During the lockdown of 2020, my husband and business partner, Kevin, and I closed our natural health clinic in accordance with government guidelines. To be honest, we had been talking about closing the doors of the clinic permanently for a few months; we just hadn’t committed to following through, mainly down to procrastination and not quite knowing the right time to close. We knew, during lockdown, that the right time had come.
We made this decision with a mixture of sadness and excitement. Kevin and I started up our natural health clinic 28 years ago, from a room in our two up – two down end of terrace home. As the practice went from strength to strength, we knew we had to move out of the working class North Nottinghamshire town we lived in, and relocate closer to the city.
And that is how we found ourselves in the Nottingham clinic. We invested in the best training for our respective disciplines, as well as high quality equipment, fixtures and fittings for our treatment rooms. We wanted to offer a whole treatment ‘experience’ to each and every person who came through those clinic doors.
Since day one, we have valued and respected each and every one of the many thousands of clients who have come to see us, and in return, they have rewarded us with being loyal patients, some for many, many years.
In 2015, when I launched my Just For Tummies business, I thought I would be able to manage our new venture alongside my duties in the clinic. I never expected it to grow as quickly as it did. And it knocked me for six to be honest, as I started working long hours seven days a week, trying to juggle all the requirements of a new business while still seeing all my clinic clients. Looking back, I got to a point where I was blurring the line between myself and my business; I was losing myself in work, becoming disconnected from real life and experiencing the rollercoaster of the company as my own personal journey.
Now, I love my business, but I am not my business. I have enjoyed the success of continuing to run my clinic alongside Just For Tummies, which is now a thriving business dedicated to digestive and gut health. However, I realise that I can no longer do both; it’s nice to feel successful, but I need to transfer that feeling to areas of my life that are unrelated to work.
The past few weeks have offered invaluable opportunities for reflection; to think about others, as well as reach out and help those who need our support. This time of pause has certainly helped me better understand and appreciate what defines me, including my personal and professional hopes, dreams, and aspirations for the future – whatever that looks like. I know that, in order to achieve all that I want to do, I need to be fully committed to Just For Tummies, which is why it feels right to close the clinic.
The world is different now. People are waking up to the realisation that they need to take more personal responsibility for their health, including taking care of their immune system so they stand a better chance at fighting off bugs and viruses. This is why I need to focus my energies on Just for Tummies. Now we are well versed in the ways in which we can protect ourselves from coronavirus on the outside, it is more important than ever to also build up our defences from the inside by strengthening the immune system. As well as mounting a response to infectious pathogens like coronavirus, a healthy gut microbiome helps to prevent potentially dangerous immune over-reactions that damage the lungs and other vital organs.
It’s been interesting to observe how quickly we have adapted to the lockdown, and to the idea that our lives are going to have to change moving forward. The pandemic has brought much heartbreak and suffering, but it also carries a deeply important message. We must all have the courage to allow things to collapse, even allow ourselves to ‘fall apart’ a little in order to come back together in a much healthier and enjoyable way. I believe that by channelling my time and energy into matters of the gut, I can help raise greater awareness of how we can all be healthy in mind, body and spirit so that we’ll be better prepared for whatever comes our way.
I am referring all my clients to my friend and colleague, Jane Bush, at Gedling Colonics, where I go for my colonic treatments. I will also be contacting all my clinic patients individually about my decision to stop clinical practice. Without the clinic, and all the wonderful people we have met there, there would be no Just For Tummies. For that, Kevin and I would like to express our heartfelt thanks. We are eternally grateful.