From being an employee to small business owner and Doctor of Acupuncture. How Dr. Melanie Morrill Ac. opened Accessible Acupuncture!
Entrepreneurship is so much better with friends by your side! If you’ve ever been curious about how the small businesses in your community have gotten to where they are today, you are in the right place. In this series, you’ll get to meet your fellow YEG Entrepreneurs and hear their stories of launching a business, overcoming obstacles, and building a career they love.
Today, I’m sitting down with Dr. Melanie Morrill Ac of Accessible Acupuncture. Pour a cup of coffee and join us as we learn more about her business journey.
Hi everyone! I’m Melanie Morrill, Doctor of Acupuncture and Director of Accessible Acupuncture.
I provide acupuncture care tailored to meet each individual’s needs. Together, the patient and I review the options for treatment and I design a custom treatment plan for each individual.
I chose to become a Doctor of Acupuncture because I am passionate about helping others and I wanted to help people reach their health goals and not just react to health problems. I believe that everyone deserves the best care for their health, and I knew I wanted to be a part of this initiative.
. Q. Tell us more about you! We’d love to know about your business today and the story of how you got there.
I became a doctor of acupuncture because my acupuncturist helped with my pain when everyone else told me there was nothing to do about it. We didn’t know then, but I was having endometriosis pain. It isn’t curable, but with acupuncture and herbs it is manageable. I love being able to help patients when other treatments have been unsucessful.
I love having my own clinic because everything about the clinic is designed to support my patients. I enjoy the flexibility of being able to adapt my clinic and its surroundings to meet the needs of those that come for treatment. When I discovered how difficult it was for patients to use the standard massage table for treatment, I introduced the use of reclining chairs. They became such a hit, I set up a whole room of recliners to encourage a social environment and the sharing of experiences, while patients receive their treatments.
Q. Let’s dive more into the specifics of your business. What products/services do you offer? What do you do for your clients that sets you apart?
Accessible Acupuncture provides acupuncture care that is tailored to each patient’s individual needs. Our treatment plans are based on a holistic assessment, and we gain a complete understanding of each patient’s goals and health. Specifically, we treat women’s health issues, fertility, autoimmune issues, and chronic pain. I have a special interest in treating peripheral neuropathy, and am the only Acupuncturist in Alberta with this specialized training.
Q. What inspired or influenced you to create your business?
I had a desire to create a safe environment that is an inclusive and supportive work culture while changing peoples lives. By creating my own business, I was better able to support patients and customize my clinic and services to best support people.
Q. What are you most proud of in your work?
I am most proud of my patients. So many of my patients come to me frustrated and defeated after hearing so many doctors dismiss their pain and tell them there is nothing to be done. After treatment with me, so many of them have such large improvements and are now able to do the things that make them happy; things they had been missing in their lives. Being able to play my role in their recovery makes me proud of what we achieved together.
There was one patient in particular whose goal it was to take her dog for a walk. She had post chemo therapy peripheral neuropathy and was using a walker and unable to move well to take her Scotty dog for a walk. After her acupuncture treatments, she was not only able to walk her dog walking, but had to invest in a doggy stroller as her dog could not keep up with her!
Q. What is one challenge you’ve overcome as a business owner, and what did you learn from it that you can share with others?
Authentic marketing. It is hard to market healthcare in a way that doesn’t appear to be a sales gimmick or a service for profit. The goal of the marketing needs to focus on the health and improvement of the patient. I found that focusing on the clinic’s success stories is a more effective method of sharing the benefits of acupuncture – the people that are now doing activities they only dreamed of or thought were lost to them; or the patients that have realized their dream of becoming parents.
Q. What is your favourite part of what you do?
Hearing from my patients how much better they are doing. One of my infertility patients has come to see me three seperate times to become pregnant and we are now helping her conceive her third baby. Hearing how her toddlers are doing and the joy she has found in motherhood is a favourite part of my day.
Q. What is one thing you do to set yourself up for success every week?
I plan my quarter/month/week in advance based on my health. I live with chronic pain and I know that some weeks I am going to be productive and some weeks I need to take it easy because my endometriosis is going to take its toll. I budget my limited energy those weeks and schedule my time better for when I will be more efficient.
Q. What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Design the life you want to live and build your business around your life. I am not an early morning person, so I created a clinic where we work in the afternoons when I am at my peak for seeing clients. This provides a good work-life balance for me, and therefore a more efficient and effective service for my patients.
Q. Where can people find you to learn more? (Leave your email, website, social media handles, etc.!)
If you want to know more about Accessible Acupuncture, please check out our website link below, as well as our socials! Feel free to email or call us if you have any further questions.
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