How much money can a Holistic Practitioner make?
You choose holistic health because you're passionate about helping people and you believe in natural healing. That doesn't mean the question about income potential shouldn't be a part of your informed decision making when considering getting into this work.
I wish I could post a simple response with a salary range, but the reality is, we all do our work differently. What services you offer, how many hours you are willing to work, what times of day you're available for clients, where you work and your overhead expenses will all play a factor.
One of the perks of this work is flexibility. 99% of us are self employed. This means we get to make a lot of the decisions about our business. There are times in our life where we may need to offer less and other times where we can offer more. It's an excellent outlet for creativity and inspiration. On the downside, not all of our inspired ideas will work out the way we dream up and any hours we spend doing administrative work, marketing and setting up our business isn't work we get paid for.
The easiest way to get an idea of your income potential is to research the range that similar practitioners are charging in your area for services you will be offering. Don't fall for the illusion that charging the least for your services will make you busier. With this type of work, value perception is important. Undervaluing your offerings is not only a disservice to your industry but it can create feelings of insecurity in your potential clients. They may wonder why your services are less and assume that you aren't as good at what you do. It's also a sure path to burnout. Your fee per service should pay you fair exchange for your time with your client, but also for the other overhead expenses and time required for administrative and other business related tasks.
Once you know what a reasonable fee for service is in your area, you need to consider how much time you can offer for your clients. Some doulas like to attend 1-2 births per month. Others can support 4 per month. It depends on what other services you also offer and your work life balance. Also consider that while you may be open to 4 doula clients per month, getting to that stage of your business can take time for marketing, educating and connecting with potential clients.
A busy reflexology or Reiki practitioner might see 8-18 clients per week. It's wise to allow 90 minutes for every 60 minute session so you have time to change your linens, prepare your space for the next client, rebook and receive payments. The quickest way to a busy reflexology or Reiki practice is usually by having evening and Saturday sessions available. Remember to block some time out in your week for your bookkeeping, emails, content creation for social media, website updates etc. Doulas who are also reflexologists and/or Reiki practitioners need to also consider that some time will be needed for prenatal and postpartum visits, as well as rebooking clients who may get cancelled due to being called to a birth. We often need a day to recover after a birth too due to lost sleep and sometimes long hours. So if you're a doula who is taking 1-2 clients per month and charging $1100/birth, that's an income potential of $1100-$2200 as well as 8-16 hours for prenatal and postpartum visits, 2-4 hours potential travel time for visits, 8-30 hours at births plus 2 recovery days. A total of 18-50 hours + 2 days off
If you also see 8 clients per week for reflexology or Reiki sessions and charge $90/session, that is $2880/month for 48 hours (90 mins/client).
Additionally holistic practitioners may offer classes, seminars or retreats. You're only limited by your imagination and the skills and knowledge that you have to share.
Above is a manageable workload for most practitioners. It leaves plenty of time for all of the extra considerations listed above. It's also not unrealistic, if a practitioner does their marketing, networking and has good business practices. It will take some time to build a business to this level, and there is an option for practitioners to take on more clients than this if they create that kind of demand and their lifestyle allows for it.
One must also consider expenses and overhead costs. There are ways to keep overhead low when you offer service based work. At times in my career I have had very low overhead when I offered mobile sessions in my clients homes or had a home based treatment room. Other times my business has had very high overhead and greater risk associated with managing an entire holistic health clinic with other practitioners.
The cost of renting a treatment room can vary greatly. Some spaces will offer space for a split. 30-50% of the client's fee may go to the clinic and the remaining 50-70% to the practitioner. Other spaces might offer a treatment room for a flat rate fee. How much money a clinic makes from your business can vary depending on what is offered. Is the room furnished or empty? Shared or exclusive? Does the clinic provide marketing, referrals and clients? Does the clinic provide linens or laundry? Reception? Booking? You can save a lot of overhead by finding an inexpensive space that offers very little, but you'll spend more time doing all of the above. Some practitioners don't enjoy or have the skills to easily do all of the things that a clinic might do for you. It's okay to seek a space where you can simply show up and see your clients, but expect to keep less of your income because those tasks cost someone time and expense. You may also not have the luxury of options. In smaller centers, some available spaces may not be desirable because of noise, proximity, etc.
Make a few financial forecasts. What is your net income potential if your business starts off quite slow and your expenses are high? What is your optimistic financial situation look like if your business grows quickly and you have lower overhead expenses? How much money do you have to invest in your business initially to purchase equipment, training, website hosting etc.? Hopefully this helps you to gain a better understanding of how holistic practitioners make their money, much of what is involved and how this might work for you. Have fun creating your vision!
Learn more about our Holistic Reproductive Practitioner or Holistic Full Spectrum Doula training programs. You can even schedule a one on one consult with one of our trainers to get your questions answered. Course info packages are always available upon request too.