% of Naturopaths, LAcs, LMTs, health coaches with 2nd jobs

I was talking to a VIP Practice Makeover client of mine who shared that she attended a professional association meeting in Washington and couldn’t believe her ears about the statistics of acupuncture graduates who graduate and aren’t practicing full-time.

Do you know the statistics of acupuncturists, naturopaths, massage therapists, and health coaches who graduate and aren’t practicing full-time in their profession?

After speaking with my client, I did some quick research on my own to look up the stats.  While I was unable to find current stats (and couldn’t find any for ie, health coaches), I found studies that showed only 57% of trained acupuncturists and 35% of trained naturopaths were working in their practice full-time.  What do you think the stats are like today? Comment below on what you’ve seen or heard.

Just this Friday, I was talking to an acupuncturist and health coach who were working 2nd jobs.  One was working a a part-time job waitressing  and the other was working a full-time job in a pharmacy while doing what he/she really wanted to do on the side.  They both told me they preferred to be doing what they went to school for full-time.

There is nothing shameful about working another job while transitioning into building a successful practice.  How is it that you are to go to school with so much to learn about your practice and little business training, but come out expecting to know how to run a business?

The thing is–—do you have a transition plan that you know will work so that the 2nd job thing doesn’t become a forever thing?

Many holistic practitioners who call me have tried to figure things out on their own and are frustrated that it’s not working.  Some of them decide to do something different about it and get help with it.  Others choose to continue to figure it out themselves (sometimes I talk to people a year later and they are still stuck in the same place).

The truth is that successful business people do not become successful in their businesses without having had guidance or training along the way.  They either went to get their MBA (which often teaches you how to be a good business person for someone else vs. being an entrepreneur), paid for other kinds of business training, or had a family member who’s successful in business guide them.  That’s the advantage of being born in a Donald Trump or Bill Gates family—it’s not necessarily being born to a lot of money and inheriting it, it’s Donald or Bill teaching his kids how to fish.

And that’s why you see successful business owners come in to a profession they know nothing about, and turn it around into a successful business.  It’s because of their business skills.  It’s not getting another certificate in your modality—it’s straight up business skills.

There is one profession of holistic practitioners I see being better equipped to build their practices than other professions:  the chiropractic profession.  Although not much chiropractic-building business training is provided in school, chiropractors seem to realize the importance of getting the training beyond school to build their practices.  But even so, I see the value each chiropractor puts in getting the business guidance differs based on how open they are to “surrendering” to the fact that they’ve gone as far as they could on their own.  It’s disappointing for me to see holistic practitioners give up their dreams, because they aren’t able to make it running a successful practice.

Are you growing your practice in the way you’d like to be, and is it fast enough for you?  Are you helping the people you’re meant to help and making the money you deserve?  If not, maybe you need to do something differently.  You don’t need to be a statistic!

I’m excited to be teaching students/alumni of a couple of colleges this coming week about how to grow their practices.  It’s a good thing their school recognizes its importance.  For those of you who are not a part of the exclusive training for those colleges, but are ready to do something differently, listen to the next Double Your Practice call (SORRY, THIS EVENT IS NOW OVER) coming up and get started with the foundation to doubling your practice.

Comment below on whether you know any of your classmates are juggling 2nd jobs, or aren’t practicing.   If you know of the current statistics, share it below.

What do you wish naturopathic medical school, chiropractic, acupuncture or massage therapy school, or your health coach training taught you  about growing your practice?  Share your thoughts or insights.


  1. Helen Aviva Moschytz on July 4, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    will be finishing my TCM schooling end of this summer – In terms of getting clients : was thinkingof starting with a community acupuncture facility – i.e. renting a space per day/half-day – treating (hopefully) more patients at lower fees, getting exposure – and in addition starting with private patients in my home-based clinic. This way I’m saving on overhead expenses. Any thoughts on this?

    • Chen Yen on July 21, 2013 at 2:51 pm

      Hi Helen, it can be a good thing, although it depends on what your specific situation is and what your vision is for your practice. Keep in mind that just because it’s lower fees doesn’t mean someone will want to come in to see you too. It’s still important to be clear how to differentiate yourself from other community acupuncture clinics and how to inspire people to book appointments, if you go that route.

  2. LeAndra on July 3, 2013 at 12:53 am

    Thanks for the blog! It is hard to get started. Has anyone joined a network group or anything and had any luck with that? Basically everyone I know with a practice has another job.

    • Chen Yen on July 21, 2013 at 2:56 pm

      Hi LeAndra, one place to start is see if you have a holistic chamber of commerce in your area. Also, sometimes learning business training with others in a similar boat as you and who also have big dreams for their practice can help too. When you surround yourself with other people who are committed to growing their practice, magic happens. The Consistent Clients Makeover Mentorship for Introverts is starting soon–it’s for introverted NDs, LAcs, MTs, health coaches, energy/spiritual healers, or those who don’t want to do as much marketing. if you’d like to explore whether that’s a fit for you, apply for a strategy session and we can look at that at the end of our conversation: https://introvertedvisionary.com/strategy-session/

  3. Wanzhu Hou on July 2, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    Acupuncture belongs to part of Chinese medicine; it is great if you use it correctly! Chinese medicine is different with medications it heals disease naturally from cellular level.
    We had trained Chinese medicine is China and it was free education, we had to pass the test and on the top grade. We had both western and Chinese medical training and practice in hospital, we had used both knowledge to practice in clinic and clearly tell patients witch goal well achieve. We do plan to give an online education but due to we have not English education in China, so we try to find out the person who have interesting in learning more Chinese medical theory and educate to others. Please contact me at TCM@anmedicine.com .

  4. meow on June 25, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    I am Chinese but live in Australia. We don’t have this luck of having FREE education in Oriental Med.!

  5. Priscilla on June 23, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    This is “news you can use” – thanks for doing the research for us. I think this kind of info will start waking people up. Very important.

  6. Kedzi Morgan on June 23, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    This was very well done.
    Will be have notification on your training call?
    Hope you are well.

    • Chen Yen on July 21, 2013 at 2:57 pm

      Hi Kedzi, yes–check out the tabs on the top of our website for the most current free training available as a starting place. Look forward to working with you further soon!

Leave a Comment