This month we celebrate 7 years of Aqua-Tox! It’s been a rollercoaster 7 years but we’re still here and ready to continue the story. To celebrate our birthday we’ve been reflecting on the past 7 years and thought it would be the perfect opportunity to share more of our story.
Where it all started . . .
Aqua-Tox was founded by Natalie East in 2016 as a colon hydrotherapy clinic. Natalie had previously attended colonics to relieve IBS and lack of bowel movements. After years of being laxative dependent, colon hydrotherapy allowed her colon to function properly again, she was no longer constipated, her headaches had disappeared and her energy levels rocketed.
The benefits made Natalie realise that her dream would be to help and educate others on the importance of a healthy colon; the key to maintaining good health, well-being and vitality. After working in an office in the same job for 16 years Natalie took a leap of faith to train as a colon hydrotherapist and set up her own business. Natalie qualified as a colon hydrotherapist and formed Aqua-Tox, pursuing her new career as a colon hydrotherapist.
The first Aqua-Tox clinic
Aqua-Tox opened the doors to its first clients in late spring 2016 in a single-room clinic at the end of Natalie’s back garden. The clinic was built and designed with the sole purpose of providing a comfortable and private space to perform colon hydrotherapy to the people of Hertfordshire. At this time there weren’t many colon hydrotherapists in the local area so it was a relatively niche offering.
Natalie grew a steady client base with the help of one of her best friends Lucy who used her social media skills to build up a following and spread the word about the clinic. Just a year later Natalie demolished the original clinic to make way for a purpose-built two-room clinic in Spring 2017 where she could expand the treatment offering. This allowed Lucy and another good friend Natalie to join the Aqua-Tox team and offer a wider range of treatments. Lucy was able to use the clinic as a base for aesthetics treatments when she wasn’t working in the NHS, and Natalie was able to offer massages and facials having worked in beauty and skincare for over 15 years.
Life changing events
Later that year in October 2017 Natalie gave birth to her second daughter and experienced unexpected heart problems during labour. A few months later she was diagnosed with severe heart failure and given a 2 year life expectancy. Large amounts of medication helped her return to a semblance of normal life with her newborn baby. During this time Natalie also experienced a relationship break down which left her as a single mum to her two daughters to care for whilst also running the business.
Natalie was told that she would need an internal defibrillator fitted and would need to take time off work to recover so in June 2018 Natalie took a leap of faith and invested in a Lipofirm pro machine to extend what the clinic could offer and bring in additional income whilst she recovered from surgery. At the time she was one of only a few clinics in Hertfordshire offering this cutting edge non-invasive treatment. With the support of her friends and this new treatment, the clinic could continue to operate and grow whilst Natalie focused on her health and her children.
Natalie’s life was turned upside down again in February 2020 when her youngest daughter was diagnosed with a Wilms tumour (a type of kidney cancer). She endured 9 months of chemotherapy, had her kidney removed and was extremely poorly throughout spending a lot of time in hospital. All of this was battled whilst running and building the business.
Alongside her daughters battle with cancer Natalie also had to navigate the Covid-19 pandemic and shut the doors to the business multiple times in line with government guidelines. However, due to being home based there was very little support available and the business almost didn’t survive.
Building the business back up
In May 2021 Natasha, a lifelong friend of Natalie’s, left her job in corporate HR and joined Natalie as a business partner to expand the treatments Aqua-Tox would offer. This is when the new partnership business was born and together they invested in the Soprano Laser Hair Removal system. They were both keen to ensure that Aqua-Tox continued to only offer the very best health and wellness treatments so researched extensively to find laser hair removal technology that was FDA approved and would provide exceptional results. This proved to be a great decision and the team worked hard to sell this new treatment and build the clinic back up after the pandemic. The business fought against the odds and in mid-2022 Natalie and Natasha took the plunge to expand the business into bigger premises with a much larger treatment offering.
Aqua-Tox in 2023
In February 2023 Natalie and Natasha launched the next generation of Aqua-Tox, a 10-treatment-room wellness clinic, which they designed and built from scratch inside an unused cow shed on a local farm. It was a whole team effort to keep the original clinic running whilst the new clinic was built and prepared for clients. Everyone worked around the clock to keep the business running during the day and get the new clinic ready in the evenings and weekends. Mums. Dads, Nans, friends and kids were brought in to help prepare, clean and paint with Natalie’s Nan even getting involved to paint lengths of skirting boards. It was a real family affair to make the new clinic a reality and get the doors open to clients as soon as possible.
The new clinic has taken off well and started to build a good client base for the new recovery treatments that are now offered. The new clinic and treatments have given Aqua-Tox the opportunity to form partnerships with local sports teams and clubs to provide recovery treatments and support peak performance. With the launch of the new clinic Natalie and Natasha also opened up memberships to allow clients to have regular access to recovery treatments to improve their overall health and wellbeing. The member base is continuing to grow as more people discover the power of treatments such as whole-body cryotherapy and hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
Natalie’s health is now stable and her heart function has improved slightly. Natalie is using the new treatments at Aqua-Tox to continue to improve her overall health and hopes to see a further improvement in her heart function at her next check-up in 6 months’ time.
There’s still a lot of work to do to build the business up further and spread the word about who Aqua-Tox are and what the clinic can offer to the local area of Hertford, and more widely Hertfordshire & Essex. Natalie and Natasha are continuing to research the latest health and wellness treatments in the industry so that they can build on the cutting-edge treatments that are offered and continue to invest in state-of-the-art health and wellness technology. Watch this space for more treatments coming soon!
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