As I explore other facets of life and consider how to keep acupuncture in my life as I move in a more creative direction, I’ve been looking at what other practitioner’s have done. I’m very interested in Diana Hermann’s Zi Zai Dermatology, not only because we graduated from Oregon College of Oriental Medicine at the same time but because I toyed with the idea of doing topical salves and soaps shortly after graduation when I discovered soap making. I never pursued the idea but Diana has and with a passion.
Diana requested dermatology as a study when she traveled to China after graduation. Diana felt that because Western medicine had so little to offer chronic skin conditions, studying dermatology would be a great way to help a lot of people who otherwise wouldn’t get help for their health issues.
Diana has started out slowly, building her dermatology line in her “spare” time. Diana describes her Zi Zai journey this way, “I started formulating and testing products in 2008 and that is the year I decided to make the herbal skin care products a real business, as opposed to a hobby or just making products for my private practice clients. I incorporated in 2009, but it wasn’t until April 2010 that I officially launched the webstore www.ZiZaiDermatology.com and actually started selling the products to the public. Growth has been slow because I still spend most of my time in my private practice. I am making the transition to spending less time in private practice and devoting more hours each week to growing Zi Zai Dermatology. I love love love making herbal concoctions and I am excited to be able to spend more time doing that.”
As time goes on, Diana would love to be able to focus her practice more exclusively on dermatology, facial acupuncture and a small handful of other conditions and be able to devote larger blocks of her time to her skin care products. Anyone who follows Diana on Facebook knows that she loves making her lotions and potions. Recently she has learned to make soap and is experimenting with formulas that can work in with the soap making.
In talking to Diana about her long term plan, what she’d most love to do is work out the ideas for her practice with the focus on dermatology and skin care and perhaps formulate that as something other clinics could copy using many of the products she has formulated. Teaching and writing may or may not be part of the equation in the future.
For other practitioners dealing with skin conditions in their practice, Diana says, “..the biggest part of treating skin diseases with TCM is the use of internal herbal medicine…Everyone’s skin is different and proper differentiation makes all the difference in improving any skin problem.”
When asked specifically about her products, Diana says, “Zi Zai products are formulated according to specific TCM patterns and we offer multiple formulas when there are varying TCM patterns possible for a given skin condition (for example, we have 3 ointments for psoriasis and 3 ointments for eczema). We offer 20% discount to all practitioners (acupuncturists, herbalists, physicians).” Diana makes all her products in small batches so that nothing stays on the shelf for very long, although the oil based products have a shelf life of up to three years. As she formulates new products, there is always something cooking. The tinctures she makes can take up to six weeks to infuse, which also means a lot of patience and organization to keep everything straight!
I asked Diana how people can help her spread the word about her new venture. “Tell their friends! Everyone knows someone who has either psoriasis, eczema or acne. Or they have friends who want to use more natural products on their skin in their everyday skin care routine. Or if they are a practitioner, they may be treating patients with skin problems and could enhance the results of their acupuncture and herbal treatment with topical products.
**Just for your readers, I am offering 30% off their first order. Just enter the code “bonnie” at check out. Offer valid until June 30th**”