There was a recent post on the Facebook Community Acupuncture Clinic owners group that I participate in. It asked its annual question, “How many acupuncture treatments did you do last year?"
I love this question because this is a group of people that are in the business of doing acupuncture. This isn't their hobby, it isn't a “calling” that they are doing for free. It is a question for a group of people that are paying attention to their numbers, to their business.
I looked at STTPCA's numbers and by the time I went to post them on the Facebook page, people were including other information, which I liked, so I went to figure these new numbers out.
In 2015, we did 3696 acu-naps (and 2308 massage appointments as well!) We have 2 punks doing all the acupuncture in 2015, with 5 massage therapists doing the massage therapy.
I had also run the 2014 numbers. In 2014, we had done 4060 acu-naps and 2471 massage therapy treatments.
We lost ground. Or did we?
I am grateful to be able to do this many treatments, and it is a testament to the great community that we have that we did this many, because, in spite of me doing almost no marketing last year, we didn't stop being busy.
To everyone who has recommended us to a friend or family member in need of acupuncture – “Thank you!” for spreading the word about us, and please, continue to do so, you are our best form of marketing.
These numbers, however, do caution me to pay more attention.
I have been distracted this year. Distracted by being involved in volunteer work with both the Massage Therapy Association of Manitoba and the Manitoba Professional Acupuncture Association. I am the President of the MTAM, and will be for a few more years, and I am on the Board of the MPAA. It keeps me busy, and I would say, too busy, after seeing the numbers dip.
In December of 2015 until now, I have been punking (doing acupuncture) solo. Moss has been away from the office, and I have expanded my schedule to accommodate as many people as possible. I decided on doing split shifts, working from 10 am - 8:00 pm, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. This was possible because It was December and the Associations were quiet(ish). Everyone understands the demands of the season so Association-related answers could be delayed and thought about, etc.
So, I was able to do a lot of acupuncture. And I mean a lot! I did 97 acu-naps last week. Just for comparison, in 2015, WE did 75 acu-naps (between 2 punks), in 2014, we did 84 acu-naps (between 3 punks), in 2013 we did 47 (between 3 punks) and in 2012, we did 24 between 2 punks. It has been so good doing this many treatments. It has shown me what a busy clinic can look like.
Getting back to the Facebook group, there are all sorts of clinics running solo with numbers just like STTPCA's. There are some that are smaller, and there are some that are huge! Working Class Acupuncture in Portland did 54,142 acu-naps between its three clinics. And one solo punk (I am not sure what clinic she owns did 12,022. By herself. That is 230 treatments a week. Nine treatments plus an hour!!! Wow, we have a long way to go to be that busy!
Being careful to compare apples to oranges, I realize that one thing that may be different between Portland and Winnipeg is the size of the potential audience or the number of people who are actively participating in complementary health therapies within that larger potential audience.
So expect a lot more marketing this year. Expect to see more chairs full when you come for your acupuncture appointments. Tell us how we can make your experience a better one. And above all, please continue to do what you do, bring your family, your friends, tell strangers about us, and just generally be awesome about spreading the word that acupuncture can help, and that we are here to be of help.