Your Energy Medicine practice is a reflection of yourself, and you probably have many wonderful ways to describe what you do. Yet, how do you take that positive perspective and apply it to the way you market your practice, while remaining within legal boundaries? Try focusing on the outcomes that your talents can manifest for your clients rather than focusing on the symptoms you treat. In approaching your practice this way, you might also avoid some of the pitfalls Energy Medicine practitioners can encounter when describing themselves and their services.
What are some of the first questions you are asked when you tell someone that you are an Energy Medicine practitioner? “What is an Energy Medicine practitioner?” or “What exactly is it that you do?” Sounds easy enough to answer, yet unlike other types of service industry fields, Energy Medicine practitioners need to exercise a little caution. While Energy Medicine is a healing field, it does not have medical sanction. It is important to avoid any misunderstanding over the types of services provided and expected outcomes. Therefore, it is necessary to avoid the use of certain words when describing an Energy Medicine practice. You need to refrain from dipping into a laundry list of terminology linked to the medical field. A way around this dilemma could be to focus on the benefits you offer. Think beyond the labels and focus on the process or the outcome.
Avoiding Medical Terminology
Part of an energy healer’s risk management strategy involves managing perception. A practitioner does not want to give the impression they are providing services that are the domain of traditional medicine. An obvious place to start involves the terminology used to describe your practice and the services you provide. For example, you do not want to refer to having expertise in treating medical conditions such as diabetes, cancer or heart disease. Additionally, avoid the use of words like anxiety, depression and trauma that are associated with the field of psychology. Instead, focus on the outcomes that you can achieve through your healing talents. In a recent article “Compliance Words” posted on YL’s website (www.youngliving.com), suggests that suitable wording for energy healers can include:
Aids in | Provides | Helps | Promotes | Enhances | Balance | Harmony | Relaxation | A sense of | Clarity | Facilitates | Supports | Improves
Educate yourself on words to avoid. Take the time to identify what is considered illegal by local governments and the federal government. Individual states provide online resources about regulations and acceptable practices that can be referenced for appropriate terminology and scope of practice. You can locate some of those here: https://www. onetreeguild.com/energetic-healing-arts-statutesexemptions-requirements-state.html. Any misperception of you as a medical practitioner can be avoided because you are helping to promote well-being -not promising a cure.
Then there is the dilemma of what to call yourself. Again, you do not want to use terms we traditionally assign to a medical profession since this would raise the issue of practicing medicine without a license and may violate your state’s medical or psychology practice acts. Titles such as therapist or counselor fall within the confines of psychology and Doctor or physician, which fall within medical practice, cannot be used. Here is a list of safe titles you can use: practitioner, healer, coach, mentor, educator and if you have earned a specific title from your education, you can also use certified or master.
As extra protection, include on your website disclaimer and in your scope of practice:
✔ A description of the work you do
✔ Statement clarifying that your work is not a practice of medicine and
✔ Statement that you are not a licensed medical practitioner
Market Your Practice
The same amount of caution you apply to describing your practice and in titling yourself also goes into marketing an Energy Medicine practice. Not only do you need to refrain from any reference to treating medical conditions, you also cannot offer any cure or level of effectiveness from a treatment that you provide. For example, it is not feasible to say: “I treat individuals with cancer.” Have you considered why you cannot say this? Does this statement imply you are providing a medical solution to a disease? Whether or not you agree with this conclusion, it is the suggestion or inference of proving treatment that you must avoid. Now consider saying you “treat symptoms of diseases such as cancer.” This statement says you focus on the symptoms, not the actual disease and you are not making a promise of results. It is this type of wording that provides information yet also does not suggest a medical solution is being provided.
With any online presence that you generate, apply uniform caution to your marketing efforts. Whether it is your website or social media accounts, you need to keep a consistent and cautious image. The Federal Trade Commission habitually monitors digital media, and you want to make sure that you keep within the confines of compliant language. You do not want to be held accountable for using any verbiage that is unique to a licensed medical professional.
Build Credibility and the Use of Testimonials
One of the best ways to build a practice is through referral or Word of Mouth (WOM). There are certain services and professions that inherently operate on referrals. When we have our physical or emotional health or well-being involved, we often turn to our personal connections for a recommendation. Doing this gives us peace of mind over our decision.
You want to leverage this type of thinking. As a practitioner, you can do this through testimonials from clients. However, you need to be careful in managing testimonials. As with the terminology you use to describe your services, you need to exercise the same discretion. To say you like working with arthritis clients is fine. To say that you have seen success in reducing arthritic pain can stir up compliance issues for you. It is hard to resist publishing a testimonial, review or recommendation, but exercise caution. While a positive comment reflects a client’s perspective, you remain liable for anything that you make public that could violate the Federal Trade Commission’s rules claiming that you have cured a medical condition.
There are a few rules around getting testimonials from your clients. First, do not make them up — inventing testimonials is illegal under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations. Second, get consent to publish — this is best in writing. Third, if you need the testimonial to be altered, be sure to have it reviewed by the client before using it. See our Testimonial Guidelines for Practitioners in our member resources.
While you might feel constrained over Energy Medicine’s marketing limitations, this should not deter you from promoting your practice. It is not so much what you say about your practice, as how often you communicate your message. Successful marketing has more to do with frequency and visibility than clever wording. Creating a marketing calendar is an effective way to plan and track your promotional efforts. HubSpot (available online at hubspot.com) offers an excellent variety of resources that you could use to help you to promote your practice. Also keep informed about advances in the Energy Medicine field. If you come across news about Energy Medicine’s effectiveness or discoveries, announce the findings. It will add to your credibility.
Remain focused on the purpose of your business of helping others. In marketing your practice, stay within compliance boundaries and you will be viewed as an ethical professional.
A self-audit is a helpful risk management tool that you can use to ensure you are following marketing standards as an Energy Medicine practitioner. The audit is an assessment of all marketing activities and resources, including your website, client communications and social media platforms. Using the self-audit template as a guide, consider the diverse ways you communicate with your clients and add any other marketing activities that you want to monitor.
You want to avoid any use of words or reference to your services that could misrepresent you. So, check each component of your practice that promotes or describes your services. Avoid medical reference in your practice’s name and description. The audit which has been provided to you as a template can help you to get started. The audit is not exhaustive, so if your marketing efforts include other activities such as membership in professional associations, add this to your self-audit. Many professional organizations list their members and a description of services in a directory. If your organization does this, then you want to check to make sure that your description of services is compliant.
Marketing is fluid, so make it a habit to check your promotional and outgoing communications every quarter. Especially, if you keep active in social media, you want to make sure that you keep your content within compliance.
Disclaimer: This article is provided for educational purposes only and is not legal advice or opinion. This general information is meant to raise questions, educate, create discussion and dialogue around the ethical and legal issues of teaching, learning, studying or practicing alternative and complementary energy healing modalities. You are advised to seek an attorney for any of your professional legal issues, concerns or needs.
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