Can musculoskeletal pain and mental trauma both be treated by acupuncture at the same time? Sarah Alemi, DAc specializes in both and we talk new practice ownership struggles, acupuncture for veterans, herbs and touch on marketing.
Acupuncture as a second career (5 element with extra training in Tradition Chinese Medicine), albeit an early switch, was decided by Dr. Alemi after not being satisfied with her career and getting acupuncture herself to take care of her own conditions.
She is specializing in trauma. Does it take special training to focus on that area? She went to Maryland University of Integrative Health and practices in Northern Virginia.
Trauma can be violence, sexual abuse, and even a variety of trauma experienced by Veterans. Past trauma can definitely effect your body in negative ways long past the original incident. Even emotions like depression, anxiety and trouble sleeping can be helped with Traditional Chinese Medicine.
See I thought she marketed directly for trauma therapy but in reality she discovers that the low back patient is having anxiety for example based on her history and through exam.
Can you treat headaches with acupuncture and at the same time address a violent incident from their past? Do you have to pick one or the other? Can you pick points that address everything based on Meridian crossovers? Was the trauma actually the root cause for headaches?
She is pretty involved with a veterans group that 7 times a year does nontraditional therapy and she will offer 5 point ear acupuncture to them.
When is it appropriate to use a 3 inch needle and what is the aim?
Dietary therapy and herbs, how are those utilized in Dr. Sarah Alemi’s practice? What are the misconceptions and worries that patients have about herbal therapy?
What can acupuncture do for allergies, especially for those who do the weekly shots?
Does being a female help or hurt her in acquiring new patients?
She focuses on reviews, a good webpage, keywords and BNI / word of mouth for advertising.
Dr. Alemi ACP has established working relationships with other acupuncturists in town, how does that help her with time off?
She works 14 hour days sometimes and is learning that she has to make different arrangements and compromises to keep her marriage happy. Part of the plan is expanding the number of treatment rooms. Take a listen to a sub 4 year graduate trying to establish herself in the community and get a raving referral patient base.
Show notes can be found at http://www.adoctorsperspective.net/147 here you can also find links to things mentioned and the full transcript.
Justin Trosclair 0:06
Episode 147, trauma and acupuncture. I'm your host, Justin Trosclair with Dr. Sarah Louise perspective, during 2017 and 18 podcast awards, nominate host and best selling author on Amazon as we get a behind the curtain look at all types of doctor and guest specialties. Let's hear a doctor's perspective. Thanks for tuning in again. I can't believe it's been this many episodes. So Wow, Happy Halloween. Don't eat too much candy. You know I'm a doctor, a chiropractor for that matter. So be moderate with your candy consumption especially for your kids. I think I know some friends that I think they they take a lot of the kids best candy and then just hide it for themselves. I think that's hilarious. Anyway, like the last two weeks I mentioned probably a little hiatus until 2020 with a big move coming up. So I want you to know, my latest book will come out the first book, which should be out in Thanksgiving, so late November, is not gonna appeal to everyone, but it's something that I'm really good at Chinese dinner, the book is gonna be called Chinese business dinner culture, mistakes to avoid and critical must do is to gain face, impress decision makers and close more deals. So this is going to be all about dinner etiquette for Chinese business, people in laws, anyone that you're trying to impress, and make a good favorable impression. So if that title, and that sentence or two sounds interesting to you definitely want to pick up that book, once it's released, following social media, sign up for an email and you'll know when it comes out. And then, at some point in 2020, I'm writing a relationship book for doctors. You know, I've always said on the show, a lot of doctors they make a lot of money, or maybe they don't, maybe they're struggling either way, they get a divorce and because being a doctor means and a business owner means you're gonna have a hybrid head divorce, that's horrible. You know, you're married to person because you love them. You Kids probably you don't want to just eat them on the weekend. So what I'm doing is just taking all the advice that I've gotten through all the episodes, and I'm going to compile them into a book with like different headings and how to take vacation activities that you can do ways that you can improve their relationships with your, your significant others. And it's going to be geared for doctors, with our own unique struggles, business ownership, like the stress of the patients issues, taking good notes, possible litigation, all those different things that we have to deal with as doctors. So the book written just for us, so I do hope you will check that out. If you're wondering man, we're going to get these two books. He didn't give me a good link, whether you're a doctor's perspective. net, or Dr. Justin Trosclair. com, that's Dr. Again, on the same page, there's like a button that says my clinic so you'll definitely find links. There. Social media will have links of course, if you signed up for any of the specific doctor specialty series that I've done, it'll be on the email list. So just keep your eyes peeled and eventually you will see the two books once are released. Alright, that's enough about those two books. Thank you for tuning in. Dr. Sara is an acupuncture she's been out for two or three years. So right in the grip of trying to figure it all out, as far as practice ownership marketing, and we'll go over a couple of those things, balancing, you know, marriage with overworking and trying to be accommodating your patients schedule, still, but still be able to take vacations, I will discuss her work with the veterans, not directly with like the hospital, but with these retreats that they can go on to help with specific trauma. And we'll go over the details like, of course, people come in for low back pain and headaches and those things and that's what acupuncture helps for and allergies. But how does the trauma part? How does the emotional stuff play into current treatment? Like if you get rid of the emotional trauma, does the back pain go away? So have a conversation about all that. We'll go into more about that. allergies. What can acupuncture do in that room? So it's a jam packed episode. Here's a fun one. All the show notes can be found at a doctor's perspective, net slash 147. Let's go hashtag behind the curtain.
Live from China and Northern Virginia today on the show. We get to dive into acupuncture and trauma. It's a very interesting topic. We've had somebody do some emotional stuff before. So I'm really excited to see what all she can do for you. She's graduated from Maryland University of integrative health, we actually get to call her a doctor. So it's exciting. Please welcome Dr. Sarah. Ella, me.
Unknown Speaker 4:37
Yes. Hi. Thank you. Thanks for having me.
Justin Trosclair 4:40
You betcha we were joking about the doctor piece because if you didn't know a lot of acupuncture, they get the degree and then their state doesn't allow in the column that so it's so fantastic that you can actually say such Exactly. So I'm happy for you. Well, of all the things out there, acupuncture in America, herbs and Oriental medicine is definitely something that we're gonna wait let me double click on So give us the background on how you chose that as your profession. So
Unknown Speaker 5:04
it was not my first choice. In fact, I didn't even know that being an acupuncturist could be a thing until I went to school for acupuncture. I originally moved to Northern Virginia to pursue public policy. I was working in politics for about a couple of years getting my master's degree. When I realized I wasn't happy. I didn't quite know what it was what it was, I wasn't happy about. And then one day, I went to a functional medicine doctor, and he's like, we continue doing tests on you, but again, your body's not happy. You need to figure that out. I remember I went and had an acupuncture session. And I was like, You know what, this is something that I like, why don't I just take a big old chance and do it? And you know, seven years later, here I am. I'm
Justin Trosclair 5:51
it's weird how things happen like there
Unknown Speaker 5:53
is a little switch. A little different.
Justin Trosclair 5:57
I don't even know what chiropractic really was. until maybe senior year in high school and whatever, and then through college is like, this is starting to look a little bit more interesting. Maybe I could go that route. But then at that point, I didn't really know what acupuncture was until right years, you know, kind of years later. You're like, Oh, that's the thing. Oh, that's in America where they stab you with needles. Was that?
Unknown Speaker 6:19
Exactly. Yeah, I didn't, I didn't understand that. It was something until I was offered the service. And it's like, Oh, okay.
Justin Trosclair 6:27
So let's just dive right in, to give an interesting guy, specialty, if you will. So, guide us through, you know, you're going to school, you're probably learning all kinds of different conditions that you can treat and everything. So how do you fall into this and stead of something else and pursue it so hard?
Unknown Speaker 6:45
So, you're right, acupuncture, the way I learned it is part of Chinese medicine, which is its own holistic side of medicine, right? So it's not just hospitalization. We're not just looking at the heart or the gut or the lungs or The emotions, we're looking at all of it and how they work together. One of the reasons why trauma, and I guess you could say, emotional upset or so important to me is because it's something I went through myself. And it's something that when I moved to Northern Virginia, I saw a lot around me, both in terms of stress and, like emotional abuse, but also there's a huge, better and military personnel, I guess, community in my area. Okay. And so being able to help them is something that I thought it was important, particularly because they don't always have the resources or the types of therapies that some of us may have access to. That's true. And like I said, firsthand, I saw but dealing with past trauma, dealing with press emotions, how that can positively affect your body and help you move forward with other issues like chronic low back pain. It's It's amazing, right? How, how the head and the body are connected.
Justin Trosclair 8:05
Yeah. And a lot of research is starting to show that connection and like, Okay, what do you how do you do that? Do you need a psychologist to go with you when you're getting these treatments to make them both alleviate faster?
Unknown Speaker 8:15
So and sometimes you do. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 8:18
I was this a. So is it like PTSD stuff? Or could be anything from just depression and anxiety and the stresses of military life as well?
Unknown Speaker 8:27
It can be the whole gamut. Yeah. So absolutely. It can be something as some people might say, as simple as anxiety or stress, right? Just because we know that the US have repercussions long term, right, chronic repercussions. It can cause inflammation. And we know inflammation is the cause of a lot of long term health problems. You know, cardiovascular disease, it's really good with anxiety and depression that can interfere with our sleep. It's really good with someone who's maybe had emotional or physical abuse as well. Someone who's you know who's gone or who's happy. PTSD or maybe someone who hasn't been overseas, but they had a challenging experience, I've seen very effective results from dealing with all kinds. And I think that stress is something I treat for everyone regardless of what they come in for. So you deal with stress and it's amazing how things are able to be better, quicker,
Justin Trosclair 9:24
because some people get headaches or shoulder pain or bad indigestion or diarrhea or like all these crazy other things, you're like, ah, once this gets better, things get better.
Unknown Speaker 9:33
Exactly, exactly. So So usually when someone comes in to see me, we no one says, Oh, I have a mental issue or Oh, I have an emotional issue or Oh, I have PTSD or stress or anxiety. They may be like, yeah, I deal with stress. Usually they give me a physical ticket. Like I have back pain, I have migraines, or I just can't sleep. And it's like, Okay, let's go into it. You know, I'll ask about that condition. But then I want to ask about their lifestyle, I'm gonna ask about their social history, their health history, and that's kind of when I see, okay, there's a lot of, you know, stress going on. And there seems to be a lot of anxiety and maybe there's, you know, a start to this anxiety, like a particular event. And it's like, Okay, well, let's address that. Right. Interesting.
Justin Trosclair 10:16
That's cool that I didn't realize that people are just coming in for, you know, normal musculoskeletal type of issues. And then it's just sort of transitions because, in reality, maybe I'm wrong. You see it all the time over here, but they're kind of more musculoskeletal. I don't get to see a lot of the full body acupuncture theory and stuff, right. So I'm assuming you can probably needle the back and maybe into the glute or leg for back pain, but then you might come up to the shoulder or the top of the head or someone's on the hand to address some of these other issues and their patient laying there may not really realize what you're doing is that just trust me, it's acupuncture. I'm taking care of you.
Unknown Speaker 10:52
Exactly. So I'm not I'm not gonna lie to them. You know, I'm going to tell them like Okay, so we have this back pain right. Let's see someone has chronic back pain, but their entire life they've gone through abuse or they've just gone through anxiety, right? They've never really dealt with it. So yeah, I want their symptoms to go away, I want their low back to feel better. And if I think that there could be a relationship or a causative factor from anxiety, we want to treat that as well. Right? That could potentially be the root cause. So you want to you want to treat the symptoms, you also want to treat the root cause so yes, my local feeling so say the back and I might also do some distal needling, that's going to kind of help to affect the brain, right? The parasympathetic nervous system and help to kind of re re shift or reset it. Okay. And at the same time, it's kind of like telling the patient Yeah, you know, these are the things that we could do to get better want to address the low back pain but we also know what else could be potentially causing it or aggravating It is usually how I explain it.
Justin Trosclair 11:48
In other words, I think I could get rather complex and maybe why 50 for 50 years, they can give they put four points, you know, yes, we'll take care all your issues you like Wait, what kind of setting you up. Do you You have two separate, here's the back pain. Maybe you have a distal one, then you have a separate protocol for anxiety or when you look at all of the fire and wood and earth and all that I'm not sure if you look at it in that aspect, if there's different types of acupuncture, yes. Are you able to like cross the channels? And these are the points that I would pick to kind of cover everything at one time? How does that kind of play out when you're making a treatment plan?
Unknown Speaker 12:21
Suddenly? You're correct. So first of all, you're right. There are a lot of different styles of acupuncture. So for me, I'm trained in classical five element, right, which involves the different elements of nature. But I also apprentice for a couple of years, someone who's a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner, which it's much more Western medicine based, and integrative. I have found that a combination of the two together is most effective for my patients. And because this is an individualized treatment, I will tweak it so that it best fits the patient and I'll you know, I'll continue to tweak the treatment based on what seems to be working what doesn't seem to be working But in terms of having protocols, yes, there are variety protocols. Yes, there are low back pain protocols. But I, I look at what the underlying pattern is when you see the pattern of disharmony, what's going on, that may be causing the symptom and that's what I treat. So it's not i'm not separating into two separate protocols when I'm doing a whole body treatment. And the only time I might do a protocol is when I'm working in a community acupuncture setting, which I do that sometimes a year, I'll go up to a veterans Retreat Center, and I'll have a group of veterans and they're sitting in a circle and because I can only get to certain parts of them and a certain amount of time. Then in that example, I do you know what's called No, excuse me, not a five point protocol. And I go around and I utilize five points of each year
Justin Trosclair 13:44
that are you private practice? Are you working in the VA or
Unknown Speaker 13:48
so I am a private practice. However, I am working with a group called Melwood veteran services and they run what's called Operation to heat up basically seven times a year to take groups of veterans and They take him out to Eastern Maryland to this big old country place. It's got high ropes, courses, low ropes courses, it's got equine therapy, and it, it helps to expose it to different types of therapy like, again, that they might not necessarily have access to through the VA, or through trachea. And I offer acupuncture services to them and that one of the great things is they don't know they're getting it until they meet me. So and I don't have time to kind of overthink it or over worry about it,
Justin Trosclair 14:32
right? It doesn't really hurt like every now and then you might get a spotlight. But it's it's not as scary as people think is just they gotta get over it in a sense.
Unknown Speaker 14:41
It's not it's scary because yeah, it seems like a bit like an oxymoron. Why am I going to have sharp needles to help induce relaxation, right, I get it and it's something that you it's like, try it and see what you feel like it if you like a fantastic keep going right? If you don't like it, well, at least you can say you try it and there's no adverse side effects. You're right, there are some points that are going to be more tender than others, not just in an unpalatable structural sort of thing, right? And once they're in there's like I say, once they're in there should be no stings, I mean burning or that kind of thing, or I did a bad job
Justin Trosclair 15:15
in America, are you able I've asked this before on past guests, but are you able to do like those really long three inch needles into the glute, or even into the sub occipital?
Unknown Speaker 15:26
So I can and I do what I feel comfortable and where I've had my training, so I will absolutely take a three inch deep into the glued to the right, maybe even to like a hamstring or the quad and you know what I'm trying to do usually with that, with the longer needles, we're trying to get deeper like we're trying to get to the nerve, right? This is my psychotic pain. In terms of the back of the head. No, I don't think it's necessary.
Justin Trosclair 15:50
I see some stuff here and I'm like,
Unknown Speaker 15:55
No, I know. I want to make sure we do something that we skilled and trained and we also want to make sure that the patient is 110% comfortable with what we're doing. And like I said, from my experience working with Ed really don't need to go very far at all.
Justin Trosclair 16:12
It just depends on the person as well like know how they're like said, How are you trained and comfortable with it you like I've seen it work so many times. So buckle up.
Unknown Speaker 16:20
Yeah, absolutely. Everyone's body is different. I mean, if someone's older or someone's skinnier, obviously, I'm not going to use a three inch needle.
Justin Trosclair 16:28
So people know it, you're usually going not even a deep as a pinky nail has less than that. way less than that.
Unknown Speaker 16:35
Yeah, most of the needles I use are half inch needles. They're fine Philip form stainless steel, and maybe I'll go about halfway. So a quarter of an inch. I
Justin Trosclair 16:44
was going to switch gears just a little bit on you here the misconceptions about kind of what you do, especially when we're talking about like the trauma part. Do you get a lot of scuffing?
Unknown Speaker 16:55
Yes, sir. This isn't gonna work. You
Unknown Speaker 17:00
That's okay. I don't take it personally. Like I said, I turned to acupuncture, sort of the last resort for myself. And I think about 90% of the patients who come to see me see me as a last resort before surgery. So the fact that acupuncture is still not that widely accepted, that's okay. Um, however, I do notice when I go to certain populations or certain communities, there may be more or less openness. For example, when I go do the veterans retreats, sometimes they'll kind of laugh a little bit, they're not quite sure they're like, seems a little hoodoo, a little Voodoo. Um, and the only thing I asked is like, you know what, I'm not asking you to believe in it. I'm just simply asking you to try it out.
Justin Trosclair 17:44
Because when you stand up and your backs not hurting as much, you'd be like, Whoa, what was this?
Unknown Speaker 17:48
And I don't you know, I don't care if they believe that it was the acupuncture that helped. That, you know, there was just simply a coincidence that maybe there's a penguin way I say, you know, I don't care if you believe that. Acupuncture not but I care that you feel better. And I want you to whatever it is it's going to make you feel about are
Justin Trosclair 18:05
your training. So I think we have a little bit of a delay, so I'm cutting you off more than I would normally. I'm sorry. That's all right. And your training, did you learn anything about the herbs? And do you integrate that in your practice?
Unknown Speaker 18:16
Yes, I do. I will say that.
Unknown Speaker 18:20
A lot of Well, I don't say a lot. So majority of my patients are a little hesitant to do herbs, is because in the United States, you know, they're not FDA regulated. Face bad some patients. Yeah. So I know, I know. And some patients are concerned with the source, you know, where did I get them? Where are they going to do? Are they going to, you know, have an effect with with the prescription medications that they're already taking. What I do is they say, you know what, this is what my treatment strategy is, this is our goal that we're working on together. Here's some things that I think could help. So we usually start with dietary therapy in addition to the needles and then if That continues to work and they want to do more or maybe it's not working and they want to do more than like, herbal formulas can help and what I like about herbal formulas is this not just one herb, which has the you know that it's just wondering you have the possibility of there being adverse reactions, but if it's multiple herbs at such small dosages, then there's it's less likely that there will be a negative side effect and it's more likely that there will be a positive effect. And I will try they're like, Oh, Okay, I get it. It's like taking maybe a vitamin or supplement. I Delhi Do not try to give them herbal tea, just because that can be a tedious process as as much as that would be fantastic. Because that is the most concentrated form. Probably the most effective, you know, I want to simplify the process of the treatments as much as possible.
Justin Trosclair 19:45
And you know, we're used to it's 200 milligrams, it's 150 milligrams, we know it's standardized. You know, I was sick the other day. I mean, real sick. I don't know what happened. I mean, the chills the fever. So I was like, my wife was like, Man I need, I don't know something I'm not going good. She's like, let's get you some some medicine like, okay, and they come up with the medicine store. And I'm like, what's this? She goes, it's herbs. So it was like a little packet. And it had like, I don't know, five to eight herbs in it and you mix it with water. Yeah, it has sugar in it, because it was kind of funny. But anyway, it was a, you know, probably because we didn't grow up with it. I'm telling you, it works. So well. I woke up the next day, it felt I didn't feel better, but I was like 60 to 70% better and I just kept taking a couple times a day anyway, it was just these little packets and to them, that's just what they would use before antibiotics and because all these herbs have antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal properties or whatever to knock it out naturally, I guess.
Unknown Speaker 20:45
Exactly. So in Chinese medicine, I'm like, Okay, so this is going to help purge This is going to help to expel the pathogens and Western medicine. Exactly. It's, it's nature's antibiotic. Its anti microbial. It's really great. I am pretty much You're walking Chinese medicine pharmacy, I always have different formulas in my car and my first. So at the first sign of like a sore throat, or maybe I can feel a little bit of allergy symptoms coming on. I just take some of the herbs will take it for a few days and I'm good to go.
Justin Trosclair 21:16
How's the allergies in Virginia? I know where I'm at in the south. Usually it is so bad that people are taking these injections once a week and all of this stuff for years to try to help it out. I'm like, Man seems like there should be another option as well.
Unknown Speaker 21:29
Right? So I actually am from Southern Virginia and I did not get allergies. I moved to Northern Virginia. And I try allergy injections for two years to no avail. And then I had sinus surgery where they opened up my sinus cavity I'm on still get up still any sinus infections, things are still getting trapped that again with insomnia. I think allergies are one of the things that I originally went to acupuncture for. And right now I'm kind of keep it at bay. I'll take a herbal formula every now and then but I don't have to take it every Day and only when it's really bad congestion, which is maybe once a year. Well, I you know, I do a little bit of acupuncture myself, right. That's some bad stuff. But
Justin Trosclair 22:08
yeah, anytime I get some kind of allergy thing, I'm like, I'm dying. And I'm like, this is what people go through every day.
Unknown Speaker 22:16
I know. And it's what's funny is that I have tons of patients who come on come in sniffling are kind of clearing their throat, right? And I'm like, are you okay? Do you have a cold or like, No, it's just allergies. Just normal. I'm like, that's not normal. Like, you shouldn't have to be clearing your throat every couple minutes. Right? Like, let's, let's help clear that up for you. Yeah.
Justin Trosclair 22:36
Okay. You're kind of somewhat new in practice, at least that's what I would assume based on your degree.
Unknown Speaker 22:41
Justin Trosclair 22:41
Okay. So maybe two years at the max and that means you're starting out. So I'd like to ask, it's kind of like the double question. Okay. Someone who's kind of a little bit behind you. Hmm, any good advice for them? And what is some of the things that you were struggling with and maybe have gotten past that are still in the midst of as a young doctor.
Unknown Speaker 23:04
All right. Let me think how this could be business. Yeah. Okay. So what I was fortunate enough to do was I was fortunate enough to have enough to ship as two different colleagues while I was going through the masters and doctorate program, I would highly recommend that anyone in school seek out another practitioner who's been in practice for at least 10 years successful. So you learn both what they do in terms of the medicine but also how they run their practice. Because I think one thing that my school didn't have at the time wasn't really didn't have practice management.
Justin Trosclair 23:40
Unknown Speaker 23:41
know, they're like, okay, here, write a business plan and then never look at it again. Right. You know, how do we market as acupuncturist right? We're not selling products online, we're, you know, a brick and mortar business, we have to be here. And I think the fact that I was able to see how other successful practitioners practice and ran their businesses some things that did well, and some things I did not so well. I've been able to be further along in my own clinic
Justin Trosclair 24:08
than I would have thought this being a female help are hurt being an acupuncture.
Unknown Speaker 24:14
I think it helps. Just,
Justin Trosclair 24:17
that's a weird question. But you know what I mean? Like, sometimes it's like, I don't
Unknown Speaker 24:23
want to say anything that's going to be a, you know, offensive or anything that's going to ruffle some feathers. And I think that when people come to see an acupuncturist, a lot of times, well, originally, a large percentage of my clients were older females. And so I think having a female practitioner who understands what they're going through, they found comfort in it, right. And I think a big part of acupuncture is not just the needles and how I put them, but also it's my demeanor and my bedside manner, my ability to empathize and I think they feel comfortable around me, particularly if I'm needling certain areas, right? Like the abdomen, think about fertility patients are thinking about PTSD patients, right? They want someone that they feel safe and comfortable around. And then again, I know some people, you know, they look at me and they're like, I have this big pain. Can you handle it? I'm like, Yes. Because I also do you know, tween orthopedic massage. It's like, I get in there, trust me. Yes, I'm a woman. And it's no different. So
Justin Trosclair 25:26
I've had a, you know, a woman series, I've had a another series where it was almost like six out of the seven guests were all female doctors of some sort. And so just kind of depends on, you know, just, I'm open to get a guest. I think their group is called chicks with MDS. Now, so just kind of like there's a group of people were women sticking together saying, Hey, you know, you could do this, you can do this. You're not going to have the patriarchy holding you down as much in this field. Maybe go check it out, you know, for younger listeners, right.
Unknown Speaker 25:55
Right. Well, I also think where I'm practicing that it's not it's not a hindrance at all. My gender is I think, although you know, if you go to different cultures or notice that that might give you a different answer.
Justin Trosclair 26:07
We've been here they say we have a, I don't know what's a NE she was 27 or something 26 real young, Asian girl, Chinese girl. And she was like, Yes, a little tough for me. Because in that their society, they kind of want the guy who's been around for 50 years, doesn't necessarily be a guy, but you're not young, you're young, you're not old, you don't know what you're doing. So that they do have to overcome that. And usually, it's like, two seconds later, there's like, fine, and just another option, you get me or you get no one. So it's up to you.
Unknown Speaker 26:37
Exactly. It's just like acupuncture once they try it, or once they get to know me a little bit. Okay. It doesn't really make the friends
Justin Trosclair 26:44
perfect. What are you doing for marketing, you know, one or two tips or things that are working?
Unknown Speaker 26:50
So yeah, so I think marketing and advertising has probably been my biggest learning curve, again, because we really didn't have a lot to go on. And I know a lot of professionals in my area, they don't do a lot of marketing or advertising. It's really just word of mouth. And so that's something I started playing with. And I will say that print advertising can be a lot of money. Yeah,
Justin Trosclair 27:10
man, it's not.
Unknown Speaker 27:12
I've tried Facebook advertising, and that hasn't really worked. It's really about being fundable on Google, because most people when they do acupuncture for the first time, they're going to do acupuncture near me. Right. And so you might be one of the first practitioners that pops up. And so that means having a good website, you want to make sure you have all of your search words in there. And then also make sure you want to have reviews you need to give us and I would recommend people doing Google reviews and not Yelp reviews because we are you know, we are a healthcare practice, right, not a restaurant. We're not a beauty salon and also with Yelp, you can really get all kinds of answers on there.
Justin Trosclair 27:53
And you can get blocked perfectly fine reviews. They hold them off. Well, we're not to go down that road. I think we you know, people who know in So stick with Google and with age,
Unknown Speaker 28:02
yes, yes. So I've seen that but I've also done networking and a lot of so people like to joke that acupuncturist don't really come out of their their little, whole little, little clinic. And so when when you introduce yourself about a networking event, they're like, oh, you're an acupuncturist. Great. And that's the best way to meet people want to want to get to know you. They see you're not crazy. They see you're not doing some kind of Hocus Pocus, right? There's real science behind what I studied and it's fantastic. It's a good way and I think marketing with other professionals instead of just marketing amongst other acupuncturists is the best way to go. Definitely.
Unknown Speaker 28:39
What do you have a special group that you use
Unknown Speaker 28:41
Unknown Speaker 28:42
I do I know people are going to roll their eyes by MM, excuse me. I am in a big networking group. Over here and with you. Yeah, I mean, it's fantastic. I went there not knowing at all what it was. I told them I because acupuncture they're like, great. Stay with us. And I love the group. It's really given me so much business already. I think I've probably tripled my investment. All right. Yeah, exactly. And it's Yeah, it's getting me to get out the door and again, not stay in my clinic, right?
Unknown Speaker 29:15
Yeah. If you ever want some behind the scenes, we interviewed Hazel Miller. I don't know what number she was, but she was the number one franchise owner in the world for seven years. Okay, yeah. So audience if you're interested in like the behind the scenes on being AI and things like that amazing episode to learn more about that. And I really encourage you to, to look into it. Yes, it's a time investment every week. But like she said, it really pays its debt, especially as a chiropractor. You get one car accident that they refer and all of a sudden, you're making, you know how it goes with car accidents, you just get paid your full price typically, and you get your money back real quickly.
Unknown Speaker 29:55
Exactly. And the longer you around, the more These more others know you and the more they get to trust you. And that's what they said, if you can build that trust, and they are more likely to refer others, and then we go back again to word of mouth, right. And that's really how it works. Someone doesn't want you to someone who's maybe afraid of needles are afraid of acupuncture being like a placebo. If they know someone who's had it, and has had success with it, and they trust them as a professional, they're more likely to go through and try acupuncture.
Justin Trosclair 30:26
I'll tell you, I've when I would go and get new members or just start a new group or something like that. Whatever it is, you join a group, I always offer them look, come in experience an exam experience an adjustment. You don't have to pay anything. I just want you to know exactly what you're getting with me. Right now. The guy you saw last year, I've never been to one or the crook down the street. You need to know me what I do. So when you refer you be like, okay, there's no Hocus Pocus. There's no questions as I know what you're going to get. I like this guy. Go, go. It just to me, it made sense.
Unknown Speaker 31:00
Exactly, I completely concur. I tell all the members, I was like, Don't give me you know, a cold referral, so to speak, unless you've come to see me first. Even if you again, even if you don't have a ticket just so you know what my processes how I work, how I am at my office, and you know what i do what the different tools that have.
Justin Trosclair 31:17
Yeah, makes such a difference.
Unknown Speaker 31:19
It does. Again, just as you know, every practitioner is different. So,
Unknown Speaker 31:24
yep, yep. I worked with a guy who was part shaman or something. Okay. Definitely a different. Yeah, this is an America, that would be a different experience than I would have expected to see his room.
Unknown Speaker 31:38
That's okay. I get asked. Practice Reiki a lot. So, I think a lot of people who've had acupuncture before, maybe in another state, I don't want to name a state. Some of those practitioners do more energetic work, which I think is fantastic. And that's not what I do. Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 31:56
Unknown Speaker 31:59
Unknown Speaker 32:01
Alright, we're going to switch gears completely that we can respect your time and everything like that. Okay, all right. You're your own boss. Yes, vacation is difficult to take, you're coming in that first two to three years situation where you just got to stick it out. But yes. Are you ever take vacation? Are you released find a way to recharge.
Unknown Speaker 32:20
Okay, so this is interesting timing because I have decided that I am going to take a full week off at the end of October. I am scared that my business is going to suffer and I know that you know, I'm trying to encourage my patients to take time off to refuel two blocks right back rejuvenate and I need to do the same, right? I don't want to be a hypocrite. I don't want to be a burnt out practitioner. And I mean, so what's a week right? I you know, make sure that I'm available before and after. And yes, I'm not going to make money. If I'm I office again, like I said, I'm the only practitioner. I don't sell products online. It just means I need to work hard when I'm here.
Justin Trosclair 33:08
Probably too late now, but are you doing like a Wednesday through a Tuesday? Are you doing Monday through Friday?
Unknown Speaker 33:14
So right now I'm doing Monday through Saturday. I am available when a patient needs me. So sorry about the vacation. Oh, sorry. Sorry. I'm, I am. Well, I'm going to take that Saturday off to do a been a networking event actually. And then I'm leaving that Sunday and coming back Friday.
Unknown Speaker 33:34
Okay, so you're doing the
Unknown Speaker 33:35
end? Yes. But I'm also utilizing that time to do some renovations on my clinic. I'm actually at the point where I want to go ahead and get a third treatment room. And I also want to make take down walls to my lobby so that it's much more open. So if I want to do an open house, or if I want to do a workshop, basically so I have room to grow.
Justin Trosclair 33:57
That'd be great.
Unknown Speaker 33:57
Yeah, so it's like why not do something And that's going to help me expand my business while I'm also taking time off to relax.
Justin Trosclair 34:03
Unknown Speaker 34:05
And that's why I was wondering because a lot of people I've talked to, they'll do a split week, that way. They cram people in the first few days of the week. And then they cram in at the end of the week. And they're like, I didn't really miss any patients, and they just sort of kind of push them. There's a few extra days than usual. And I was like that it's pretty cool.
Unknown Speaker 34:21
Well, I've done that before. And I realized I'm still tired. Okay, when I come back, quote, unquote, vacation, I've done it before. I've come back and I worked on a Sunday, right? I opened my office on a Sunday and I was like, This isn't healthy. You know, my family is there. Like you need to take some time and prioritize your health just like you're telling your patients to prioritize their health and they should respect you for it. And if they do, they'll continue to see you as patients if they're getting something from you. And like I said, I hope they are and if not, then why are they coming to see me? So
Unknown Speaker 34:52
that's great insight. I'm glad to hear that and that's makes a lot of sense. any hobbies are fun things Lot of
Unknown Speaker 35:01
Unknown Speaker 35:02
So I do like to travel, which is again, kind of a bit of a quandary sense. Again, right, you're your own boss. I think that's probably the one downside. And I think that once I get a few years under my belt, then I will be much more confident and feeling like I can take maybe two weeks off at a time. Maybe you know, but if I expand or I have a massage therapist Come on hand because I really do think Integrative Health is the key to good health. But yeah, I just love to travel a bit and maybe 30 some countries, I really would like to get to 100 different countries.
Justin Trosclair 35:41
Unknown Speaker 35:42
I've been looking at trips to Southeast Asia, but right now today, two weeks minimum, right. To kind of really get the really the taste. Oh, again, maybe that's something in 2021 I hope to do.
Unknown Speaker 35:59
It's not that far away.
Unknown Speaker 36:00
No borrow at all, like just just a year.
Justin Trosclair 36:04
Do y'all do fill in work? Like could you find an acupuncture to acupuncturist to just fill in for like twice a week when you're on vacation?
Unknown Speaker 36:11
Potentially. So that's one of the great things about having established relationships with established practitioners. When I was in school I how calm now still help her do her admin work and billing, right. And there are times when she goes out of town, I'll treat her patients, sometimes I'll treat them at her clinic, sometimes I'll treat them here. I get certain percentage I know, I would ever go away or if I were to be out sick, that she would be able to see some of my patients as well.
Unknown Speaker 36:37
Yeah, just kind of thinking like, you know, some people never explored that option, because there's definitely drawbacks to it. But sometimes it's like, well, it's a great option for if you can find the right fit.
Unknown Speaker 36:45
It is great. It's great. Um, it's about trust, right? It's about trusting them as a person as a professional trusting about their skills and their education. Right. And yes, you might have a patient who's like, I like I like the way that they operate. Better, okay, well, then you know what I want what's best for the patient, and they might have a patient, you seem to have a different way of treating me that works better, they might want to come see me. And it's just having this understanding.
Justin Trosclair 37:11
That's right. So you're married?
Unknown Speaker 37:13
Justin Trosclair 37:13
How are you able to keep the love alive and feel connected?
Unknown Speaker 37:18
So that's something I am currently working with, or working on, I should say, um, again, as a new business owner, I think regardless of you know, what field you're in, making time for your family or just making time for your significant other is something I never thought I would have to work on. It is something I'm finding myself dealing with, like how do I make sure that I have time for them? Because like, I told you right now I'm at, I have my office whenever a patient needs me, right. So I might not get home till 830 at night, and I might be gone, you know, 6am in the morning, so that's like, what a 14 hour day
Unknown Speaker 37:54
there's no way I do that.
Unknown Speaker 37:58
You can come in my hours.
Unknown Speaker 38:01
You know, I and I realized that yes, and I, so I've made a promise, you know, I sat down with my my husband and it's like, okay, we realized I'm in a new business, I'm going to be busy. And I'm hoping, you know, here's, we have an end date of what I want to make sure that I have more time for him and in time is just, can we understand each other? And then can we make sure the time we do spend that we make the best of it. We do take short like day and a half trips together. We do that for certain because we you know, we don't eat dinner together during the week. So during the weekend, we make sure we eat dinner, and I made a promise that when I get that third treatment room, I'm going to take Wednesday's off, and so I can run errands, and I will be home to have dinner at least once a week with my husband.
Unknown Speaker 38:45
Unknown Speaker 38:47
And I think it's nice that I think it's just kind of any new business owner. It's finding that balance and I think I don't know if you can always have perfect balance, but I learned to kind of shift to what your focus Are your priorities at that moment. And right now he understands I getting my business up and running two birds secure to where I know I could if I had to be outside for a few months due to injury, that I could still sustain my business, I could still pay rent. And once I get there, then I would shift my attention and more said to him,
Unknown Speaker 39:17
yeah, that's hard. I mean, it. You know, sometimes it's, sometimes it takes longer than then I know, for me, it took a little longer than I expected. And, you know, even my wife, she starts doing different sales, and it's a lot of on the phone with in China, there's, you know, WeChat and stuff. Oh, man. Yes, I know. It took me she was on it all day at work. And she was on it at night. And it was like, Hey, I'm over here. Can we have like some time together? I'm like, I'm not asking for a lot. So we definitely had to figure out you know, how to how to turn it off. And because at nighttime, that's what everybody wants to talk to you. But during the day you're trying to figure out what's the most so it was this whole thing. It just it just took a while and we made it through and like you said you're on the same team trying to get understanding and making commitments and things like that. It's a big it goes a long way.
Unknown Speaker 40:01
Right. It's just it's just felt like checking in, you know, frequently like, Hey, is everything okay? Or you know, is what I'm doing fine. Are you happy? Are your ears really for him sometimes like, Who are you talk to like, Who are you emailing? It's like 8am Sunday. It's like, oh patient, but you're not in the office. Yeah. So it's okay. You're right. You know what? I'm talking. Right unless it's a last minute, you know, cancellation for the next morning. And that's it. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 40:29
Well, you have some fun work to look forward to.
Unknown Speaker 40:37
I know I know about new business owner and I'm navigating the ropes and again, I'm excited for November. Hopefully, renovations will be complete and again, just didn't have that kind of that third overflow room for now is just gives me a peace of mind that I do have the room to expand, but I can do so at my own pace. Because y'all take a while.
Justin Trosclair 40:57
You gotta have somebody to hang out and you You can't just have in the hall
Unknown Speaker 41:01
we were not. Exactly we're not a one and done.
Unknown Speaker 41:06
Like I have a call five minutes get out.
Unknown Speaker 41:08
Yeah, I'm calling she and her husband owner chiropractic business up here with me right and they use the pressure gun. So they can about 100 patients than four hours. I'm like I could still hundred patients in two weeks.
Unknown Speaker 41:23
If I'm really hustling if I ever saw 100 patients in four hours. Oh my goodness. That's intense.
Unknown Speaker 41:30
Unknown Speaker 41:32
I think she might they might need a rest a little bit more too. Yeah, cuz I do come see sometimes burnt out and you know what their shoulders and pain and it's awesome. Like, yeah, you might want to think about the amount of flux but it is just, um, what was it was uh, yeah, cuz I mean, there's no joy stream, and every time someone comes in and you get checking on them, like, what's going on what's changed what's gotten better, what's gotten worse, and then you know, you've got to put the needles in. You need to let them Sit, relax when you got to the needles out, check in with them again. And then some patients are additional therapy with cupping, or wash draw or maybe a few minutes a massage, right? Yeah, thanks forever. Yeah. And then if right now I'm the only employee. I'm an office, so I also have to check them out.
Justin Trosclair 42:19
Yeah, I mean, if you are eight hours a day, you're maxed at eight in your max to 16 night, you know, every room you can add, you know, more people, but there's always busy times. And so there's not a lot of people usually at three o'clock, but four or five o'clock, all of a sudden, everybody wants to show up at the same time and you like well only fit three of you, unless you want to
Unknown Speaker 42:39
write? I don't I mean, some people do that. And that's just not the way I want to practice.
Justin Trosclair 42:45
Last question for you. It's been great so far. Yes, sir. Any favorite books, podcasts, etc, that you secretly love, or just people have to check out?
Unknown Speaker 42:56
I mean, there are thousands I'm trying to. So I think that if someone's interested in getting to know more about acupuncture, Chinese medicine, how kind of this holistic medicine and way of life, what does that look? I believe it's between heaven and earth. Yeah. Yeah. So I mean, it's some of the classic ones, right? Um, I mean, that's something I recommend to my patients to read a lot. I also recommend if they have a lot of issues where they want to lose weight, healing with Whole Foods, that's a really good dietary therapy book. In terms of podcasts, I believe there's one that's called I'm getting to the point that I like, um, it's a smaller one, but it's a group of acupuncturists so it's always interesting to know what different acupuncture practitioners have to say about off different syndromes are conditions, that sort of thing. Yeah, I mean, I just I'm always trying to reach Something different. Something that I read recently. Yeah, and I don't I wouldn't recommend stopping inches acupuncture books, right? I like to expand it.
Unknown Speaker 44:11
It's kind of those when someone presents themselves with something, then it's like, Oh, I got a couple of books that I can recommend at that point. So,
Unknown Speaker 44:19
exactly. So someone needs some fertility, I would say, Okay, well, we'll do the infertility. Here is the go to Oprah. It really depends on what your interest is in.
Unknown Speaker 44:28
And who are you voting for in 2020? No, I'm joking.
Unknown Speaker 44:35
No, yeah. Yeah, speaking of spousal relationships,
Justin Trosclair 44:41
oh, you're on the opposite spectrum.
Unknown Speaker 44:46
Justin Trosclair 44:47
that's fun. That's fun. So how do you throw that in there? All the political craziness that's going on? Yes. Today is the recording is the 70th anniversary of the People's Republic of China's revolution that is today.
Unknown Speaker 45:01
I saw that. Yes. Yeah. I I would love to go to China when
Justin Trosclair 45:08
you should. There's even programs where you can just go study for a little while.
Unknown Speaker 45:12
I know I think so back in the day before my school change names was required that you go overseas and study for a while. Oh, that's been cool. I know. I know. But they to play that requirement fashionability going to school. So I was a little bummed. But again, like I told I was able to apprentice with. He was neurologists in China and now he's the practitioner acupuncture and the United States I was able to be with him for about five years. And so all the different like the needling techniques like keyboard you can kind of put a needle and move it around like a song or this and all these crazy things. Oh, it's just like, Okay, great. I got a few little tricks up my sleeve right. I might not have worked elsewhere. So
Justin Trosclair 46:00
What is the website? How can people get in touch with you find you, and all that jazz.
Unknown Speaker 46:05
All right, so they can Google Eastern roots wellness, or they can go to Eastern roots wellness.com they can type in my name Dr. Sarah Lemmy, ALEMIALCE, ac predicaments way to find me because from there, you'll get all my other information.
Justin Trosclair 46:21
Unknown Speaker 46:22
Well, that is our wonderful podcast for today. And I really want to appreciate you and thank you for being on the show and sharing your expertise and just the fun of getting to know somebody as well, in the midst of growing their practice, the struggles, successes, and knowing that we're not alone on our little islands.
Unknown Speaker 46:41
Correct. Exactly. Well, and I just wanna say thank you again for allowing me to be podcast I she did on. Again, I always love to talk to people as well. Personally, as you know, a growing practitioner and businesswoman right, it's always nice to see what other people have gone through and maybe OpenStack What I said was somebody
Justin Trosclair 47:06
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Transcribed by https://otter.ai