Finding the Silver Lining: Transforming Hardship into Helping Others

Joyce Anne Day kicked off her business in 2016 as a health and wellness blogger; educating others about natural ways to clean, take care of their health at home using natural options, and connecting her community with health and wellness businesses located in the Peoria area. Early on, these efforts were accomplished through partnering with different health and wellness businesses and renting public spaces. However, relying on the schedule of other owners and businesses led to its own challenges.

After a fluke cross country skiing accident in 2019, Day sustained serious injuries to her leg and knee, resulting in the insertion of a metal rod in her tibia. Despite three rounds of physical therapy, more than a year of massage, and chiropractic work, she was still experiencing significant pain & stiffness in her lower body. Her recovery was further complicated by a car accident later that same year where she was rear ended by an SUV while she was stopped at a stop light. She experienced severe whiplash with sustained injuries to her neck & and back. So, it’s safe to say that she was willing to try everything out there to improve her condition, but she was still left with limited mobility in her knee where she was unable to bend and straighten her leg. That made her health situation significantly worse going into 2020, by conventional medical standards she had exhausted all of her options which did not sit right with Mrs. Day. She knew there had to be something out there that would help her feel like herself again. She did not take no for an answer, eventually finding techniques that increased mobility in her leg, reduced stiffness, and allowed her to return to more routine activities without pain & stiffness. The technique, called The MELT Method, is an evidence-based approach that increases the flow of fluid in the fascia (or connective tissue), allowing joints & muscles to slide and glide again, eliminating pain & stiffness and helping the body to move more easily again. Mrs. Day says that she can now sit cross legged with ease, has significantly improved her mobility issues, and experiences no pain.

One silver lining from the pandemic was the availability of online trainings for these techniques, making it possible for Mrs. Day to become a certified instructor in the MELT Method, breathwork, and more. After more than a year of teaching in public spaces and other studios, she has just expanded her business with its first physical location in Bartonville, Illinois. Having a permanent location has enabled her to offer these services to the public, she still keeps to her roots where she offers the healing essential oils and healthy home workshops as it “offers people a way to be natural at home”. Additionally, Mrs. Day hopes that with the expansion of her location in Bartonville it will allow more people to attend as well as the option to offer more events and classes to the community. Having just come out of the pandemic, a lot of people are less interactive and social. Mrs. Day said “they just aren’t coming out to events like they used to”. This led to the need of finding new ways to reach people in the community. Mrs. Day has been exploring new ways of advertising and working with clients, in ways that she would never have thought would have been effective before. She says that the pandemic has forced her to seek ways of automating different aspects of her business and providing a variety of ways to interact with her.

What led Mrs. Day to start her online business nine years ago was the fact that she met and talked to many people that had no idea about the great variety of natural holistic services and businesses offered in the Peoria area. So, she started to connect people with resources and from there she decided to launch her initial business.  Mrs. Day sought out the Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC), at Bradley University, nearly 6 - 7 years ago, seeking help and guidance in the business realm, as she had a science background with very little experience in developing a business.

Specifically, she needed guidance in the areas of how to bring her ideas together, the development of her brand, and mission as a company. Mrs. Day said “a lot of ideas I had didn’t pan out but that’s what I love about the Illinois SBDC. You can go there and throw out your ideas and get feedback, help, and support. And there’s no pressure”. Recently, when her physical location opened, she had again needed additional counseling from the Illinois SBDC because when she first started her online business, it was completely different compared to where her business is today. It required a whole new business model with a lot of overhead and now offering consultations and services makes it almost a completely new business which can be hard to learn to navigate on your own.

Mrs. Day ended by saying “when you start off your business you have this idea of how it will look and how it will go but you never know how it will change and develop. Firstly, because of the pandemic and secondly, because of my own personal experience and injuries, I would have never thought that I would be teaching these classes and being in the fitness realm but seeing your business grow and stretch over the years is a lot of fun and very satisfying to morph and grow and try new things and be able to help even more people”.

Joyce Day is the owner of Practice Simple Wellness, which is a company that specializes in teaching their clientele holistic tools, techniques and strategies that help manage and reduce pain as well as manage difficult health issues. Mrs. Day is a hydrogeologist by education, specializing in ground water contamination, which initially led her to the start of her business.

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Fire and rescue team in the snow with a stretcher.