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A Holistic Blend: Pairing Esthetics and Acupuncture

By: Michelle O'Shaughnessy, DOM
Posted: May 30, 2008, from the June 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

back being acupunctured with two needles on white background

No doubt there are few spa owners in the industry who haven’t noticed the growing wellness movement. In riding that wave of wellness, a good number of day spas and skin care facilities have begun offering a more holistic approach to beauty, health and vitality, and a great way to add this type of atmosphere and environment to your spa is to hire an acupuncturist.

Several spas have already gone this route, while others are still working on implementing this idea, and there are even more that would like to do so but don’t know how to begin. No matter what stage you are at in your own business, learning more about the benefits and services an acupuncturist can offer is a distinctive way to develop your spa.

Find the right professional

If you are an owner who is considering hiring an acupuncturist, first contact a local acupuncture school, your state’s governing acupuncture organization or the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and post an ad that you are hiring. Going through a licensed school or professional organization is important, as the person you are looking for must have the proper training and credentials. However, still feel free to question any applicants on their skills and continuing education habits. Find out more about their training and business style, and make sure they match the type of person you are looking for. This person will represent a portion of your business, so you need to be able to have confidence in them.

After finding the right person and hiring your acupuncturist, two business options are available: leasing out a room to the acupuncturist or hiring them on a commission basis. For the commission option, the usual percentage is a 60/40 split; however, this is always negotiable.

Whatever the working relationship, make sure you and the acupuncturist both have agreed-upon goals and expectations for the position. The acupuncturist should be able to aid the spa in increasing the number of services sold in a day, as well as the amount of multiple services clients receive, and offer solutions in getting different departments to work together for optimal client results.

Work toward a common goal