Ibiza wellness: Top Ibiza therapists – Barbara Herbrandt
It’s highly possible that Barbara Herbrandt was destined to bring her healing prowess to Ibiza. Born in Germany, she bade farewell to the homeland thanks to a disliking of its cold climate, and before long she was living in Barcelona, where she forged a career in movie production. But the magnetism of nature grew strong, and eventually she tired of the frantic pace of city life. When a friend invited her to visit Ibiza, she knew instantly she was home. “I found my roots and my refuge here,” she says. “I find it difficult to imagine living anywhere else.”
Nevertheless, it wasn’t all smooth sailing. After two years on-island, she felt lost in a sort of existential crisis – the type that forces you to ponder on the meaning of life – and it was this questioning, as well as an opportune gift from a friend, that eventually led her on the path to wellness. Today, 25 years later, she’s one of the island’s leading healers – a woman with soul in her spirit and an unstoppable desire to dance, who leads clients on a harmonious journey that starts with the body, soaks up the heart and ultimately, ends with the mind.
What personal experiences led you to therapy and healing?
For almost my entire life, I had a feeling that there must be something more to it than just working, earning money, and affording a house, a car and beautiful clothes. I came from a background of working in movie productions in Barcelona, which was very stressful, so when I arrived in Ibiza I wanted a quiet life. I wanted to move out of the city and into nature. But then all that extra space meant I was confronted with myself. In the second year of living on the island I fell into a big depression. I strongly questioned the meaning of life and what I was doing here. But then my boss’s wife gave me a Christmas present of three sessions with a biodynamic massage therapist. And so began a journey back to myself, wellbeing and reconnection with my purpose and soul.
Prior to this experience, was it something you had felt drawn to?
I always felt drawn to esoteric and more spiritual books and life. I practiced Tai Chi and did Reiki. But after some time spent receiving sessions that involved different techniques, I saw that it had changed my life. From then I got a clear call to learn and to share with as many people as possible.
Was there a particular moment in which you decided to dedicate your life to it? The moment I realised how my own personal search and questioning had changed my own life, was the moment I knew I wanted to bring this to the world. All the techniques, therapies and dancing I learnt were life changing. They helped me dissolve into softness.
Once that decision was made, where and how did you hone your expertise?
I began to learn craniosacral therapy and the journey started from there. After that, I started looking into the Grinberg Method, which is a form of bodywork that focuses on consciousness. If you are aware of your own patterns – which in turn produce symptoms – you can recognise them and then you’re able to consciously let them go. I became an expert in reflexology, foot analysis and holistic massage – the touch our body so badly needs. And then my focus shifted to more subtle practices, like the Metamorphic Technique, a simple tool that enables us to move from feelings of limitation towards accessing more of our potential. I’m an expert in Reconnective Healing, which is the return to an optimal state of balance using energy. I’ve added Shamanic Dance through the chakras, and I love to ignite creativity and connectivity by dancing the 5Rhythms – ‘the dance of life’. I took a trajectory from physical healing to healing based more on energies. Now I am training to be a teacher in Breathwork (Alchemy of Breath), which of course, is our most essential tool. This is the point at which I’m able to integrate everything I learned up until now.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt from your craft?
That we have a heart and it is meant to lead our lives, or guide us through existence. Our hearts are meant to be open to this beautiful world we live in, because this world is beautiful in spite of its violent and ugly sides. If there are more and more human beings with open hearts, living an authentic and happy life, the world will change. I’ve discovered that with my teachings, I can contribute to this goal, in the hope that we all can evolve as human beings.
Is that why it’s so important to take time to look after ourselves?
Our lives are normally so separated or disconnected from who we really are. We say we don’t have time for ourselves – up until the point our systems break down and don’t flow anymore. So it’s important that we come back into our bodies and hearts and reconnect with ourselves. Take time to take care for the body and soul. When the body feels good, strong, light and vital our whole being feels in peace and harmony. There is a deep healing needed everywhere. These days we’re educated to function, to accomplish, to do – and it replaces feeling and action from the heart. I think almost everybody is out of balance. Especially with a busy life. But if you work on the body and work out your symptoms, eventually you understand how that’s connected to your emotions.
Who are your therapies for?
For a wide range of people, whether they’re looking to improve their health or they’re suffering from acute or chronic physical or emotional symptoms. For people who generally want to improve their lives on a mental, emotional or spiritual level. For people who want to find balance, purpose and reconnection – with themselves, their surroundings, and their existence.
What might be some of the benefits they experience?
Well, my specialty is going into details – really figuring out what the problem is and getting the energy moving so you can let things go, on a physical or mental level. When your body and mind is in harmony, your emotions and your spirit are also in balance, so that’s what we’re aiming for. We can work on physical stuff like contractions, tension, migraine, digestion, joint pain. Or we can look at lack of self esteem and insecurities, and work on eliminating limiting beliefs. Remember that energy flows where you’re willing to let things go. Some people need their problems and then it can be tricky because they’re not open to healing. But the process takes place in the body, and then the mind follows, if you let it.
What changes have you witnessed in your clients?
They feel freer and lighter – as if they’ve let go of a great burden. Finally, they got rid of their pain and symptoms! They gain more peace of mind and don’t worry so much anymore, and they find more joy in life. All this makes it easier to find purpose, to be conscious, and to be more present. They learned to allow the self healing process – or homeostasis – of their body.
What is your personal wellness philosophy?
Taking care of my body and mind. A clear, healthy and focused body helps maintain a clear and focused mind. The body is here to move and to be flexible – that’s why I love to dance, to energise the body. It makes me feel at home in my body and rested in my being. This connects me to my emotions, my heart and my soul and I am able to let go of limitations and limiting beliefs. What we all need is the feeling of love and being loved; touch and being touched. We need to feel vital, agile, and healthy to enjoy life. So my work is a dance. I work with people and their bodies – I dance with them. Life is a dance.
How do you work that into everyday life?
I shake my body! I dance! I breathe to energise myself. I work on myself by writing down what is going on in my inner being. And something very important I am still working on is the connection and recovery of my inner child. I am trying to find love in everything I see and do, to accept things as they are instead of resisting. I’m doing my best to transmit this to other people to help them to transform their lives, too.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?
To help and serve people in as many ways as I can. To see my clients feeling energised, relaxed, and waking up to change and transformation.