The herbalist, Alexandra Quirk, has been practicing for around three years, the last eight months of which has been spent working from the Newcastle Health Collective at Cooks Hill.
The Collective is a set of rooms on Queen Street where alternative health practitioners, psychologists, natural beauty and chiropractic professionals can run their business, consult, and practice their disciplines.
When the coronavirus outbreak began, many of the practitioners were forced to shutter, Ms Quirk said, unable to consult and, in some cases, unable to make rent.
Ms Quirk, a sole trader, has been running consultations for her herbalist practice - which she describes as being similar to naturopathy - via zoom calls and mailing out herbal remedies to her clients.
She has not gained any new clientele since the beginning of the outbreak, and has been treating only her existing clients since social-distancing regulations came into effect in previous weeks.
"I'm thankful I haven't gained any new clients," Ms Quirk explained. "Face-to-face consultations are obviously more personable. I can read a person a lot better when I'm standing in front of them rather than through a screen.
"(Since the outbreak) it has been just my recurring clientele, so it is good in away because I know them (and) I know their story."
During the height of the lockdown, Ms Quirk said anxiety in particular had been an issue for her clients.
"Anxiety was definitely raised," she said. "And that is a huge aspect of our being - it affects everything. But for the most part, it was just continuing what we were already working on together and adding a little bit more (anxiety) support given the current situation."
The Newcastle Health Collective where she practices were going through a rebuild, Ms Quirk said, as restrictions to control the virus begin to ease, but the virus' imposition has caused her to rethink how she has been conducting her business.
"I've noticed that maybe I was being too regimented and focusing too much on prognosis and diagnosis rather than the actual client," she said. "Which is what a herbalist or naturopath is all about - looking at the whole picture."
Ms Quirk has been studying for a Bachelor in Health Science and, while she continues to trade online while her premises remains closed, has been restructuring how the business operates.
"It has not gone straight back to the way it was," she said "It has only started to slowly lift and change. (It has been a chance to) reassess it and then look ah what I want to improve or what I want to change."
As the state government restrictions continue to ease this week, the Newcastle Herald has published a "Back in Business" guide; an opportunity for businesses to tell the community they are open and whether there are changes to normal operating hours.
The Herald will also host a business hour on its Facebook page each Wednesday between the hours of 6pm and 7pm, where local businesses are encouraged to join the conversation and share their opening hours with the community.
How to use the Herald's online business registry:
Listings in the Back in Business directory are free.
Please note there will be a delay between you sending a submission and it appearing in the guide. We aim to process these as quickly as possible.
Disclaimer: Back in Business listings are based on the latest information available at the time of publishing. Please follow advice from government authorities on social, business, travel and other restrictions to help keep yourself and others safe. Check with businesses for changes to their trading conditions. ACM takes no responsibility for any consequences arising from these listings.
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