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Workplace Wellness in a Nutshell

Workplace Wellness

With 16 years’ experience as specialist workplace health and wellness service provider, advisor and consultant, wellness educator trainer, stress expert, product and program developer for the heath care industry companies, governments, parastatal organizations, interest groups, websites and the media, Dr Arien can provide support for your workplace wellness interventions and programs, from initial design, through project management and practical workshops, seminars and courses.


High blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes add considerably to the burden of disease in South Africa. According to a recent Medical Research Council (MRC) report, heart disease is the second biggest killer of South Africans after Aids (est. 890 people / day die from Aids). Every single day 30 South Africans die from heart attacks and 60 from strokes alone. 70% of these occur in people younger than 55 years of age. Heart disease is not the male only problem it was thought to be years ago. One out of four (25%) SA women younger than 60 is affected. Heart disease is the cause of death in 20% of all deaths in women.

Many companies and employees are starting to realise that metabolic syndrome is becoming an even bigger threat to productivity and employee wellbeing, than HIV.

We cannot control what we inherit from our ancestors, but we can control how we think and feel, learn and practice how to change our lifestyle and behaviour, what we eat, how we move or exercise, how we manage our stress, thereby allowing our bodies to eventually respond to the changed behaviour and brain re-patterning, rather than the genetic code in our inherited DNA.

At present more than 150 million people worldwide have metabolic syndrome, expected to rise to 300 million by 2020. Compared to 35 million HIV + worldwide, with 22 million of those in Africa, it is a clear indication that metabolic syndrome is a major health crisis that has to be addressed.

The many disorders associated with metabolic syndrome are increasing, because of an ever increasing awareness of the biochemistry involved, as well as the global increase in obesity. The following are some of the associated disorders that we know now: hypertension, type II diabetes, high cholesterol, coronary artery disease, stroke, cataracts, colon cancer, depression, prostate cancer, breast cancer, gall bladder disease, and lower extremity arthritis in obese patients. These disorders used to be associated with the ageing process or were grouped together as chronic diseases of lifestyle. Even today, chronic use of various medications is the standard treatment for these problems. The costs of those medications and their side effects are astronomical.

Not only would wellness coaching and training teach people to eat better, feel and move better, think better, and learn to practice deep relaxation and deep healing, but ultimately teach new ways of thinking, and brain re-patterning or re-programming. It will also reduce the need for costly, chronic use of medications, while reducing side effects and controlling long term cost.

Heart disease, depression and diabetes mellitus often occur together, one leading to the other in a vicious circle of hopelessness and despair. The major causes of heart disease and diabetes mellitus are high levels of long term stress, lack of exercise, smoking and poor eating habits. We have to do something to change our thoughts to create a different reality!

WW In a nutshell diagram 

Workplace Training Solutions

Workplace Training Solutions

We advocate the importance of employees learning and understanding that managing and preventing health challenges (diseases) will benefit both themselves and their employer (their livelihood).

Dr Arien offers multiple courses in the workplace developed according to company specific requirements to increase productivity and decrease absenteeism & sick leave.

Email: click here

Client Feedback: click here


The following courses are available:


1. Wellness Educator Training Course

Wellness Educators have to develop the following skills set as an inherent part of the training:

  • Knowledge of the subject being trained on. In this instance health and wellness education on various related subjects (refer to content outline further on)
  • Understanding and discussing the concept of roll models: we are not only our physical bodies. Often those who seem, on the surface, to be poor roll models, make the best peer educators/wellness champions! This concept is explored and discussed extensively.
  • Communication skills: listening, interpreting messages, correct and persuasive communication skills, body language
  • Public speaking skills
  • Preparing a Powerpoint presentation from articles, Web-site info and books
  • How to facilitate a learning process
  • How to facilitate a behaviour change process
  • Ability to accept people of different beliefs, values, cultures, races, genders, religions, sexual orientation
  • Encourage analytical skills: questioning why & how you’ve always done things a certain way, also unquestioned beliefs that perpetuates from generation to generation; building new neural networks, reprogramming the brain for health enhancing behaviour
  • Monitoring and evaluation skills
  • Simple research skills
  • Giving and receiving feedback
  • Ability to evolve emotional support
  • Problem solving skills
  • Basic project management skills
  • Basic report writing skills

The primary purpose of Wellness Educators and Practitioners is to facilitate positive, health enhancing behaviours and decrease negative, risky, health harming behaviours.

After completion of this course, candidates should:

  • Be able to define & conceptualise wellness and understand the important effect of the educational approach for sustainable and lasting health and wellness behaviour change.
  • Have a clear understanding of the roles, qualities, limitations of good wellness educators
  • Have a workable knowledge of basic anatomy, physiology, wellness, nutrition, stress management, fitness and mental-emotional health, and be able to teach this to others
  • Understand how to integrate the above into a practical wellness solution driven approach to health and wellness.
  • Be able to use chronic diseases of lifestyle(or rather, health challenges) as an integrative model to finding lasting solutions for these.
  • Be able to understand the benefit in regarding HIV/Aids as one of the CDL’s, rather than a loose standing entity
  • Be able to facilitate a series of lectures to wellness educators in various workplace settings.
  • Have good, experiential knowledge of presentation skills, capturing and holding audience attention and facilitation skills

 Click here for more information


2. Stress Solutions Course in a Workplace Setting

The Stress Solutions Course in a Workplace Setting is aimed at groups wanting to learn how to identify and manage their stress triggers. Would you prefer a calmer, more peaceful life, managing the daily stress triggers with equanimity, as a human being (vs a human doing!) from the still centre of a quiet mind? Practical stress management techniques and wellness principles for the workplace and the home, will teach you how. Stress management and wellness will be considered from an integrative perspective, where physical body, mind, emotions and soul are equally important. The tone remains light, with emphasis on personal experience and interaction. Life is also about fun and laughter, especially while learning new life enriching tools and techniques! Become all you’re meant to be!

The Stress Management Training is available as an Introductory Talk (45-60 minutes) as an awareness tool, also as a 2 hour seminar, 3 hour workshop, 1 and 2 day Stress Course, or 1 hour per week or every 2 weeks over a period of 6 months, to address each topic on a deeper level, with more participation from the group, and to demonstrate how health and happiness can be unconsciously sabotaged by habitual behaviour patterns, events and activities. The longer periods allow participants to experience a variety of practical exercises and tips, to use on a daily basis when confronted with stressful events and circumstances.

Click here for more information


3. Short Course in Workplace Wellness

Workplace wellness interventions have become essential to successfully address the burden of disease in South Africa. It is time for a paradigm shift: for too long we’ve been focusing our attention on the problem (i.e. managing disease). Wellness interventions focus on the solution: health promotion, optimal health and wellness through awareness, education and new ways of thinking.

The course would be of value to anybody interested in the promotion of wellness, but in particular for those in the following fields: all the medical and health consulting disciplines, wellness practitioners, nursing professions, occupational health, human resource and employee assistance, paramedics, psychology, biokinetics, human movement sciences, spiritual and religious work, community workers, nutrition, medical aid and medical insurance representatives, child care, government, education, complementary health arena, occupational social work and recreational consultancy.

Click here for more information


4. The Soul of Leadership™: Optimal Resilience

and Integrative Health Coaching Program

Combining the science and mental training of mindfulness, with an understanding of the challenges, complexities, opportunities  and responsibilities of today’s leaders

The Science of Leadership

  • Approach: Practical, enjoyable, experiential approach with interaction, small group activities, integrative learning and sharing
  • Science and optimal brain function
  • Mind, brain and consciousness
  • The science of meditation with practical experience
  • Heart and brain synchronisation: from high beta to beta, then alpha, theta and delta brain rhythm, touching on the high performance gamma range. Ways to access preferred brain wave ranges using the 3 P’s (practice, patience and perseverance).
  • Brain entrainment and resonant frequencies of brainwaves for whole brain functioning and creative thinking
  • The effect of negative stress on the brain, heart and immune system
  • Neuroscience, new biology and quantum physics
  • Epigenetics, DNA activation and EPS (emotional positioning system) process work, tuning into the right brain (and right mind!); thoughts, emotions and resonant brainwave patterns; unconditional love as key business tool of the new leader: the heart as brain!
  • Enhancing leadership strengths with a salutogenic* approach

Click here for more information


5. Integrative Natural Medicine Course

The spin offs (such as life skill training, leadership development) from the basic training in health, wellness and an integrative whole being approach to the chronic diseases of lifestyle, are very encouraging. It is also a clear indication of the success of wellness educator training as a workplace wellness intervention, and the only intervention to consistently demonstrate long term, lasting and sustainable, health behaviour change. Developing life skills and leadership qualities, experiencing personal growth, learning to manage emotions, increased self esteem and self confidence, lowering blood pressure, improving the health and wellbeing of colleagues, friends, family and community, all added to the increase in knowledge on health and wellness, show that wellness educator training has to be one of the best return on investment wellness interventions available today. WET is also becoming a powerful EAP tool, as employees learn to trust their Wellness Champions and discuss problems with them rather than a call centre assistant. Wellness Champions then refer to the necessary health professionals for further management.

Click here for more information


6. Workplace Wellness: Longevity. Preparing for Wisdom Years

The wellness needs of mature employees, from age 50 to infinitum, is where the current and future focus of companies is and will be – how to deal with an ageing workforce who, with health and wellness guidance, will be quite able to work well into their 70’s and even 80’s, with the correct preparation for their wisdom years. Companies will be wise to utilise the cumulative years of expertise, knowledge and wisdom that can support a succession planning protocol for any company. Nearly 20% of the work force will be age 50 or older at any given time, with most of these planning and able, to work well into their very senior years. Business leaders are already scrambling to develop strategies for dealing with the impact of an ageing workforce. It’s about time to consider ways to improve longevity and positive ageing, through lifestyle factors and re-activating the DNA telomerase enzyme deep within our cells!

Click here for more information

Click here for a presentation


Please feel free to contact me should you have any queries

Dr Arien van der Merwe MBChB FRSPH MISMA

Medical Specialist Health and Wellbeing

Director: Health Stress Management Gauteng (Pty) Ltd


For more information about the presenter click here

Workplace Training Solutions

Workplace Stress Solutions

Workplace Stress Solutions

Workplace stress impacts employee morale, productivity and sick leave. Stress management is an important life skill that anyone can learn. Let a medical doctor and stress expert teach your employees how to manage their day to day stress.

Let’s acknowledge it: we’re living in a stressful environment that deeply affect ourselves, our community, and of course, our children. When asked whether she’d support a rally against war, Mother Theresa answered: ‘No, but if you have a peace rally, I’ll be there!’. We focus all our attention on what we don’t want: stop crime, no crime, no violence, no poverty, fight crime, poverty, etc. When considering the law of attraction, this mind-set tends to create more of the same, as well as a tremendous amount of fear and stress inside ourselves and our children. What if we change our thoughts to: I want peace, calm and safety; I want to be surrounded by love, joy and gratitude; I find solutions; I observe what’s going on in my relationship with co-workers, and so on?

Work related distress is harmful to your health. So is personal distress. Not only does it double your risk for dying of a heart attack, long term unrelenting stress can be the cause or exacerbating factor in almost any of our modern day chronic diseases or ailments: from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, infections ranging from colds and flu to HIV/AIDS, cancer, skin problems, premenstrual tension, endometriosis, severe menopause, back problems, obesity and overweight, to chronic fatigue, digestive system problems and lung disease.

Stress management is of the utmost importance to maintain health and wellbeing and restore a sense of serenity and peace while maintaining creative, productive, high profile lifestyles.

Cigarette smoking, poor nutrition, substance abuse, a sedentary lifestyle and, most importantly high stress levels, are major contributing factors to work related health problems and reasons for employee absenteeism. Many studies show that psychological and physical factors in the workplace such as intense deadlines, poor interpersonal relationships, poor ergonomics, absence of a stimulating work environment and healthy work culture, as well as inadequate job descriptions, are also major contributors to employee absenteeism and increased health risk.

Click here for more information

Workplace Wellness Feedback

Workplace Wellness Feedback

Client List & Feedback

Email sent to Dr Arien

“Dear Dr Arien 

It is with great delight that I write to appreciate you for knowledge gained during the 3 days workshop on workplace wellbeing. Over 1 year after, my employers have successfully adopted a comprehensive health promotion program for our workplace following a proposal I forwarded on return from the Workplace Health workshop last year April. More importantly, our Wellness Clinic has been upgraded to a Health Promotion and Wellness Division and of which I have been appointed the head.

This division comprises of four units ,Wellness clinic, laboratory screening services, Dietetics and weight control program we have also integrated HIV/AIDS at the workplace into our program. This latest development even though it is coming late has set the ball rolling for a new phase of healthcare at our workplace!

Thanks once again.”


Yours in youthful living

Dr Edward Alali”

Head, Health Promotion and Wellness Division

National Assembly, Abuja,


May Talk: Developing an Integrated Organisational Wellness Program 

Hi Doc. I would to thank you so much for the learning experience you took me through at the Wellness Conference l attended at Birchwood Conference Centre from the 27-29 May. May the good Lord continue to richly bless you. Tendayi Munhenga, Human Resources Manager.

National Assembly Abuja Wellness Centre (Nigeria)

(2 Day Short Course in Workplace Wellness) 

1st Group

Murtala Abdulahi

During the programme I learnt:

  • How to set up a wellness clinic
  • It is better to go for preventative medicine

Patricia Kuku

The course was very insightful, enlightening and educative. I learnt various skills which I hope to put into practice once I get back to my station. We want to thank Dr Arien with her sound and practical ability to import knowledge in a fun filled manner.

Inegbu Augustine Nnamdi

The course was quite satisfactory and fulfilling.

Dr Chinny Nwankwo

Educative and thought provoking – simply super!

Ishamartha Sarah

It was very educative and has widen my horizon and perception about what wellness is all about. Quite fulfilling. You did marvellous work. Looking forward for more.

2nd Group

Dr Edward Alali

Quite an impressive and exploratory training session.

You gave us all we needed to know about wellness in a nutshell.

It will be worthwhile going back to put all we have learnt into practice.

Thank you. 

Kingsley IkemNwoke

It was a very interesting programme really. I learned a lot from wellness in the workplace to stress management. It’s fun to know that you could really take care of your health status without drugs, and even that exercising is a good therapy.

Mrs Bernadine Enwerem

It was a very good workshop on wellness of human beings’ life, systems of the body’s wellbeing, and how to live well, joyfully and how to relax in life.  Stress is the cause of all the diseases and health problems people have on earth. Also wellness is a personal treatment.

Department of Labour:

Practical Stress Management Course of 3 full day sessions every 2 weeks (refer feedback following) for 2 groups of 20 employees per group, repeated for another 3 groups and once again for a 4th group (6 different groups). Contact: Petro Roux.Manager: Training and Performance Management; Dept. of Labour. Provincial Office: Gauteng North. Tel:   012 – 309 5194.


Appointed as specialist corporate health & wellness service provider to implement employee wellbeing programs, incl. Wellness Day Events, health screening, keynote speaking at company events, stress courses, peer education, etc (Carina Bleeker. Corporate Services Manager. Tel: 012 683 1200. Cell. 083 5402810.

EDi (with Deloitte Consulting):

Appointed as specialist corporate health & wellness service provider to implement their employee wellbeing intervention (Empilweni – Life, Health, Abundance), incl. Wellness Day Events, health screening, keynote speaking at company events, stress courses, peer education, financial wellness, legal councelling, individual health coaching for stressed and health challenged employees, etc. (Jane Coughlan. Executive Lead. Consulting – Human Capital. Deloitte Consulting Pty Ltd. Tel/Direct: 011 806 5400. Mobile: 082 826 2135.

University of Pretoria Continued Education Program:

Short courses in Stress Management, Wellness in the Workplace (including Natural & Complementary Medicine) and Peer Educator Training. Two courses on each of the 3 topics with advanced courses in each as follow ups. (Prof. Lourie Terblanche. Course Leader. Tel. 012 420 3292. E-mail:

Exxarro (previously Kumba Resources & Iscor):

Various ongoing workplace wellness, chronic disease of lifestyle (incl. HIV/Aids) management, natural & complementary medicine, peer educator training programs (Wellness manager: Pierre Cloete.Tel.012-3073225. E-mail:


Deloitte partners with HSM and Dr Arien van der Merwe to act as specialist corporate health & wellness service provider to their clients (e.g. EDI Holdings & GEMS Health & Wellness and Maternity Program Tenders). (Portfolio managers: Anele C. Mtshemla, Aretha du Rand, Lucien Kearns. Tel. 012 482 000)

Metro Rail

Peer /Wellness Educator training: 2 modules (Module 1: basic anatomy, physiology, nutrition, stress and wellness; Module 2: using the integrative model to address the CDL’s relevant to Metro Rail), facilitation, manuals, books, posters. Training adapted to different levels of employee education. Recently requested to extend training program from an initial 15 trainees to another 20, and now also 15 more. Finally up to 100 employees will be trained. (EAP & Wellness Manager: Wendy Mabuya – Tel. 27 11 773 6621)

Minopex Peer Educator training:

Training, facilitation, manuals, posters to address the following chronic diseases of lifestyle: HIV/Aids, heart disease, TB, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure. (Wellness manager: Japhta Raphadu. Tel. 014 536 4044)

Discovery Health, LA Health, Vitality Program, Discovery Institute:

Development of interactive Internet Stress Centre on Discovery World for Vitality members; also interactive Stress Course on internet, extending to all Discovery’s corporate clients. Health, wellness, stress management, work-life balance talks, workshops, courses to members, health partners, corporate clients. (Marketing manager: Paula Brown. Tel. 082 602 0602)

Qualsa Healthcare:

Stress management workshops to POLMED Call Centre staff. (Manager: Employee Assistance Programme: Manini Radebe. Tel: 021 480 5158, Cell. 083 450 0209)


Feedback from Metrorail & Minopex Wellness Educator Training

‘Hi my name is Martha. I just want to say thank you to myself for joining as a peer educator, because you know what? According to my own point of view, I thought the word ‘peer educator’ was more about communication between your peers about AIDS, and I often became bored with these topics. Thank you all very much for the knowledge I’ve gained today, and about health. The only thing that I knew about health was to eat healthy food, HIV diseases and to exercise -that is the main thing I knew about health, but today

I learnt a lot! How to make decisions and life choices is also health. I was so amazed. Happiness is also health. Wellness and lifestyles are also health. To lead by example, more especially we peer educators: you must always practice what you preach. You can’t tell somebody don’t smoke when immediately after the break started, you smoke, then they would say these people are just lying to us! To understand other people’s culture and religion, I was also not aware it was part of people’s health. To sleep enough, I thought maybe you should just sleep four hours as long as you have rest, I was unaware that this was part of health. I thank myself and all my fellow partners, to see myself being here today and become a peer educator, it means I gained a lot and can teach more and more. I study for my family and fellow workers, also my community. Thank you!’

Ronald Tshabalala from Metro Rail said the following after his 1st training module:

‘My understanding of life has changed. Now I know how to take it one day at a time. I don’t have to rush because I understand a certain truth: it is the truth that was taught here that made me calm and balanced. What I’m saying, is that this was for me a pivotal point, a life changing event! I won’t look back again. Thank you for depositing yourself into a stranger’s life. You have just saved me, my family and my nation. I am eternally grateful!’


To summarise some of the other peer/wellness educators’ comments on what they learnt during the training sessions:

  • Most people don’t know how or what they should eat. The training taught us and now I can teach them.
  • We also learnt the importance of emotional & mental “food” and wellbeing and how important the way we think, is for our wellness
  • I know more about how my body works. How it all fits in together, and the importance of nutrition, exercise, meditation. Now I can teach others.
  • We learnt to check labels for the nutritional value of food. I’m more aware of healthy food choices and show it to others. I’ve started to adapt my grocery list to make healthier food choices. In the shop others ask me what I’m checking and I explain to them right there in the shop.
  • When our group eat together at work, I eat healthier and also then show others: cold drinks, pap with greasy gravy, and chips should be replaced by water, fruit, vegetables, peanuts and yogurt. And, it’s not more expensive! Even the woman who sells the food has been bringing healthier food to sell at her informal store during our lunch breaks at work!
  • We learnt about the importance of water and to drink clean water regularly
  • We know now how important sleep is for our bodies to recover and rest. Also to sleep in darkness and quiet, even if we work night shift
  • We think wellness should be a part of SHE (safety, health and environment of occupational health) programs as well
  • Since I started being a Peer Educator my life has changed a lot because I know how to deal with stress and I can also manage my budget.
  • Before, when I was sad or people upset me, I used to cry and feel lonely, but now I feel much better. I feel stronger inside. I know that I can accept things and I can do some breathing exercise and meditate. Then I stay in control of my thoughts and feelings. That helps me to deal with situations a lot better.
  • I know the right food for me and my family. No more stress! I save a lot of money because the healthy food is cheaper than the fancy food
  • I’m now able to talk to others, approach people correctly, stay aware and not become involved in their story: if they’re negative, I can stay positive and help them to be more positive
  • At work also now I’m in the spotlight because when you are a peer educator people look at you and then you become a leader, even if you don’t notice. Even management takes a look at you to be a leader. So now I can speak to people and people will listen. Before, I was scared to talk to management. Now I’m not! So all I can say is then I have grown personally.
  • I knew I had it in me, but this training has helped me develop to take a positive leadership role, gain knowledge, learn more about health & wellness, and to help others do the same. I want to spread this knowledge to my community.
  • My life has changed so much after being a peer educator:
    • Because I know the importance of knowing my total health status, not only my HIV status
    • I know how to manage my stress and anger
    • I’ve started to talk at community gatherings to also make them more aware. Some listen, some don’t. I know not to become upset. I can’t change people, I can only plant the seeds. Each one changes when ready
  • I was very happy to be one chosen to be a Peer Educator. I thought God had an aim about my life, because I was so scared to stand in front of people, but now it is easy, to stand and share some important views about healthy things to my colleagues and also community and my family, it changes me a lot. I feel free inside
  • As I was doing these programs of wellness I gained a lot of knowledge; life changing behaviour; know how to deal with problems easily and reducing bad habits like too much smoking, alcohol and sex caused by stress. From 6 beers a day I only take 6 a month, 30 cigarettes a day and now stopped. My brain can think, my body feels good. I found other ways to deal with stress: walking, exercise and breathing.
  • Since I’ve become a peer educator, I have become more aware of health issues. I personally have learned to cope with stress a lot better and to manage anger as well. I no longer use blood pressure medication, for my blood pressure is much more stable and under control. The breathing exercises, meditation and awareness of upsetting emotions help me to control my anger better. I have more inner calmness.


Feedback from the Stress Course at the Dept. of Labour in Pretoria, consisting of 2 courses of 3 full day sessions, 2 weeks apart to allow for practice and integration:

1. My life has changed on so many levels:

At work:

I used to be stressed by my manager end supervisors. Now I take things as they come and just do away with my stressful thoughts. I can cope with both clients and supervisors without any hassles. I am back to normal.

At home:

I can tolerate whatever problem comes my way and resolve it very easy. I resolve my family matters easily and can stand the hardships that come my way. I am now relieved and stress free. I no longer frequent my doctor like I use to. I follow all the instructions that I read and listen to the CD provided by Dr. A van der Merwe.


I was not aware that children are also affected by stress because my son was reacting very strange. When I was speaking to him he was so rude, eating abnormal and coming home very late. I took my time to listen to all his problems and I tried my utmost best to console him and guide him and also taught him to pray to the almighty God because He is the truth and light to all of us. I am now stress free and can cope and stand all the hardships I come across. Dr van der Merwe came to my rescue and showed me and gave me guidance on how to handle and relieve stress.

2. JM Plodi

Thank you Dr. van der Merwe. I have been dreading meetings and got all stressed out before attending these. Now I’ve learned to calm my mind, and can even manage to look forward to meetings, to have an effect of calmness on the others!

My friend has been so depressed, used to drinking sleeping pills, sleeping and eating too much. After I attended this course, I started reading the book Stress Solutions by Dr van der Merwe to her, and started doing breathing exercises from the Stress Solutions relax and unwind level 1 CD with her. She is back to life and she wants to attend the course and needs the book and CD. She stopped drinking those sleeping pills and she started doing exercises with the Nestle active at SABC 2 every morning at 05h45. She hhas started sharing with other people who have the same problem as her.

3. Hlako NJ: This training should be extended to everyone. Stress involves everyone. This course was not only about stress but life as a whole, nutrition, well-being, exercise and nature. We are looking forward to a refresher in 2010.

4. Mothiba MH: the course was fruitful to me to help others in our society. I’m glad we did this course because I learned a lot about me and about other people’s emotions and to handle myself.

5. Juliet Mmabetho Tladi: the course was fruitful to me. It helped me, my friends, colleagues and my family. I recommend a refresher course.

6. Zebeclia Moalusi Ngobeni: the course was interesting and most helpful to me because I can now cope with hardships I come across.

7. Sinkie Ntuli: I like this course whereby it said be calm most of the time by knowing yourself.

8. Joyce Skosana: it has helped on how to react in a positive way withtout being stressed like before.

9. Jacques Joubert: very insightful and interesting; how you handle your emotions and herbal healing and correct eating. The journey has just begun.

10. Skhumbuzo Mesangu: it is very important and it must be extended to other co-workers.

11. Lulama Mthi: the course helped me with handling/managing stress. I can deal with stress at work/at home. I have also learned that healthy food also contributes positively to our health.

12. Nomathamsanqa Batyi: it was very effective on how to deal with stress and ways of changing your mindset to be positive and the correct diet to be taken.

13. Mandla Mdluli: this training has been a eyeopener on how to live a meaningful life as human beings and to be mindful of ourselves and surroundings in terms of stress factors. This has been the best training ever. Refresher course please!

14. Boutle Morudu: the program has been helpful in training my thoughts into thinking and believing positively. The breathing exercises have improved my moodswings, the CD and book keep me informed and enable my train of thought to be channeled properly.

15. Phindi Masha: the session was good. I have enjoyed and learned to overcome stress.

16. Mogan Mmmama: I have learned how to control stress. I have gained the knowledge of how to help the person who is stressed. To take control of myself and be positive. Eat healthy and understand my body.

17. Christina Kywatalale: I have learned to control my anger, temper, to think positive. I have started exercising and so far have lost 1kg and I am continuing the exercise, practicing my breathing now and then. I am calmer and happier.

18. Selinah Motlhatlhane: this program is so helpful to my working environment and household. I have learned that one can not have joy and happiness if he/she does not have it from the inner side.

  • That what you think is what you are going to act on.
  • How to manage stress: the eating, the sensing, the breathing.
  • And the emotional positioning system i.e. positive and negative and so much more.


Mental Health in the Workplace written by Dr Arien van der Merwe MBChB NHA FRSPH MISMA Depression affects more than 100 million people worldwide, being the second leading cause of disability among individuals aged 15–50. The World Health Organization (WHO) projects that by 2020 depression will be second only to ...
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The Soul of Leadership™: The Ripple Effect of Leading by Example written by Dr Arien van der Merwe MBChB NHA FRSPH MISMA As a modern day leader, ask yourself: do I have a meaningful influence on the world around me, what legacy am I leaving my children, community and future ...
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Workplace Wellness with Dr Arien written by Dr Arien van der Merwe MBChB NHA FRSPH MISMA As consultant in workplace wellness for well over 20 years, I’m amazed that even now, relatively few companies implement at least some basic wellness interventions for their employees. After all, employees are any company’s ...
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Press Release: Interview with Dr Arien Proactive workplace wellness programmes no longer optional nice-to-haves but a sound return on investment While globally organisations are increasingly implementing workplace wellness programmes to improve their bottom line, profit margin, employee loyalty and organisational growth, Dr Arien van der Merwe, a leading local expert ...
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An Overview of Health and Wellness Written by Dr Arien van der Merwe (refer separate bio) Wellness is more than the absence of disease, it’s the optimal health of body, mind and soul. Wellness comes with joy, vitality and balance. It gives us a sense of fully embodying our potential, ...
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Women and Stress Women experience and react to stress differently than men do, with very specific stress related health challenges Both men and women experience stress with its related health problems and risk implications. Most, if not all illnesses and ailments have an underlying current of long term stress at ...
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Prepare for Winter written by Dr Arien van der Merwe MBChB FRIPH FRCAM MISMA Content: 1. Prepare now for winter 2. Flu vs Cold: A Natural Approach (Click here to read more about Allergies)     1. Prepare now for winter Try this recipe for immediate relief of colds, flu, thickened mucous ...
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Training & Presentations  Summary of recent seminar (Click here for the presentation): Developing an Integrated Organisational Wellness Program  Presented by Dr Arien van der Merwe Click here for  more information on courses available. Click here for Client Feedback ...
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Health Awareness The Importance of Health Screenings Health screenings can identify and assess the following health risks: diabetes, metabolic syndrome, high cholesterol, overweight and obesity, osteoarthritis, cancer, heart disease, chronic inflammation, depression, etc. Dr Arien herself is an example of why regular health screenings are so important. A very unpleasant surprise ...
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Work-Life Balance/ Family Career Balance Click here for the Work-Life Balance article in Pharmacy Focus ...
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Workplace Wellness : Longevity, Preparing for Wisdom Years Longevity and rejuvenation: Our birthright! Written by Dr Arien van der Merwe MBChB FRSPH MISMA Medical doctor and author specialising in holistic, integrative medicine, stress management and workplace wellness. More information: The wellness needs of mature employees, from age 50 to ...
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Stress less holiday tips Try to eat healthy on your holiday, lots of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, smoothies, fresh water and herbal teas to drink. Most people stop taking their supplements during the holidays when you should continue your normal ritual. Eat a balanced diet and stick to your exercise ...
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Meaningful holidays Many of us often get the feeling that the December holidays could be more meaningful, with a little less emphasis on the material, don’t you agree? Have the holidays become too commercial for you? Making some simple changes, adding a few easy activities - for yourself, your family and ...
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The Ripple Effect of Leading by Example As a modern day leader, ask yourself: do I have a meaningful influence on the world around me, what legacy am I leaving my children, community and future generations? Written by Dr Arien van der Merwe MBChB FRSPH MISMA   Over the next ...
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Workplace Wellness
Workplace Wellness: Stress Written by Dr Arien van der Merwe MBChB FRSPH MISMA As consultant in workplace wellness for well over 17 years, I’m amazed that even now, relatively few companies implement at least some basic wellness interventions for their employees. After all, employees are any company’s most important assets! We ...
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Sleep and Health One of the most important health benefits is sleeping 7 to 8 hours in darkness and quiet every night. Following your natural sleep-wake rhythm or circadian cycle, is one of the most important ways of keeping cortisol (the long term stress hormone) levels balanced during the day. Our ...
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Workplace Wellness
Corporate Health Wellness Conference 27 August 2014 Click on the link below to download the Corporate Health Wellness Conference 27 August 2014 ...
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Mental Health: Depression, Anxiety and Stress Disorders in the Workplace Written by Dr Arien van der Merwe MBChB FRSPH MISMA Depression affects more than 100 million people worldwide, and in the year 2000, was the second leading cause of disability among individuals aged 15–44. The World Health Organization (WHO) projects that by 2020 ...
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Corporate Wellbeing Why Invest in Employee Wellbeing Written by Hein Schröder   Organisations are in the business of making a profit. Without making money, an organisation cannot be a sustainable entity. Without being sustainable, it cannot contribute to society and the world at large – planet earth faces many challenges and ...
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Stress Course in the Workplace - Feedback: Dept. of Labour in Pretoria: 1. My life has changed on so many levels: At  work: I used to be stressed by my manager end supervisors. Now I take things as they come and just do away with my stressful thoughts. I can ...
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Wellness Educator Training Feedback Feedback from Metrorail & Minopex Wellness Educator Training ‘Hi my name is Martha. I just want to say thank you to myself for joining as a peer educator, because you know what?  According to my own point of view, I thought the word ‘peer educator’ was ...
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Health & Happiness (Fox & Raven Publishing): Interview with Dr Arien Today we have a chat with Dr Arien van der Merwe, author of the best-selling Health & Happiness, now available as an ebook from yours truly. So let’s not waste any time, and get to it!   Tell us a ...
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Health Education is Important! Written by Dr Arien After having been involved in developing technical selection criteria for health and wellness screening interventions, as well as the subsequent selection process of submitted tenders, it became clear that far too little emphasis is placed on ongoing and sustainable health and wellness ...
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