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  • Writer's pictureAmy Donovan (BNatMed)

My 'Baby's' 4th Birthday

Updated: Dec 4, 2023

It is with great excitement that I approach the celebration my

'business baby's' 4th birthday!

Well it's actually 4, if you count my 12 month side hustle of massage which was conducted from my accommodating Mum and Brother's house -

but 3 years as a qualified and registered Naturopath.

The Conception

I knew from the beginning of my degree that I wanted to go out on my own into clinical practice and work one-on-one with others on their health.

So, I started a massage 'side-hustle' while finishing my degree

in Natural Medicine in 2016.

I then moved into the space upstairs at the former Yoga & Co studio

in November 2017.

It was then that it became official big girl business time paying a lease, etc - eek!

It is now two years since moving into my current premises in November 2017

and it really does feel like home now.

I have been so privileged to have found such a wonderful, quirky space to operate from in such an awesome little town

(well, not so little anymore with significant population growth

the past couple of years!)

that has received a natural medicine approach to their health so warmly.

Photo: Stuff (2019)

Raising a Business Baby

There is so much that goes into running a business, particularly one that focuses on the health and welfare of others.

All the legals, all the privacy, all the insurances, all the health and safety, all the accounts, all the record keeping, all the professional association memberships, all the behind-the-scenes like other businesses.

But on top there is a whole lot of health related research, reading, checking, double checking, checking in, following up, and massive amounts of heart, compassion, caring, and kindness too.

A full investment of resources on ALL levels.


This investment into my work was something I dove into without much

regard for my own health, ironically.

So much so that I reached total burnout on a handful of occasions.

I couldn't even get out of bed because I was so depleted on a number of these episodes because I'd given and given to others' without stopping to look at my own needs.

What a great role model huh?!

The Degree

An amount of teaching us about this 'own needs' stuff through our degree,

or our clinical practice would have better prepared me for the past 4 years

of running my own gig.

Although, perhaps if I had have known exactly how hard it was going to be I'm not sure I would have started my own gig (yeah, I still would have).

Sometimes it's better that we can't see too far into the future and just learn to roll with the punches!

It was probably sage advice to the following effect from one of my tutors:

"Just keep going once you graduate.

You've pushed yourself so hard to get your degree completed,

so use the momentum to create your business.

If you stop now, you might never start it!"

This was coming off the back of 3 years of intense study and clinical practice, mixed with having to board in Auckland driving back and forth each week to Te Awamutu in order to be able to complete the degree.

I was also working part-time at Sander's Pharmacy during my 2nd and 3rd years of my degree, which was fantastic experience to get 'both sides of the coin' in terms of health.

But yeah,

burnout ensued because I was running on adrenaline and the excitement

to help others.

Thankfully the excitement is still there, I am just no longer living on adrenaline because I have set good boundaries (both personally and professionally) and have learned in a myriad of ways to look after myself and ensure my tank is full so I can pour from the overflow, not the dregs at the bottom.

Some of the ways I have learned to look after myself are:

Regular exercise - a variety of walking, running,

gym classes, weights, swimming, yoga

Resting when I need to

Regular breaks during the day

Food and meal preparation

Feeding myself well

Regular massages and bodywork

Avoiding sugar

Limiting caffeine

Managing stress and my perception of stress

Drinking adequate water

Time in nature

Complaining less

Saying 'no'

Asking for help


plus so many more...

The privilege

As a Naturopath I often hear parts of people's stories that have never been shared before.

I get to have the opportunity to help where others have given up.

I get to be a sort of Sherlock Holmes of health to seek information and answers where others may have been told there are none.

I get to experience the true amazement of human individuality at a body, mind, and soul level.

I get to rejoice in others' achievements, progression, and realisations in regard to their body and their health.

I get to help people become friends with their body again when they have felt estranged, frustrated, and let down by them.

I get to be in a hugely privileged position with a 'behind the scenes' view of what might be going on for people mentally, physically, and emotionally through Naturopathy and Massage.


I am so grateful to have been able to practice my passion for the past 4 years,

and I approach the future with such excitement.

There is something really special about mixing science with traditional medicine knowledge, and a whole lot of the unlimited potential that is the essence of life. Thank you to all of you who have allowed me to work with you on your health, through Naturopathy, Herbal Medicine, and/or Massage!

Your support of Calyx Health enables me to live out a dream of supporting

a healthful community with education and empowerment of others

to use practical natural health solutions for the betterment

of their health and their families.

Thank you,

Amy x

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