debates surrounding Community Acupuncture whether it’s a viable social
business model or the fast food version of acupuncture that undercuts
most of the rest of the acupuncture community. I am not going to
address those issues today. I want to look at it from a business
Minnesota. Now, having never lived in a city that size I was quite
nervous. Could a town of 27,000 sustain a viable acupuncture practice?
I have watched many acupuncturists struggle to build up moderately
successful practices over much blood, sweat, and tears and the span of
4-5 years in much larger places. But the timing couldn’t have been
better. I was in the middle of a economic crisis. A town of 27,000?
What was I getting myself into? Have they heard of acupuncture there?
Would anyone even want to try acupuncture? Could I build a practice
pay myself a living wage in a town that size?
you may not care. You could be a urban person that is wildly in
love with the culture and life in cities. But I have to say, having
never lived in a town this size before, I am really enjoying it. There
is a lot to be said for the quality of life in smaller towns. I love
the cost of living and my 8 minute commute. I love living in a
beautiful river valley and knowing a lot of people in the community by
here? There are no other acupuncturists here in Winona. Lucky, for me
right? Another acupuncturist had come and left around 5 years ago,
because he could not make it here. There was another acupuncturist in
the neighboring city of La Crosse with the population of 51,000, who had
left, because they couldn’t make it either. No exactly a great track
record for the city of Winona. There are currently a couple of
chiropractors that practice acupuncture.
In mid-July, I
opened up my small Community Acupuncture practice of 7 chairs in a 500
square feet space. Within two months, I had paid off my initial
investment (chairs are less expensive than massage tables). I currently
have a practice that sees between 90 to 140 patients a week. The
patients are very diverse ranging from retired farmers, store owners,
retirees, etc. I am really in love with Community Acupuncture in many
But I am deeply thankful to Lisa and Skip for a business model that
enables people in smaller cities to access acupuncture. I am thankful
for a business model that enables me to enjoy life in a beautiful small
city in the river valley.