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Have you dreamed of using the room in your acupuncture practice that’s taken up with all those paper records for something more useful? Maybe you may want to have more space for your patients, create an additional source of income, or find a way to enhance your mental and physical well-being while at work. After transitioning to AcuCharting to manage your appointments and SOAP notes, you may discover that you now have plenty of new space you can use in a variety of ways.

Additional Practice Room

One way to reclaim the newly vacant space is to make it an additional practice room. Having another practice room can be beneficial whether you are a solo practitioner or you are part of a group practice. While you are treating one client, your next appointment can be moved to the additional room so that you have a reception area that is less crowded. The additional room also gives you the option of moving between patients, if necessary, as you see to both of their acupuncture treatments.

Sublet to Another Practitioner

You can also lease the extra space to another acupuncturist. This is a great way to meet other practitioners and expand your professional network. Decide what type of leasing arrangement will work best for you. You can set up the arrangement so that the other acupuncturist can be there on a daily, weekly or even a seasonal basis. You may attract a wider variety of applicants by offering a rent reduction if the practitioner agrees to rents the room for a longer period of time. Having a room available for lease to another practitioner can allow you to be flexible and can reduce not only your leasing expenses, but your overhead as well.

No matter what type of rental or tenancy agreement you have, you will have to speak with your landlord for his or her approval. Keep in mind that you will always be liable to the landlord for your lease payment even if your subtenant does not pay on time or fails to pay. Be sure to establish a set of guidelines for your tenants to agree to sign off on.

Here is a tip for an effective sublet: A monthly agreement with which the tenant has to pay each month’s payment in advance, and both you and the tenant are required to provide a month’s notice of termination. This arrangement may alleviate much of the administrative hassle, and the monthly rental will be prepaid.

Offer a Complementary Service

Providing a complementary service in your extra space may be a suitable option for your practice. There are specific services, such as massage therapy and counseling, that can complement the acupuncture treatment your clients receive. These may be services that you are qualified to provide yourself, or you can make leasing arrangements with other licensed professionals. The services should be consistent with the mission of the clinic and enhance the treatment that clients receive. In fact, you can work actively with the other professionals and the services they provide can be part of your client’s complete management plan.

For example, massage therapists can provide treatment for the clients who are seeking relief from musculoskeletal pain. They can enhance many of the benefits of acupuncture, such as the relaxation of the muscles, the promotion of blood circulation, the reduction of inflammation, and more.

Clients that receive acupuncture treatment for mental conditions, such as depression or anxiety, can benefit from counseling. In fact, clients who are suffering from depression who receive both acupuncture and counseling treatment may experience a synergistic effect.[1]

Of course, you do not have to limit the complementary services to those two. Feel free to consider the services offered by other non-medical practitioners. These can include physical therapy, naturopathy or chiropractic treatment.

Retail

Converting the space into a retail area where you can sell health-related items will not only provide a relatively easy way to earn significant additional income, it can provide your clients with a major convenience. You can work with distributors and get commissions on orders, or you can obtain your inventory from wholesalers. In-office samples can be used to entice clients and can be an efficient way of introducing all of the services you provide at your clinic. Focus on items that your clients can use from the comfort of their own homes to complement the services they receive from you. Your inventory may include:

  • Literature and films about acupuncture
  • Essential oils
  • Herbs
  • Vitamins
  • Teas
  • Tuning sets
  • Ointments
  • Skin care
  • Sprays
  • Soaps
  • Shampoos
  • Creams
  • Music and sound healing items

A Meditation or Relaxation Space for YOU

Everyone can benefit from a personal area at their workplace that allows them to destress, refocus and energize themselves for the rest of their workday. Engaging in meditation or active relaxation in the workplace can also improve your mood and your sense of well-being. You can use the area to engage in mindfulness meditation, yoga or tai chi. If you prefer, it can be a place for you to have a quick power nap or sit uninterrupted. Whichever activity you choose, you will want to make sure that the space you reclaim is uniquely yours.  It is okay to intentionally choose the décor, furnishings and items that you want to surround you, even if it means it may appear drastically different from the rest of your practice. You can transform the newly vacant space in your own personal area by:

  • Adding prints or photos that promote tranquility, calm and peace
  • Bringing in elements of the outside with the addition of plants or recordings of nature sounds, such as wind or rain
  • Incorporating aromatherapy devices, such as diffusers, into the décor
  • Adding comfortable furniture to sit or lie on and that the floor is comfortable to walk, lay or sit on
  • Soundproofing the room to keep out interfering outside sounds

[1] http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1001518