Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Health expansions

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     Pathways to better health offer good business opportunities. After all, everyone is looking to improve their health. 

     The medical field is wide open today. People are looking beyond the pill popping solutions of the recent past, and they are eyeing alternative methods to feeling better, living longer, and tackling ills. Healthy living has taken center stage.

     Specialists of many types have entered the health arena. Chiropractors, nutritionists, herbalists, wellness and holistic practitioners and more are rushing in to fill the void. Small businesses are being structured around life coaching, aromatherapy, hypnotherapy, acupuncture, massage, yoga, and many more possibilities. 

     Traditional medical establishments, clinics, and others in the fields of health are taking note. Integrative medical offices today regularly bring in experts in various wellness modalities to offer patients a wider range of healthy alternatives.

     Example: Cheryl is a chiropractor. She opened her office and immediately began looking around to expand. Networking her way through the holistic and alternative health communities, she homed in on several specialists--experts in massage, nutrition, yoga and the use of hypnosis to help people lose weight or stop smoking. Separately, these small businesses struggle as independents. Together, Cheryl convinced them that they could form a wellness center that would appeal to a wider public. It has been a successful expansion, and she is now adding a licensed acupuncturist to the group. The new wellness center's website is comprehensive but easy to navigate. And a social media presence brings in referrals.

     Example: Massage therapists, nutritionists, hypnotherapists and holistic practitioners can benefit by coming together in a shared location. Justin offers various types of massage. He brought together several different therapists in a single location. Each of the experts has a private office in a building that was formerly a dentist's offices. They share the common areas (restrooms, receptionist, waiting room and utilities) and the expenses of the building, including the monthly rent. The arrangement amounts to a wellness center operating as a cooperative, and it offers each of the specialists more than each might be able to afford acting alone. They regularly hold talks and demonstrations, free and open to the general public. This, along with social media, brings in more and more people concerned with their health.  

     Example: A local medical center is run privately by the medical doctors who see patients there. They regularly bring in alternative practitioners--acupuncturists, Pilates experts, nutritionists, hypnotherapists, experts in Chinese medicine, and others. These additional specialists can be particularly helpful with post-surgery patients, pain management, exercise and healthy eating habits. It is working out well for both the traditional medical establishment and the newer alternative medical specialists. Events and seminars attract a public thirsty for information. 

     Health concerns by everyday people are driving an expansion in the medical field. No specialist will ever be on call to remove your appendix on your kitchen table. But delivering babies at home? It's already being done. 

     What's old is new again. I was myself delivered in my mother's bedroom--assisted by a neighboring farm wife acting as midwife. And every spring I gather dandelion leaves and cook up a pot of greens as a seasonal tonic.

     It's foolish to leave behind everything that worked in the past. Some things have been tested through trial and error over generations. Re-examine? Yes! Discard? No! And that's what's happening in medicine today. 

     Business opportunities for therapists and other alternative medical specialists are opening up at a fast pace. Step outside your specialty, and look around with your business eye.     


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