Given the complexities of modern life, a new lifestyle that combines personal self-care, soul growth, and a responsible stewardship of the earth has gained tremendous ground in the last decade. More and more people now want to live their lives in a more balanced and holistic way. They have realized the importance of staying healthy, not only in body but in mind and in spirit.
This new consciousness has brought to life home businesses that cultivate the “new age” philosophies, thinking and lifestyle. Here are a few of emerging and potentially rewarding “new age” and wellness home businesses:
1. Aromatherapy Business
Aromatherapy, the practice of using aromatic oils extracted from plants, herbs and flowers, is one of the fastest growing fields in the world today. It is the art and science of using aromas; essential plant oils, in treatments. According to the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy, this field is now “a $300 million a year business estimated to quadruple in the next five years.”
The growth of this field has been buoyed by research showing that fragrances and oils can be effective in relieving stress, calming nerves, energizing the body, improving the mood, and even improve work efficiency. As aromatherapy grows in popularity, retail shops everywhere carry aromatherapy products, whether oils, fragrances, soaps, lotions, massage oils and other products.
Since aromatherapy is a relatively new field, there is still a lot of room for this business. You must, however, be knowledgeable with the benefits and uses of various oils. Many aromatherapists have extensive background in other health-related fields such as massage therapy, psychotherapy, or chiropractic, among others.
You can operate your own practice or develop and manufacture your own line of aromatherapy products. You can sell these products wholesale to retailers in your locality, or sell them yourself. Partnerships with massage therapists can be an important strategic alliance for your business, and can strongly enhance your reputation. In the United States, aromatherapists are not required to secure a license.
- International Federation of Aromatherapists www.int-fed-aromatherapy.co.uk
- National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy http://www.naha.org
Recommended Books on the Aromatherapy Business:
- The Art, Science and Business of Aromatherapy: Your Guide for Personal Aromatherapy and Entrepreneurship
- Creating an Herbal Bodycare Business (Making a Living Naturally Series)
- Essential Oils Business Book
- How To Start A Home Spa Business
2. Organic Farming Business
An organic farmer grows fruits, vegetables and herbs without using pesticides or premixed chemical fertilizers. To minimize or lessen toxins in the body, a growing number of people prefers exotic, healthy, and unusual foods grown organically even though organics are usually priced at a premium, selling for 20-100 percent more than non-organically produced foods.
According to North America’s Organic Trade Association, retail sales of organic products have increased steadily for the past ten years, growing at a compounded rate of 22.74% over that period. Assuming steady growth at a conservative rate of 20%, retail sales of organics in 2001 are projected at $9.3 billion. By 2005, sales are expected to reach nearly $20 billion.
You need to have access to land for this business, although some are growing organic produce in their backyards, even basements for some plant varieties. You also need to have extensive knowledge and skills in planting, growing patterns, plant disease and other important aspects to enable you to produce crops of sufficient quality and quantity.
There are a number of ways to earn money from this business. You can sell your organically produced food products directly to consumers at farmer’s markets, swap meets or roadside produce stands in well-traveled areas. You can also sell wholesale to grocery stores, health food stores, restaurants and groceries. Or you can process your products and create edible and delicious condiments like jam, jelly, pickles, relish and many other things. You can then sell these items directly or to other retailers.
One other source of revenue for this business is the sale of seeds from your organically grown plants to nurseries, garden supply stores, or through mail order. The Web and mail order are important distribution channels for this business, particularly if you are selling dried organic produce.
- Organic Trade Association http://www.ota.com/
- Irish Organic Farmers and Growers Association http://www.irishorganic.ie/
- Organic Farming and Marketing Association http://web.iquest.net/ofma/
Books on Starting an Organic Farming Business:
- The Organic Farming Manual: A Comprehensive Guide to Starting and Running a Certified Organic Farm
- The Organic Farmer’s Business Handbook: A Complete Guide to Managing Finances, Crops, and Staff – and Making a Profit
- Successful Small-Scale Farming: An Organic Approach (Down-To-Earth Book)
3. Reflexology Business
Reflexologists stimulate the reflexes in the feet & hands relative to all organs, glands and systems in the body. Your task is to massage pressure points in the hands and feet to help health problems, relieve stress & improve circulation.
Reflexology is based on the theory that every organ, structure and part of the body is mirrored in the feet and that any problem or tension in the body is reflected in the related part of the foot. While it is not a substitute for traditional medical treatment, reflexology has proven to be very beneficial for a wide range of chronic and acute conditions – especially for all stress-related problems.
As a reflexologist, you need to have good hand skills to apply the techniques, a genuine interest in helping people achieve good health, good listening skills, ability to relate well to people, and a thorough understanding of how the human body functions in health and sickness. In many countries, reflexologists need to be certified in order to practice.
Check with the Association of Refloxology in your area for schools and colleges that offer accredited courses. Many states require would-be reflexologists to complete at least 400 hours of training (normally 100 hours of in-class tuition and about 300 hours home practice and study). You will be required to pass a national test and prepare 90 documentation of client cases to prove that you are knowledgeable in human anatomy and physiology. It would also be useful if you have knowledge and skills in first aid.
As a certified reflexologist, you can set-up your own practice or collaborate with medical facilities or other healthcare professionals in your area. With the prospect of complementary medicine being integrated into primary healthcare, the opportunities for reflexologists could be unlimited.
- Association of Reflexologists http://www.aor.org.uk/
- International Council of Reflexologists http://www.icr-reflexology.org/
- American Reflexology Certification Board http://www.arcb.net
Books on the Reflexology Business:
- The Wealthy Reflexologist: How to Make Over $100,000 a Year With Reflexology
- Reflexology 101, Everything a Beginning Reflexologists Needs to Know to Start, Grow and Market Their Business
- How To Grow Your Massage Business (Get & Keep Clients With Networking & Great Customer Service)
4. Feng Shui Consulting Business
Feng Shui, which means wind and water in Chinese, is the ancient art of placement. It is a Chinese practice of understanding how the physical environment affects physical, mental and emotional well being. This means knowing where and how to place yourself and the objects in your environment in a manner that will enable you to receive the optimum benefit from your surroundings. Feng shui consultants determine how the designed environments affect a person’s behavior and create environment where we can think of and behave more in keeping with our desires.
Feng shui consultants are an integral component in the creation of buildings and houses in Asia, giving advice on how structures and objects are placed. The practice has recently found its way in the Western world. In fact, it is now being used by some of the nation’s leading land developers, corporations, real estate professionals, interior designers and homeowners. Even realtors are now finding that houses that have been “feng shui-ed” sell much faster. Qualified Feng Shui practitioners are becoming in great demand as awareness of the benefits of applying Feng Shui principles in the environments becomes more and more apparent.
As more and more people understand the benefits of feng shui, this is a business that should be considered. To become a Feng Shui Consultant, you may want to get certified in a feng shui program offered by institutions like the Western School of Feng Shui. It will provide you with the practical level of skill necessary to practice this art. You would need to attend classes and complete class and home assignments to a satisfactory level.
- International Feng Shui Guild http://www.fengshuiguild.com/
- Feng Shui Institute of America http://www.windwater.com/
Books on Feng Shui Consulting Business:
- A Master Course in Feng-Shui
- The Feng Shui Bible: The Definitive Guide to Improving Your Life, Home, Health, and Finances
- How to Be a Money Magnet: Easy to Follow Feng Shui and Law of Attraction Tips and Advise to Attract Wealth
- Feng Shui Your Life: The Quick Guide to Decluttering Your Home and Renewing Your Life
5. Acupuncture Business
Acupuncture is becoming increasingly popular in the United States and other Western countries as more people see its benefits in promoting health as well as managing illness. Acupuncture is a system of healing that has been practiced in China and other Eastern countries for thousands of years. Although often described as a means of pain relief, it is in fact used to treat people with a wide range of illnesses.
To be an acupuncturist, you must have completed a thorough training in traditional acupuncturist and western medical sciences. In UK, the British Acupuncture Council requires a minimum of three years education, and those given the certification can carry the letters MBAcC after their name.
In California, acupuncture as a profession is regulated by an acupuncture committee, which requires practitioners to take up courses in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) from a school or college acknowledged by the committee. You must also pass the examination from the California acupuncture committee. The examination has two steps: a writing examination, which includes theories of TCM, acupuncture, points of human body, modern physiology, anatomy and so on. The second step is a clinic examination, where you are required to show your ability of diagnosis, herbal knowledge and points knowledge. Those who pass all the requirements will then receive an acupuncture license and can be titled as Licensed Acupuncturist of California.
- Acupuncture.com http://www.acupuncture.com
- British Acupuncture Council http://www.acupuncture.org.uk/
- American Academy of Medical Acupuncture http://www.medicalacupuncture.org/
- Acupuncture Canada http://www.acupuncture.ca/
Books on Starting an Acupuncture Business:
- Making Acupuncture Pay: Real-World Advice for Successful Private Practice
- The Business of Massage Therapy: Building a Successful Career
- Building a Healthy Business: For Massage and Alternative Healthcare Practices
- The Prosperous Practice: Marketing Massage, Chiropractic, Acupuncture and Reflexology