Please Note! Due to the high volume of irritating spam and slow-down of participation here, we are no longer accepting new comments, questions, or subjects on this Forum. We are keeping all the subjects and comments for review as there is a lot of good stuff here relating to practice-building subjects. So, dig deep! Thanks to everyone who participated here but it is time to move on to bigger projects educating the public about acupuncture! Matt Bauer
06-May-2014 03:09 PM
Hi everyone, just wanted to share some good news. I found this website about a month ago after typing the search string “what to do when your acupuncture practice is failing” into google. I found the website, read the book, lowered my prices and moved offices (upstairs in the same building, where I could have two treatment rooms for about the same price). I also took several other of Matt’s suggestions and it amounted to several wholesale changes.
1. Name change from “Kang Dao Acupuncture Health Center” to “Albany Acupuncture Health Center” – definitely a good move.
2. Cash discount price changed from $150 new patient/$70 followups to $70/$39 with $29 for seniors.
3. Emphasizing the fact that acupuncture works by helping the body’s own natural self healing system.
4. Working hard to come up with realistic estimates of treatment plans for patients (how many visits and how much improvement they could reasonably expect in what time frame).
5. I’ve written and sent about 30 letters to primary care doctors in my area, introducing myself and offering a free treatment. I haven’t heard anything back yet but I will be sending more. I’m wondering if the next step is to call their offices – I know Marilyn Allen says to bring food and just drop it off with a note, and keep doing that until they can’t ignore you any longer, but that seems so odd to me… I guess I will do it if that is how the game is played, but it does seem very unnatural to me.
6. Regular hours! Because of my new office space (which I share with a fellow acupuncturist) I am able to offer my services Monday through Friday, 9-5. Several of my regular patients expressed relief when I told them about my new, easy-to-remember hours – now they won’t have to wonder if I’m available during those times. I am also getting myself up earlier and to the office so that I am actually in the office during those times, and not just when I happen to have an appointment scheduled. I haven’t had any walk-ins yet, but I was able to accommodate a patient when they called and asked to be seen earlier in the day. Also another patient who wanted to come pick up herbs – I was able to just tell her “I’m here, come by anytime!”
Also for reference when I was researching the primary care doctors in my area I noticed that their offices were all open Monday through Friday, 9-5.
One or two of my patients seemed a bit disappointed I would no longer be available on evenings and weekends but overall it has been a positive. There is one patient who always comes on Sundays, about once a month. She is near retirement and I have committed to honoring her weekend appointments for as long as she needs them. She is one of my biggest fans and is always telling her friends to come see me – and one of them finally did, after I lowered my prices!
7. The big news is, three new patients in the past few weeks! Which doesn’t seem like a lot, but for me it represents a pickup. These are all word-of-mouth referrals which were directly affected by my price drop, and none of them came via a deal website, which is how many of my new patients found me in the past.
It feels like several steps in the right direction. My schedule is still not full but it’s better than it was.
One other thing I wanted to say about Matt’s book and website. I have looked into many different practice building systems and websites – I ordered the “free practice building kit” from that guy who advertises on facebook all the time, and paid for another course by a young lady who I went to school with, called “Six Figure Acupuncturists” and the thing that seems to set this approach apart is the emphasis on hard work. The other courses all seem to emphasize magical thinking and “inspiration” and “if you can dream it, you can do it!” type of thinking.
This is all well and good, and I have definitely gotten a lot out of writing down my goals and “visualizing my dream life” and so on, but is it realistic to want to work three days a week? Is what we do so amazing and exalted that we deserve that? The quote that really struck a chord with me (paraphrased from Matt’s book, I don’t have it in front of me) was “Supporting oneself and making a living by helping people and providing a medical service is a blessing.” And it really is.
06-May-2014 03:14 PM
Whoops, sorry guys! I typed such a long intro that I forgot what this post was going to be about. A patient just contacted me yesterday night via email. I waited until the following morning to reply, and she made an appointment hours later. Take a look at the email exchange…
Dear Mr. Ewell,
I’m writing to inquire about your rates and your availability for an appointment sometime in the next few weeks. I have never tried acupuncture, but am wondering if it might help with what appears to be chronic ankle instability on one side of my body. I am also curious about general health benefits. My insurance does not cover acupuncture, unfortunately.
Thanks for your time.
Hi (patient name),
Thanks for getting in touch. I do have availability in my schedule on most days. The best way to make an appointment is to either call me at 510-516-3478, or you can book online using the following web address: http://
If you do not have insurance coverage, I charge a discounted rate of $70 for new patient appointments and $39 for follow-ups.
Acupuncture works by enhancing your body’s own natural self-healing abilities, so it has a wide range of application. Acupuncture is excellent for balance and stability issues, and has many general health benefits as well. If you’re interested in learning more, I can schedule you a free consultation and we can talk more here in the office. Feel free to also ask more specific questions via email.
Jonah Ewell L.Ac
Hi (patient name),
Just wanted to add, if you have a Health Savings Account or Flex Spending Account (usually your employer will give you a card with a Visa or Mastercard logo on it) you can use that to pay for your visits to our office as well.
Jonah Ewell L.Ac
06-May-2014 05:15 PM
Hi Jonah – It is so good to hear you are finding my advice helpful. I know it can be kind of scary to think about lowering fees but it is also a great way to promote your practice. Now – you need to do all you can to see that the patients that come in your door go out that door satisfied with your service. Thanks for all the nice things you had to say about my work and please feel free to ask any question including clinical ones at any time.