If the old adage is to be believed then, ‘two heads are better than one’ … and that’s certainly proven to be the case for Donna Erodotou and Jenny Thewlis (pictured – Donna, left and Jenny, right).
Although these health professionals specialise in different disciplines; nutrition practitioner Jenny, and acupuncturist and yoga teacher, Donna, are both Northern College of Acupuncture (NCA) graduates, and now work together as a team at the Boston Spa Acupuncture and Yoga Centre.
With their children going to the same school, the pair knew each other already, but their paths crossed again when Donna visited the NCA’s Student Nutrition Clinic as a patient and was – coincidentally – seen by Jenny, who was studying on the College’s Nutrition Science and Practice, MSc course.
“I knew Jenny was a nutritionist as I often saw her in the health food shop and we’d chat,” explained Donna. “And when I went for a consultation at the NCA’s Nutrition Clinic, she was the supervisor! Jenny is very knowledgeable and passionate about nutrition, and this really shines through. I like the way she explains things and it’s clear the advice she gives is how she lives her own life, which is really important to me. She’s also really friendly and approachable. When I opened Boston Spa Acupuncture and Yoga I immediately thought of her.”
Donna’s journey to becoming a qualified acupuncturist was inspired from her time working as a beauty/massage therapist, and Reiki Healer. She had also completed a foundation teaching year with the British Wheel of Yoga. Although she already had a very successful career, the fact so many clients were visiting her for health issues, rather than cosmetic reasons, encouraged her to complement her existing skills … and she graduated from the NCA in 2017 with a BSc (Hons) degree in Acupuncture, the year before (2016) graduating with Yoga Alliance as a Professional Yoga teacher.
“When I was nearing the end of my degree, and as part of my business plan, I started to think about how I’d like to run my clinic,” revealed Donna. “I’d been teaching yoga in Boston Spa which was proving really successful and so it made sense to open a clinic here too and the right premises became available just as I finished at the NCA . I’d always thought having different disciplines within the same clinic would work well because, in my own approach to health, I like to include yoga, nutrition, lifestyle and acupuncture. So, I now refer my patients to Jenny, and she refers hers to me; if we agree it’s in the best interests of the patient.”
“Once Donna qualified we had several chats about working together and decided that referring clients to each other could work well,” expanded Jenny, who was a Research Nurse prior to graduating from the NCA. “Donna is brilliant to work with as she’s honest, open and extremely chilled! We have a really good working relationship, and being able to recommend another trusted professional complements our practices enormously. Knowing each other, and the way we work, means we can really give our clients confidence in trying out another therapy.”
As well as forming a successful partnership that gives their clinic users a holistic health experience, these NCA alumni also agree that they enjoyed their time studying at the renowned College, and would recommend the experience to other aspiring acupuncturists or nutritionists.
“I loved studying at the NCA; the three years flew by,” said Donna. “The College was really supportive, I met some great people, and really didn’t want it to end. If someone is interested in studying acupuncture then they should go for it. You have to be at the right point in your life to be able to juggle family and work, and being quite disciplined is necessary as there is lots of work to get through. But I enjoyed it immensely and am loving my new career.”
“I really enjoyed my two years studying at NCA,” agreed Jenny. “I met some lovely people, both staff and students. My advice would be to think carefully before committing as the course does involve hard work. Having said that, the support is great and the course is so interesting that, once you make the decision, you won’t regret it. The qualification is such an advantage too, as the nutrition profession becomes more tightly controlled and clients need help navigating the sea of information out there.”
Watch Jenny and Donna’s video here.
Find out more about the Boston Spa Acupuncture and Yoga Centre
If you’re interested in studying acupuncture or nutrition, please visit the NCA website – or call Denise on 01904 343309.