themselves, with natural ingredients. "We were the first in Israel to make our own compounds" Gila says. "Shimon is the pharmacist. Other companies followed our lead, and have become much bigger and more successful than we, but we feel honored that we have been able, in our own small way, to make such an impact on the lives of so many people."
Some of the conditions that the Halag's products are particularly successful in alleviating are symptoms for breathing problems and menopause. "Doctors are only now beginning to realize that hormone-replacement therapy is not the answer to helping women going through menopause, but we've been doing that for years. In addition, hemorrhoids, a condition that conventional medicine can only successfully treat through surgery, can be successfully treated with our creams. And aromatherapy scents are much sought after for helping women during pregnancy and during labor to promote an easy delivery"
The Halog's are particularly concerned by the increased usage of Ritalin in schools, for younger and younger children. "I've seen classes where 40% of the children are on Ritalin" Shimon says. "For the 4 hours that the Ritalin works, they sit like zombies, and to make things even worse, the Ritalin suppresses their appetites. When the Ritalin wears off, they're starving, so they eat, and the sudden influx of sugar into their system makes them even more hyperactive! Gila is the partner who works intensively on proper nutrition, especially with hyperactive children, and together with other therapies, the Halags have had quite a bit of success in treating children who have been diagnosed with ADD and ADHD.
Shem-en Tov has a weekly column in the Magid MeSharim newsletter, which comes out of Jerusalem on Fridays, and is distributed in synagogues throughout the country. Many of their clients have come to them through this venue, but word of mouth has also brought clients from all over the world.
"We believe that we have been given a special opportunity" Gila and Shimon say at the end of the interview, "to help people stay healthy in a natural manner. It is our income, but it's more than that.....we have been given gifts that allow us to help others, and that's worth more than any income".
Shem-en Tov can be contacted at [email protected] or 972-4-6820074/ 972-502-332-446