Aligning passion with purpose through a career in natural health
Dr Stephanie Flockhart, a Chinese Medicine specialist and acupuncturist, shares her top three tips for anyone looking to pivot towards a degree in natural health, plus so much more.

Do you a recall the moment you were first interested in natural health?

Healthy living and a preference for natural health was instilled in me from a young age, as my parents were big advocates for this way of living. I remember being regularly taken to an acupuncturist as a child. I thought she was magic and always loved my sessions. My mum went on to become an acupuncturist herself, so we always had the most incredible books on health, healing and Chinese Medicine around the house. At the age of 13, I distinctly remember picking up the book The Web That Has No Weaver and devouring the whole thing cover to cover, finishing it in a day.

To this day it remains my favourite and something I revisit regularly, recommending it to clients, particularly those interested in becoming prospective acupuncture students. During my high school years, we made the sea change from suburban Brisbane to Maleny, in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. There we had property, lush greenery all around, animals and a strong local community very aligned with the values of holistic, healthy living. I truly feel it is the summation of everything that lead to health always being my top value — and by that I mean almost every waking minute I am thinking about how to improve my own health or help others improve their own.

What did you study at Endeavour College of Natural Health?

I studied a Bachelor of Health Science (Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture).

Why did you choose to study at Endeavour?

Endeavour offered smaller classes and a more practical approach to tuition. I felt that as I was going into an industry that is service-based and client-focused, the emphasis on the practical aspect of learning was very appealing. We started in the student clinic from the very first year, interacting with patients, shadowing treatments and learning the basics of running a clinic. As a practitioner, those additional four years of experience make the world of difference, especially in the health field. Knowing how to feel comfortable and confident interacting with patients and facilitating a treatment session is invaluable and separates a good practitioner from a great one.

What did you love the most about your degree?

I found it interesting to learn about both the Eastern and Western understanding of health. Now, as a practitioner, I have a much more modern take on Traditional Chinese Medicine and the application of its ancient, tools, remedies and rituals. I am so happy I decided to follow my passion for health and my degree awarded me the opportunity to channel it into a tangible skillset. The subjects offered were interesting and varied, allowing me to explore different areas of Chinese Medicine and fall in love with my niche of women’s health.

Did you face any challenges while studying and how did you overcome them?

I struggle with anxiety that was quite heightened during my student years. The pressure we place upon ourselves to be perfect can be absolutely crippling at times and assignment deadlines, exams and the drive to succeed was a big trigger for that. Luckily studying at a college solely focused on Alternative Health was the perfect place for an anxious student, and I found solace in many of the healing modalities taught. Perfectionism is a glorified curse and something I am passionate about quickly addressing in myself and patients. Our inner dialogue can be so cruel and working to address the root cause of these beliefs has a positive effect not only on anxiety, but in every area of life.

A combination of natural therapies and techniques to reprogram the subconscious, such as EFT (Tapping), Psych-K, acupuncture, herbal medicine (L-Theanine, Rhodiola, Passionflower and Ashwaganda) and flower essences (Rescue Remedy was my best friend!) are so supportive to both our physical and emotional bodies during periods of high stress. Embracing the Traditional Chinese Medicine philosophy of “prevention as a cure” and taking time out to rest, laugh and relax are also paramount for everyone throughout their period of study.

What are three tips you would give someone looking to start a career in natural health?

I have learnt the vast majority of people in the health industry have had their own health struggles that led them to not only become their own healer, but to pursue a career in the industry. Don’t think of any health imbalance as something to be ashamed of, but rather something to embrace as experience and potentially a road to project you towards your niche. On reflection, I credit my own issues with hormone imbalances, hypothyroidism and an eating disorder as pivotal experiences that led me to truly trust in the power of natural health and its capabilities for healing. Understand and embrace the power that comes from vulnerability. It is so easy to have imposter syndrome and think that if you’re not 100-per-cent balanced in every area of life, no one will see you as a successful practitioner. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth! People and particularly clients connect with authenticity and shared experiences.

Take your own advice. It is very easy to fall into the practice of learning everything, sharing the perfect diet plan and offering wonderful advice to clients, yet not applying it to yourself. Practising what you preach allows you the opportunity to live authentically and realise what you’re asking of your clients.

Follow your heart and don’t be afraid to take a risk for a big reward. You are your most magnetic when you’re the most vulnerable. If you’ve always dreamed of being a holistic nutritionist, your favourite weekly pastime is visiting the farmers’ markets and creating healthy, healing recipes, yet you work in an office because it’s “safe” and following your dream is scary, embrace fear as excitement and choose your heart. Your limitation is always in your mind, and for any perceived negative outcome exists a positive, expansive one waiting for you to choose it.

What does your wellness practice look like now?

In 2019 I began my journey into running my own practice. I never advertised beyond my own Instagram posts and word of mouth, but I was booked out from the first month. This was so incredibly humbling and shocking to me as I (and I’m sure a lot of women in any industry) have always struggled with taking that leap and trusting my own intuition without a guarantee of safety. This early success was definitely a huge catalyst in deciding to take the biggest leap of my life a year later, moving my practice online and moving overseas. It’s been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember to be able to reach people on a global scale and to help women realise the amazing benefits and healing power of Chinese Medicine, with an approach that is relevant to modern-day living.

What’s next for you?

This year I’ll be releasing an e-book, online courses, workshops and some events. I have experienced first-hand the life-changing impact the philosophy and principles Chinese Medicine have on the emotional, mental and physical lives of my patients and feel called to expand my reach, sharing the principles of this ancient medicine globally. My passions and values include education, connection, travel and health; my 2020 business goals align and resonate with all of these values in mind.

For more, visit or @stephflockhart on Instagram.