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The Importance of Clearing Blocks before Treating the Face Part 2

 

 

I’m going to do a presentation, which is part two on the importance of clearing blocks before treating the face.

Click here to download the transcript.

Disclaimer: The following is an actual transcript. We do our best to make sure the transcript is as accurate as possible, however, it may contain spelling or grammatical errors.  Due to the unique language of acupuncture, there will be errors, so we suggest you watch the video while reading the transcript.

Hi, my name is Michelle Gellis, and I would like to thank the American Acupuncture Council for giving me this opportunity to talk to you today. I’m going to do a presentation, which is part two on the importance of clearing blocks before treating the face. You can go to the first slide.

So last time I did a presentation on the importance of clearing blocks before treating the face, part one. And you can find that at the AAC website. And it is also available on my website, Facial Acupuncture Classes.

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So a little bit about me quickly before I get started. I am currently on the doctoral faculty at Yosan University in Los Angeles, and I’m a former faculty member and clinic supervisor at the Maryland University of Integrative Health. I was there from 2003 until 2021 and I teach facial and cosmetic acupuncture classes internationally.

So last time I talked about what an energetic block is, and I would just like to do a review of that quickly. So an energetic block essentially is a break in or an impediment to the smooth flow of chi. and blocks can prevent treatments from being effective or can prevent treatments from holding. And in the Lingxu we are taught that only when stagnation is cleared away, the channels can be vented and yin and yang can be harmonized.

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So When you’re performing acupuncture, whether you’re doing facial acupuncture for cosmetic or neuromuscular conditions, there is a lot of chi and blood brought up to the face. To help with the circulation of the face. And if that chi cannot flow smoothly through the meridians, through the channels, to the points, then your treatment will not be as effective.

So last time the blocks that I talked about were a possession and aggressive energy. This time, I am going to talk about husband wife imbalances, or an HW, and also entry exit blocks.

A husband wife imbalance is probably of all the blocks that I covered today. Last time, or of all the blocks that can exist that we treat, an HW is probably the most serious of the blocks and If someone has an HW, it is a sign that their health is declining, their natural healing resources have been depleted, and Yin and Yang.

are losing their their functions, their functional contact. So left untreated over time, the person’s health will deteriorate to the point of them being beyond health.

Due to the severity and the nature of this type of block, the and the number of needles usually used during facial acupuncture treatment, it’s imperative to clear this block, if it is present, before doing any sort of cosmetic treatment on your patient. Otherwise, you could further deplete your patient, leaving them weak.

and at risk of serious physical or emotional deterioration. So how do we determine if someone has a husband white imbalance or an HW? So what you will notice is, so normally the left hand pulses, the pulses on the left side, are stronger than the pulses on the right. But if someone has a husband wife imbalance, then the right side pulses are going to be stronger in quantity, so they’re going to be bigger, stronger pulses, and they will have a different quality, sharp fighting quality to them.

So the right side pulses will be stronger than the left side. So the right side pulses are considered to be the wife’s side pulses and the left are considered to be the So you’re, you have this imbalance where the, Wife pulses are bigger.

So what it looks like is this. Normally these pulses here are your wife pulses. These are the husband pulses. So these are the pulses that are on your right side. So we’re going to have the right side of fire. So we’ll have

your fire, and we’re going to have your earth pulses and your metal pulses. So this energy goes like this. The part of fire on the right side says Sanjiao. And So your Sanjiao pulses and your pericardium pulses will be bigger than the left side of fire, which is heart and small intestine.

So your right side pulses are all going to be larger. And so you’ve got all this process. But there’s a block right here. And the energy is not making it over to the water and the wood, which is all about growth and expansion. So we’ve got all this process, but there’s no growth. So how do you treat it?

You are going to go, first thing you do is you’re going to start down here and you’re going to tonify the metal points. in water. So you’re going to go to bladder 67 and kidney 7. So you’re pulling, you’re trying to break this block here by pulling the both sides of the yin and yang of water. So bladder 67 and kidney seven, you’re pulling that energy over and you’re going to tonify.

And then you are going to pull the energy from earth down to water. So kidney three, Then you are going to bring the metal to wood, and that point is liver four, and again these are all tonification. And then you are going to tonify the source points of small intestine and heart to bring the energy to heart four.

and small intestine with heart being last. So between each set of points you’re going to check pulses to see where the where the block existed.

Sorry. Okay.

The next block that I’m going to talk about is an entry exit block. And the reason why these are really important when you’re working on the face is because there is either an entry or exit point for each one of the zong on the face. So here we have the exit for small intestine, the entry for bladder, we have the exit for Sanjiao, the entry of gallbladder.

the exit for large intestine and the entry for stomach. So if this is the Chinese clock and energy moves around from one, from liver to lungs, the large intestine to stomach right around the Chinese clock, if there is a block while the energy is moving around through the meridian system, through the Chinese clock, then there is a place where the chi is not getting through.

I’m a J. R. Worsley trained five element acupuncturist, and one of the things that J. R. did was he set up the meridian system. So for each meridian, he gave it a Roman numeral, and part of the reason why he did that was it makes it easier to talk about To while your patient’s in the room. Let’s say you’re supervising in clinic and you have a student and you wanna talk about the patient, but you don’t wanna alarm them, you could say, do you feel this quality on one?

So they are numbered according to the flow of energy through the body, according to the Chinese clock. And we always start. with heart as one, and so heart is Roman numeral one, small intestine is two, bladder is three, kidney is four, pericardium is five, sangio is six, gallbladder is seven, liver is eight, lung is nine, large intestine is ten, stomach is eleven, and spleen is twelve.

And do note that the entry exit points are not always the first and last point on the meridian I have marked out. You can see here, for example, Large Intestine 4 is the entry point on Large Intestine. And Gallbladder 41 is the exit point on Gallbladder. Lung 7 is the exit point on Lung. So it’s not always the last point on the meridian.

So if you don’t remember where the exit, what the exit and entry points are. You can refer to this chart. So again, the energy goes from heart to small intestine, to bladder, to kidney, to pericardium, et cetera, et cetera. And then once it gets to spleen, once it gets to 12, it goes back to one again, right around the clock.

So I used a highlighter to show the different pairs. So if this is a pericardium, pulse chart. When you’re feeling the pulses, what you’re looking for are going to be breaks between, so you’d be looking for a break between the paired meridians, so small intestine, to bladder, right? So this would be a 2 3 block.

So if these pulses are larger than these pulses, then you have a block. So small intestine to bladder, Would be a 2, 2, 3 block. Then you go again in order, you go from kidney to pericardium. Then we go from sanja to gallbladder, from liver to lung, from large intestine to stomach and from spleen to heart. So you can see.

the way the the blocks could occur. The ones we’re most concerned about are going to be the ones on the face. So between small intestine and bladder, between large intestine and stomach, and between sand jaw and gallbladder. Those are the ones that have either an entry or an exit point. on the fifth.

So again, we identify them on the pulse, and if the pulse of the lower numbered meridian is stronger than the pulse on the higher numbered meridian, according to the Chinese clock on that chart I showed you, then we have what we call an entry exit block. Some people call them exit entry blocks, but it’s just semantics.

In my book, I changed the, this is from one of my PowerPoint presentations, but in my book, I I changed it to exit. entry block because it’s an exit entry block, which you’ll see in the next slide. So the treatment is you’re going to tonify the exit point of the lower numbered meridian, which is the stronger pulse.

Then you’re going to tonify the entry point of the next meridian. And by tonify, the way that we do it is you’re going to insert the needle, And in the flow of energy, in the direction of the flow of the energy, and you’re going to turn it 180 degrees clockwise, and then take it out.

There are entry exit blocks that exist. on the chest, and these would be between spleen and heart, kidney and pericardium, and large intestine and stomach. And these have to do more with the heart and the lung functions. Here we have, again, the entry exit blocks on the face, and these are going to be closer to our senses.

So I already went through all of this. So this is what I was trying to explain. If this it’s like a kink in a garden hose. If the energy of the smaller numbered meridian, let’s say small intestine, bigger then the energy on the next numbered meridian, so bladder, then we have an exit entry block.

And so when I feel pulses, I put my hands on both wrists and I go around and I feel two to three, And then I go 4, to 5, to 6, to 7, to 8, to 9, to 10, to 11, to 12. And then back around again.

And I already said this. The last block is a CBGB block. And that is a less common block. It is between Ren and Do. And REN and DEW are like the seas that feed the rivers. So the rivers and are the meridians, but the repository for all of our all of our energy is through REN and DEW and REN and DEW.

If there is a block between rent and due, then that energy is not going to be able to get out to the meridians. And what you will feel on the pulses is all of the pulses will be very low. And this can happen due to sexual abuse, trauma, or if a husband wife imbalance goes too long without being treated.

The treatment is you’re going to tonify CV1. And you’ll tonify, so you there’s special draping that you’ll have to do, and you’ll have to have gloves, and you talk to the patient ahead of time about what it is you’re going to do, but you are going to tonify CB1, you take the needle out, change your gloves, our new gloves, you’re going to tonify CB24, then you would tonify CB1.

Take off your gloves, put on new gloves, and then you would tonify GV28 and you check the pulses again.

My book is hopefully going to be out the first week in September or thereabouts, maybe the second week in September. And it will be called Treating the Face. It’s a comprehensive manual for acupuncturists and allied health professionals, and it’s going to cover everything from cosmetic and neuromuscular facial acupuncture, cupping, gua sha, Red Light Therapy, Microneedling, The Anatomy of Expression, Self Care, Skin Care, Nutrition.

Everything involved with treating from the clavicle. And if you are interested in getting on the waitlist to pre order, you can go to my website, facialacupunctureclasses. com, and there is a place where you can pre order. Sign up to be in my waiting list. So thank you again to the AAC for this opportunity, and I look forward to seeing you next time.

 

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Qigong for Wrist and Elbow Conditions

 

So today we’re going to present on some therapeutic exercise, some qigong exercises for the wrist and elbow.

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Disclaimer: The following is an actual transcript. We do our best to make sure the transcript is as accurate as possible, however, it may contain spelling or grammatical errors.  Due to the unique language of acupuncture, there will be errors, so we suggest you watch the video while reading the transcript.

Hi, I’m Brian Lau. I’m with Sports Medicine Acupuncture, also with Jing Jin Movement Training. I want to thank American Acupuncture Council for having me again. So today we’re going to present on some therapeutic exercise, some qigong exercises for the wrist and elbow. Maybe a little more towards the wrist and for wrist dysfunction some mobilizations and just range of motion movements for the wrist, but it’ll also engage the elbow and we’ll look at the mechanics for both of those. So I have a presentation, we’ll go through a little bit of anatomy and then I’ll show some exercises. So let’s go to the slides and we will jump right in.

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All right, so first of all, the wrist joint is also called the radiocarpal joint. That is a condyloid joint. Condyloid joints, you can see it on the right on that image, it’s a modified ball and socket joint. This particular joint allows for flexion, extension, and it allows for, depending on your terminology, you might say radial deviation and ulnar deviation.

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You might call those abduction and adduction too, but basically those four movements. So flexion, extension, radial, and ulnar deviation. So there’s a decent amount of range of motion for the wrist joint. But then we can also look at pronation and supination that occurs at the distal and the proximal radial ulnar joint.

The exercises we’ll be doing will be employing those ranges of motion of flexion, extension, radial and ulnar deviation, and then of course pronation and supination, really pronation and supination are key to proper functioning of that joint. So here’s a little bit of an image that shows those.

I’m sure everyone’s familiar with these movements. But we have the normal ranges of motion. So for flexion and extension, normal range of motion is 80 to 90 degrees for flexion. 70 to 90 degrees for extension. So there’s some variability, but you want nearing 90 degrees. For ulnar and radial deviation, you have a little more range of motion for ulnar deviation.

We’ll look at the mechanics of why. So that’s about 30 to 35 degrees for ulnar deviation, a little smaller range of motion, 15 to 20 degrees for radial deviation. And again, we’ll look at the mechanics for that. And then for pronation and supination, we have about 90 degrees for both pronation and supination. Looking at the mechanics of the wrist, so the radiocarpal joint, there’s less space, your articulation is between the radius and the carpal bones. And there’s a little bit more space between the ulna and the carpal bones. And there’s a fairly complex structure. The triangular the triangular geez there’s a blank on the name triangular fibrocartilage complex, sorry about that is in this region.

It’s a collection of ligaments. There’s a meniscus and a disc. So there’s a lot of anatomy here that can get injured. That TFCC can become injured, there can be tears in the meniscus, and tears in the ligaments in this structure. But there is a little bit more space, and that greater space allows for greater movement and ulnar deviation. When we’re doing radial and ulnar deviation, I just wanted to highlight a couple things with the anatomy here, is that we can do a little manual work to help open up that range of motion. And in particular, we can come in between, to the ulna, between this fascial compartment that that contains the extensors of the wrist, particularly extensor carpi ulnaris.

We can move that away. and stretch that tissue as we’re doing the radial deviation to help stretch that tissue. We can also come in at that space pretty much along the large intestine channel here between the extensors of the wrist longus and brevis. So we can go in these fascial spaces and open those up while we’re performing the motion.

We’ll look at that when we come to the actual exercises. We’re going to look at a couple stretches for the wrist and then we’ll look at a couple more complex movements. So just so we have an idea with that, when we’re doing radial deviation, we can go into this space and kind of move this fascial compartment away from the bone, move the extensor carpi extensor carpi ulnaris away from the bone and create a little bit more space as we’re doing radial deviation and same thing applies.

When we’re doing ulnar deviation, I can come into the large intestine channel along the extensor and brevis brachioradialis, this mobile wad of three is what it’s called. These three muscles that are very mobile, I can get into that fascial space and open up the compartments while I do ulnar deviation.

So we’ll look at that in context in just a moment. We can also work on the lung channel on that same. Mobile WADA3, but on the volar side of the arm, the anterior portion of the forearm, and open up that fascial space. So the elbow itself is a hinge joint that’s going to allow for flexion and extension.

We’re primarily going to be looking at the wrist movement in this webinar, but but we will employ some movement in the elbow and it’s going to be that flexion and extension. But there is also that proximal radial ulnar joint does pronation and supination. It happens at both the proximal and the distal.

Radio ulnar joint. When we’re doing the pronation and supination, it helps link those motions. And it’s the case that when I do supination, I can increase that supination by going into elbow flexion. So supination, I can go a little farther with elbow flexion. And pronation, I can go a little farther when I do elbow extension.

So there’s a relationship between the movement of pronation and supination with elbow movement and we’ll look at that in just a moment. So for pronation and supination, we have multiple muscles that perform those. For pronation, we have pronator teres, we have pronator quadratus at the distal part of the forearm, and we also have both the extensor carpi radialis the, excuse me, the flexor carpi radialis and the brachioradialis.

Thanks. Both of those help maintain a certain amount of radial deviation when I’m doing pronation. So especially, some sources say brachioradialis more, some flexor carpi radialis, but they’re both involved. with pronation. For supination, I have the supinator, biceps brachii, and then the extensor pollicis longus of the thumb, so that helps pull the forearm into supination.

So a lot of muscles involved with those beyond just the pronators and supinators. So that’s the overview of anatomy. Let’s look at some of the exercises. Moved back just a little bit. We’ll start, I’m going to stay seated. We’ll start with some wrist mobilizations. So the first thing we have is we can work on extension.

So I’m going to bring my fingers together, index, ring finger, and the index finger. I’m going to put my middle finger on top. So Thumb and pinky together, holding something away from me, and elbow extension. I want to contract the flexors and stretch the extensors. So I want this to be somewhat active in the sense that I’m contracting the wrist flexors to be able to inhibit those extensors.

I’m giving a little over pressure to stretch those. That’s a nice stretch. If I want to increase that though, I can put my thumb inside and make a loose fist. Same thing, activate the flexors that’s going to stretch the extensors and a little extra overpressure to be able to really stretch that extensor compartment and do that a couple of times.

Exhale, contract the flexors, overpressure and stretch. Maybe do that three times.

And stretch. So to stretch the flexor to turn palm up into supination, straighten the elbow, and same thing, I want to engage the extensors to help inhibit those flexors. So I want this to be an active stretch. I want to pull my fingers back, pull the wrist back into extension, exhale, and a little over pressure, maybe for about two to three seconds.

Then again, open into extension, pull the fingers back, exhale, stretch, flexors. One more time. So again, I’m active, engaging those extensors to be able to stretch the flexors.

All right, so ulnar and radial deviation. So again, there’s less range of motion for radial deviation, a greater range of motion for ulnar deviation. That’s normal mechanics. But, I would say that many people get restricted on that radial deviation part, and everything sits and lives a little bit more into the ulnar deviation.

Think about typing on a keyboard, there’s a lot of things that we would do that would favor that ulnar deviation, and that can really compress and wear down that TFCC, that triangular fibrocartilage complex. on the ulnar side of the wrist, at the sand small intestine five region. So that would be a way I could go in with an acupuncture needle.

I can stimulate that area, increase blood flow at SI5. That’s a really good point for that. But then at some point I want to be able to stretch and open that side up. So I’m going to start with radial deviation. So I’m going to put my, I have my palms together. I’m going to put my little finger side out.

Stabilize the wrist. and pull into radial deviation. So this is where I can do a little bit of manual work if I want to help increase that. I can do it by just giving a little over pressure to go into radial deviation, but now I can go along the small intestine channel right up against the bone, pushing the extensor carpi ulnaris away from the bone, pulling down, and as I pull it’ll give a fascial drag on the periosteum of the bone on the extensor carpi ulnaris muscle.

So again, move down, push the extensor carpi ulnaris away, so I can lock me down into the bone, and then radial deviation to give a little stretch. So I can work down, eventually as I go farther towards the elbow, farther proximal, I’ll run into the anconeus muscle, right about there is where I’m starting to get into anconeus, but my goal is really at that extensor carpi ulnaris.

I can work more distal and work towards SI6. which is the border of that is the extensor carpi ulnaris right there on the bone and stretch. That’s a part of the triangular fibrocartilage complex is that extensor carpi ulnaris tendon. So it’s nice to be able to work on the tendon sheath and start to loosen that up.

Ulnar deviation. If I have a triangular fibrocartilage complex, Tear, that might be a painful motion. So I have to let pain be my guide for this, but for most people it’s gonna be fine. So I can stretch this way, but same thing I can now go at the along the ally channel, at the border of that mobile wat of three, and I’m going over the thumb muscles, the extensor lysis, brevis.

And Abductor pollicis longus. These are muscles that get injured with De Quervain syndrome. They can become very painful, especially when you go into ulnar deviation. Finkelstein’s test would be just that, where you put the thumb in and, oh, that hurts, that would be a positive for De Quervain’s.

So it’s useful to stretch this compartment out. I’m going to hold and same thing, pull down, ulnar deviation. So working over those thumb muscles. And then following along that border of the mobile WADA3 to be able to stretch, I’m going right up against the bone. So into that fascial space, up against the bone, pull towards the elbow, stretch.

So this is something you could do with patients. You could also show them this as a corrective exercise. I can go also along the lung channel, pull down, ulnar deviation to stretch.

Working to free that mobile WADA3, to free the borders. and help increase the range of motion into ulnar deviation. Okay, so last mobilization, we’re going to do pronation and supination. So this one, I want to have my arm by my side because I don’t want to be doing a lot of shoulder motion. So I’m going to use index finger, middle finger.

I’m going to stand up a little bit so you can see this one a bit better. Back up.

Index finger, middle finger, surround the thumb. I’m going to use my thenar eminence to block the wrist on the ulnar side, wrap around. So I’m going to pull with my fingers, push with my thenar eminence, and increase supination. I can use my extensor pollicis longus to pull back. That’s going to increase that supination.

Lift my little finger, that’ll increase supination, and overpressure. So Index finger, middle finger, either side of the thumb, thenar eminence against the wrist, overpressure. Pronation, palm down, thenar eminence on the radial side of the wrist, wrap the fingers around, and this is the one that I really want to be cautious, not because it’s going to cause injury, but I’m going to miss the stretch not to lift my elbow because that becomes a shoulder motion.

Not very challenging on the shoulder either. So I need to stabilize that elbow to the side and just do pronation. So same thing as I can bring my thumb down, little finger up, over pressure into pronation.

All right, same thing, two, three times to start to increase that. Again, don’t let the elbow come up because that takes the stretch away from pronation, brings it up into the shoulder and it’s not going to really do you much. I need to keep that elbow up against the side, pronation. Alright, so supination, pronation.

Alright, so let’s look now at a couple Qigong exercises. I’m going to back up just another step. Move this chair out of the way. So this is a common one that I use in Tai Chi and Qigong classes. Also on my own. It’s a very simple exercise. It’s actually built from standing meditation. In standing meditation, you might have a shoulder width stance, sitting a little bit, dropping the pelvis, letting the pelvis sink down, the head rises up, so there’s a little bit of stretch in the spine, and I’m slightly engaged in the center, round.

So there’s a round structure as if I’m holding a paper ball. My hands are open, fingers are spread out a little bit in the abduction. And the wrists and the fingers are aligned. So that would be a typical standing meditation posture. When I do this exercise, I want to use that standing meditation posture.

I want to have that little bit of a drop of the pelvis, a little bit of a elongation of the head. So do 20 towards the ceiling, a little bit of compression in the torso. And I have my shoulder blades coming around. And very round like I’m holding a paper ball. So that’s going to be the starting position, and from there I’m just going to rotate.

So I want to keep in mind how the thumb and other structures are keeping that wrist aligned. I don’t want to get too floppy with the wrists. A lot of people, when they do this, they start flopping, they lose the pronation and supination. I want to keep that alignment there. Almost as if I’m going around my middle finger or my index finger even better.

So just turn, I can go slow, or I can go fast. Once you get comfortable with it, you can speed it up a little bit. And I want to just let that motion move the body. So I’m pronation supination. This one you could do for about a minute or two. Just a nice warm up for the forearm. Starts really working the wrist and the elbow joint.

Next one is going to be built from that. Same posture with the body. Turn the top palm out, reach out, other hand comes in. I want

this one to move the ribcage, maybe a topic for another day, because there’s a lot of diaphragm motion, a lot of movement in the liver and the spleen. But we’re thinking about the elbow and the wrist, so I want to be able to fully pronate, turn the palm out, straighten the elbow.

Other hand supinates, comes in.

I can make this one slightly more round if I want, and reach,

letting the shoulder blade come around the ribcage.

Alright, last one. So this one I actually did in another webinar with American Acupuncture Council, it works on opening the chest up, but it also features that pronation and supination, so pronate, pull the chest open, straighten the elbow, reach out. Fully pronate,

chest rises, open,

open. Turn the forearms, line the hands up. Keep opening, hands are slightly in front of the elbows. Pull the shoulder blades together so this one starts really working on the chest quite a bit too. Fully press out, chest starts to compress, back

to neutral. Line everything up, fully open the chest,

and finish. So three exercises, all part of a standing meditation, Yi Quan type training. Their derivatives of that, first one’s just rotating the forearms, then the forearms rotate as I reach out, mobilizing the ribcage, but it also gives a nice stretch to the elbow. Stretch and challenge to the wrist joint, keeping good alignment to the wrist, and then opening the chest,

and involving the elbow, wrist, and shoulder girdle. Alright, so hope you find those useful. Those are great exercises to do for yourself. Especially after a long day of work, last one in particular, but great for patients. I use those quite frequently for patients for a whole host of issues. We were looking today at wrist and elbow, those would all be useful for those types of, many of those types of conditions, but that last one also very useful to open up the breathing, open up the shoulder girdle, so good for shoulder health.

Any of those motions, if there’s sharp pain or something discomfort, uncomfortable when patients are doing that, you have to let pain be the guide and modify it based on that. But they’re very adaptive, easy to work with, patients find them very useful. They’re pretty easy exercises too with a little bit of coaching.

So I’d recommend doing them yourself, get used to it, and then start working with those with patients. They’re really nice exercises. Thanks again to the American Acupuncture Council. Always fun to come and to present some of this information. I’ll see you all another time.

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Acupuncture Malpractice Insurance – Insurance Verification

 

 

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Acupuncture Malpractice Insurance – Building a Brand for Your Acupuncture Practice

 

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Disclaimer: The following is an actual transcript. We do our best to make sure the transcript is as accurate as possible, however, it may contain spelling or grammatical errors.  Due to the unique language of acupuncture, there will be errors, so we suggest you watch the video while reading the transcript.

Hi there, my name is Michelle Grasek and today we will be talking about building a brand for your acupuncture practice. If we have not met before, I am a practicing acupuncturist. And marketing strategist and the host of the Acupuncture Marketing School podcast. Excuse me. And before we dive in, I’d like to thank the American Acupuncture Council for the opportunity to teach you these concepts about marketing.

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I love teaching marketing and I believe really strongly that excellent marketing, really helps us reach new patients and have a bigger impact in our community. So I’m looking forward to talking with you about branding today. So let’s jump into the slides.

Let me just test out my slides. There we go. We got it. A quick overview of what we’ll be talking about today. First, we’re going to talk about why branding matters. I am the kind of person where if you give me instructions, I like to know why I’m being asked to follow them. It makes me much more likely to follow through.

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And if you are also one of those people, I think this section will be helpful for making you really commit to doing that. creating a cohesive brand for your practice. And then we’re going to talk a little bit about the psychology behind branding, which I think you’ll find a little bit fascinating.

And then we will get into some of the nitty gritty about how to actually construct a brand for your practice that brings in the kind of people who have the symptoms that you really want to treat, right? Like your ideal patients.

And let me see here. I’m having a little trouble with my arrows. So let’s start out with what is branding. Sometimes it’s called building a brand. Sometimes it’s called building a brand identity. Branding is Really, all of the visual pieces that make your business stand out from the acupuncturists down the road.

So that if they saw your brand they would know that it is your business and immediately and not the other acupuncturists down the road. For example, if they saw a flyer in a coffee shop for a Qigong class, they would know that it’s you who’s teaching the class. Okay, so it makes your business distinct, it makes you easily and quickly identifiable to your customers, and really it includes anything that represents your business visually.

So that’s usually things like your brand colors, your logo maybe the fonts that you use, the images that you use all of this comes together to make your brand recognizable. And something that we don’t talk about a lot with branding is the idea that branding also represents your business’s personality and allows you to share your values and to really connect with the people who resonate with that personality and those values.

And this is actually the Part of branding that makes it the most effective. It’s the part of branding that makes your audience or the people in your community feel like they can relate to you and your brand and take an action. And. Pretty much whenever I talk about taking an action in marketing, we’re talking about calling you to make an appointment or emailing you with questions or clicking on your schedule now button.

So when people feel like they can relate to your business, they are much more likely to take those actions. And so that’s, that piece of branding is essential and we don’t want to leave that out and only focus on the visual. Okay, so let’s talk a little bit about why branding matters. So when branding is done well and it’s consistent it looks very intentional because it is intentional, right?

Having a consistent appearance for your business across all of your social media platforms, across your website in all of your print materials that people might find at your office, like your brochure and your business card, all of that is intentional and takes Effort and energy, right? And whether people process that consciously or unconsciously, they are processing it.

And it comes across as extremely professional, which builds credibility and which builds trust. So if you think about marketing as an opportunity to build trust with your audience, having consistent branding. Everywhere that people might run into you is very trust building. Okay, again, I can’t overemphasize how professional it makes your business look, and then people are going to extrapolate that to the kind of business that you run, the kind of acupuncturist that you are, and we’ll talk about that in a little bit.

But this is a really important reason why branding is worth the effort. And then of course, branding will hopefully grab the attention of your ideal patients. So if you think about the symptoms and conditions that you really love treating, the types of patients that you love to treat, whenever you’re creating marketing, you are always focused on their perspective and how can you position your marketing.

in a way that attracts their attention, that appeals to them. And this could be visually in a brand, choosing colors and logo and even font that you think might come together in a way that is appealing to your ideal patient. And it could also be, the way that you talk about your business and acupuncture on your website.

All of that comes together to create your brand. in an effort to attract the type of patient that you’re looking for. Okay. And then as I mentioned, branding makes your business recognizable compared to other businesses or other acupuncturists that are in your community so that if they see a brochure of yours around town, they know that it’s yours, right?

And it, the reason that matters is that now they are thinking of you and maybe they don’t recognize the brand from the person down the road because They never put a brand together, right? Maybe they’re the images and the visuals that they’re using are not consistent. And so they’re not recognizable, but if you are, it really gives you a leg up because it puts your business into the mind of your audience right away.

Okay. Now they’re thinking about your practice and not the other person’s practice. And then branding, as I mentioned, There’s this really important piece where it’s not just the visuals, but it’s also about helping people understand what you stand for as a healthcare provider and how you’re going to approach taking care of them, how you approach health and wellness and this medicine.

And that is what’s going to allow them to perk up and say, That’s what I’m looking for. I feel the same way about XYZ, whatever it is that you shared, or I’m looking for a healthcare provider who will listen to me in this way. Okay. So, branding is also the opportunity to share that personality and your values like we discussed earlier.

And again, that’s what makes people deeply connect to your business and be more likely to take action and call you for an appointment. Okay. And so I keep repeating this, but it’s so important that branding is not just about the visuals. You have these two pieces, you have the appearance of your brand, and then you also have how it makes people feel.

And of course, that is the part where you’re connecting with them deeply and you’re sharing your values. And then again, this just helps build connection and trust. It makes people take action more quickly. Another reason that branding really matters is that as humans, we are hardwired to make immediate judgments based on appearances.

And so I’ll acknowledge right away, this is frustrating for most of my marketing clients and my marketing students. I totally get it, but it is built into who we are as humans and how we’ve evolved, right? So if you imagine back many years ago, if you were living outside in a forest and you had something approach you, whether it is another person or an animal, you needed to be able to assess very quickly.

Is this a threat? Is it safe? If it’s a threat, how much of a risk is it? Basically fight or flight. Should I run or can I stay? And so That is based largely on. visual appearances. And we haven’t really lost that as humans, but now we’re not necessarily assessing, is this pterodactyl going to attack me or not?

We are using that instantaneous judgment mechanism for things in our everyday life, and that includes deciding Whether or not a business is trustworthy and whether we feel safe giving them our money or if we feel safe sharing our personal health information with them. So I want to share with you this really fascinating study that was done by Stanford called the Stanford Credibility Study.

You can Google it. Basically what they did is they wanted to know how much is, design impacting whether people trust a business. So they had a lot of volunteers comb through different websites and give them a rating based on its appearance and attractiveness, its ease of use, et cetera. And, also give a rating for how well they thought the business was going to follow through on their promises as a result of just visiting their website, clicking through the different pages.

And so what they found was that good design that the individuals found attractive meant that people trusted the business. Much more, right? Like statistically significant that if someone found a website attractive and easy to navigate, they scored that business as being much higher on the scale of going to keep their promises, going to follow through and basically like worth Feeling safe investing in whatever this business offered.

Okay, so In a nutshell, I mean i’m reducing this incredible study that Stanford did into just a couple sentences, but the bottom line here is that fortunately or unfortunately People are judging your business by its appearance, and in the world, in the digital world, that really is your brand. What does your website look like?

What is your social media presence like? Is it cohesive across all of these platforms? And again, I think this is certainly unconscious in most cases, but if people are looking at your website and they decide oh, this is attractive, it’s not. They are also extrapolating that to the kind of acupuncturist that you are, right?

And we talked earlier about how good branding looks intentional, which people associate with professionalism, right? So it’s like they can tell you’re making an effort in your brand. And so that means, consciously or unconsciously to them, you are going to make an effort with them as your patient.

In some ways this is really unfair, imagine if you have a website that hasn’t been updated in a long time or it’s hard to navigate, that would mean, the opposite is that they are assuming less of your abilities as an acupuncturist or a business owner. Let’s acknowledge that’s no fun, right?

Judging a book by its cover is always cruddy, we are taught not to do that. But in this case, the best we can do with this information is to use this deeply ingrained concept to our advantage, which means creating a cohesive, attractive brand, specifically attractive to our ideal patients, so that they just have more trust in us.

from the moment that they meet our brand. Okay. So that we are not only attracting them to us, but we’re connecting with them deeply and making them more likely to take the action of setting up an appointment with us. So how do you do that? It’s, it’s not as simple as it sounds, right? Or maybe it doesn’t sound simple, but I I’m gonna break some things down for you to get you started.

So we have talked about how branding is by and large these two different pieces. You have the visual piece and then you have the the personality and the values piece that connects with people deeply. So Today, just to keep things simple and get you started, we’re going to discuss the visuals, okay? So if you don’t really have a brand, or you have one and you don’t feel confident about it, or you’re not sure it’s really attracting the right patients, or you want to rebrand, then this is a great place to start, okay?

So we’ll begin with the visuals, and before we even get into things like colors and fonts and logo, The most important thing here is that you feel like you know your ideal patient deeply. And last month I gave a presentation about target market and ideal patient and how to identify those and why it matters.

So if you missed that, I definitely recommend checking it out. It will help you understand how to define your ideal patient and then also how to use it practically in your marketing. Once you know your ideal patient really well, you’ve made them feel real to you, like you could have a conversation with this person, then you can ask yourself, what what visuals would appeal to them?

What would grab their attention? Okay, and one way that you can start this process is to ask yourself, how do you want your brand to make your ideal patient feel? So a couple different ways you could approach this. You could also ask yourself, when a patient visits my office, how do I want them to feel?

Or, what do I want the experience of interacting with my business to feel like? Whether they’re interacting with it on the phone, or on your online schedule, or if they’re like really in person in your office, what do you want that experience to feel like? So I recommend choosing three descriptive words and you can take your time with this.

I always tell people there’s no need to rush through the branding process. And, if you construct a brand and in six months you feel like, I’m not really sure I hit, hit the nail on the head. You can always go back and adjust. Okay. Your brand does not have to be permanent. It can be flexible.

The same way that your practice is flexible. I think most of us, As we mature as practitioners, the patients that we like to treat kind of shifts and changes and the way we approach the medicine changes. That’s normal. And so your brand can also shift and change with you. Okay? So take your time and come up with three descriptive words.

Maybe the words you choose are how do you want people to feel after they leave your office? Calm, refreshed, happy, something like that, right? It could be anything, okay? And so you’re going to use those words to help you pick the visuals. Okay, and so here are the visuals that I’m going to ask you to identify.

So the first thing you want to start out with is your color palette. So typically, I recommend choosing two bold colors and two dark colors. Softer or light colors. If you think about this in terms of building a website, your bold colors would be for things like headings and buttons, and then the softer colors would be for backgrounds and for layering text on top of.

So one thing you don’t want to do is have a very dark background, And then layer like white or light colored text over it. That can be hard for people with visual disabilities to read. It can be hard for older people to read, like the elderly. It can just be hard to read on a computer screen in general.

So that’s why I really recommend making sure you have some pale light colors. that still fit in with your bold colors, right? But something that you can easily put text on top of and have it be very just easy to read, right? Because there’s no point in building a beautiful brand if people cannot, Read the words, okay?

And I acknowledge that sounds very obvious, but I have seen some truly beautiful brands that people spent a lot of time and energy and money creating only to have it be actually difficult for their ideal clients. or their ideal patients to process. Okay. And one thing I would add is that in the bold colors, let’s say that you chose for your color scheme, think of like a mountain theme.

Forests at dusk, so like slate and dark purple and dark green, but then you need some lighter colors. So maybe like light blue, that sort of thing. You want to have a contrasting color for your calls to action. So in most cases, the calls to action on your website, for example, are going to be buttons. So you could choose a contrasting color of like bright green, or you could pick any The idea here is that it is literally contrasting with the bold colors that you chose, because those buttons are what you really want to draw people’s attention to, right?

The button that says, schedule now, you want to make that obvious. So on my clinic website, my brand is Red, pink, yellow. I know it sounds crazy, but part of the words that I use to describe how I want people to feel one of them was fun, right? I wanted it to feel interesting and different. And so the contrasting color that I choose for my buttons is the bright yellow.

Okay, so just to give you an idea. And of course, this is something you can play around with, right? You don’t have to be married to anything. You can install colors on your website, and then you can change them if you like. And think about, Through all of this, we are always thinking about what would appeal to our ideal patient, okay?

So same thing for the fonts. You want one bold or interesting font that you would use in headings and a logo, and then one very simple font like Times New Roman or Montserrat, Sans Serif for The text, okay? And for your bold or interesting font, don’t choose something too interesting. Again, it has to be legible in a very small version, if it was printed on something, and large, okay?

So Interesting is relative, right? Just compared to very basic text. And then of course you would use your colors and the fonts that you chose to create a logo, whether you do that on your own in Canva or you pay someone to create it for you, you can now provide them the color palette and the font that you want.

And then when you are building out the visuals for your brand, you also want to think about the images. If you are using your office photos, what are the colors that you have in your office? Those might end up being the color palette that you go with, right? Because if you are, if you have a blue treatment room and a green treatment room, those photos are going to be all over your website.

And so you might as well, Surround center your brand around those colors, okay, because they are going to be a huge part of your brand, the photos, okay? You can also get photos for free from a website like Pexels. com or Unsplash, that you could use on your website, or that you could just use as part of your brand identity to guide you.

And so let me give you an example of pulling this all together in one place so that you can assess if you have created the visual feeling that you intended. Okay. So this is called a branding style sheet where you can see we’ve brought together The logo, the fonts, the colors, and some images that represent the colors and also the feel that you want to generate for your patients.

Okay, so again, This is the very beginning of building a brand, and we’ve really only touched a little bit on that idea of connecting with people through your brand’s personality, but it’s a very good start, okay? So I recommend spending some time with this, creating something like this, like your Sorry, there we go.

Your brand sheet and then presenting it to some people that you consider to be your ideal patients and just getting their feedback. Okay? So this is a lot. Putting together a brand is a lot. I hope you have fun with it. It can be a really fun exercise, something to do if in, in all of your free time, it’s something that you can percolate on.

And of course, if you have any questions at all about ChiroSecure, Branding about marketing your practice. I am more than happy to chat with you. You can send me an email at michelle at michelleGrasek. com My website is michelleGrasek. com. I have lots of free marketing worksheets and some free PDA classes and before I go i’d like to thank the American Acupuncture Council one more time for the opportunity to be here with you today Talking about these concepts.

So I really hope they help you get more patients in your practice and I’ll see you in the next video.

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Acupuncture Malpractice Insurance – The Importance of Clearing Blocks before Treating the Face

 

 

…speak to you today about the importance of clearing blocks before facial acupuncture treatment.

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Disclaimer: The following is an actual transcript. We do our best to make sure the transcript is as accurate as possible, however, it may contain spelling or grammatical errors.  Due to the unique language of acupuncture, there will be errors, so we suggest you watch the video while reading the transcript.

Hi, my name’s Michelle Gellis and I would like to thank the American Acupuncture Council for giving me this opportunity to speak to you today about the importance of clearing blocks before facial acupuncture treatment.

I am an acupuncture physician. And I am on faculty at Yosan University in California. I’m on the doctoral faculty and I taught at the Maryland University of Integrative Health from 2003 until 2021. And I teach facial acupuncture classes internationally. So the first The thing I want to discuss is what is an energetic block?

So energetic blocks are a break or an impediment to the smooth flow of qi in the body. And left untreated, they can prevent treatments from being effective, or if they are effective, they can prevent the treatment from holding so your patient may get better and then they get sick again. According to the Ling Xu says that only when the stagnation is cleared away, can the channels be vented and yin and yang can be harmonized.

And when we’re thinking about facial acupuncture treatments, whether it’s for a cosmetic purpose or functional purposes, Some sort of neuromuscular condition. The purpose of doing these treatments is to send blood and chi. to the face and neck and head. And if there are blocks to treatment, then the energy cannot flow up to where it needs to go. I’m a classically trained Worsley five element acupuncturist. And one of the first things that we do when we start treating a patient is to clear blocks. And today I’m going to talk to you about possession. which is internal and external demons. And I am also going to talk to you about aggressive energy.

And this is part one of a two part lecture. Next time, we are going to talk about husband wife imbalances and entry exit blocks.

The reason why clearing blocks to treatment is so important when we’re talking about treating the face is typically when you perform a treatment. Cosmetic acupuncture, you are using a lot of needles and there can be a risk, an increased risk of needle shock, which can manifest as your patient not feeling well, breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea.

And in very extreme situations, a loss of consciousness. By clearing the blocks prior to doing your facial acupuncture treatment, it allows the chi and the blood to flow through the channels and prevent any Sudden shifts in energy and therefore reducing the risk of needle shock.

So what I’m, the first thing I’m going to talk about is how we diagnose blocks to treatment.

And the very first block that you would want to check for is possession. And possession, the diagnosing and treating of possession dates all the way back to the Siu Wen. And the only way that you can know if your patient is possessed is through a lack of Shen in the eyes. You might suspect it based on their life history, stories they tell you the way they look, but really if you are looking at your patient and the lights are on but no one’s home, it’s like you’re looking right through them.

Think of maybe someone who has been in jail for a period of time, or a drug addict they’re, the, these kind of demons take over them to keep them alive, and what we have to do is we do what’s called a dragon treatment, and I’m going to go over that, but we’re going to do some points to help to release these demons.

So here’s an example of a couple of them. individuals who are possessed. This for those of you who don’t remember Charlie Manson, this is Charlie Manson. And someone else famous, Billie Eilish, I think. So you can just see their eyes are dead and they may be able to function, but they’re not functioning very well.

So there’s two different types. of demons. There’s internal and external. So when you’re maybe listening to someone’s story and you’re wondering, should I be suspecting if they’re possessed? Look at, as I mentioned, do they have a history of drug or alcohol abuse? Have they been incarcerated? Have they seen some sort of horrible atrocity?

People that witnessed 9 11. It’s I like to think of it. like shock and you’re just like night of the living dead just walking around and you’re not really in control of yourself. You’re just going through the motions and your patients may say things like, I don’t know what made me do that.

I wasn’t myself. I haven’t been the same since that happened. Those types of things would maybe make you suspect possession.

So I actually just covered all of this. You may feel uncomfortable in their presence and so there’s internal demons and external demons. So internal demons typically happen from something that is going on internally, some sort of an emotional thing. It, it’s going on within the person and the way you would treat it is you would do the, there’s a master point, a quarter inch below Ren 15, then Stomach 25, Stomach 32, Stomach 41, and you’re going to go from right to left, top to bottom, straight in.

and no needle action. You’re going to put the needles in for about 15 minutes and it’s a good idea to leave the room, maybe open a window a little, burn a candle, because when this energy gets released, it could potentially come to you. If they, if you come back in the room and it looks like it hasn’t cleared, you can turn the needle like 180 degrees clockwise and this can help to get that energy out of them.

For external demons, this is usually something externally that happens, a car accident, extreme weather conditions, maybe they had surgery, something like that, and the treatment is well, do 20. Bladder 11, Bladder 23, Bladder 61, right to left, top to bottom, the needles go straight in, no needle action. You’re going to leave them in for 15 minutes and then you’re going to take them out top to bottom, right to left.

The next so once you have cleared possession, if it exists, you’re going to leave them in for 15 minutes and then you’re the next treatment that you would do, and I do this on every single cosmetic patient that I treat, and it really helps to prevent any like weird sensations lightheadedness some minor things that can happen with cosmetic acupuncture, but aggressive energy, or A.

E. is a way to give a nice clean slate when you’re treating your patient. So you’re going to put these needles in and it helps to get rid of any contaminated, polluted chi. And I do this on every patient. If they’re not possessed, I do it the first time I treat them. If they are possessed, you do that, you do the possession treatment, and then you would follow it up with an A.

E. treatment. And that’s it. The way, if someone has the ae, there’s really no way to know. That’s why you just do it on everyone because the test is a treatment and the treatment is a test. Another term for AE is weight chi. And this is the evil influence or an unhealthy trend or some sort of pathology. You want to be able to direct as much energy up to the face as possible. And if the person has AE, it is going to block that energy from going up to the face and it can inadvertently cause that toxic polluted chi to go other places in the body. So what you do is you are going to put needles in.

You’re going to put the needles in the back shoe points, all of them. This is just a photograph of someone that had AA. But you’re going to put needles in the back shoe points, bladder 13, 14, 15, 18, 20, and 23. And then you’re going to leave the needles in along with these test needles. You’ll put in three test needles, one on the upper jowl, one on the middle jowl.

one on the lower jaw. And if the redness, and they can go anywhere that’s not an acupuncture point. So here you can see the redness around bladder 13, 14, and 15. And if you follow this needle all the way down, you can see that the test needle, there was no redness. So this person had a lot of rising heat. In their upper jowl, there was nothing on the test needle, and you leave the needles in until the redness clears. So here are some other pictures of people with AE. So this is their neck and you can see the redness around the needles and no redness around the test needle. Same thing here. Here’s their neck, and you can see the redness here, but nothing on the test needle.

So again, the protocol. is bladder 13, 14, 15, and then you put in a test needle and then bladder 18, 20, and another test needle and bladder 23. And you can you should needle this bilaterally from top to bottom and right to left. You don’t put the needles in very deep. You just tap them in so they hang.

And if there is AE, you’re going to see redness around the needle, which is different than any change you’re going to see near the test needles. That concludes part one of why it’s important to clear blocks to facial acupuncture. I do have one slide at the end of giving you a sneak peek of next time. My book, Treating the Face is going to be coming out soon. If you go to my website, facialacupunctureclasses. com, you can sign up to be on my mailing list and I am going to be taking pre orders sometime in the next, probably by the end of August, I’ll be taking pre orders.

So I, again, I want to thank the American Acupuncture Council for this opportunity. And I will see you next time.

 

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Acupuncture Malpractice Insurance – Make Your Marketing More Effective

 

 

And that is part of what I wanted to talk about today, is not just why is Target Market worth your time, but how you can use the information from a Target Market worksheet or activity and apply it to your marketing in a very practical way.

Click here to download the transcript.

Disclaimer: The following is an actual transcript. We do our best to make sure the transcript is as accurate as possible, however, it may contain spelling or grammatical errors.  Due to the unique language of acupuncture, there will be errors, so we suggest you watch the video while reading the transcript.

Hi there, my name is Michelle Grasek. I am really excited to be here with you today to talk about some core concepts in marketing if we haven’t met before. I am the host of the Acupuncture Marketing School podcast and I’m a practicing acupuncturist. In upstate New York, and I’ve been teaching marketing in our industry for about nine years.

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And today we’re going to talk about how to apply the concepts of target market to make your marketing more effective. Before we dive in, I’d like to take a moment to thank the American Acupuncture Council for the opportunity to be here with you today, talking about marketing. I really believe that Effective, excellent marketing is a really important way that we can reach more patients and have a much bigger impact in our communities.

So let’s dive into this topic. Let’s go to the slides.

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So the reason that I wanted to start with a discussion of target market there are several reasons. The first is that whenever I teach marketing, I like to do it in a very linear fashion, right? Each piece for really effective and holistic marketing. builds on the piece before it, right? And so Target Market and a concept called Ideal Patient Avatar, which we’ll talk about in a moment, are the first steps in really good marketing.

Okay. So I wanted to start at the beginning with this core concept. And I also wanted to talk about Target Market because I understand It’s a very unsexy topic that really doesn’t get a lot of love. Most of my marketing students and marketing clients let me know that they feel like target market is a purely theoretical exercise and they’ll do a target market worksheet, but then they have no idea how to actually apply it when they go to put together their marketing.

And that is part of what I wanted to talk about today, is not just why is Target Market worth your time, but how you can use the information from a Target Market worksheet or activity and apply it to your marketing in a very practical way. Okay, so that is where we are going today. Again, a quick overview.

We’ll talk about some target market basics. So we’re all on the same page. We’ll discuss why it’s so important and why you should spend some time on it, even if it seems like a kind of dry theoretical exercise. And then I will share pretty quickly. Basically my number one practical tip for actually being able to use what you discover in a target market exercise in your marketing to make your marketing so much more effective.

So let’s cover some definitions. You might already be familiar with this, but again, just to make sure we’re all on the same page, target market, of course, is a Big picture description of a population of people that you would really love to treat, right? These are the people you want to become your patients and Target Market is generally very broad.

It’s typically a lot of demographic information age, sometimes gender, location, etc. And we’ll talk about some of the details of that later on. But the most important thing is Target Market is it’s a very broad description of a group of people. Whereas Ideal Patient Avatar, which sometimes I’ll refer to it as IPA just to save some words, is a very detailed description, like nitty gritty details of a single person who fits into any The bigger picture of your target market, right?

It’s one person who is within your target market population. And this could be a real person, it could be imagined or some combination of both, but this is again, just a very detailed description of this person. Okay? So just, So that we have both of those concepts in mind. So let’s talk about why target market matters, even though it can feel just like a dry exercise that’s theoretical, right?

Like, why is it not just theoretical? When you do it right, target market should really determine the direction of all of your marketing, right? Once you’ve identified the people that you’re speaking to, then you know what images to use. What messages to share with them, what tone of voice to use, sometimes even what vocabulary is going to resonate with them.

And so it’s really helping you make all of your marketing decisions. So in that way, it should certainly make your marketing easier, right? If you are sitting in front of your computer screen and you don’t know what to type for an Instagram post, knowing your target market is certainly going to help with that as well as many other types of marketing.

And. Target market also makes your marketing so much more efficient and effective because you are going to be speaking directly to the people who you want to be your patients in a way that gets them to sit up and take notice because you understand them and their needs. And so that will make people take action at a higher rate.

And so as a result, Your marketing should be more effective overall, and it’s more efficient because that means you have to spend less time doing marketing because the marketing that you’ve already created is working harder for you. And Target Market also helps you create really beautiful, authentic marketing because once really once you know your ideal patient avatar, you can get into the head of your ideal patient. Then you understand their goals and their values, the outcomes that they would like from treatment, and you can really speak to them on this deeper level in your marketing. And help them understand, what can you do for them that’s going to bring them towards their goals?

And that is going to really, oops, sorry about that. That’s really going to connect with them deeply. Okay? And that connection, again, is what makes people sit up and take notice and makes them take action. much more quickly than responding to a broader, more vague message, okay? And when I say take action, I’m almost always talking about either clicking your Schedule Now button, or calling your office, or setting up a free consult.

Whatever it is that’s the first step in working with you. And there’s this concept in marketing where we always say if you’re speaking to everyone, you’re not really speaking to anyone. So what does this mean? It’s just referring to the idea that if you have a really broad, vague marketing message, something that’s very watered down, then it’s not catching the attention of any particular person or group of people.

And As a result, people might not know if what you’re saying actually applies to them. So a big example could be saying that, having marketing about pain management. Now there’s nothing wrong with that, right? But it’s very vague. We know that there’s so many different.

Conditions, and symptoms, and specialties within pain management. And what’s more effective, for example, is if you talked, we’ll say, you’re creating an Instagram post. If you discussed carpal tunnel, or knee pain, or runner’s shin splints, right? Then you’re getting much more specific, and the person who has runner’s shin splints is going to sit up and say, Wow, I had no idea that acupuncture could help with that.

That’s what I need, right? So it’s resonating with them deeply. Whereas if you just say you write a post about pain management, they might not connect that to their specific symptom or experience. Okay? So if you’re speaking to everyone, you’re not really speaking to anyone because your message

And I have a friend who is a marketing copywriter, excuse me, in Australia, and she always phrases it like this. She’d rather be someone’s piña colada than everyone’s cup of tea. And she’s assuming that everyone likes tea. I think, I guess they drink a lot of tea in Australia. But the idea here is that it’s better to attract a specific person, right?

Cause not everybody likes piña coladas. It’s a specific group of people. Then to just blast out a broad message that doesn’t really make anyone pay attention. And again, the result of all of this is that it helps the people that you really love to treat, the ones who have the symptoms and conditions that you’re passionate about, it makes them feel seen and heard and understood.

And this creates that connection and builds trust. And a huge part of what we’re doing with our marketing is trying to get our audience to trust us enough to Let us put needles in them, and to make a financial investment in acupuncture. Okay, so this trust is really what makes people more likely to take that action, right?

Make an appointment, give your office a call. So all of this is how Target Market and your ideal patient avatar come together to make your marketing more effective and more efficient. So that is really why it is worth your time and your energy. Okay. And so typically first, when you are doing these exercises, you would define your target market.

It’s very broad. And then you would decide on an ideal patient who would be your avatar. Okay. And you would typically give them a name and your goal is to make them real to you. Okay, so some concepts that I’m sure everyone is pretty familiar with. Target market is mostly demographic information, right?

You’re describing a population of people. And I would add to this, at the bottom, I would add symptoms or condition as well. Okay. Because that kind of helps make this exercise less sometimes students tell me defining their target market feels very kind of cold. They’re just listing this demographic information.

Try to think about what do all these people have in common? It’s probably the symptoms and conditions that you’re passionate about treating, right? So make sure you put that on there. And then get into the nitty gritty and define your Ideal patient avatar. So this is the most perfect patient you can imagine for your practice.

They are they listen to your advice. Maybe they’re curious about Chinese medicine. They feel better when you give them a treatment. They come back for their wellness visits. They’re willing to invest in their health. They’re willing to make the financial investment in you, as well as to make the personal investment in themself to follow your instructions so they can actually feel better.

Whatever it is that is the perfect patient for you you’re imagining and describing that person. Okay? So if 40 patients for you would be full time in your week, imagine 40 of this person, that’s who you’re trying to describe. And of course this person could be real or imagined. I find that most of my Marketing students come up with some combination of a real patient who has these extra imagined characteristics that really make them perfect.

So you’re getting into the nitty gritty and making this person feel real to you and if you look up Ideal Patient Avatar or sometimes it’s called an ICA, an Ideal Client Avatar. If you look up those workbooks online, they’re going to ask you very specific things like, What does this person like to read?

How do they spend their disposable income? Do they have pets? What are their pets names? What charities do they donate to? What do they do in their free time? Et cetera, et cetera. Go really quite detailed. And the reason that we’re doing this is because you want to give this person life inside your mind, right?

Your ideal patient avatar is the person that you are speaking directly to in all of your marketing. Okay? So whenever you sit down to For example, write a paragraph for your website, or write an Instagram post, or put together a reel, whatever it might be. You are holding an image of this ideal patient avatar in your mind, and you are answering their questions in the way that you would answer them in real life.

You are thinking about, what are the questions that this person would have? What are the Doubts and barriers that prevent them from making an appointment and how could I address them to specifically motivate this person to make an appointment and sometimes when I discuss this with my marketing clients their question is Won’t that only attract a very narrow segment of the population or just this one person?

And the answer is, the beauty of this whole exercise is no. What happens is you end up attracting anyone who shares the values, the goals and the outcomes that they want from treatment as your ideal patient avatar, right? Anyone who has the same symptoms or condition and really resonates with the the ideals of your avatar is going to hear that in your marketing.

Okay. So I hope this is making sense. You are. Thinking about your marketing in terms of answering questions and writing text, creating marketing that resonates with this ideal patient, this single person, but it’s actually going to resonate broadly with anyone who has anything in common with your avatar.

Okay. And so that really makes your marketing effective. I can’t I can’t Emphasize that enough that is really what shifts your marketing from being like good or really pretty good to being Excellent. To being very effective. That’s what shifts it from from, it makes it that you have to do less marketing overall, which is what we talked about in the beginning, right?

So the marketing that you’ve created in the past continues working hard for you. because it has this specificity, right? Because you are really connecting with your target audience connecting with their values, with the outcomes that they want from treatment, et cetera. Okay. And so the most important practical tip that I want to share with you today is how do you use your Ideal patient avatar that you just spent all this time creating and making real in your mind.

So what do you do with that information? Because often I’ll tell people like, oh, use, imagine your IPA and use that to write your website. And people are like, that’s great. I don’t know how to do that in real life. What does that mean? So I have an exercise with you and it’s It sounds silly.

I promise it is effective. It works so well. So the exercise is simple. Make sure that you’ve named your ideal patient avatar. I find that is helpful for most people. So let’s say that your avatar’s name is Sam. You and let’s say you are writing the Frequently Asked Questions page on your website, and you’re struggling with some writer’s block, you don’t know what to say so what you’re going to do is you are going to imagine in your mind this fully fleshed out ideal patient avatar, Sam, as if they were sitting in front of you.

Try to really sink into not only like yourself and you’re listening to Sam, right? If they’re sitting across from you, but put yourself in that person’s shoes and think about what are the questions that Sam would ask you based on, the symptoms and conditions that, Sam has, and their, again, their values their goals for their life, their the outcomes from treatment that they would like.

Based on that, what would Sam ask me about acupuncture? What would be the barriers that are preventing Sam from getting acupuncture? What might be their doubts or their worries? And then how would I answer Sam in a way that is compelling specifically to them to help them understand how acupuncture can be effective?

is worth their time and their energy, right? Like why should Sam specifically get acupuncture for XYZ condition? Okay. And when you do this exercise, as goofy as it sounds, what’s going to happen is you are going to write marketing copy that is incredibly compelling just for Sam, right? But it’s going to resonate with Sam.

Anyone who shares SAM’s values and goals, and it’s gonna speak really deeply to them, okay? And again, that’s what gets them to take action. Okay, so I only wanted to share this one tip with you today because honestly, the whole exercise of Target Market and Ideal Patient Avatar and putting it into practice with this tip, it is a little bit of a project.

And so I think it’s best to spend time focusing just on this for now and you’ll get a ton of value out of your Target Market exercises with just this one exercise.

Thank you so much for being here with me today. You are always welcome to send me questions about your marketing. My email is michelle at michelleGrasek. com and if you’d like you can check out my website. I have some free PDA classes as well as lots of free worksheets on marketing. My website is michelleGrasek.

com and you can also check out my podcast, which is Acupuncture Marketing School. So thank you again to the American Acupuncture Council for the opportunity to be here with you. Have a great day.

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