cherie - Naturheilpraxis Kallmeyer

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cherie - Naturheilpraxis Kallmeyer

The

Practitioner

Monthly

Issue #1

April 2012

Growing Your Practice Holistically


Table of Contents

3.

8.

14.

17.

Introduction

How to Start Developing A Clientele

Quick Facts about the TCM Industry

Getting Started as a Practitioner: An Interview with

Cherie Lawrence

22.

26.

Helping Practitioners to Reach the Poor

The End


Introduction

Dear Practitioners and Students...

Welcome to the first issue of The Practitioner

Monthly. This is a free monthly magazine for new

practitioners and graduating students who want to

learn how to reach clients, become better at

treating existing clients, and reconnect with

inactive clients.

We will write about what successful practitioners

have done to make their clinic run well so that you

gain insight into what exactly it is about Chinese

Medicine that attracts people to seek it out, and

most importantly, learn how to harness your

existing Chinese Medicine skills to run your clinic

like a business without being a business.

I am not suggesting that health practitioners

should become business people. In fact I believe

that Chinese Medicine practitioners should have

the opportunity to devote as much time as possible

practicing and to helping people to improve their

health.

After all, most people spend four years studying

Chinese Medicine because they want to be

practitioners, not businesspeople.

When I was in my final year of Chinese Medicine

studies in Sydney, I had a part time job at a well

known Chinese Medicine bookstore. One of our

regular customers came in to the store one day and

asked me if I was studying Chinese Medicine. When

I replied “Yes I’m in my final year of studying”, he

told me something which continues to serve as a

huge inspiration for me to develop this magazine.

3


He told me that Chinese Medicine had been his

dream for a long time, but that it is so hard to run a

clinic and sometimes it’s not worth it.

That someone might give up on their dream was

the trigger point for me.

Ever since then I have been thinking about how I

can help Chinese Medicine practitioners to keep on

going and realize their dreams.

About Me

I studied Chinese Medicine and International

Studies at the University of Technology, Sydney. I

then spent a year studying Chinese language at

Shanghai University in between traveling around

China.

In my final year I decided I did not want to practice

Chinese Medicine because I thought I didn't know

enough about business - how to set up, where to set

up, how to get customers, etc. I decided that I

needed to learn about business, but I didn't want to

go back to uni or pay for an expensive and short

course upfront, so I moved to China and started

learning about business on the job. I have been very

lucky to have found mentors who have been

generous enough to share their experience and

kind enough to share their knowledge with me. I

started in hospitality and events management -

seemingly a world away from Chinese Medicine -

and learnt how to understand what clients really

want, what is viable for the operations team, and

how to balance the two.

Things came full circle for me when I found work in

the wellness industry, developing wellness

solutions based on Chinese Medicine philosophies.

4


The truth is I was scared that my skills as a

practitioner were not good enough and that instead

of helping people, I would make mistakes and hurt

people. I was scared of setting up and running my

own clinic. I was scared that I did not learn enough

about business, issues at uni. I figured I had already

spent four years studying Chinese Medicine, so I

decided I would learn business.

Harnessing Chinese Medicine skills

for marketing.

I have had to learn very quickly about marketing

on the job. I came to the realization that as Chinese

Medicine practitioners you do already have a

wealth of market research at your fingertips (client

files contain almost everything you ever need to

know about your clients as customers). In addition,

as Chinese Medicine practitioners you have spent

at least four years at uni learning and practicing

diagnostic skills - observing, listening and smelling,

asking and palpating. Most market researchers

probably cannot use palpation, but this diagnostic

process can be adapted for market research so with

some basic understanding of marketing, Chinese

Medicine practitioners would actually be some of

the best 'market researchers'. Not only Chinese

Medicine practitioners would actually be some of

the best 'market researchers'. Not only that, you

have a better chance to gain more useful and

accurate information due to your special skills in

developing practitioner-client rapport. I want to

share with you how you can help people better by

harnessing your existing Chinese Medicine skills

and knowledge to develop strategies for reaching

and connecting with more clients.

5


What it means for you

Many new practitioners are concerned about how

to start developing a clientele. Some new

practitioners have trouble coming up with the right

pricing system, marketing tools, advertising

material and promotional campaigns. The

Practitioner Monthly will help you to assess how

your clinic is running and identify areas for

improvement, so that you can take steps to

improve. For example if you have a small but loyal

clientele and you want to see more clients, identify

strategies you can use to encourage your current

clients to refer your clinic to others. The best case

outcome is that they rave about you to everyone

they know. The worst case outcome is that they

rant about you to everyone they know. Identify

everything you can do to make the first scenario

happen, and everything you can do to avoid the

second scenario from happening. It's about

establishing a balance between achieving the best

outcome and avoiding the worst outcome.

Chinese Medicine is all about improving health and

preventing disease by establishing a balance

between yin and yang. These energies exist in a

Chinese Medicine practitioner and Chinese

Medicine clinic just like everything else. This

magazine will hopefully give some tips on how to

reach this balance so that you can be successful at

doing what you love.

-- Weijin Vun

6


How to Start Developing a Clientele


How to Start Developing a Clientele

Many new practitioners trouble developing a

clientele. Some have trouble figuring out the right

pricing model, marketing materials, advertising

and promotional strategies. Most of the challenges

that new practitioners are facing in their early

months of practice can be overcome by applying

three simple principles:

1. Understanding the patient's needs and values

as a customer

2. Understanding the areas of strength and areas

for improvement of yourself as a practitioner

3. Understanding the areas of strength and areas

for improvement of other practitioners

If you can learn how to apply these principles -

especially the first one - you will find success

wherever your clinic may be, because you know

who is going to your clinic and why.

The 'why' is crucial and is the most difficult to

understand. But it is not impossible. Remember:

patient files contain almost everything you ever

need to know about your patients as customers.

We'll start with the first principle. Understanding

the patient's needs and values means that you can

reach more people and help more people.

There are three ways that this helps to grow your

clientele:

1. Word of mouth referrals are generated by

helping your current patients better.

Prioritize this in your first six months of

practice - every aspect of the patient's

experience with you and in your clinic should

help to generate loyalty.

8


2. Reconnecting with dormant patients.

Prioritize this after about 12 months of

practice when your clientele base is more

stable.

3. Reach more patients by connecting with new

people. Prioritize this in your first year of

practice.

In this first issue we'll cover the first way of

growing your clientele. The other two ways will be

covered in the next two issues.

Helping existing patients better

Everyone who is currently visiting your clinic is an

active patient. Active patients are satisfied with

you and your clinic - they would not keep coming

back if they did not see the value in your service.

Over time and with some conscious effort on the

practitioner's part, satisfaction grows into loyalty.

Loyal patients will become one of your most

important sources of referrals. Word of mouth

referral is one of the most powerful marketing tools

once you have established a small but loyal

following.

Practitioner-patient rapport leads to

customer loyalty

Since you are in the profession of caring for people,

you are at an advantage when it comes to

generating loyalty - in order for patients to get the

most improvement to their health, everything that

you do as a Chinese Medicine practitioner should

show the patient that you care about them. Smart

businesses generate loyalty by showing their

customers that they care about them. So

everything that you do to generate loyalty will also

strengthen integrity

9


as a Chinese Medicine practitioner, and may

enhance the outcome of your treatment. For

Chinese Medicine practitioners, developing

practitioner-patient rapport and generating patient

loyalty go hand in hand.

Patient files are market research

The reason why your patient files contain almost

everything you ever need to know about your

patients as customers is that the Chinese Medicine

diagnostic process is comprehensive and holistic.

In your initial consultation with patients you spend

half an hour to one hour, talking and listening to

your patient, asking questions and learning about

their eating habits, state of stress, sleeping

patterns, and other behaviors and attitudes that

affect their health. All of this information is

necessary for differential pattern diagnosis and to

formulate a treatment plan that will help them to

resolve their presenting problem. gaining an

insight into patients' needs and values.

A Guide to turning patient files into

market research:

1. Once a week, set aside two hours to go

through your patient files, and read over the

notes that you took during the consultation.

Highlight any information about what is

important to them, things that they value,

and things that make them react emotionally.

2. Compile the highlighted information into a

list of needs and values of individual

patients.

3. Compare the lists and find the ones that are

common to the majority of your patients.

10


Matching needs and values with your

practitioner values

Keep in mind that needs and values of people are

not things like "the patient has chronic shoulder

pain that needs relieving, therefore values pain

relief".

Human needs and values are things like "I need to

relieve my shoulder pain because I work at a desk

job, which I need in order to earn money to pay for

my children's education, which I want them to have

the best of, because it will help them to make a

living for themselves in the future" - someone who

says this probably values self sufficiency, not pain

relief.

However, having studied Chinese Medicine, we

know that in order to have the best result this

person does need to have acupuncture, probably

with strong stimulation and cupping since it is

chronic. But in the context of generating loyalty, it

is important to remember that it is their shoulder

that needs acupuncture, not the 'person'.

The person who values self sufficiency probably

prefers to spend more time talking to you to learn

about how they can use Chinese Medicine

principles to improve their life, and have a shorter

or more gentle treatment. We know that in this

scenario, a gentle treatment might mean more

treatments are necessary to heal the shoulder, but

the person might not mind if this means that they

have more opportunities to ask you questions and

learn about how to become more self sufficient.

Once you identify this need, you can increase the

value of your services to this person by offering

them patient education - perhaps you could compile

fact sheets, or organize patient seminars, or simply

spend more of the appointment time talking about

the Chinese Medicine approach to a healthy life.

11


In contrast, a person who values results might

prefer to have 45 minutes of strong acupuncture

with lots of needle stimulation and spend only 15

minutes talking to you. You can increase the value

of your services to this person by offering them

electro-acupuncture, moxa, cupping, guasha, or a

herbal consultation.

Most people do not spell out their needs and values,

so you need to read between the lines and collect all

the clues to piece it all together. A really simple

method that you can use when you are in a

consultation with a patient is to make a note of

anything that s/he mentions more than once. Often

when people rephrase the same message multiple

times, it means that the same thought has been

g e n e r a t e d m u l t i p l e t i m e s , s o i t i s

probablysomething that is important to them,

either consciously or subconsciously.

As Chinese Medicine practitioners, you know that

acupuncture, herbal medicine and tuina are going

to help people's problems in a holistic way. But

people who seek out Chinese Medicine, do not seek

it out because they value having needles inserted

into them and then electrified or heated up. Or

because they have a need for drinking herbal

decoctions that take a long time to boil and smell

and taste unusual.

Somebody who values convenience will probably

prefer herbs in granulated or pill form. Somebody

who values quick results might prefer decocting

raw herbs. So you need to make sure that you are

'speaking the same language' as your patients so

that they know that you understand their true

needs and values, which lets them know that you

care about them. Which leads to loyalty. Which

leads to word of mouth referrals. Which leads you

to helping more people better".

12


Quick Facts About the TCM Industry


Quick Facts About the TCM Industry

How many clients do you see a year as

a n av e r a g e C h i n e s e M e d i c i n e

Practitioner?

Australians spend more than $4 billion on

complementary and alternative health services

including Chinese Medicine every year.

75% of Australians would have sought or will

seek complementary and alternative health

services in their lifetime

The Guangdong Provincial Hospital of

Traditional Chinese Medicine in China sees

almost 6 million patients a year.

Chinese Medicine Practitioners in the USA see

than 1 million clients each year. The Chinese

Medicine industry is worth over $45 billion.

How much do you earn as a Chinese

Medicine Practitioner?

Practitioners in the UK can expect to earn

£12,000 per year as an entry level salary.

With greater experience salaries will often be

paid at considerably higher levels.

Practitioners in the USA can expect to earn $US

30,000 - 45,000 per year.

H o w m a n y C h i n e s e M e d i c i n e

Practitioners do you know?

➡ in Australia there are more than 2,000

practitioners.

➡ 929 are listed on Natural Therapy

Pages as of April 2012.

➡ more than 334,000 in China

➡ more than 10,000 in the USA

➡ more than 700 in the UK

➡ more than 1,000 in Europe

*All dollar amounts are Australian dollars unless otherwise specified.

14


How Chinese Medicine Practitioners

s t a c k s u p a g a i n s t o t h e r

complementary and alternative

therapists in Australia

➡ 42% of Practitioners are women, compared to

79% of naturopaths.

➡ 74% of Practitioners are born overseas,

compared to 35% of naturopaths.

➡ 72% of Chinese Medicine Practitioners hold a

bachelor or equivalent qualification in any field

of study, compared to 43% of naturopaths.

➡ 85% of Chinese Medicine Practitioners are

business owners, slightly more than average for

all complementary and alternative therapists.

While part time work is common amongst

complementary and alternative therapists,

Chinese Medicine Practitioners are the least

likely to work part time (40%), compared to

75% of homeopaths.

Where do you work as a Chinese

Medicine Practitioner?

Australia's first hospital that integrates

Western and Chinese Medicine is due to open in

North Sydney later this year. This $75 million

venture is supported by the NSW government,

Chinese government and University of Western

Sydney.

A Chinese Medicine hospital near Munich,

Germany was established in March 1991 by the

Beijing University of TCM and German

entrepreneur Mr. Anton Staudinger.

Quick Facts About the TCM Industry

15


Getting Started as a Practitioner

An Interview with Cherie Lawrence


Cherie Lawrence is in her third

year of practicing Traditional

Chinese Medicine. She runs a

private General Health practice

in Glebe and also contracts out

to specialist Women’s Health

clinics. In her spare time she is

busy working on her Chinese

Medicine not for profit projects to reduce maternal

and child morbidity in humanitarian emergencies of

developing nations.

Her website is at: www.cherieacupuncture.com

WEIJIN: Hi Cherie! How did you decide to become

a Chinese Medicine practitioner?

CHERIE: Through martial arts. I practiced a very

external style, and the internal benefits I could feel

and see in myself and others but I didn't

understand it. It was baffling to understand how

100% physical training, not only contributed to

physical strengthening and endurance, but also

had such a profound effect on people’s mental

health stamina, focus, concentration and most

importantly how character building it was. I was

lucky enough to see transformations from timid

shy and bullied children to confident courteous,

respectful, strong young adults. And so I thought to

myself, if this is what Martial Arts can do, work on

a physical, mental, and emotional level imagine

what a holistic medicine can do for others.

17


WEIJIN: Where are you practicing now and how

did you choose the location?

CHERIE: Glebe. I love the area. Its beautiful feng

shui resonates with the type of clients I want to

attract - those that care about the environment and

are interested in health and balance. I lived in the

area through uni and worked in the area too, I also

did external TCM practice hours with an

experienced mentor so I already knew a lot of

people there to build up my clientele. My

suggestion to new graduates is while you’re

studying definitely do external TCM practice hours,

find a clinic you’d like to work in and start building

up your reputation so you have clinic experience

and a client base already established when you

graduated. Another method is, once you’ve finished

your Tuina hours get insurance and start

massaging, so by the time you graduate you

already have a solid client base you can introduce

acupuncture to.

WEIJIN: What was the easiest part of starting

out?

CHERIE: I did the NEIS course. So doing a business

c o u r s e w i t h u n l i m i t e d m e n t o r s h i p f r o m

experienced businessmen was invaluable. They

also paid for the first year of clinic rent so I highly

recommend it to all. Please look up New Enterprise

Incentive Scheme on the internet, there's one in

every suburb.

WEIJIN: What's the one piece of advice you wish

someone had given you when you first started

practicing?

CHERIE: Don't be stubborn like me and want to do

everything yourself, let go of your ego! It's much,

much easier to go and practice in a multimodality

18


clinic or with an experienced practitioner that

gives you clients and cross refer rather than hiring

an empty room and starting everything yourself.

Take a pay cut, pay the commission in the first two

years of practice, then when your reputation has

built up, move on to your own clinic.

WEIJIN: What can a new Chinese Medicine

practitioner expect to earn in revenue in their 1st

year of practice?

CHERIE: It really depends on your area and what

business structure. Generally speaking if you open

up your own clinic expect to breakeven in 6

months. If you practice in an area where there

aren't many competitors you can turnover 100k

easy. If you take an entry level year graduate

position about $50K.

WEIJIN: What about in the 2nd and 3rd years?

CHERIE: Depends on how much you can handle

without burning out. Some practitioners

see 1 client an hour which equals $2500/week

gross. Others see 3-4 an hour so there is potential

to make lots of money. However it is quite variable,

some days you might have 10 clients a day, the

next day only 2, the next day 17. It begins to

stabilize in your 3 rd year.

WEIJIN: What's been the most successful method

you've found of recruiting patients?

CHERIE: Initially as nobody knows you it's

through a website, natural therapies pages,

marketing etc.

After the first year its all word of mouth. People

come to you because their daughter, or brother, or

work colleague got good results from the

treatment.

19


WEIJIN: How many patients do you need to see in

order to cover the costs of running your clinic?

CHERIE: Around 2-3 patients a day.

WEIJIN: How long has it taken you to get to a

place where you were starting to feel happy with

how your clinic is running?

CHERIE: I've practice in about 5 clinics and seen

lots of different styles of management and Chinese

Medicine schools of thought. Ultimately you have to

choose one that your personality suits. So in the

first couple of years try lots of different styles of

clinics because then and only then when you've

worked in it you'll know what you love and what

you don't.

WEIJIN: What advice can you give new

practitioners about striking the balance practicing

Chinese Medicine and the business needs?

CHERIE: Chinese Medicine is a life long journey

the first couple of years you are just finding your

feet so it's hard. After the first two years it's really

flexible, you have the confidence to practice

wherever and whenever you want. So be an

example to your clients, live the TCM way of life,

eat healthy, exercise regularly, and stop to

rejuvenate and if you find yourself with a boss who

overworks you tell them its not the Chinese

Medicine way of life, so stick it up your yin yang

and move on!

WEIJIN: Can students or new graduates get in

touch with you for an internship or mentoring?

CHERIE:: Yes, no problem at all. I would

recommend students go with more experience

practitioners with 30, 40, or even 50 years

experience, but I will be happy to help new

graduates as much as I can.

Contact Cherie at her website cherieacupuncture.com

20


Helping Practitioners Reach the Poor


Helping Practitioners Reach the Poor

The Practitioner Monthly is partnering with

Traditional Healthcare to help Chinese Medicine

reach people in disadvantaged communities.

Traditional Healthcare

Traditional Healthcare was established in 2008 by

two Chinese medical practitioners, Tom Connor and

Natasja Sproat from Melbourne, and is a not-forprofit

organization that aims to establish

sustainable integrated health care clinics in

disadvantaged communities.

Traditional Healthcare's first sustainable health

clinic, in Datom, India, is in the final stages of

completion, thanks to the help of volunteers from

Australia and local residents. The project helps to

improve the lives ofmany, as people not only from

Datom but also from nearby villages come to

receive medical care.

Their remarkable voluntary work has been

providing holistic healthcare to people who would

otherwise have no access to care due to isolation,

poverty, and desolation. Traditional Healthcare

participated in the United Nations' health summit

in 2009 alongside its partner organization, One

Health Organization, as the only two NGOs that use

holistic therapies in aid work as part of meeting the

Millennium Health Development Goals.

Traditional Healthcare's principles are based on

the Chinese Medical five elemental cycle:

1) Integrated healthcare

2) Renewable energy

3) Permaculture

4) Sustainable architecture

5) Water management

22


The principals are held together with two way

learning and right livelihood as these help build a

solid and fair relationship between locals and

volunteers. The key to the whole system is

education. Without sharing and building of

knowledge, there is no ability for an individual - let

alone a community - to become self sufficient.

Each principle is dependent on the others to

function. The balance helps rural communities

become independent and educating the people to

use natural resources as a way of sustaining

themselves. The combination of these principles

creates health clinics that enables individuals in

the communities to run independently, using local

resources. Using a permaculture plan to create a

sustainable garden means that, in time, products

used in the clinic will derive from the immediate

area, reducing carbon footprints. This cuts costs,

waste, and keeps the clinic in tune with the local

ecosystem.

Community education and practitioner training is

the core focus for TH as this ensures the future

success and sustainability of the project.

Fundraising

If you like what Traditional Healthcare does and

would like to fundraise for us or fundraise for your

airplane ticket over to the clinics in Jharkhand we

are happy to help you with this. Traditional

Healthcare's projects are completely funded by

events and donations, grants, and sponsorships.

All money raised goes towards the projects. If you

would like to make a donation visit our website

www.th.org.au.

23


Volunteering

TH is looking for people to volunteer at the center

in Jharkhand who are professionals or students of:

healthcare providers, laborers, teachers, farmers,

renewable energy technicians, water management

specialist, vets, electricians, and stone masons.

There are many more practices and skills needed in

the village, if you think yours would be valuable,

please send a message to info@th.org.au.

24


Next Issue: 18th May 2012

➡ Reconnecting with Dormant Patients

➡ Client perspective - my first experience with

acupuncture

➡ Interview with a yet undisclosed practitioner

➡ A bridge between practitioners and the billion people

in need

Contact Us!

Feel free to contact us at :

weijin@thepractitionermonthly.com

dan@thepractitionermonthly.com

Or visit our website:

thepractitionermonthly.com

We’re always happy about feedback,

questions, etc.

Or just drop us a line and say “hi”!

Meet Our Team

Weijin Vun

Weijin studied Traditional

Chinese Medicine at UTS in

Australia, and now works in the

wellness industry in China.

Her mission is to empower TCM

practitioners to make a living

as practitioners without having

to rely on other jobs.

Daniel Paul Ternes

D a n i e l i s a G e r m a n

entrepreneur, designer, &

philosophy student.

He met Weijin in early 2012

during his trip to Beijing and

immediately got interested in

TCM.

w

H

p

p

o

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