Advice from my hairdresser

I just got my hair cut tonight and had a very interesting conversation with my stylist who, like me, is a relocated New Yorker.

The subject of last minute cancellations came up.  She said that she’d been going to the same dentist for 4 years, loved this dentist.  She had to cancel an appointment last minute, they charged her, she switched dentists.  For her, this is all about service, the customer is paying for service, and the service is there for the customer (patient, client, etc.), not for the person providing it to have a guaranteed dollar.  If there is room in the schedule for someone to come in, then that person is supposed to be there, if there is a cancellation, then you needed that time for something else.  She also told me that if she can’t cancel last minute, then she may choose to work with someone who is more accomodating to her needs.  But in turn, she has been in salons for 26 years, and as owner long before she moved her years ago, she runs her business in this manner and has people like me who will show up at 8pm and be happy she found room in her book for me, even if I don’t actually get out til nearly 10 cause she’s running a bit late and distractions of being in the salon without the support staff come up.

 I’m the type to feel put out very readily by last minute cancellations/no shows – I take it personally and get frustrated financially quite readily.  I needed her reality check and wish to absorb her perspective.  I had been on a slow slide for a few months after a strong fall.  But despite the fear of not pulling in my set minimums to live life without debt, I was so worn out from setting everything up that I truly needed to let go and relax, sleep and have the energy to live my lfe (rather than start running on an energy deficit).  And, for the past week, I’ve been dealing with the bronchitis that my clients have been bringing in for months, doing my best to prevent it from becoming the walking pneumonia that is too common in Denver this winter.  This morning, for only the 3rd time since starting acu school in September 1994, I began a course of antibiotics in order to recover more quickly for my visit back to NYC in 2 days.  So, listen to the cool hair stylist from Staten Island – promote yourself, be happy for everyone who wants to pay you for what you do, don’t take any of them for granted cause they can just as easily go elsewhere (and you know the practitioner you think is bad still has paying clients who are satisfied).  That way, you listen to the universe and take a break, rather than work and stress yourself into being sick (I’m listening, really, I am!)

And I’m off to NYC for Passover and my nephew’s first birthday Thursday.  And visits on Friday to the Brooklyn clinics!  And hopefully Monday to the Astoria clinic!  Will report upon my return.

Author: Jenn

In her first lifetime, Jennifer Gross was a not so typical nice Jewish Yeshivah educated New Yorker. Then she found indie rock and went to NYU in order to live in the village and be in the music business (life #2). A series of ear infections (not listening to that inner voice to quit the music business) and systemic candida got her out before graduation, which is when the travel bug set in. <p> A couple of years later she was turned onto Qi Gong while hanging out in a Tibetan Buddhist monastery (no, her mind never did really quiet down) and, while knowing little about acupuncture, knew it was to be her life's vocation. Ten months after getting home she moved cross country to Portland to attend OCOM, particularly enjoying the public health work and Portland's belly dance scene (life #3). But Giuliani made NYC too expensive to move back to in the late 90s and she found herself in Denver attempting to dry out her exhausted Spleen. Spending 4 years studying with the late Jim Ramholz was reason enough to have moved there, and so she remains, hanging with progressives, a few indie rock types and performing occasionally...

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  1. Letting Go…

    I was blessed with the opportunity to work with a chiropractor in WI while I finished my acupuncture schooling.  She had a very spiritual perspective on cancellations.  She told me that if there was a cancellation, it was either because somebody else would need that appointment slot, one of her patients would require a bit of extra time, or she would need the break herself.  She didn’t view it strictly in terms of dollars lost from the hole in the schedule, but she saw the bigger picture.  She looked for the benefit to a schedule shift, and it always, always, always worked-out for the best.  We never felt the need to charge for a missed appointment in the three years I was with her.  It’s for that reason that I recently changed my policy and no longer charge for missed appointments.  This past Saturday, for example, I had one no-show and two last minute cancellations…I then had two walk-ins and a last minute scheduled appointment for those very slots!  I see that there’s a Greater Force at work in my appointment books than simply my desire for filled slots.  When I let go and allow the day to flow, everything unfolds more beautifully than I could have ever planned. 


    Jessica Feltz

    The Turning Point

    Frederick, MD

  2. Walk ins

    Hi Jessica:


    How is it working out for you with walk ins?  I’ve been considering taking walk ins and advertising it in my window as appointments and walk ins welcome and changing my business cards accordingly.  Any words of wisdom for handling the work flow smoothly?  Are folks waiting to get treated?  How long?


    Thanks and all the best


  3. I am a DC and happened upon

    I am a DC and happened upon this site. All I have to say is that you guys have someting that DCs should have been doing years ago, so kudos to CAN, what an awsome concept/model. Take a look at and you’ll see that a DC has started a similar idea. I am not an acupuncturist, and don’t desire to be one (however I’m looking for one). In business for 11 years, struggling still but make 200k/yr- go figure!
    I believe a walk in model would work with the CAN, you would just need more recliners for overflow/capacity. Also take a look at, these guys do unlimited care at a fixed rate. I do not condone unlimited care for a fixed fee, but do favor a walk in concept.
    Advertising in a local, weekly (not daily) alternative newspaper style mag. works wonders and the price is low- stick to page 3, 5, or 7 upper right hand corner.
    I don’t mean to butt in, but like to see everyone succeed and give 2 cents if it will help anyone.
    Stick to it!


    I have a giant sidewalk sign stating “Walk-ins Welcome!”  I also advertise such in my monthly newspaper ad and on my website.  I’ve had 20 walk-ins this week, 6 of whom were new patients.  I schedule patients every 15 minutes, which leaves room for 2 walk-ins per hour.  My patients all know that scheduled appointments are taken before walk-ins.  That way, those who are time conscious know that they need to schedule themselves.  Those who have flexibility realize that they can walk-in, but might have to wait a few minutes before being treated.  See my blog (which should be posted tonight) for more discussion about this exciting topic…

    Jessica Feltz

    The Turning Point

    Frederick, MD