Chinese medicine and the troubled economy

chinese_medicine_and_the_economyIt’s a natural thing for all of us to be thinking about the economy right now. While I think that people often pay too much attention to the news, allowing their Shen to get seriously disturbed, there’s really no question that we’re in a bit of an economic downturn.  I have seen that our school clinic seems to be drawing relatively fewer patients, and my practitioner friends have also seen an overall reduction in patient visits.  Some students in my class, facing immanent graduation, are getting a little nervous.


Chinese Medicine Central reader Jason suggested that I write an article about this topic, which spurred me to action.  He writes:

“With the economy in a very precarious situation, what does that mean for practitioners of Chinese medicine, or indeed any CAM therapist? What would be some good strategies for weathering an economic downturn (or heaven forbid, an economic meltdown)? And for people like me, is this even a good time to invest the time and money for an education is Chinese medicine? In my perfect world, I’d do it anyway, and then I would treat anyone regardless of what they can pay. Just can’t ignore the money though, can you?”


There are a number of issues embedded in Jason’s statement. Before I offer my observations, I’d love to pose the two main questions to Chinese Medicine Central readers – post your responses in the comments.  I look forward to a lively discussion!

1.  From a practitioner perspective, what are some good business strategies for weathering an economic downturn?

2.  From a student perspective, is this a good time to pursue education in Chinese medicine?

About Eric Grey

Hi - I'm the founder of this site and the primary master of all functions here. When I'm not writing, you can find me reaching out to the Chinese Medicine community across the web and in my own backyard. I currently teach Chinese herbs at my alma mater, the National College of Natural Medicine. Additionally, I'm the founder of Watershed Wellness, a thriving local clinic in Southeast Portland in Oregon. No matter where I'm working, you'll find my focus on the Classical approach to Chinese medicine laced throughout everything I do.

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