Innovative Franchise Helps Bring Acupuncture to the Masses
by Sheila Julson
Holistic modalities such as acupuncture are gaining popularity as more people seek non-pharmaceutical approaches to health, but Debi Etheredge knows that many people still have not had an opportunity to experience this time-proven form of whole-body wellness. Through Modern Acupuncture, a franchise founded in 2016, she is giving people a chance to conveniently and affordably experience quality acupuncture performed by licensed professionals.
Debi, who holds a business degree and is also a certified nutritionist, partnered with her husband, Tom, to open two clinics thus far in Austin. The first opened in Arboretum Market on Great Hills Trail in February and has performed over 4,000 treatments. The second clinic recently opened in central Austin, on North Lamar, across from Central Market and next to People’s Pharmacy. The couple owns two additional franchise licenses for the Allandale area of north Austin and the Cedar Park/Leander area.
As Debi explains, “Acupuncture has been used for more than 2,500 years. The approach involves tiny needles, comparable in size to a human hair, being inserted carefully into key points on the body to trigger an increase in blood flow. When healthy blood flow is restored, the body’s natural healing abilities are activated. The improved blood flow decreases inflammation, which helps alleviate chronic pain of all kinds: headaches, joint pain, muscle pain and more. In addition to pain relief, acupuncture is a proven approach to reduce stress and anxiety, enhance sleep and treat disease. You can experience relief without the side effects of treatments like surgery and prescription medications.”
Modern Acupuncture offers a variety of pricing options for patients, but the most popular option is a monthly membership. Patients can buy a traditional acupuncture membership for $69 per month, which includes treatment for pain, insomnia, stress, allergies, headaches or infertility; or a membership for $89 that includes a cosmetic add-on to the traditional plan. “It’s also known as ‘no-tox,’ which is different from traditional beauty treatments like Botox because it doesn’t use chemicals,” Debi says. “It eliminates lines, evens out skin tones and improves acne scarring.”
Both membership packages include two treatments per month. Additional visits can be purchased for $20 each. A patient’s first session is complementary, and although Modern Acupuncture clinics are individually owned, patients can use their memberships at any Modern Acupuncture location in the country.
Modern Acupuncture’s practitioners are licensed through the Texas Medical Board. Debi notes that licensed acupuncturists go through five to eight years of extensive training to achieve a master’s degree or a Ph.D. in their field.
Their acupuncturists use a technique called Distal Needling, which is placement of acupuncture needles from the elbows down, the knees down and the shoulders up. Patients don’t have to disrobe and are treated in a semi-private area where they just roll up pant legs and sleeves. Once someone is established as a patient, treatments typically run 30 to 45 minutes.
Modern Acupuncture offers evening and weekend hours; they’re open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Members can schedule appointments by phone, online or just walk in. “If you have a migraine, you don’t want to wait three days for an appointment,” Debi says. “Our members know they can come in any time.”
Treatment areas at Modern Acupuncture include heated zero gravity massage chairs. Relaxing music plays throughout the natural setting, and patients can watch loops of nature scenes on televisions. Essential oils diffusers emit calming scents, and patients are offered complementary organic hot or cold tea after a treatment.
Tom and Debi find it rewarding to help more people discover the benefits of acupuncture by making it more readily available, convenient and affordable. They also enjoy providing job opportunities for acupuncturists that want to practice, but might not necessarily want to run their own businesses.
“We’re not in direct competition with individual practitioners,” Tom says. “They deliver their services in a different way. With expanded awareness and education about the overall benefits of acupuncture, we believe all practitioners benefit. It’s complementary of the industry as a whole.”
Modern Acupuncture is located at 9722 Great Hills Tr., Ste. 125, in Austin; for more information, call 512-607-9714, or visit Modacu.com/TX005; and at 4010 N. Lamar, in Austin; for more information, call 512-607-4660, or visit Modacu.com/TX006.