Please note: This post was updated on August 3rd 2020
If you’re a TCM practitioner, you might have been wondering how you can utilise the digital world to run your business. Acupuncture requires in-person contact with a patient, which obviously makes your main service a little tricky during a pandemic. With so much uncertainty currently in the industry, it may be a good idea to think of other revenue streams to ensure your business is adaptable. We’ve put together 3 ways and examples that you can use to delivery your TCM business online with zero contact.
1. 1-to-1 TCM consultations by phone or online
Although technology is not yet advanced enough for virtual acupuncture treatments, you can certainly look after your clients by using telephone or video consultations – Zoom is great for that. Of course, this will be easiest if you have another discipline such as herbal medicine (you can order prescriptions from our dispensary), nutrition, counselling or meditation. However, if you don’t have another discipline, you needn’t worry! Chinese medicine is so vast that you can continue to guide your clients to improve their health by using therapies and products they can use at home. Here are some ideas:
- Acupressure: Although you cannot deliver acupuncture, you can teach your clients to massage acupressure points to reach similar effects. Acupressure can be great for treating pain, headaches, nausea, stress and tension relief, anxiety, digestive issues and improving sleep. You can also send your client a Gua Sha set for scraping techniques.
- Pain management: along with acupressure, you can also recommend supplementary products to help relieve muscle pain and tension. At Phoenix, we supply a range of Muscle Comfort Warming and Cooling plasters, TDP Moxa Warming plasters and Muscle Comfort oil. These products can be applied by the patient themselves.
- Dietary therapy: help patients make better dietary choices according to their body constitution and current health problems. After all, you could provide your client with the best acupuncture treatments and herbs, but unless they have a healthy diet and lifestyle, your treatments may not be so effective.
- Exercise: recommend exercises according to their health conditions and physical limitations. For existing clients, you know their health condition and this will be a great way to personalise their exercises accordingly. For any muscle support, kinesiology taping can be a great way to help your client, especially as there are many tutorials on the internet.
- Stress reduction: as many of us now know, stress is a major contributing factor to many health conditions. You can provide your client with stress reducing recommendations such as using mindfulness and meditation apps like Headspace and Calm, taking walks in the parks or reading a light-hearted book. You can also suggest calming herbal teas like our Aura TranquiliT or SleepyT.
- Supplements: even if you are not a herbalist, you can still recommend single herb supplements. We supply a wide range of single herb supplements such as Dong Quai or Reishi mushroom, which have potent effects on their own.
2. Online workshops or webinars
As you are a TCM practitioner, it’s more than likely that your clients are the type of people who have an open mind and want to learn. Why not host webinars for your following? By hosting a workshop on Zoom, you can sell tickets to as many attendees as you like. We recommend getting a Zoom Pro account so that you can host longer meetings, record the workshop and host more people. Here are some topics we came up with:
- Acupressure massage – Your clients will love learning how to care for the few unwelcome aches and pains. You can encourage their family members to join so that they can perform acupressure on each other.
- Common herbs – many sister varieties of Chinese herbs can be found in the western world, such as peppermint (Bo He), cinnamon (Rou Gui), cardamom (Bai Dou Kou), cloves (Ding Xiang), fennel seeds (Xiao Hui Xiang), goji berries (Gou Qi Zi) and more. You can come up with your own blends of herbal tea, which you can teach your clients to make at home. These ingredients are easy to obtain, either from large supermarkets or from online wholesalers like Phoenix. Choose a particular topic, for example – “How to Make a Herbal Tea for Restful Sleep” or “How to Make a Herbal Tea for Anxiety”.
- Chinese Medicine – eastern medicines are wondrous, and many people are turning to these practices after little success from conventional medicine. However, most of your clients would have been taught western science in schools, so the concept of Chinese medicine is a completely new school of thought. Teach your students the fascinating concepts of yin and yang, the five elements, the meridians and how to eat according to their TCM diagnostic pattern. You may inspire more to learn TCM or even gain a handful of new clients!
Are you a specialist in a particular health concern? Perhaps you have a lot of clinical experience with pain management, fertility or digestive problems. There are many other practitioners who are interested in what you do. You can hold online courses via Zoom, GoToMeeting or any other video conferencing platform. Sell places to your course to other TCM practitioners or even those in a different discipline. The world of Chinese medicine is fascinating and many other complementary therapists are interested to find out more.
Why not reach out to education providers, regulatory bodies and even suppliers to host your webinar? They are likely to have a larger reach to not only TCM practitioners, but also osteopaths, physiotherapists, doctors and more. Working with these organisations can give your webinar a boost in numbers of students.
We hope that these tips have inspired you to be more comfortable with conducting your TCM business online. This list is just the beginning! We recommend that you do plenty of research on using online conferencing tools like Zoom and reading articles on how to conduct your new services effectively.
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