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Stepping into naturopathy study after teaching English and yoga

Written by Endeavour College of Natural Health | Monday, 10 April 2023

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At her naturopathy graduation ceremony, Ashley von Arx got a wonderful surprise – she received the Dux award. She had always looked up to her fellow students without realising others had noticed her own investment in learning.

“I was always asking questions in class,” Ashley laughed. “And I wanted to do well. I really appreciated the opportunity to study as an adult.”

The Canadian had to wait until she had permanent residency in Australia before starting her naturopathy studies. Ashley came to Australia originally on a working holiday visa to teach yoga in Western Australia. Later in Sydney, she met her partner, and they moved to Melbourne after teaching yoga together in Japan.

“I had done a Bachelor of English, danced professionally and taught English and yoga overseas before coming to Australia,” Ashley said. “Through yoga, I became more interested in natural health, but I was also quite unwell as a kid and treated through the conventional medical system. It was only in my early twenties that I saw a naturopath who connected all the dots in my health.”

Ashley spent the first two years of her naturopathy degree on campus. “Then Covid hit, Melbourne went into lockdown, and our learning moved online. I missed the experience of being on campus, but I welcomed the opportunity to learn from interstate lecturers and students,” she said.

“My family was unfamiliar with naturopathy, but they were supportive of my studies. My Dad even attended telehealth appointments through the Endeavour student clinic with one of my classmates to better understand naturopathy.”

One of the areas that most interests Ashley is mental health and how the nervous system interacts with the gut. “Almost every case has an element of mental health,” she said. “Since lockdown, there has been a lot of anxiety in the community.”

Ashley feels incredibly fortunate to have found a place as a practitioner in a multimodality clinic soon after graduating. “Everything fell into place,” she said. “It is exciting to be practising. The whole reason I studied naturopathy was to help people feel well, and now that’s what I’m doing. It still feels surreal.”

Ashley has also lined up further study in 2023, enrolling in a graduate certificate and a master’s degree. “I enjoyed academic writing and research, and I look forward to deepening my knowledge.”

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Endeavour College of Natural Health

Endeavour College of Natural Health is Australia's largest Higher Education provider of natural medicine courses.

The College is known as the centre of excellence for natural medicine and is respected for its internationally recognised academic teams and high calibre graduates. Endeavour offers higher education Diplomas in Health Science and Bachelor of Health Science degrees in Naturopathy, Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine, Acupuncture Therapies and Chinese Medicine.

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