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How to Turn Your Passion for Wellness into a Career

How to Turn Your Passion for Wellness into a Career
Ⓒ Provided by Now To Love

By BTYB Endeavour College, Now To Love

Are you the kind of person who prefers yoga over clubbing, matchas over martinis or has a naturopath on speed dial? The most fulfilling careers are those formed from a deep and genuine interest, so if striving for a healthier life makes you tick, you might want to consider studying health sciences.

Here, we speak to three women who turned their health and wellness passion into exciting new careers.

From chronic illness to naturopath, nutritionist and herbalist

Rebecca Harwood - Bachelor of Health Science (Naturopathy)

How to Turn Your Passion for Wellness into a Career
Ⓒ Provided by Now To Love

Becoming disillusioned by western medicine following a severe illness, Rebecca Harwood took matters into her own hands and sought the help of holistic practitioners. The process of healing herself sparked her curiosity to continue learning about natural health. She now works as a naturopath, nutritionist and herbalist in South Australia.

"I was suffering from a chronic respiratory illness and the only option I was given to manage it was to take antibiotics (and all the associated side effects) for the rest of my life. I knew there must have been something else out there and started to explore options outside conventional medicine.

"As I was gently delving deeper into the natural health world with my own illness, my curiosity was growing more and more. I saw a natural health degree advertised and instantly realised it was the direction I needed to take.

"Natural health takes the entire body into consideration when healing – a combination of the mental, physical and emotional state. And most importantly it seeks to find the root cause of illness, rather than just putting a band-aid on the symptoms. Natural health can also prevent illness or prevent a condition worsening. It has minimal side effects and works on an individual level, not on a 'one size fits all' approach.

"Through my degree I felt like all the ideas I had around health and wellness flipped around. I had to re-learn 'health' as a whole. We live in a society so focused on drugs to treat illnesses, we forget to look at how and why disease starts and what our role has been in the progression of them. We are taught that health is out of our hands, when in fact we can completely control it with the right information.

"Despite naturopathy being a challenging degree, it can change your life if you let it. And to think that you can have a career that improves your health, your family's health, the health and wellbeing of the wider community and contributes to the health of this earth is a pretty powerful career!"

Once highly-medicated, this former patient turned yoga teacher is now studying Chinese medicine

Clare Lucas - Bachelor of Health Science (Chinese Medicine)

How to Turn Your Passion for Wellness into a Career
Ⓒ Provided by Now To Love

Through yoga, Clare Lucas delved into the connection between mind, body and spirit. The more she learnt, the less inclined she was to work in western medicine. One day, Clare decided to quit her job in patient education and focused her energy on natural and holistic healing.

"My initial interest in natural medicine started at quite a young age. I had multiple western health professionals also diagnosing me with glandular fever, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease and coeliac disease. I was exhausted, underweight, undereating, overtraining and overworking.

"After being told I would be on medication for the rest of my life, I didn't see that as the only option. I continued working with my alternative and holistic practitioners and through the right nutrition and supplementation – and of course the healing aspect that comes along with natural medicine – I was off all prescription medicine within eight months. This spiked a huge interest into these modalities.

"My interest in yoga took that even further when I decided to start training to become a yoga teacher. After my initial training, I was constantly seeking further education to dive deeper into the history of the practice and the ancient teaching behind Ayurveda, (the traditional Indian diet and lifestyle) and Chinese medicine. It opened up an entirely new world to holistic healing from an energetic, emotional and physical point of view. I had such a strong desire to learn more and see where I could take these teachings of natural medicine and holistic healing to better educate people in a world where we rely so heavily on a quick fix when it comes to our health.

"The biggest thing we look at from a natural health or alternative medicine perspective is finding the root cause to the symptom. This is often the biggest downfall to western medicine – that it often overlooks the root cause and goes straight to masking the signs and symptoms of imbalance and disease by prescribing medication.

"There is absolutely a place for western medicine, but we need more education around how we can look after our wellbeing before needing such extreme measures. Natural medicine educates practitioners to understand the connection between the physical, energetic, emotional and spiritual body. When we are experiencing physiological symptoms, like pain or illness, this – more often than not – comes from a disharmony somewhere else, often from one or more of these other elements or pillars of health that aren't functioning at their greatest capacity. We understand that can be from a multitude of things, either externally of us or an internal disharmony.

"I chose to study at Endeavour College of Natural Health as the study options were flexible, the content was easily accessible and the reviews I had been given were fantastic. The option for taking some of my subjects online also worked really well for me as I continued working full time during my studies. The student services, staff and lectures have all been fantastic in guiding me through my studies to navigate my workload and study balance."

From psychologist to clinical naturopath and wellness entrepreneur

Annabelle Delir - Bachelor of Health Science (Naturopathy)

How to Turn Your Passion for Wellness into a Career
Ⓒ Provided by Now To Love

Psychologist Annabelle Delir was drawn to studying naturopathy after holistic medicine helped her overcome both physical and mental health issues. It led her down a path of discovery that opened-up her mind to a whole new world of evidence-based medicine.

"I was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at a young age as a result of a traumatic event. When I sought professional help, I was pressured into taking anti-depressants and had refused on multiple occasions as I was only 15 years old at the time. My decision was never respected so this forced me to seek my own path to healing.

On top of that, I was raised among relatives who were constantly being diagnosed at such young ages with what I understand now to be lifestyle-related illnesses. I was also obese as a child and struggled with eating disorders in an attempt to achieve a healthy weight. I understood that my health would only go downhill if I didn't find a way to address it and felt underwhelmed with the advice I was getting from health professionals.

I worked through my PTSD and its symptoms by utilising non-invasive psychology-based interventions such as EMDR and meditation, and I achieved a healthy, sustainable weight by correcting my diet and lifestyle.

I originally graduated with a Bachelor of Psychology, which I absolutely loved studying, but working in the field was quite mentally draining and having worked to overcome my PTSD for years, I found by the time I had graduated I was tired of talking about mental health. I chose to continue my education in naturopathy because it combined everything I'm passionate about – science, creativity, health and nature, and I'm able to incorporate my previous education without it being the centre focus of my career.

Since studying naturopathy, my approach to healing has changed. Going into the degree I was really into energetics and metaphysics and had what others would call a 'hippie' mindset, whereas now I'm heavily into evidence-based medicine and much more scientific-minded. I think as a health practitioner it's necessary to understand the science behind treatment approaches in order to gain your clients' trust and be able to explain the basis of their treatment plans.

I would say natural health is a growing field as more and more people are becoming interested in alternative forms of healing, and if you have the drive and passion and believe you could help others in need, you should definitely take the leap and follow your calling. The years will go by regardless of what you do so you may as well invest your time in gaining new skills.

See more at Now To Love





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How to Turn Your Passion for Wellness into a Career
If striving for a healthier life makes you tick, you might want to consider studying health sciences. Here are three women who did just that.
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