#1 Way to Choose the Right Natural Health Practitioner for You

by Alan Hewitt on April 2, 2012

by Adam Gibson
May 2, 2012Choosing the right natural therapies practitioner can be a hit and miss affair. As with all professions and services, there are good and bad therapists out there.There are the ones you will “click with” and ones you won’t, and those who can inadvertently squander your money and time by not offering you real solutions to your health problem, and (thankfully!) ones who can genuinely help you.Yet unlike choosing say, a house painter or a new bookkeeper, the consequences of selecting the wrong therapist for you or your family are inconvenient, costly and frustrating… but also potentially dire in the long term.

The absence of the right advice or treatment at the pivotal moment where a patient seeks help has a domino effect that can often lead to further health degeneration that becomes harder to reverse with every passing year.

So how do we select a natural therapist who is right for us?

Most therapists in the various modalities share similar qualifications, its hard to tell how long they have been in practice for, and most don’t advertise much more than their “category” to tell you what they can do for you.

As an example, an acupuncturist who specialises in fertility with a great track record and thousands of successful patients will probably have a sign outside the door that says “acupuncturist” – not much help if you are searching for a pre-IVF solution!

In the absence of a good referral or recommendation from a friend who understands our health issue well, is there some additional criteria we can use, or do we need to rely solely on guesswork and trial and error?

To answer this question, it is relevant to examine the operational aspects of a natural therapies practice. This reveals some startling realities of a practitioner’s business model and how they affect the service on offer to you.

Price Shopping for Health Services – A Dangerous Discount?

If you are buying a washing machine or a new car, it’s wise to shop around for the best price on your chosen model, and we are well conditioned in modern society to look for a discount in nearly all areas of life. However, consider how this may affect you if you apply it to your health.

In a typical scenario, the average practitioner charges, let’s say $60 per session, and they work 48 weeks per year. So for them to gross $100,000 per year they need to be personally treating around 38 patients per week.

This means that week in, week out, with no “sick days” or flexible time off they are listening to patients problems, diagnosing, treating, and generally giving a lot of themselves mentally and emotionally to their patients.

On their days off they need to take time away from their family to attend training courses to stay current in their modality. In the evenings after work they need to attend to all the “busy” work of running a small business such as their BAS, paying bills etc, plus find time to organise their marketing and do some business networking so that they can continually attract their 38 clients per week and keep the whole thing going.

Then from the $100,000 they have earned they need to subtract the cost of running their practice. Rent on even modest private rooms is rarely cheap (say $30,000 pa), they might require a part time receptionist (say $25,000 pa) and then they need to pay for electricity, phone bills and consumables such as towels etc in the clinic.

At the end of the year, they might be left with less than $40,000pa (or around $750 per week) take home pay… and from this they are expected to pay for a mortgage, educate their kids and enjoy a good lifestyle. Not easy at today’s prices!

The hidden cost of this equation goes deeper. How does this practitioner feel at the end of his or her working week? Are they refreshed and excited about their work, or are they feeling tired out and resentful that they work so hard for so little reward… despite their considerable skills and once burning passion for their profession?

And how confident would you feel to be this practitioner’s last patient on Friday afternoon?

The reality for most practitioners is that their business model simply doesn’t work, nor does it serve their intended professional outcomes.

A New Paradigm In Natural Health

Compare the above scenario with the new breed of natural therapist – one who recognises both his own true value, and the inherent flaws in the traditional health model.

Rather than set his (or her) fees based on industry averages, the smart practitioner will let his fees reflect his qualifications and experience, his real value to his client, and the economic necessity of charging according to a new paradigm of patient care.

This new paradigm is one of VALUE rather than VOLUME. Whereas our average practitioner above needs to see 38 patients a week, every week, our new breed therapist knows that to deliver exceptional value to each and every patient, each and every appointment – he can realistically only deliver this to far fewer patients per week.

He also accounts for the fact that he needs time off from his practice – to up-skill himself, to market his business, to attend to his financial affairs, to spend time with his family… and most importantly to revitalise and de-stress so that he can turn up to work 100% focused and present for his patients every day!

The up-shot of this for you as a patient is fairly obvious.

Given that many natural therapies achieve results in a holistic manner, whereby coaching behaviour change in the client over an extended period of time is often just as important as the initial treatment given, it is a wise patient who chooses a practitioner who has the time and presence of mind to advise them of the whole solution to their problem in their session together.
This also avoids the “false economy” of seeing a practitioner for a number of briefer, less complete visits in order to gather the whole health solution for yourself.

For you to get the best health result possible in the shortest period of time, it is unlikely that the practitioner you are looking for is able to charge a discounted fee or even “standard” rate… in fact it is very likely that the best practitioner will confidently be charging fees well above his or her competitors – and providing equally first class health outcomes for you to match.

Which in one way makes choosing the perfect natural health practitioner for you and your family very easy indeed – simply shop around on price, and then choose the most expensive you can afford.

After all, your health and the health of your family deserves the best care possible.

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About the Author

Adam Gibson is an author, speaker, entrepreneur and a strategic advisor to global leaders in natural health.
He is the Founder of Health Leaders Academy, a training organisation committed to supporting and empowering natural health practitioners worldwide.

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