I have a lot of respect for therapists and professionals in the alternative/complimentary health industry. They are passionate about what they do, they love helping people, and they have big hearts. So to all you massage therapists, acupuncturists, osteopaths, naturopaths, and energy healers out there, kudos to you for spreading the love, creating healing in the most natural way possible, and generally making this world a better place.
But…one thing I know is that it is not all plain sailing for health practitioners. Business in the field of complimentary health has become competitive, and we see many practitioner friends struggle (including us).
We’ve struggled with 2 things:
1. not enough income from the practice
2. stress and health problems as a consequence
So I wanted to share our journey in the hope that other practitioners who find themselves in a similar situation to us, get inspired and get creative to find solutions to their own struggles.
My husband Neale is a Chinese medicine healer and acupuncturist. He invests heavily on his personal and professional development. He loves Qigong and lives by the principles he imparts to his clients. He works and travels a lot. He has run a private practice for many years, in different parts of the world. I can safely say that I am an integral part of his business. I have supported him with the administrative side; client liaison, event marketing, and been with him through all the highs and lows of the business.
In the quest to maintain a certain level of income to provide for his family, he reached burn out a few years ago. And got sick. As in Stage-3-Cancer-sick (we know that stress played a major part in him getting ill). It was not something we expected to happen, but it happened. And it was a massive shock for me and the whole family (read Neale's story here).
Fast forward a few years and I am happy to say that, with the love and support from family and friends, he has fully recovered. We are now striving to live a more balanced lifestyle because of the lessons we learnt from our experience. It made us question many things. Including the business model that we had followed for many years, which was working in a clinic setting by himself, seeing clients on a one-on-one basis, and basically investing a lot of time and energy to keep a private practice going with all the overheads.
We needed a different approach. We could no longer rely on him solely for providing that one income source. We couldn’t afford for him to get sick again. So we started researching on the internet for alternative ways to run our health business and bring in income.
Here are 5 ways we found we could generate income outside of the traditional private practice model:
- Partnering with other practitioners and running seminars/health retreats
- Bringing Neale’s expertise to an online learning platform (such as teachable.com or Udemy.com) and teaching students on a one-to-many basis
- Conducting Skype sessions with clients
- Learning new marketing skills and starting an online business from scratch
- Becoming an airbnb host and letting out our spare room
Opening ourselves up to these alternatives has given us the leverage we need to create the financial stability we want for our family. What’s more, we are able to mitigate future health risks as we move away from relying on just one person (Neale) or one business model (private practice) to bring in the income.
The universe has some weird and wonderful ways to wake us up and get us to focus on what is really important. The struggles we’ve had since Neale’s illness has definitely made us both more resilient and resourceful.
If you find yourself in a similar rut and want to become a more savvy business owner, there is a way forward… you only need to be open and willing to see the possibilities and abundance out there waiting for you.
Is your current business model working for you as a health practitioner? Have you thought about how to improve yourself or your business to achieve your financial goals?
Would love to hear your thoughts, scroll down and leave a comment below.