Episode 12: Jason Stein and Eyes and Dr. Andy Rosenfarb The Millionaire Acupuncturist
In this inspiring episode, we sit down with Dr. Andy Rosenfarb, an acupuncturist who specializes in Ophthalmology. Andy shares with us his journey from humble beginnings into becoming a millionaire acupuncturist.
Andy also talks about
- His humbling start and lessons learned as new acupuncturist presenting to Western providers
- Sharing about why he created an oil based eye drop that was needed in the marketplace.
- Leveraging his power of ADHD to make it a strength in running his practice.
- And his top tip in creating a positive Money Mindset in the field of acupuncture and wellness
Dr. Andy Rosefarb’s Bio:
Dr. Rosenfarb is a world renowned expert on Chinese Medical Ophthalmology, Ophthalmic Acupuncture, and Functional Integrative Ophthalmology. He has been specializing for over 25 years and has worked with thousands of patients from over 50 countries who fly into New Jersey to work with Dr. Rosenfarb.
Jason Stein 0:03
Jason Stein 0:00 Hmm Hey, this is Jason Stein and welcome to the wellness renegade podcast, we'll explore the crossroads of the wellness entrepreneurs like you and me, who are committed to making money while living healthier lives. People are going against Big Pharma insurance conglomerates and the mainstream medical world, we'll be journeying into the challenges and the breakthroughs it takes to own your own business, pave your own path through mainstream medical care and truly become a wellness Renegade. Thank you for listening. If you've enjoyed this episode, you can like comment and subscribe. And today's sponsor is wellness renegades.com. Our new offer Google business profiles is the most affordable and efficient SEO to gain new business. For more details. Visit wellness renegades.com Hey, I'm here today with Andy Rosenfarb. Welcome Andy, Andy Rosenfarb 1:02 welcome thank you thank you glad to be here brother. So happy to be here as long as I watched you Jason Stein 1:07 over the years and it's just like you know when I think about million dollar acupuncturist there are very few and far between. And what I love about being friends with you online is I watch you go on your boat, I watch you hang out with your kids and teach them wrestling. I see you get involved in mankind projects and really up leveling who you are as a man in the world and so I'm really excited for the listeners that don't know you give us just a couple bars on who you are and where you live. Okay, Andy Rosenfarb 1:41 so, name is Andy rosenfarb. I am in Westfield, New Jersey. I've been practicing acupuncture and naturopath, natural patch, Catholic and functional medicine for the last 25 years with a specialization in ophthalmic acupuncture and integrative ophthalmology. Jason Stein 2:00 Nice. Now for the listeners. Sometimes when I say million dollar acupuncturist, people cringe a little like me. And I spent just, I'm a big fan of like, helping to make money in really positive way sustainable ways, but also creating more time in your life. So you can spend it with either hobbies, your family, your relationships, your your passions, right? Yeah. And so, first, let's go to the beginning for most acupuncturist that I've met in the world, they're going along in their life, and they take a left hand turn, like it's normally not like as a child, they're doing acupuncture on their dolls, and they're like, one day, I will be an acupuncturist. So, tell us the short story. How did you get here? Andy Rosenfarb 2:51 Great question. So I was pre med. I always, for the most part, knew I wanted to get into healthcare started college as an accounting major, because my dad was an accountant. And at the time, I thought it was gonna work with him, shifted real quick. After I took economics, statistics and accounting. I was like, not for me. So back into arts and sciences, pre med. And my senior year in college, when I was studying for my MCAT, my father went for acupuncture for high blood pressure. And after six months, he'd lost a ton of weight and got off blood pressure meds that he'd been on for 10 years. So he knew I was into martial arts and he's telling me about acupuncture. Acupuncture, I'm going to med school. You kidding me? So he's like, no, no, you should, you should check this out. So I came home on break and met the acupuncturist went for treatment because my father had been going. And it's just fascinating. And he gave me a book wasn't a web, but it was another book on acupuncture. It's smaller book. And it was based on like Taoism Buddhism, and it's, it's how that's where Chinese medicine came from. And it was it was instant, like, it just got me just the philosophy resonated with me. And I went to acupuncture school. That's, can you make money doing this? Does there actually schools for this? So I found a school looked at a bunch of schools ended up going to school in San Diego PICALM, great place to go to grad school, and did the full program or a program there. And as t as you said, a lot of people in school were kind of like, oh, you know, you pick the wrong profession. If you want to make money. This is more of like a charitable type of profession. And you know, being from the east coast of New Jersey, everybody was like California, like, I may not make a lot of money doing this, but I'm sure as hell gonna have a lot of fun trying. So that was my philosophy. I gamified it. I was like, You know what? I'm gonna try to figure this game out, you know, and have fun doing it. Jason Stein 4:54 So what year did you graduate? 1997 All right, great. I graduated in 1998. So things were a lot different back then. Andy Rosenfarb 5:05 Yeah. Yeah. So the the cost to acupuncture school. Jason Stein 5:09 And so before we journey to like all the amazing things you're doing now? Yeah. Let's talk a little bit about the hardship. Can you share a story? Like, whether you wanted to quit? Or like, what was? What was the low on the journey to the to the rise? Andy Rosenfarb 5:29 Um, well, my first zing, if you want. That was I had when I decided to go to acupuncture school, my college advisors, and some, some teachers and professors that I'd respected. I told them that I was going to acupuncture school, and I immediately got backlash. They're like, Oh, you're going to take yourself with that. You're going to med school like, so immediately. It was like, Okay, this is going to be kind of like a snake oil, kind of like OB, I'm not going to get that respect or prestige of going to med school. And I was like, You know what, I'm okay with that. But the hardship was, how do I, when I first graduated, I'll tell you a bit the big just came to mind. So about a year after I graduated, a buddy of mine was an MD, really into holistic medicine followed like Mehmet Oz, and Deepak Chopra, wonderful guy. He invited me to speak to his New Jersey Physicians Group. And I was 27 year old acupuncture school, everything was chi, blood and fluids. And I had to get up in lecture to these doctors who are drinking and having dinner. And I couldn't explain in biomedical terms, what acupuncture was what, and these guys just had, had had a blast with me. It was a full blown crucifixion event. It was it was one of the most humiliating and humiliating experiences of my life. And after that, I vowed that I would never be in a situation again, where I had to explain what I did, and not be able to do so to anybody, whether it's a physician or a layperson or nurse, or a five year old, like I went on a mission to be able to learn how to explain in lay terms, reasonable terms, what we did, because that was what was missing from my education at the time in acupuncture school. Jason Stein 7:34 Yeah. And what a great skill because, you know, there's so many people that have heard of acupuncture and never tried it. Yeah. And it's converting the skeptic sometimes. So that's great. Andy Rosenfarb 7:45 Yeah, I mean, they're like, so is Chi like a spirit. Or you say it, it's like, like, not like, you know, just like Yahweh took my kids to Florida, we saw the figment, the fate is so as to like a figment of your imagination. Yeah, so a lot of abuse, a lot of humility. And then, like, embracing things like functional medicine, and learning that language really helped me learn modern interpretations of what Chinese medicine was talking about, which really helped a lot. That was the biggest pain and we're recovery from that experience. Jason Stein 8:22 Yeah, if you're listening, if you've ever been on stage, whether it's to perform or share what you do, and you just humiliated, it's hard to shake that dust off. Andy Rosenfarb 8:33 It was tough, but it was, it was so clear, like, right after that, I'm like, That's what I gotta do. I gotta learn how to, to educate. And at least for myself, so I don't have that pain anymore of, of feeling like an idiot. You know, it's like, because it's not because, you know, as well as I do, that the amazing science in depth of understanding and knowledge that Chinese medicine has, and it was like, just have to learn how to explain it better. Jason Stein 9:04 Yes, yes. Because explaining it is able to engage in the conversation and actually, you know, have a space at the table, which is a really hard thing to do sometimes. Yeah. Yeah. Andy Rosenfarb 9:17 So as I realized, like, I dropped my ego and humiliation, and that was on me, like nobody else. It wasn't like, oh, they need to understand it was like, it's on me to learn how to what this stuff is in more biomedical late terms, and how can I educate people in a way that they can understand that was my job. So I took that responsibility on Yeah, Jason Stein 9:42 so as I've been tracking with you since then, of you having this humiliation, it's like somewhere along the road you got involved in eyes and it's not a normal thing to think acupuncture and eye health care. And and so how It's good that happened. Andy Rosenfarb 10:02 Yeah. So true and accurate in at when I was in acupuncture school, there were like two or three conditions that was like, Yeah, we don't do that. And either one of them for all three and a half years of school, I had three sides of notes on every eye condition. So I started getting into eyes and went back, see what I had my notes, I think got three sides like myopia, glaucoma, and everything was like liver, Qi, stagnation, librium, deficiency, kidney and stuff like that. So I realized pretty fast that this was something that we didn't, and I go to the text, and they all said the same thing. And I wasn't getting good results with the protocols. So I pretty recognized pretty quick that this was a void that could be filled by our profession, if I could figure out how to get results. And if there were people that were already doing it. So I kind of went on a vision quest. I know that's corny, but the find out, hey, I have a couple patients with eye issues. Let me see if there's anybody who's getting results that I can replicate and learn from, or these five or six patients that have glaucoma, macular degeneration, and I think one had an eye stroke or something like that. So the more it became, I became obsessive, like full blown, I can't became obsessive about it. I saw something and some results patients were getting, and I just was hungry for it. I was like, How come acupuncture can help headaches, digestive issues, fertility, allergies, but it can't help eyes. Like, I reject that premise. And even though a lot of professors in school were like, Hey, we were gonna do like, hearing loss really, we don't do patients who were retarded. That was like a big conversation. And then eye issues like, those are some of the things with this kind of like, Jason Stein 11:54 I don't think you're supposed to say that word anymore. But okay. Andy Rosenfarb 12:00 chal Yeah. In that spectrum. Yeah. On spectrum, so. But at the time, those are the conversations that were being had in school. If people were visually impaired people who were, you know, having developmental cognitive issues, and people were hearing impaired, definitely. Like, we can't do anything for it. Jason Stein 12:20 So you went searching for it, and you found someone that that's what they did. Yeah. Andy Rosenfarb 12:25 So I found I went to China, and they had been doing some electro acupuncture with eye issues, mostly for glaucoma and eye stroke, ischemia issues, but nothing major. Maybe there was some myopia and stuff like that. But then I met some guys from Europe, who had been doing a lot of work specifically in Denmark and Germany, who'd been doing a lot of work with AI issues, macular degeneration, specifically. So I reached out to them, it took me two years to get out and study with with with those guys. And, you know, from then I created my foundation, and I had enough to start implementing in clinic and then it was really trial and error from there. With Chinese medicine with functional medicine with different acupuncture systems, points, protocols, electro laser, just trying different things that worked and what didn't work. Jason Stein 13:21 Sounds like you got a little obsessed, Andy Rosenfarb 13:24 completely obsessed, knew at work. It was this, this inner. I just had a belief, I was convinced that it worked. I just didn't, I needed to figure it out. It was a puzzle. So it's like there's a puzzle here. There's, there's a version that somewhere in the universe, somebody's figured this out. I just have to line with that and figure it out. What I Jason Stein 13:47 love about this story is seeking out and so I'll tell you a short story, which is I practice very part time but I had a patient that was getting up every hour to urinate. And there was a client of mine that was getting nonstop referrals from urologist and figured out a two point protocol with electro stem. And so I asked her the protocol, shout out to JC in Billings, Montana. And I am immediately the patient went from every hour to twice a night. And so REM sleep and like the list goes on and that's what I love about this medicine but more so I love that you were seeking out people ahead of you to figure out how you could how you could help. So you know you fast forward years later, and your eye drops on the market. Yeah. Andy Rosenfarb 14:52 Yeah, so we Yeah, yeah, yeah, we have we have quite a few products you know? Jason Stein 14:57 So let's talk about the eyedrops for a second because A lot of people think about making a product. I love evil bone water. Yeah. You know, there's some great product lines out on the market and, and you were just going to mark it and you sent me some of these eyedrops, and I had a long COVID patient that that had blurry vision every day. Yeah. And he's started using the eyedrops, and within a week his vision went back to normal. Andy Rosenfarb 15:25 Awesome. So yeah, it's so they're dry their eye for dry eye primarily and help with cataracts. And the long and short it their lipid base, most of the eye drops out on the market are aqueous based or water based. And the analogy I give people is look, if you have dry skin, do you take shower? Do you put water on it? No, you put moisturizer before we have lotions, it was olive oil, or different or coconut oil that we put on our skin. And it makes sense if we need moisturize we want something to lock in moisture. So tears are made up of mucus water in oils or lipids. And it was my understanding that most people were dry. I didn't have too little water that too little oil. So we made these these oil based eyedrops that just crushed it, you know is the first one out of its kind. And it blends basically castor oil, sesame oil and coconut oil. We originally use castor oil, but it was too thick. And it's really goopy in the eye. So we created these eyedrops, and yeah, we go through probably about 500 to 1000 a year. Wow. Jason Stein 16:36 I always try things before I give them to other people. And so I tried them and they're very strange because I've had like similar isin homeopathic eyedrops, right? And so I read the instructions and you wipe the oil on your eyelid. And it was this weird experience. But I have dry eyes because allergies. Yeah, and it really worked. It really worked. Yeah, Andy Rosenfarb 17:02 well this time of year to funny you mentioned that we have a lot of people on it now because in New Jersey, you know, pollens are popping everywhere. And it creates a protective barrier for patients to like or start to get these allergy eyes. This time of year we have them starting to use the lipo vision drops, and it creates an oil barrier. So the pollen doesn't get into the eyes and causing irritation. Jason Stein 17:25 It's like It's like sunglasses for your for your eyeballs. Andy Rosenfarb 17:29 Yeah, pretty much. Yeah, yeah, it's like, exactly. It's like, creates a protective barrier. Yeah, Holly hits the oil and it doesn't go into your eyes. So yeah, even people like we have patients who have a hard time going into the city, like Manhattan or whatever cities because of the smog and pollution, their eyes get irritated with that or swimmers who have problems with chlorine, irritating your eyes. So it's just also in addition to lubricating the eyes. It does create a protective barrier for chemicals, pollution, pollens, stuff like that. Jason Stein 18:02 Now at one point, you were doing some eyes research. Is that still happening? Andy Rosenfarb 18:06 We did that. So we did two studies ones with Johns Hopkins one with Nova Southeastern. It was a specific study on genetic night blindness called retinitis pigmentosa. And what I did was create the protocols for those study and we had to acupuncturists for the different studies that I trained and created protocols for so we did those those came in went there great. Learned a lot, you know, learned a lot about IRB research and how it works. Jason Stein 18:34 The human beings it's a whole different world when you're in the world of Andy Rosenfarb 18:39 academia, you know, like for our first or second study, they submitted to 30 medical journals. And because of the medical politics, they're like, Yeah, we'd love to study but our board won't approve this. Yeah. So interesting. You know, I mean, interesting to see just a very big learning experience for that. Jason Stein 18:57 Yeah. And so as you're getting these learning experiences, you and I were hanging out before we started the pod, and you know, you really are a million dollar acupuncturist and you told me that the clinic gross did you say 300k This last month? So 300k And I was like, Oh, he must have like 17 acupuncture so tell tell the listeners how many acupuncturist you out for the listeners, because not everybody watches it. He's pointing at himself, folks, there isn't one acupuncture. So my brain explodes a little bit. Thank you. And so break it down a little bit first, so we can comprehend that. Andy Rosenfarb 19:42 So we have businesses inside the business. So there's a couple of parts to it. One is supplements. The second is acupuncture services. And the third is our alternating current stimulation, which is a product a device that I created that we also sell for patients. shins who are looking to preserve and recover their vision. So those kind of funnels are income in my do all the acupuncture. Two months ago, we had our busiest or busiest week. I think it did 95 I was averaging like 90 to 95 patients a day. We have like a treat. Yeah. Jason Stein 20:22 So I know I'm gonna have listeners that are just like, No way. And then I have others that are like, Yeah, I like it. So when I consult with acupuncturists and other wellness providers, I often see some people want, like five per day and are fine at 40 per day. I haven't you're the first I've heard 90 per day that feels like I wouldn't know what room I'm about to enter at that point. But, you know, you got to know your own rhythms. And I got no judgment because it's about results at the end of the day, right. Yeah. Andy Rosenfarb 20:55 So I have, you know, two that two patients are coming in, they're getting multiple treatments a day, sometimes, like couple treatments a day. Yeah. So I also have very good staff. Like I'm in and out of the rooms, I needle very fast, very freehand, and we use electrical. With electrical, I'm in and out of the room. And again, these people have come in done a console, they're here for a week or two or three, sometimes they're doing daily treatments. I don't have to talk to them. Every time I go into the room. I know what's going on. The needles are in, I got the rooms going on in and out of the room. And most of the time within two to three minutes. Yeah, so it's a credit protocols for different patients. I know what I'm doing, I'm getting in. I also am very active. I do have mild ADHD. And I've leveraged that for my practice. Like I can't sit if I'm seeing 10 a day, like I'm going out of my mind. I like to be motion. It's kinda like a kitchen. Like, I've got like pasta cooking here. And it's all this stuff going on? I do very well with that. Yeah. Which would be things that would normally overwhelm a majority of people, like I'm fine with. Jason Stein 22:02 So there's one of you how many support staff are there? Andy Rosenfarb 22:05 Three, okay. Yeah, I have patients turning rooms over in there, you know, sometimes for three to four staff, managing patients, putting them in rooms. So I literally am just in needling. And then I do consultations, and they do my vision testing for me and all stuff like that. So, Jason Stein 22:23 so let's talk about this just for a second. In terms of other people. You know, I often run into really good healers, wellness providers, people in the health care space. But they're really struggling with making money. And so part of it is the money mindset, like there really is an avenue it's, you know, more than a trillion dollar industry in wellness and health care. And so, what's your top tip on the money mindset? Andy Rosenfarb 22:53 specialize? Jason Stein 22:54 Yeah, so niche down, Andy Rosenfarb 22:56 nobody walks, nobody wakes up in the morning said, You know what? I'm gonna try acupuncture. Yeah, my shoulder is killing me. I've been to physical therapy, I've been a chiropractor. I've been to an orthopedic, nothing is working. Oh, acupuncture. Let me I heard acupuncture, who's the top guy who the shoulders, shoulder specialization acupuncture. That's migraines. Whatever way the our system or medical system is Why is created now is based on specialization. So that's one of the other things I realized early on, in addition to two, I always knew I wanted to specialize. And I knew early on that specialization was the fast track to being successful, or as busy as I wanted, or could handle. And that proved to be accurate. So I don't care what you do. Within the field of medicine, one or a few things for your messaging and marketing. That's a whole other conversation. But people are looking for a solution to their pain, regardless of what the treatment strategy is. So that's what people in our profession need to learn and other professions would do better to speak to you learn how to have a marketing message to people with a very specific type of pain and by pain. I'm not saying physical, necessarily physical, but vision loss creates pain, right? And fertility causes pain. Allergy causes pain, bad hip and I can't play with my kids or, you know, get to work or do running like I like to do horseback riding. I can't do that because I have sciatica. It creates emotional pain. So understanding what you're good at. And what's in the hearts and minds of those who are trying to help is essential. Jason Stein 24:39 I like what you're saying. And I'm going to be devil's advocate for a second because I've heard you talk about this before and I think although you have your niche, your specialty, you see a lot of everything in your clinic. And so that's just important for the listeners to know just because you specialize doesn't mean you can't be a general practitioner. are in the rest of your clinic? It means you're known for something not exclusive. Yeah, I think, you know, you know, I live in a town of 1200. Right? And so you can still be a GP these days. But you want to know how people refer to you. And Randy, people refer to you as the eye guy. Like you're wearing a shirt. That's exactly vision on it. Andy Rosenfarb 25:27 It's true. You know, I tell, our motto is your vision is our mission. And I'm very, like, we have a great time at clinic. But I'm as serious as you can be about my patients, my mission to help my patients recover and preserve their vision. That's, that's what we do. Jason Stein 25:43 I like it. I like it. So I'm gonna get political for just two minutes. And that is like, you have been engaged and involved at a very high level in this medicine in the US. And I want to ask you personally and face to face, what the hell is wrong? With everybody not getting on the same page? Like every time I see a board or a Association? It seems like the infighting is what causes the lack of forward momentum. And what's that all about? Andy Rosenfarb 26:17 Well, so I will speak to this. I've been past president of my state association. I've served on two of the boards of our national associations. In again, I'm going to use a word I love your Renegades show, but our profession is full of renegades Yeah, in the negative sense. That mean, everybody, they're all like, rebels. Everybody's got an opinion, and everybody wants to be righteous, everybody. You know, acupuncture has so many different branches, right? We say it's like branches all coming from the same tree, and the branches fighting with each other mines. But it's like religion, right? So everybody's system, they think that my ways the best way. And a lot of it is just from out of the gate, we never really had solid leadership or direction, in the school started out great. And I have so much respect and appreciation for the schools. But in my opinion, a lot of the schools dropped the ball, where they could have been doing research and really bringing people together and getting more involved politically. In a good sense, you know, politically, I mean, helping to unify our profession, it kind of became about money, probably about 10 or 15 years ago, and they kind of backed off. And I think that our profession has become fractionated. And it's becoming more and more clicky. Yeah, I mean, your tongue and you have your time and you have your key goes and you have you know, your your your anatomical neuro acupuncturist and it's just bad mouth. Everybody just talks crap that Jason Stein 27:58 is this is not acupuncture isolated. It's just it happens. Yeah, Andy Rosenfarb 28:03 no. However, I will just say one thing. So the chiropractor Association in New Jersey is the strongest in the country. Yeah, and have a very good relationship with them. And about seven years ago, I had a conversation with them. And I said, What do you guys do? You guys are all doing well, it's PTS as well have a good relationship with the petite PTs in our state. And they said, Look, this is what they told me, We came to a point where we decided that we're going to set aside our philosophical differences for the betterment of the profession in those that which we want to serve. That was the turning point for both of them. We haven't gotten there yet. Yeah, we haven't gotten to the point where we're willing to set aside our philosophical differences or politics, to elevate the profession. And because of that, dry needling is coming in chiropractors, trainers, athletic trainers are all absorbing our profession. So hence more of a need to specialize or connect with a referral source like physicians or people are gonna have to go in and network with with that, you know, to do that, so there are solutions. I see the problem, I just don't have a solution, but I do know that there's a lack of leadership in a lot of different areas. From the schools from state association, there's just, there's, I'll say this too. I'd say half of our profession is kind of really really part time. You know, like super part time and they just don't take it seriously. Like I'm a full timer you know, this is this is everything to me, vocationally, and I'm very passionate and I love our profession. But not everybody feels like that, you know, in a lot of people who can't make it in clinic end up in politics or or the schools teaching, which is fine too. I taught for years as well. You But it becomes more academia. It really what it comes down to politics and academics aren't usually aligned with the clinicians. The auditions are more business getting results in the field. And if they don't always align with academics and politics, Jason Stein 30:18 I appreciate your passion and we're coming close on time. And I'm curious, like, how do you bring hope to the next generation not just of acupuncturist, but those that are following the non pharmaceutical non traditional route, Andy Rosenfarb 30:36 find your find your group, hook up with people like you and I, man, we have very similar flat, we practice differently, but our mindset is the same. Find people who are passionate, fun, kind of easygoing, like got something to say, got some opinions and aren't afraid to say it. But we're here to elevate the profession. Find people who are like minded, who are positive and productive and forward thinking people. You know, there's an old saying that we, we kind of become the sum of the seven most people that we hang out with most, so hang out with better people. We're moving forward. Jason Stein 31:18 I once had a friend tell me about his dad and his dad's life lesson was, if you can have six people in your life, show up at your house at midnight to help you. You're done. You've done everything you need to and so I I love what you're saying about surround yourself, surround yourself with the people that you need to really get where you want to go. And so I'm Jason Stein with wellness renegades and and just want to thank you, Andy, I thank you for being here today. I thank you for sharing your life journey. And I'll put your links below but is there any final words that you have for people that listened? Andy Rosenfarb 32:02 Get clear on what you want. Most important thing is clarity. Most people have no clue what they want. Do the work. Sit down, honor yourself, and figure out what you're about and what you want and what value you want to give to the world. And don't stop till you do it. And if you need help, ask for it. Find people who are doing it and hang out with them. Jason Stein 32:23 I love it. I love it. So for listeners, I just appreciate you guys listening. Again if you enjoyed this episode, please take a moment like comment, subscribe, share it. And for more information about other interviews and the services we offer. Check out wellness renegades.com Peace Transcribed by https://otter.ai