Let’s Talk About The Future of TCM
If you run any kind of small business, you’re expected to do the impossible.
And no — I’m not talking about working 24 hours a day. I’m not talking about achieving uninterrupted growth of your monthly profits. I’m also not talking about accepting that the ‘customer is always right’.
I’m talking about foreseeing the future.
Unless you happen to run a nifty sideline in fortune telling, it’s going to be tough to know what lies ahead for your field. The future is always a question mark.
And that’s certainly true of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Of course, TCM, rooted in thousands of years of wisdom, will continue to provide the same excellent repertoire of techniques to heal a broad variety of ailments. That part of the future is easy to predict (in fact, I’ll bet my bottom dollar on it). And if trends continue, we can be confident that TCM will continue to gain acceptance in the consciousness of mainstream America as a central pillar of a healthy life.
Okay, then, the future of TCM is looking a little less mysterious. But the professional side of practicing alternative therapies is always going to involve steps into the unknown. Practitioners must adapt to rapid changes in governance and regulation. They will have to deal with ever-evolving legal and professional responsibilities, the volatile world of US health insurance, and staying relevant in a competitive market. Fortunately, developments in acupuncture practice management software will help deliver an increasingly professionalized and integrated practice to smooth out the bumps in the road.
This problem is not new. Cast your mind back to the challenges of early TCM practitioners in America. For years, as the discipline slowly broadened its reach, trailblazing healers had to experiment with ways of running clinics outside the norms of Western Medicine. It was an exciting leap of discovery — and also, inevitably, a time of failures and missed opportunities. It took an enormous collective investment of trial and error, of brave experiment and wrong moves, for us to wind up with the thriving establishment we have today.
While it would be nice to jump into a time machine and buy up shares in a fledgling business that wound up a trusted household brand — you can also catch a Beatles concert while you’re there — reality isn’t so easy. But there’s no need to panic. You can’t prepare for all contingencies, but the increasing professionalization of TCM makes the ride a little less bumpy. And maybe with TCM you’ve bet on the golden goose.
Guest blog post by Matt Leask