Today I will be speaking about cosmetic acupuncture as a major source of profit for your practice.
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Hi, my name’s Michelle Gellis. I am an acupuncture physician, and I would like to thank you for coming today to my presentation. And also thank you to the American Acupuncture Council for hosting today’s talk. Today I will be speaking about cosmetic acupuncture as a major source of profit for your practice.
I teach facial and cosmetic acupuncture classes internationally, and some of the questions that I get have nothing to do. The actual act of performing the the techniques, the protocols, the theory of cosmetic or facial acupuncture frequently. A lot of the questions that I get, have to do with setting up your practice marketing.
Timing of treatments and other services in addition to facial and cosmetic acupuncture. So I would like to cover those topics today so I can bring to light some of the lesser talked about topics when it comes to facial and cosmetic acupuncture. So first, I would like to talk about how to set up your cosmetic acupuncture practice.
First and foremost, before you begin practicing cosmetic acupuncture, it is imperative that you get trained now. Many of us feel that because we went to acupuncture school and maybe we had one class on cosmetic acupuncture or we feel comfortable and familiar with treating points on the face. I know I did because I am.
Classically trained five element acupuncturists. We use a lot of face points, but the American acupuncture council and some of the other insurance companies do require specialized training in. Cosmetic acupuncture. And the reason is because of the nature of the structure of the face, the nature of treating the face is heavily vascularized.
And you want to make certain to really understand if you’re going to be doing cosmetic acupuncture, how to be doing it, not just effectively, but safe. many of the things that we see on, especially on social media. Now people have hundreds of needles in the face and not only can that be painful, but it can cause bleeding, bruising, neuropathy.
So it, and it doesn’t have to be that way. You can. Get a wonderful effect from facial and cosmetic acupuncture by using very few needles, if you’re properly trained. So one of the most important things for an effective cosmetic acupuncture practice is to. Trained. And this goes for facial acupuncture as well.
So what’s the difference between facial acupuncture and cosmetic acupuncture? The way I use the terms, when I am talking about facial acupuncture, I am speaking about acupuncture for neuro or neuromuscular or muscular. Facial conditions, things like bells, palsy, TMJ, trigeminal, neuralgia, OSIS. There are a lot of diseases that can affect the face.
And there are treatment protocols which are highly specialized, which involve. Specialized techniques for treating the face. So that is what I consider to be facial acupuncture and cosmetic acupuncture is primarily designed to work with the muscles and the fascia and the skin and the blood supply. and even with cupping in Guha with the fat on the face to help, to reduce sagging wrinkles, skin dyschromia and other things which are more cosmetic, not always due to aging, some of them can be acne or rosacea.
Primarily when we talk about cosmetic acupuncture, what comes to mind is wrinkles, sagging, things of that nature. So getting properly trained is the first thing, if you are setting up your cosmetic acupuncture practice, a good training will include. Paperwork, such as intake forms your specialized contracts.
You will need specialized contracts before you start doing cosmetic acupuncture because you have to set up realistic expectations. You want to outline all the contraindications and precautions upfront. So there’s no surprises on the back end. So good training should involve a set of paperwork. If you’re lucky, you’ll get some marketing tools.
We’ll talk about those in a minute and also an overview of what tools you’ll need and how to use them. And maybe even where to get them. Some classes will. Provide tools for you to use some will sell tools there. Some will include the cost of the tools in your training. When I teach classes, I give my students everything they need to practice.
And then I tell them where they can get any of the tools that they will need moving forward. So what are some of these tools? You will need a good set of tweezers to insert intradermal needles because intradermal needles are an important part of helping to stimulate collagen. ANCA gel can be very beneficial for bruising, bleeding inflammation and knowing how and where and when to apply.
It is very. Q-tips are great for applying pressure. If there is some bleeding, I like it better than a cotton ball. You can apply direct pressure onto the point. And if there is some sort of a swelling occurring than, or little hematoma you can apply direct pressure. And then of course intradermals what type of intradermals to use?
How many, what size, what brand, these are all things that will be important pieces of information. When you set up your cosmetic acupuncture practice, I like using a floor lamp in my treatment room. It will provide adequate lighting so that you can see what you’re doing. The floor lamps that I like are these goose neck lamps, where it’s on the floor, but you can move it this way with a fluorescent bulb.
They are available usually at craft stores and possibly on the internet as well. I like having a. Like a foam, like a Tempur-Pedic type foam cushion on the table because sometimes our tables, although they are comfortable for the short term, our cosmetic patients tend to be on the table for quite a while.
So having that extra layer is really nice, gives it that spa feel without a huge investment. And depending on where you live a table warmer is really nice too, because you will have arm and leg points exposed. In some instances, your patient’s neck and chest might be exposed because they have needles in them.
And of course their head and face will be exposed. And this will. Warm up the body and help the blood flow up to the face. Depending on what style and brand needles you have having an extra garbage PA in your treatment room comes in handy because you’ll be working at their feet at their arms doing your body points.
And then you’ll be sitting at the head of the table working on their face. Having a couple of small trash panels, I found to be very beneficial. A hand mirror so that your patient can look at themselves. They can point out things to you that are areas of concern, or they could look at themselves after the treatment and then a small magnet.
They make these They’re it looks like a pen, but it’s an extendable magnet. If one of the intradermal needles were to fall someplace, instead of using your fingers to pick it up, you could use these small magnets to pick them up.
What about marketing tools? What are some of the things that can really get you noticed? I have had a cosmetic acupuncture practice for almost 20 years. And. I still to this day, have paper brochures explaining cosmetic acupuncture. When I teach classes, I have a marketing kit available and I have pre-made brochures that my students can download.
So they don’t have to design them. They can customize them, however they would like, but having brochures in your waiting area. so that when your, maybe your non-cosmetic patients are waiting for a treatment, they can pick them up. Maybe they won’t read them right in the moment. They’ll take them home.
They’ll look at them and they know what questions to ask. I also have a book in my waiting room and I. Testimonials from my cosmetic acupuncture patients plus before and after photos. And if you’re just starting out, you might say I don’t have any before and after photos again. When you get trained, ask the person who’s training you.
If they have photos to share, this is something I also provide in my classes, so that students. Before they even have foreign afters, at least they have something verifiable that they can show to patients. And also on your website, you should have a separate section just for cosmetic acupuncture and have your S E O your search engine optimization.
Pointing towards this as far as log posts your social media can PO can point to this page directly on your website. The more activity the page has, the more is going to be shown when someone is in your area and they Google. Cosmetic acupuncture or facial acupuncture and whatever city you are in, but the testimonials having them both on your website and in your waiting room can be very powerful.
As far as your social media, you have to know your audience. There are certain. Types of social media that lend themselves more to the videos, certain lend themselves more to stories and sharing, but definitely if you want to focus on facial and cosmetic acupuncture, getting your perform afters, having your videos, having your hashtags, everything set up.
To drive traffic to your TikTok or your Instagram or your Facebook pages is very important. And I know a lot of my younger students left Facebook or were never on Facebook. They say it’s for old people. Many of your clients will be old. So keep that in mind. If you’re not on Facebook, if you’ve never been on Facebook, if you got off of Facebook, you might wanna reconsider having a Facebook page, maybe just for your cosmetic acupuncture piece of your practice and for nothing.
I do have a Facebook group that I run, which has over 8,000 people in it. It’s called facial acupuncture and being connected with other people that are doing what you’re doing helps to it, it raises you up because you learn from each other and it keeps it front and center in your mind. I, when I was first starting out, I used to have spa nights where I would invite my patients who might be interested in cosmetic acupuncture.
I would have some products out. I would talk to them. I would maybe do a little demo or just do a couple of intradermal needles so they could see what it felt like. during that time, you could do giveaways. You could even do an instructional class, let’s say on self care, cupping and Guha. So if you sell cupping and Guha kits your patients can, this is something they can do at home.
In between treatments. You could teach a little class on the Accu lift facial cupping set. It comes with a video for you to learn the self care piece, plus it has directions on the box and this can be a wonderful activity. A lot of my students have either done this for free or charge their patients.
So they might get a free class if they buy a cupping. or they just charge a couple of dollars and they buy a cupping set and they take a class that way packages providing if it’s legal in the state where you practice providing a package. Of let’s say you buy 12 facial acupuncture treatments, and maybe they get a free Derma roller or a free cupping session.
I would not do buy 12, get one free because that is really giving away a lot of your time. But something minimal doesn’t cost you a lot of money, but they feel like they’re getting something you wanna check with your local acupuncture board and make certain you’re allowed to do that. But those are great ideas for cosmetic acupuncture, because the important thing to think about is cosmetic acupuncture is a cash based business.
Insurance will not pay for cosmetic acupuncture. So your patients are paying you cash. You’re not having to go through the time and the trouble of filing for insurance. You get paid right away, right there. And there’s no having to deal with all of that paperwork and paying someone else to file it or.
You could also do patient classes on Derma rolling. Same thing with the facial cupping in Guha, you get some Derma rollers and the OCUL lift Derma rollers are the only Derma rollers. Which are approved by the American acupuncture council for use in the treatment room. You might wanna check those out as well, also converting your current customers.
So you have your clients, they’re coming to see you maybe. Complaining about getting older and they feel like they look tired all the time. Here is a whole audience that you already have people that are already coming to see you, and you can share stories about other. Patients who have the same concern and you help them.
And sometimes I’ll just throw in a couple of extra points to lift a brow or thread or wrinkle so they can get an idea of what it’s like. And typically they love it. Another question I get asked a lot is about the timing of the treatments. People are worried, I’m gonna be spending all this time in my treatment room.
Isn’t it more cost effective for me to just have three or four rooms going at once. And how am I ever gonna make any money doing this? The answer is you have to Once you get your flow going, you can have two rooms going at once 15 minutes to get the needles in. While that patient’s lying on the table for a half an hour, you can go, you can treat another patient.
Then you come back in, you take the needles out, do your cupping in Guha, and then you. Back to the other patient. So you can easily get two rooms going at once and whatever you typically charge for an hour treatment, I would charge that. And then half that again. So one and a half times what you would normally charge for a one hour acupuncture treatment.
You’re going to charge one and a half times. Because your patient will be in the room for about an hour and a half, maybe a little less. So it is entirely possible to have two rooms going at once. Maybe not. When you first start out, when you first start out, it might take you a little longer to get the needles in, but once you’ve done it a few times, couple a dozen times, you should be able to get the needles in, in about 15 minutes.
And be on to the next room. What about ancillary services and by ancillary services? Cupping in Washa Derma rolling microneedling. How do you work this in? As I just mentioned I never do. Cosmetic acupuncture without doing facial cupping and GU jaw. So it’s how I end my treatments. It helps with bruising, it relaxes the patient.
It’s something that I look forward to and it helps to bring the blood and the cheat out to the skin level. And it’s a really nice way and a treat. You can be trained specifically in facial cupping in Guha, or you can take a comprehensive course in facial acupuncture, cupping and Guha, which is what I would recommend.
Also, you will have patients who don’t want needles. And with them I can do in a half an hour. I do just facial cupping in Washa and I would charge accordingly for an abbreviated, half an hour cupping in Washa treatment. Derma rolling is something that you can offer as an add-on and. What I like to do would be more like Derma rolling and facial cupping in Guha, or I might do derro on a neck and chest and just do the facial acupuncture on the face.
I don’t like to end a facial acupuncture treatment with Derma rolling, because it can be a. For the skin. You can sell your patients of Derma welder and teach them how to use it, and then they can use it at home in between treatments, or you can offer it as a separate service. And then depending on how much time you wanna spend with the Derma, rolling will determine.
What you would charge and charge accordingly. Now dermas are single person use, you don’t wanna be sharing them between patients. There’s no way to Barb aside or autoclave these safely, because little pieces of hair and skin fragments, microscopic can. Stuck in between the needles and you could cross-contaminate.
So if you were going to offer it as a service, you either keep the Dermer roller for your patients for when they come and you would clean it and use it just on them, or you reduce it on them and send them home with it. And then if they wanted you to do a treatment on them, when they come back, they would have to bring it.
As far as microneedling, I do microneedling as a standalone service. So I will do facial acupuncture, and then microneedling. And the only caveat to this is. If someone only wants or needs microneedling, let’s say on their neck, on their chest, on their hands, I can do cosmetic acupuncture.
So I would put in the body points and the face points, and then I could put numbing cream on them. And then once I take the needles out of their face, I could do the microneedling, or even when the needles are in, I could potentially do the microneedling once the numbing cream comes off. And this way the person is getting the best of both worlds, especially if they have problem areas around the lips, on the chin.
But you don’t wanna be doing cosmetic acupuncture and microneedling on the same area in the same treatment. And microneedling is extremely profitable. It’s very easy to add into your practice. And people are charging anywhere from 350 to $700 for a half an hour. Microneedling treat. Yes. So you have your initial investment of your microneedling tool, like the ACU lift MicroPen or and then the only thing you have to replace are your serums, which are not a tremendous investment up front.
And then you can add this on as a treatment. I think that is all I have for you today. You can find me on social media at facialacupuncture,classes.com or on Facebook or Instagram or TikTok Michelle Galles. And again, thank you to the American Acupuncture Council for hosting this. And I look forward to seeing your next.