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Brigitte Linder is a registered Chinese medicine practitioner and dispenser in Australia. She ran Safflower a herbal dispensary and founded an acupuncture clinic in regional Victoria. Brigitte is a self-confessed advocate for quality, change and progress in the complementary medicine industry. As a senior practitioner, she is well versed with many health challenges.


Chinese Medicine Business Success

Brigitte is particularly active in assisting new graduates and seasoned practitioners in finding their own rhythm and style so they can run a successful clinic that provides them with a good income.

I found that around 70% of new graduates feel out of their depths when entering the profession.

Amongst new graduates, I can see that there is lack of planning, goal setting and often insufficient confidence in succeeding as a practitioner to earn a sustainable income. This problem seems more common in the first two to three years of practice and one of the reasons for this is, that there isn’t enough postgraduate support available. In fact, there might be a lack of skills for novice practitioner to set up and run a business.

The past few years of changing conditions in an unprecedented way, have caused some havoc with the old ways of doing things. Consequently, practitioners who have been practicing for longer, might require a repositioning too. Patients often come with particular ideas about their condition as ample information is now available at our fingertips. Compared to other allied health practitioners, Chinese medicine stands out due to its particular framework and paradigms and hence an entire language least known to our patients.

Building a successful and blossoming practice in regional Victoria has provided me with confidence and sustenance to write a book about setting yourself up as a thriving practitioner. My book was launched and published in 2019. Based on my findings and professional experience, I have developed a mentorship program as well. I have found that group work is excellent to support individual practitioners in their journeys.

My collaborative approach is based on the love that I hold for both - our industry and the paradigms of our long-established medical system that we immerse ourselves and our patients in. One of my goals is to help practitioners to thrive but also to re-unite the Chinese medicine profession worldwide.

I could see there was a huge gap between appearance and reality. Only a handful of practitioners did well but most of us would struggle and feel the pain of isolation and perhaps lack of confidence.

She has founded Chinese Medicine Health Alliance Australia, a group of practitioners identifying priorities in our profession and inventing new ways and a collaborative approach to advance and progress our profession. In 2023, she also completed a master of research, creating a case report guideline for Chinese herbal medicine.

Graduating in Melbourne in 2001, she returned to her home country in Switzerland. Her expertise in herbal dispensing springs from working in this field for six years prior to migrating to Australia. Her additional training in classical herbal medicine allowed her to take her herbal practice much further and she enjoys working with complex conditions.

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See What People Are Saying About Brigitte's Book

I wish I'd had this book when I first started out! Everything I've learned in 30 years of running a practice – and even things I never learned – can be found in this book. Highly recommended as a guide if you are beginning, a reference while you are setting up and a touchstone when you are established to check if you are being the best that you can be, business-wise.

Steven Clavey Chinese medicine practitioner, Apricot Grove, Melbourne

As Chinese medicine practitioners, we need compassion, empathy and a pleasant bedside manner. We also need grit and determination and a good sense of humour. But above all, if we want to succeed in the highly competitive arena of private health care in Australia, we need highly refined business skills. Just a few years back there was very little out there to help people in the Australian Chinese medicine profession succeed in business. The arrival of Chinese Medicine Business Success changes all of that! This is a great book written for an Australian audience by someone who has been through the struggle and emerged victorious. It teaches the ABC’s of setting up and running a Chinese medicine practice in Australia. In the short term, this book can help you pay your bills. However, if you are in this game for the long run, then this book will help you lay the foundations of your own Chinese medicine business empire. I think everyone in our profession should read it! I sure wish something like this had been around when I first graduated.

Paul McLeod Chinese medicine practitioner, Australian Acupuncture Centre, Geelong

Photo Credit: Susan Carmody