Angela Kociolek, owner of Rootstock Acupuncture LLC in Bozeman, MT
Angela Kociolek, Class 28
Free Flowing with a Mobile Practice
Acupuncture, for me, has always been an expression of my autonomy. What can I say? I like being my own boss.
My first five years of private practice was a vibrant swirl of growth, satisfying work, a flexible schedule, impactful partnerships, an expanding body of testimonials and referrals, and increasing profit margins every year. I was realizing success.
Cue the reminder to remain humble – COVID.
It was March 13, 2020. I was camping off the coast of Baja California Sur, Mexico – and getting CEUs for it. Our group of acupuncturists got word that the US declared a National Emergency. We didn’t know what this meant for us travelling abroad. After some deliberation there was a consensus to cut the trip short and return to our families. Most took a speed boat back. The rest of us kayaked back to mainland, determined to savor the wild beauty and adventure before returning home amidst all the uncertainty.
Before COVID, my business philosophy was: Maximize profit by keeping low overhead.
After COVID, I took that to a new level. I let go of all non-essentials – including a monthly rent. I also wanted to be completely in charge of my own health without the added stressors of navigating a pandemic with others who might have a higher risk tolerance than me.
Figuring if “unprecedented” was the new normal, then I wanted to control anything I could.
While on that continuing ed trip in Baja, I met a fellow acupuncturist who had a mobile practice. I reached out to her. She was generous, pragmatic, inspiring, and the reason Rootstock Acupuncture is mobile today.
I’ve replaced a clinic space with treating patients in the comfort of their own homes. I get to enhance my learning of a patient by physically being in their element. I get to focus on what really matters – the rapport, the treatment, the client – and not the trappings of a clinic space.
In my letting go phase, I even ended my insurance contracts. I lost a lot of clients because of it. I didn’t blame them. I, too, always choose an in-network provider over an out-of-network one. But I’ve learned from this mistake and am re-credentialling with my old carriers and learning about new ones. The best part is letting my former patients know I’m accepting insurance again and the gratitude we both feel in getting them on my schedule.