Moving Along – The Power of Numbers and Qi

I left work tonight feeling so very satisfied.  This feeling has been happening more and more recently, and for good reason – the clinic seems to be on a good roll – numbers are up significantly over the last month or so and have been steadily increasing little by little each week – the power of word of mouth is becoming more and more noticeable and substantial – and the miracles of acupuncture are happening on a daily basis.  Sometimes as I am needling a patient I start getting this warm-hearted and almost giddy feeling inside me because I just feel so, so happy that I can give them something really, really good; that I am truly able to help them and offer them something valuable through this incredible medicine.

Not surprisingly, my patients make me feel great – which is one thing that really keeps me going.  Today, for instance, I had a number of people comment on how much better they felt after their last treatments and after today’s treatment.  Several told me about friends they had told about the clinic; first time patients rebooked themselves.  I certainly don’t expect every person to be filled with enthusiasm – but it does feel good to hear positive feedback from the ones who share it.  All good signs that really boost my qi and, in turn, allow me to pass it on to the patients.  It’s the whole great qi exchange that is so very powerful.

Starting my clinic a little over 8 months ago, I had to start from scratch in building my clinic’s community of patients.  This was a bit unsettling because it was hard to know when and if I would really be able to have enough people coming along to sustain my clinic and my life.  Seeing the numbers of patients coming in from week to week, going up and going down and going back up again over the first few months took me on a little emotional rollercoaster for awhile – I wasn’t sure what was going on – was it me, was it my skill level, was it my focus (or lack thereof), was it the season, was it the holidays, was it the weather, was it the election, was it the economy – what was it?  It seems to me now that it’s the dead of winter in New England and more people are sick or in pain and have nothing distracting going on that it of course makes sense that more people would be coming.  But aside from that obvious factor, I think that things in the clinic itself, and with my patients’ word of mouth promoting the clinic, things are really moving along nicely.   And, not surprisingly, I find that the busier I am, the better I am able to focus and give better treatments, which translates into more and more happy and healthy patients.  Several months ago I asked a colleague what she thought I should do to get things moving more – her answer was to stop worrying about reaching out to the world and focus more on the clinic and on myself.  Somewhere along the line this advice seemed to really click and work, and that is a great relief to me.

This is not to say that I can completely give up on reaching out to potential new patients or not remind my patients that I am here to help them.  In fact, I think that reminding my patients about the clinic and about what acupuncture can do for them is incredibly important.  I have been having a blast sending out monthly e-newsletters and that seems to make a difference.  I love writing and find it is a great way to offer my patients a bit of education, to remind them of how acupuncture can help them, that the clinic is there for them when they need it – etc.

Sometimes when it’s a slow day I have to remind myself that I just need to be patient and it won’t always be this way.  I can look at it as an opportunity to catch up on things – to vacuum the floor if nobody is around; to balance the checking account; to make new flyers for the bulletin board; to review patient files; to look up new treatment approaches – whatever.  Or just sit back and take some slow breaths and be happy for the space that I have and its beauty.

I get the feeling that things happen in phases, and they happen just when you become ready for it.  I am feeling optimistic that everything will continue on this path just as it is meant to happen.

Author: Justine_Myers

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The theme for this conference is “Breaking Barriers”. You know, there are so many barriers to break in acupuncture that it was really hard to choose which ones to talk about for this speech. But since I’ve spent so much time talking about classism as a barrier, I thought it might be fun to shift gears a little and talk about numbers.


  1. I am very happy for all of

    I am very happy for all of your success!NIce to know your out there sharing the expereince.

    Michael Victoria, BC “sing’in rooty toot toot for the moon!”

  2. a new phase down here in RI

    For a long time we’ve gotten/given a lot of referrals for the Boston area clinics, but suddenly people are asking us for referrals far and wide, suddenly people are noticing the big map we have in our reception area with business cards and the LOC list and they are excited that they can share CA with someone they know somewhere else….  the power of numbers and qi indeed!

  3. “…stop worrying about

    “…stop worrying about reaching out to the world and focus more on the
    clinic and on myself.  Somewhere along the line this advice seemed to
    really click and work, and that is a great relief to me.”  This advice is really resonating with me too right now Justine; I’m trying to find that balance – and the balance point is not always the same, either. 

    Do you find that you’ve changed how much outreach you do, or the kind of outreach, or just the worry?  I.e. is it a qualitative or quantitative difference, or both?

  4. good questions…

    I’ve changed all of it… the amount and types of outreach, as well as the worry.  Well, I think the worry just sort of takes care of itself when things are going well, naturally – so that one is a bit of a dependent variable.  But in terms of outreach – I have tried different things over time – and now it is mostly outreach to my current patients rather than to the rest of the world, and I think that is what is helping most – but I still am careful not to neglect the rest of the world – they’re important, too.  But whereas before the outreach to the world was 75-100% of the focus, it’s now probably only 20-30% from my own efforts, and I leave the rest of the effort up to my patients to do the work for me – because they’re proving more and more to be great at it!

    Justine Deutsch, Lic. Ac., Acupuncture Together

  5. Maps are magic…

    I’m also working on getting a map up – it’s on my to-do list – I’ve got the map, just not the bulletin board or all the cards I need yet.  But my intentions are there and I have a place for it in mind.

    And yes, this map thing really works!!!  Most recently I have a patient who came after finding out about my clinic from WCA (thanks to Lisa!) and also I have had ones from your clinic (PCA), CommuniChi and more… always the biggest pleasure meeting those who are referred from other CAN clinics!

    Justine Deutsch, Lic. Ac., Acupuncture Together

  6. this is very interesting.

    this is very interesting. diana and i were just meeting and talking about how the promotional and marketing part of our focus can’t let up! it has to be somewhat constant…and maybe %30 constant? not all of our focus but we can’t ever just let it slide. cause then we have good reason to worry! i am not a business person necessarily so i do not know if this is accross the board with most small business/growing business- but i imagine so. 

    i am not sure i can really see our patient referrals doing the work of our clinic advertising at this point (we are at the 3 years mark btw). it happens some, and we are trying to activate and encourage that more. just created a letter inviting people to this task.

    keep on keeping on,


    office staff @community acupuncture on cape cod