Doing Things Backwards

I recently started working at an acupuncture detox center one day a week while my clinic is getting up to full speed.  While working there I imagined what it must have been like for Lisa to work in one and then start a clinic based on that model.  So I feel like I am doing things backwards by starting my clinc and then going to work for a detox center!  I’m glad the detox center has not been affected by budget cuts, it seems to work so well, patients come in and get their detox tea, have an acupuncture treatment, talk to a therapist if they need to and there is even weekly group therapy.  A few days ago one of the regular patients said “that was a really good session” but I didn’t feel like I did anything special, it was the needles working.

I have been working on becoming part of the local community here largely by doing free treatments at the local senior center once a month.  This has been working very well, they list it in their monthly newsletter, people call them to schedule an appointment, and I just show up and they give me the list of appointments.  It’s a little different than doing treatments at my clinic though, for one thing they all sit and talk to each other while the needles are in, and who am I to tell them not to?  After all this is just a chance for them to try out a treatment.  I didn’t expect any of them to come to my clinic, I was just thinking of it as community service, but they have started to come in for treatments.

I have been working a lot on marketing and have recently discoverd three things that have been working.  I created a sidewalk sign that has a pocket with little flyers that people can take, I have gotten a lot of patients from this low cost marketing effort.  Secondly I joined a group called The North Shore Alternative Practitioners Meetup Group and I liked this much better than BNI because there is no pressure to come up with referrals and no rules about attendance.  Another marketing effort that I am working on is a series of Free Fridays that I will be doing in January, I guess I’ll blog about this later.

I am excited to announce that a Reiki teacher named Lela Marsman will be starting at my clinic, she will be doing weekend workshops and “Reiki shares” were pratitioners get together and do treamtents for each other.  Little by little I am assembling my healing team and turning my clinic into a health center.

Author: thomasriordan

<p> Tom Riordan has been involved with Eastern philosophy and healing arts since 1990. After earning a B.A. in History at the University of Massachusetts in Boston, he spent four years working at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts. In addition to daily hatha yoga and meditation practice there, Tom completed the Kripalu Yoga Teacher Training the Kripalu Bodywork Training. </p> <p> Tom is a graduate of The New England School of Acupuncture, in Newton, MA, the oldest accredited acupuncture school in the United States. He maintained a private practice for several years in Columbia, Missouri. He was the first person to be licensed to practice acupuncture in that city. He became very active in the State acupuncture association by serving as secretary for two years and treasurer for one year. Tom is certified by the National Council for the Certification of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) and he is licensed to practice in Massachusetts. </p> <p> He currently practices in Medford, MA where he has maintained a community acupuncture clinic since 2007. </p>

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  1. Thomas, the meetup group is

    Thomas, the meetup group is a great idea. Thanks for sharing it. AS for feeling like you are doing things backwards, you are not alone. Since we had very little training for this sort of thing in school, I sometimes feel like I have set up a CAP first and am learning how to run it as I go along. Mistakes will be made, but persistence and determination are omnipotent!

    Community Health Acupuncture Center

    801 Livernois, Ferndale, MI 48220


  2. sidewalk signs

    Surprising to me, sidewalk signs seem to be an effective and inexpensive way to get business.  When we put one up, I got 5 calls from it almost immediately.  I also like the meet-up idea.  At some point, I will have to post in defense of BNI– I have had very positive experiences with it.

  3. senior center

    I love the idea of going to a senior center and doing volunteer acupuncture. Seniors are a ‘class’ of folks who often go unacknowledged.

    I think the community acupuncture model is a perfect way for them to get some qi moved and also the social interaction that often is lacking with seniors. The conversation they have is a wonderful part of the experience too. Just goes to show that CA can be done in so many wonderful ways.

    It is an extra bonus that you are getting paying patients out of it. What goes around comes around.


    Thank you for doing this.