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Natural medicine renegade shifts focus from ‘sick care’ to health care

30 July 2015 Endeavour College of Natural Health

Natural medicine renegade shifts focus from ‘sick care’ to health care

Katherine Maslen’s drive to help people achieve optimum health before sickness sets in led her to invest her life savings into the launch of her Brisbane Natural Health clinic in 2011.

Four years later Katherine’s unique business has experienced rapid growth, supporting 5,000 clients and generating almost a million dollars in turnover in the last financial year alone.

Brisbane Natural Health recently expanded into a new premises and employs a team of nine health practitioners from conventional and complementary medicine backgrounds – including naturopaths, chiropractors, acupuncturists, musculoskeletal therapists, hypnotherapists and energetic healers.

“I started Brisbane Natural Health to prove to people good health means so much more than not being sick – it can shape your life experiences and change the way you see the world. I want to bring health information to people in a fresh way and motivate them to make self-care a priority,” Katherine said.

Katherine believed it was the progressive approach she applied to client care which saw her business earn its place as one of Australia’s most successful multi-modality clinics.

“We have so many advantages when it comes to looking after people because of the way the business is structured. We share our expertise to support our clients from every angle – we share files, write each other client notes after sessions and have meetings where we workshop the best way to support particular clients,” Katherine said.

“We are constantly changing things up. We recently launched a health package where clients sign up for a set number of sessions to treat a particular issue and are treated by the practitioners of their choice from our team, under the care of one case manager.”

“We also spend that little bit longer finding out how our clients are on a holistic level through digging deeper during the consultation process, and are very clear on what type of health outcomes can be expected. We find these steps help us better assess and treat people, as well as develop stronger and more sustainable client relationships.”

Katherine said she had increased client retention by 20 per cent simply by staying in touch with clients in between sessions.

“We call our clients to check how they are feeling – it gives us the chance to offer additional support, answer any questions or correct any misunderstandings they may not have thought to call us about. It also means it is less likely clients fall off our radar without telling us why,” Katherine said.

Coming up with new and innovative ways to market themselves has also paid off.

“We sent this quirky skeleton key ring to our clients with a reminder to sit up straight and gave them a call to touch base. Injecting some fun into the experience worked well and resulted in many appointments being set up,” Katherine said.

“We also have a referral program called Perkville which offers clients loyalty points for each person they refer to the clinic. This type of thinking has really helped us grow.”

Katherine’s interest in natural medicine arose when she watched a close friend struggle for years with the autoimmune disease lupus.

“I watched illness dictate the way Jenny lived her life. It seemed her medication list would keep growing as each new problem arrived. I witnessed her condition worsen until her journey ended at the age of 52. I knew there must be a better way than this,” Katherine said.

After Jenny’s death, Katherine decided to explore alternative options of healthcare which led her to study herbal medicine and naturopathy with Endeavour College of Natural Health.

“I was so blown away there was a whole world of effective medicine out there, and I made it my mission to learn all I could and share it with the world. I dedicated myself to teaching people the basics of preventative health care and showing them they don’t have to wait for disease to occur,” she said.

After graduating Katherine started practising from a room under her house, and worked for another multi-modality clinic before launching Brisbane Natural Health. Now Katherine actively seeks opportunities to mentor others looking to join the natural health industry.

“We recently worked with four Endeavour College students who volunteered to support our recent clinic Open Day. In return we invited each volunteer to spend a day sitting with us for consults and asking us questions. We’re also looking to launch a graduate program which will be a big milestone for our business.”

Katherine believes in ‘giving away’ as much of her knowledge as possible to change the way more people feel about health through regular blogging, workshops, webinars, media interviews and her popular YouTube video series “2 Minutes to Health” which dissects common health concerns in a punchy and powerful format. What followed was Katherine’s decision to take her message even wider with the release of her book.

“The idea behind Get Well, Stay Well came about when I was sitting with my clients wishing there was a well rounded book I could recommend about what our bodies need to achieve optimum health. It was in that moment I decided to write it for them!” Katherine said.

Split into three sections – ‘Know Your Body’, ‘What’s the Problem’ and ‘How to Fix It’ with 20 nourishing recipes sprinkled throughout – Get Well, Stay Well uses naturopathic principles to help people quickly realise when their body is out of balance and empower them with the knowledge to get their health back on track.

“Publishing my book has been my proudest moment. I worked really hard to ensure it was something people could pick up anywhere in the world, read a chapter and put a positive change into practice immediately.”

Get Well, Stay Well has launched to wide acclaim, with praise from patients and health practitioners alike. Naturopath and founder of Ubud retreat Natural Instinct Healing Kate Reardon recently took to social media to share her reaction to the book.

“I have read Get Well, Stay Well from cover to cover and I tell you it is one of the best ‘health books’ I’ve ever devoured. Everyone should have a copy of this book as a personal reference for their own health and wellness journey,” Kate said.

Taking her own advice by not letting her business consume her has been important to keep Katherine energised despite an intense workload.

“I put in a lot of hours but I know I’m working towards something important. I also carve out a few holidays every year where I make sure I have no access to the internet and I can completely shut off and rejuvenate. Interestingly, it is during these periods where some of my best work ideas come to me,” Katherine said.

“I’ve found leaving your usual home and work environment can do wonders for your creativity.”

With a second book already on the way, a thriving practice and regular media appearances as a health commentator, you get the sense Katherine’s star will only continue to rise.

Katherine on...

The role natural medicine plays in her own life

“I’ve seen an energetic healer for the last 15 years which has been enormously helpful for me. I love acupuncture to help me feel more balanced during times of stress, and I also take herbal medicine and adaptogens for this reason as well.”

How she recharges

“I literally have to schedule time for myself in my week to make sure it happens. I have set hours when I exercise and prepare meals. It helps me keep on top of looking after myself, which is so important when my schedule is so busy.”

What she’s learned about social media

“You need to be helpful in order to connect with your audience. All you need to be asking yourself is ‘how can I help people?’. 90% helpful and 10% selling is a good formula.

Endeavour College of Natural Health

About 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 Bachelor of Health Science degrees and Honours programs in Naturopathy, Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine, Acupuncture and Myotherapy, and a fully online Bachelor of Complementary Medicine.

View all articles by Endeavour College of Natural Health

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