Drive NEW Patients Into Your PRACTICE!

The Dangerous Trend that Most Acupuncturists are Incorporating into Their Websites that is Dramatically Limiting Their Business Success and Keeping Them Frustrated and Exhausted from their Ineffective Efforts!

As I’ve talked with a number of Acupuncturists and reviewed their websites, I’ve noticed this startling trend and don’t think many have thought about the implications.

Chinese Medicine is absolutely, heart and soul, about people. You don’t use gadgets to measure and weigh. Instead you pay attention to how your patient looks, the quality, volume and texture of their voice, their coloration, movement, etc. You don’t simply collect a patient’s information for documentation purposes. Instead, you carefully read what is and isn’t said and then review all of the nuances with them.

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Caroline and staff in Dispensary customizing Chinese Medicine formulas

Do you remember the first date you had with someone? How did that happen? Did you ask them or did they ask you out by calling and leaving a message by voicemail where you then responded, also by leaving a voicemail? No. That would seem very alien and cold, not to mention weird! Because starting this new adventure was personal and you were possibly starting an entire relationship, the question was best asked in person. It’s always best asked in person! Don’t let a machine get in the way.

Yet this is exactly the scenario when you have online booking of appointments. A prospective person first has to decide whether or not to venture into your office and regardless of how good your website is and how fabulous you are with social media, YOU and THEY are still people! DON’T LET MACHINES GET IN THE WAY! It may be old-fashioned, but a new person wants to hear your voice, assess your professionalism (or your staff’s) and decide if they like your personality and communication skills. Of course, ultimately, they’re beginning the initial assessment of whether or not YOU CARE and can help them.

Since the new patient can’t obtain this experience by booking an appointment online… Guess what? THEY DON’T! They do not choose to book an appointment and move on to someone else’s website or just decide the whole thing was a bad idea and put off getting their first treatment indefinitely. Oooh, bad outcome for both of you. I can’t tell you how many patients came into my office



Caroline & Bryan
P.S. Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think!

Are your services WORTH IT??

As an Acupuncturist, you are considered to have a “Professional Degree“, i.e. you are in a profession like chiropractors, nurses, physical therapists and architects which requires licensing to practice a specific profession requiring analysis.  This category does NOT require that you have your Doctorate.


You may find it interesting that the median (by the way, “median” is a better number to look at since “average” includes those with UBER high incomes as well as uber low.  “Median” is the number you get when you remove the uber high and low and then take an average of everyone left in the middle.) annual income for others with a professional degree is $88,530!

Additionally, remember that this figure reflects those receiving a “salary”, meaning that there is almost always a benefits package equal to about 30% of the salary which provides for paid vacation, paid holidays, health insPresentations 047urance and retirement.  So, $88,530 with a 30% addition to give you the same overall salary package as others with your skill set is $115,089.

Since most businesses have 50% of their revenue that has to go to overhead, rent, electricity, office supplies, etc…

Your practice should gross $230,178!

That’s the amount of total revenue your practice should gross to give you the median, i.e. just the middle-of-the-road income as your fellow Professionally degreed colleagues.  It’s now the low end, but it’s certainly not the high end.  This is what you should expect.

       …SHOCKER, RIGHT??

You and I know it’s not about the money.  We love to help.  There’s nothing better in the world than helping people.  The look of relief on their face when you’ve taken away the pain.  The family and friends that tell you they can’t believe the difference in the loved one you treated.  The woman whose husband came into our practice after our treatments for a month that said, “Thank You.  I didn’t believe in this and thought she was just wasting our money, but I don’t even know when she has her menstrual cycle now, because she’s always happy and it was tearing our marriage apart before.”  Those moments are precious and they’re really all the payment we need.  We’d do this for free.

Unfortunately, most of us almost do.

But our rent isn’t free and our education wasn’t free.  We have to eat and have a place to sleep like everyone else.  Why shouldn’t we be able to afford a home and save for retirement like everyone else?  Don’t you deserve it?  Haven’t you worked hard to earn it? And, what about the value of your services?  Aren’t they worth it?  What would you pay or pay for your husband or child to relieve their suffering?  What have you had to pay?

Money simply says, “I value this” and to what degree.  You don’t have to make the most, but why should you make the least?


Caroline & Bryan

 P.S. Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think!

Where’s Your PROOF??

START your SUCCESS ENGINES!! This SIMPLE alteration can be made TODAY!!
Ever wonder what a prospective patient thinks when they first sit down to discuss their concerns with you in your office?? Take a good look around. What does it say about your abilities?

Most likely it’s calming and relaxing, but does it convey the message that YOU CAN HELP THEM? What items WOULD convey your experience and expertise that would have meaning FOR THEM?


Our culture is designed around proof. We ask for a receipt showing proof that we paid for an item. We ask for proof of identity when going through security at the airport.  One of the most profound “proofs” we can show to our prospective patients of our abilities and knowledge is the full collection of our licenses and certificates!!

So, one of the most important and inexpensive measures you can take today is to prB passport photo 2014ominently display on the wall behind where you sit, so that the patient facing you can see them, ALL of your diplomas from college, Chinese Medical School, NCCAOM, State board licenses, etc.

MAKE sure to put them in large, beautiful frames!! You are showcasing and honoring your achievements!! Watch your patient’s eyes as they glance repeatedly at the wall reviewing the amassed knowledge depicted in those frames! This engages them in your care, establishes your authority granted by the various licensing bodies and prepares them mentally to choose YOU as their provider!

Today is the PERFECT day to REV UP YOUR Acupuncture BUSINESS! DO IT!!!

To Your Success!!

Caroline & Bryan

How Important is My Business Name??

What’s in a NAME?? If it’s your business name, then EVERYTHING if you want Business SUCCESS!! To be successful, you have to choose from specific elements that convey what you do!  I know it sounds easy enough, until you con

Finding Your Pizza Place

Think about the last time you wanted to find an Italian restaurant that had really good wood-fired pizza.  What did you do?  You probably just Googled the city name and “pizza,” right?  So, you likely got annoyed when names like Mario’s and La Traviatta came up.  First of all, they likely have pizza since they came up under this search, but are they wood-fired?  Also, if you drove by these businesses, would you even be certain, based on the name, if they served pizza at all??  Mario’s could be a shoe shop/cobbler.  LJune 24 2014 download 028a Traviatta might be a music shop!  So, how do you find what you’re looking for??

You’re patients are experiencing the same thing!  So, it’s VERY IMPORTANT to name your business based on what your prospective patient is looking for. This really can not be overstated.  If you have a name like “Whooping Crane Healing”, what does that say to people who are looking for you?  What does the word Healing refer to specifically and do I want that?  Is this an addiction counseling business or a Bird Sanctuary or Veterinarian that specializes in birds??  Seriously!

Location, Location, Location!

So, what is your patient looking for??  Obviously, if searching on line, your patient is definitely looking for you, based on location.  So, you must have the city name or your specific areas’ name, i.e. the name by which everyone calls a specific region of a city.  Here in Austin, most everyone knows where the Hyde Park area or SoLa areas are, so those would make it easy for someone to both know the city and more specific location within the city that your business is located in and whether or not your proximity works for them or if you’re an hour away given traffic.

What are Your Patients Searching For?

The good news is that you are a Chinese Medical practitioner, UBER capable and knowledgeable abouC in Dispensary2t an entire Chinese Medical SYSTEM!  WoWW!!!  You know acupuncture, you know herbs, you have learned to apply Chinese Medical diagnosis and understand the interconnectedness of organs and channels, you can help your patients with food and lifestyle choices, you can resolve a multitude of symptoms and prevent pathologies your patients don’t even realize are in process and you can treat ALL of these just with moxa alone if you have focused your skills in this area and…  the…  list… goes… on… and…  on…  and on….

But…  Guess what your prospective patients know about you?  About the Chinese Medical system??


yUP!  tHAT’S IT!!

So, guess what they’re searching for??  Acupuncture and pain.  OK.  It’s painful, but true.  So, we have to work with this. One of my coaches said a phrase that I found to be very powerful, “You have to give them what they WANT, so you can give them what they NEED.”  Since your patients only know Acupuncture and that it’s for pain and the vast amount of research supporting Acupuncture is for its use for pain, AND given that you are now aware that your patients are searching these parameters…

Your Business name equation has to read:  Location + Acupuncture + Pain + Medicine 

I know.  It’s not creative.  It’s not sexy.  It’s not sultry like “Whooping Crane Healing Center,” but it works.  Would you rather help people or have a sexy name??  REMEMBER!!  THE NAME IS NOT FOR YOU!! This is for your patient.  This is to build a bridge from them TO YOU!  They need a route, an access point and this is the point of entry that they are searching for!


The choice is really that clear.   How about “Round Rock Acupuncture Pain Management?”  or “Waco Acupuncture Back Pain Medical Center”  or “Missoula Acupuncture Sleep Center” or “Zimbabwe Acupuncture Pain Medicine.”  Yes, you can also specialize and it’s highly recommended!!  DON’T WORRY!  You will NOT be locked into only treating pain, sleep or low back pain, etc. because as a specialist, people assume you have mastered the basics and will come to you for your help with ALL areas of their health.  Google your area or city name and pain and see how the Western Medical pain centers and doctors name their practices and just do a variation on that them.  THIS IS WHAT YOUR PROSPECTIVE PATIENTS KNOW!  This is what they have seen and expect from a medical professional….YOU ARE A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL!

Additionally, once they see you for their specific condition you specialize in, they will trust you to help with the other areas that you long to treat and know they need, so they can continue with care for months and years which allows you to do your best and deepest work and achieve a level of satisfaction for both your patient and yourself you only dreamed of!!

You get the picture!  And guess what?  Now it’s easy to market, the message is clear, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) words come easily and your website, blog, etc. quickly moves up in the rankings on searches so that you’re listed far above Whooping Crane Healing Center.”


Caroline & Bryan

P.S.  We’d love to know what you think!  Please tell us what’s on your mind…

Build Your Practice JING

Create PHENOMENAL Acupuncture Business SUCCESS by building your Practice JING!!

What is practice jing?? How do you create it? build it?

I only recently realized that business in general has changed dramatically in the last 2 years. For example, did you know that websites are less and less effective at reaching people or bringing them in for your care?! What, YOU SAY????

Yes! we’re all spIpad download 02 03 15 060ending a lot of time and money on our websites and because of the proliferation of them, people spend only a few seconds on them, if they happen across them at all, and then leave the site and NEVER RETURN!

With increased technology and software program sophistication, we can now reach millions of people, but how to do it effectively? How do we reach those who are actually looking for us, but don’t know where to go? Have questions and don’t know what to expect?? This brings us back to jing.

Your practice jing is your EMAIL LIST OF PROSPECTIVE PATIENTS and current patients. Your whole reason to exist as a practitioner is to help people, so they are our business jing, but I’m willing to bet that virtually none of you have an email list of current patients, much less prospective patients, that you actively communicate with so they get to know you and feel comfortable with you and Chinese Medicine in general.


So,It is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL that you have a Landing Page on your website that offers a free gift of information, etc. so that you can already begin to help them and offer value in exchange for their email address. This then gives you the ability to email them with more free tips on health and lifestyle and diet so they get to know you and “try before you buy.”

A great place to start is with the company Leadpages (no, I have no stake in the company!).  They have tested templates so that you get to choose from templates that are actually successfully interesting the highest percentage of people.  A good template may interest 60-80% of people versus only 20-30% of people, thereby doubling the number of people you can reach.  I also like them in particular since they have weekly live tutorials to walk you through all the steps necessary to set up your landing page and start reaching all the people that need you.  FORGET THE FLYER!!

Your email list is everything and far better than a flat website, giving you the ability to engage/interest them over time, provided you offer them your expert knowledge in a tantalizing way.


Caroline & Bryan

P.S. We’d love to know what you’re thinking and we actually read every comment…so let us know just below!


Solution to a Slow Schedule

Power UP THIS WEEK with this SUPER EASY SOLUTION to the Winter Practice Doldrums!!

Ok, I know. It’s cold out and your patient schedule is as cold as the temperatures outside. How to solve this lull in business and get back to loving what you do… helping people who need you! Here’s an absolutely successful solution that can yield 50x the investment! (Ours literally paid for itself in the first month and then brought in 50x what we paid…just in the first year!)  The sandwich board.

People generally like sandwich board signs because they’re nostalgic which provides a sense of comfort in a world gone “web wild” and electronic versus the old days of personal, written text on a tangible surface.  Additionally, it says you’re likely a local business owner and is a very personal statement of who you are and what your business is about.  It might not be the most elegant communication tool, but it IS very effective, IF and ONLY IF you do it right. Here’s a few tips that can make all the difference.

  1. Color – Ever think about why stop signs are red and yield signs are yellow?  These are two colors which are very easy download Aug 31 022to see against most backgrounds and immediately impact us as humans with a visual emphasis to our physiology.  A picture’s worth a thousand words, right?  That’s because we are visually oriented.  Especially in winter, when everything is dark and grey, pick red and or yellow.  Yellow in particular stands out against a grey winter background and has the additional benefit of making us feel sunshiny and happy…think summer sun and flowers!!
  2. Size – Check your local laws about size and then get the largest sign allowed.  It’s best if the top comes to waist or slight higher to more easily catch your eyes.  Make sure  to check into how much of the sidewalk the sign can encompass and that there is plenty of room for people to pass by.  There’s nothing worse than having the unintended consequence of irritating the very people you want to intrigue!
  3. Center translucent panel for customized inserts – Make sure to request a center panel with a side entrance so that you can change it out every week to announce events, presentations, etc.  This is WHERE THE REAL MAGIC HAPPENS!!
  4. NEVER advertise, like we did, “FREE Health Screening.”  This is far too bland and although ours was quite successful, people have changed and I know you can be more successful!  People are far more jaded with marketing and want to see an exact picture of themselves in your marketing or you’ll never see them in your practice.
  5. Personalize and be SPECIFIC  with your message – Far better, is to have the insert read with a very specific symptom and personalize the message, as if speaking to only one person, as in, “Solve Your Low Back Pain Today”.  That way, as the person with low back pain walks by, they think, “wow, that’s me and I would like to start solving it today!”  Most people realize that it won’t be actually solved that day, but that they would be taking the first step to actually reaching that goal.
  6. GET A MOVE ON!  That is, move the sign.  Don’t make the mistake of placing it in the same spot every day.  After a few days, especially weeks, of people passing by, they get used to it and will no longer “see” it.  So, keep them guessing.  We frequently moved ours to the end of the block and had inserts that included an arrow pointing the direction to our practice.

OK!  So, ready to call and get yours??  Don’t wait!  Take action today and be sure to let us know how it’s going!  I would love to hear about the first patient that walked in your doors and asked about your services!!

P.S.  ALWAYS  ask every new patient how they found out about you!  This is pure gold.  You MUST know what marketing is and isn’t working.  Typically 80% of your revenue is only from 20% of what you do, so make sure to identify the 80% and do MORE of it!!  and don’t waste your time and money on the 20%!!


Caroline & Bryan



FastTrack Your Acupuncture Business TODAY To SHOCK Yourself with Practice SUCCESS!!

Oh, oh, oh, but how to do it? Can it be DONE?? A resounding YES!!!

Do you remember hearing of the protocols in China when you were in school? How acute patients came in every day or several timedownload Aug 31 030s per week to get results? Have you read research reports on these same protocols being used throughout Asia? Yes? I thought so. So, why do you tell your patients to come back in a week for another treatment? And only one week at a time?

I heard long ago that as Chinese Medicine gained popularity in the 70’s, people were also seeing their therapist once per week and Chinese Medicine decided to ” go with the flow” and so implemented the once-per-week model, but that has never been a part of our medicine!

When a patient comes to you in pain and is suffering, should we offer them less than our best?? OF COURSE NOT!! So, tell them … what… they…need!

I always recommend a series of 3-6 treatments IN A ROW, or every other day at most, so WE can both see how your symptom responds.


I can not overstate the importance of this simple statement. Here’s what is packed into it:

1. Expectations: You do not, and therefore they should not, expect that only one treatment is going to solve their symptom!

2. Instant Authority Creation:  The fact is…YOU KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING, but how does the patient know this? When you tell a patient that you have an established procedure for new patients to assess their Rate of Response, you will command instant respect!  YOU become the authority because you have established parameters and are showing that you know what you’re doing! This makes them pay attention and accept you as the authority. This is one of the premier moments in which they decide that YOU are the person they need in order to heal themselves.

3. Measurable Results: You establish that you EXPECT results and that those results are measurable!! (So, make sure you have a method of measuring before and after!)

4. Patient Partnership: You create a partnership with the patient. Because you said, “We can both see how your body responds”, you have included them and engaged them in looking at their symptom WITH you. This creates the atmosphere of trust, partnership, working together side-by-side. You have implied that you have knowledge but are not placing yourself above them, but by their side.

5. Cumulative Results: The effects of Acupuncture are cumulative! Don’t chiropractors and physical therapists ALL find the same thing? When’s the last time you went to the gym ONE TIME and had the body strength, flexibility and weight you wanted after that one visit?? NEVERRRRRR!

You first need repeated signals to stop the bad pathway/function, e.g. if liver yang is rising,you must descend it. But is that enough? NO!! Won’t it just rise again unless you solve why it rose in the first place??  YES!! So, now you have to solve the reason WHY it rose:

Did the yang rise because liver yin was deficient? Then, you must now nourish liver yin! What does that require??2014 (36)

  • Dietary modifications
  • Lifestyle modifications
  • More acupuncture
  • Chinese Medicine Botanicals (I prefer this term since we are licensed professionals and highly trained to prescribe these as an elevated art form and have, at a minimum, our Masters Degree; we’re not simply bringing in some “herbs” from the garden to put in a salad! …And, most importantly, our patients need to realize all of this via our language.)

WOW! That’s a lot of stuff that needs to happen! So, how many visits does this patient really need?? How many consults? How many acupuncture treatments? How much info for you to provide on diet and lifestyle?

Write down everything they need and present them with your recommendations.

Remember, your job is to give them your best! They may say they do or do not want this amount of care or can or can not afford it, but it is your duty to tell them what they need and then create a plan around what is doable for their desires, time and budget.

You will be surprised at how many patients will make a concerted effort for months and years to not only resolve their symptoms, but solve the reason why they happened, but this can only happen if you present them with the plan of the care that they need..

Caroline & Bryan

Medical Magnificence!

CATAPULT YOUR Acupuncture Business to the TOP! TIP #4:

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Caroline Burdulis, LAc during a consultation

Did you ever stop to think or tell your prospective patients HOW FABULOUS you are?? Unless you tell them, they don’t know that:

1. Acupuncture is only ONE modality of the Chinese Medical SYSTEM.

2. Chinese Medicine IS an ENTIRE Medical System, which, like Western Medicine, has developed MANY tools and in its toolbox are: acu, botanicals, tuina, diet and lifestyle knowledge, and QI Gong, and THE LIST GOES ON!!

3. This MEDICAL SYSTEM (and please start using this phrase daily in your practice as you speak with your patients!) has ITS own understanding of physiology, pathophysiology, disease, health, and diagnosis.

4. YOU do NOT need a Western Medical diagnosis, since YOU are highly trained and skilled in making an Initial Working Diagnosis based on Chinese Medical principles of analysis of symptoms and that YOU are going to ANALYZE and DIAGNOSE as you are LICENSED to do!
…..BE SURE TO TELL THEM THIS, explaining how you go about making a diagnosis and then the thought that goes into point selection. If you just give a treatment without this prelude, you lose the ability for them to appreciate the VALUE you have to offer. There will be less understanding and therefore less trust and you will not be seen as the authority they will want to accept protocols from.

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NCCAOM Diplomate of Oriental Medicine Certificate… achieved after completion of all 5 national examinations

5. You have been taught and shown proficiency in, through standardized NATIONAL TESTING, at least 3, or some of you 5, areas of an entire medical system that, just like Western Medicine, requires 4 years of full-time education!

5. Many of you have 3200 hours of training, the longest Masters program in the United States! TELL YOUR PATIENTS THIS AT YOUR FIRST APPOINTMENT!


Caroline & Bryan

P.S.  We’d love to know what you’re thinking… so please leave a comment!


To Discount or Not to Discount: THAT is the Question

This is a tough one!

As practitioners, we are hard-wired to help people and generally have some of the biggest hearts on the PLANET! The last thing we think about is getting paid! Frequently, patients ask for a discount to our services or sliding scale or tell us they are stopping care or can’t start care due to lack of money and we therefore, take them at their word and want to offer a discount. Here’s a few things to consider:

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Bryan Watrous, LAc specializing in Pain Relief instructs a patient in the deeper understanding of the channel connections

What does discounting your price say about how you VALUE your services and will this affect your patient’s view of your value?? Unfortunately, our culture decides if something is good, bad or better BASED ON PRICE! For example, when was the last time you chose to see a gynecologist based on price? Did you decide on Chinese Medical School based on price or where you thought you would receive the best education? The vast majority of people, especially when it comes down to their health, will only VALUE your services based on what you charge.

Value is about perception and the more something costs, the more we perceive it as having value. It’s not about the money, but how it’s PERCEIVED as representing something WORTHwhile. Even this word, “Worthwhile” is a fabulous example of how the cost of a thing is worth doing it!! On the other hand, Low price… low value. In our culture, we often ask “is it WORTH it? This is the perfect phrase that illustrates my point. Frequently, we make decisions that are not comfortable economic choices BECAUSE IT’S WORTH IT!! I didn’t make the rules, I just know ’em.

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It’s easiest to consider the value of your services in a quiet place of solitude

Years ago, I had a gentleman tell me he had very little money and needed a discount. So, being a compassionate practitioner, I reduced my price by half for several months, at which time he ended care, only to have him return to care in 6 months telling me about how many symptoms he was having again “since he and his wife and 3 children had returned from their 3 week family in the Bahamas scuba diving every day!” By the way, I never would have guessed this gentleman had those resources given his demeanor and clothing.

Another example was a woman crying in my office about her pain, but not enough money and could I please reduce my fees, and then later had her come in paying in all cash “from the vault of money her husband keeps as a partner in a law firm!” Additionally, the husband had come in to her Report Of Findings dressed in old, torn shabby clothes, which was fine, but the point being that visually there was no way of knowing he was a partner in a law firm.


Caroline & Bryan

Confidence, Confidence, Confidence!

The Top 3 Reasons an Acupuncture Practice is Successful That You Would Never Guess and Cost NOTHING!!!
In real estate, they say “location, location, location.” But why?? Because no matter what house you buy or business you rent, it’s only as good as its location. For example, if you live in a fabulous mansion in the middle of the Sahara with no close acces to food and water…FORGET ABOUT IT!

But for a Chinese Medical practitioner, it’s CONFIDENCE, CONFIDENCE, CONFIDENCE! No matter how amazing your acupuncture skills are or how perfect your diagnosis and bedside manner, if you can not stand up tall, with shoulders back and chin uplifted and with no hesitation, speak in a clear and precise manner, you will not be seen as the incredible practitioner you are! Your advice will not be heeded and there will be only a few patients that find their way to your door.
So stand in front of a mirror and practice! Stand on both feet, as you stand on the shoulders of the men and women who worked tirelessly for generations to create this outstanding body of knowledge. Breathe deeply as you breathe in the Qi of our ancestors. Speak with authority and confidence just as you practice with the engrained experience of your years in school.

If you do not feel this confidence yet, allow yourself to be an open channel for the ancients to speak through. They support you, you have the knowledge from them, YOU embody the medicine and have everything you need. Let our history simply flow through you and utilize your EXCITEMENT of what you know can be achieved TO PROJECT THIS BODY OF KNOWLEDGE!!