Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Cait Van Damm, Founder of Ritual Pelvic Health, located in Boston, MA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I provide pelvic floor therapy to folks of all genders! My area of specialty is pelvic pain, but I see people of almost all ages, including during the pregnancy and postpartum periods.
My practice is focused on biopsychosocial care - which means that I treat the whole person, not just the physical condition. This is so relevant when we think about previous trauma, the roles in our lives -- like being a parent or what kind of job a person might have -- and our overall stress loads.
I use a combination of both gentle manual therapy to release restricted tissue as well as therapeutic movement to restore balance to the whole body, thereby eliminating pelvic pain. Patients get to learn about their bodies and are empowered to sustainably care for themselves in the process!
Tell us about yourself
I began my career as a yoga teacher over ten years ago, and I've always loved working with chronic hip and lower back pain. After teaching for several years, I decided to pursue my doctorate in occupational therapy, so I could add more medical training to my holistic healthcare lens.
During graduate school, I recognized that the LGBTQ+ population wasn't receiving appropriate care for pelvic floor disorders. I figured if I could make a difference to one patient, that would be a career worth having! I dove into continuing and supplemental education on the pelvic floor and the neurophysiology of pain.
My practice has always been centered on trauma-informed care, and it was this dedication to excellence that pushed me to open my own practice after working in a standard outpatient setting. Ritual Pelvic Health was born out of a desire to give people the best possible pelvic floor therapy using both manual techniques and therapeutic movement. I consider my job a privilege!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
When I left my outpatient position to start my practice, my twins were 15 months old, and my husband was in the first year of a Ph.D. program with a minimal stipend. My job was our main source of income, and it was a huge risk to go into private practice.
I'm thrilled to say that in just one year, I doubled my outpatient salary and have so much more freedom in my schedule. I spend more time with my kiddos, deliver much higher quality care, and am able to support my family!
I'm also really proud of my newsletter, which provides free content on all things related to pelvic floor health. I've been writing it for a year now, and my readers are so engaged with the content!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
I think the variability in income can be really daunting, especially in the beginning. It definitely gets easier with time, but riding the waves of your business market is a skill and takes some endurance!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Trust that you can do this, and start making a tactical plan that works for your specific financial needs. You'll never start if you don't believe that you can do it, so just make it happen!
- Hire an accountant! It's literally never too early to hire someone who specializes in the kind of business that you want to do. It will save you so much in the long term!
- Connect with other like-minded business owners who can provide community and support. It's helpful to share numbers and understand that some seasons are busier or slower than others in specific industries. In the healthcare world, it's also fantastic to build a network of cooperative providers for referrals, which is a win for patients and providers!
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I'm excited to announce that I'll be launching Ritual Movement, an online platform dedicated to providing therapeutic movement for folks with pelvic pain, on October 3! You can sign up for the waitlist at this link!
My newsletter can be found at pelvichealth.substack.com. I'd love to see you there!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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