Life Enhancement Institute
Its such a good feeling when everything comes together.
“I love it when a plan comes together.”, as was always said by the cigar-toting character, “Hannibal” Smith, in the A-Team.
I am an Ophthalmologist and my main field is cataract and refractive surgery. Since I’m not a great supporter of red tape and bureaucracy, it therefore makes sense that I would function best in a clinic of my own.
In 1982 I incoporated my practice as the The Healthy Eye. I started doing refractive surgery in the late 1980’s and was one of the first to do Laser refractive surgery which developed into Lasik. Cataract surgery also improved over the years to a point where the results are on the same excellent level as refractive surgery. So, The Healthy Eye Cinic was formed, fully registered as an eye hospital. It also had an exceptional large waiting room, so that after hours the waiting area could be seperated from the main building for the purpose of seminars, functions and training courses.
The results of cataract and refractive surgery are very satisfying and you work with mainly happy patients. Most patients with much improved vision post op, mentioned that they now can see all their facial wrinkles and should do something about that.
So after doing many courses in this field in the USA and Europe, I started adding cosmetic facial and more specific around the eyes to my practice. In the early 1990’s, the American and European cosmetic surgery societies were “born” and later became a field of specialty in it’s own right. In doing the cosmetic laser surgery I had to make use of a qualified beautician to help and advise the patients before sugery and during the post op period. So The Healthy Look beauty salon came into existence.
All these people needed a place where they could relax between appointments in a “healthy” way. What could be better than a healthy tea-room for teas and healthy snacks (not coffee, there are too many of those) This tea room is in a relaxing environment with a herbal garden, of which the layout was designed specially for us by the well known Margaret Roberts. The plants in the garden were divided into 4 areas, namely Herbal, Medicinal, Cullinary and Aromatic herbs. The tea-room/shop would sell only herbal products and all kinds of teas. This was the beginning of the Healthy Life Nature Products tea-room and shop.
Our other company “Ophthalmic Training Systems” now also had a base from where it could operate. In those days the profession of “Ophthalmic Assistants” did not exist outside the USA and Canada and there was a great need for such people in South Africa. In the early 1980’s we realised from our regular business meetings in the USA that Ophthalmic assistants were essential to make an Ophthalmic practice function efficiently. We, me, and my wife who was registered with the American Ophthalmic Assistant Society, developed a training course for Ophthalmic Assistants on the same level as the courses in Canada and the USA. At that stage the South African Medical and Dental council had no interest in registering such a course, as they did not see the need. But, we wanted to have a legal registered course and in the end we registered it through the Department of Manpower. Later-on the Medical Council decided to register such a qualification and they accepted our “Ophthalmic Training Systems” course as the only legal one in the country.
We now also had office space from where we could operate Vaal Air since me and my wife are both helicopter pilots.
Esme, my wife who apart from all of the above is also a Quantity Surveyor with her own company EMaritz Quantity Surveyors. She now had office space that she could make use of as well as her other company Africa Conference Coordinators that was organising conferences and seminars for various companies and societies.
Since I was a youngster I had a great love and interest in sport. Scuba diving was a long time passion of mine as well as my wife and kids. So, the DivingWorld dive shop was formed and registered with PADI. Me, my wife and one of my kids are all dive instructors and I’m also a registered Hyperbaric physician. Here we offered dive training courses and dive-trips. This setup was well equiped with a compressor, heated pool and lecture room.
My first sports medicine course was in 1977 in Glasgow, Scotland. Later on I completed the first sports medicine course at the university of Bath in the UK. After visiting the sports institutes in Lilleshall in the UK and those in Australia, it was just natural that the The Healthy i gym and biokinetic centre came into existence.
Since we had all these facilities on one property we decided to use it over the weekends as a Healthy Life Day Spa where we had a heated pool, massage rooms, gym, floatation tank as well as a herbal garden and tea room.
Everything just automatically gelled together so well under the collective Life Enhancement Institute.
The official opening of the Life Enhancement Institute was on 11 November 1999.
We were very privileged and honored to have two main speakers at this occasion namely Margaret Roberts, the expert in hebal plants and also Dr.Tim Noakes the world expert on sport physiology and nutrition.
In 2015 the whole building complex and The Healthy Eye was sold to the Pretoria Eye Institute. Some of the businesses are still operaring but are now online.