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Bruce and Stephanie McGovern, owners of Modern Acu

Wellness entrepreneurs Stephanie and Bruce McGovern enjoy bringing effective holistic therapies to the mainstream. As owners of franchise locations for Massage Envy and European Wax Center, they were intrigued by acupuncture, so when they heard about the Modern Acupuncture franchise, they wanted in.

Prior to becoming holistic health business owners, Bruce had worked for 25 years in the automobile industry at dealerships and for a company that handled dealership services. Stephanie has a background in corporate America, having worked for retail and wholesale companies.

Stephanie discovered massage therapy in 2005 and was amazed by the stress-relieving results. At that time, therapeutic massage was uncommon, and not many places in the Dallas area offered it. “We just thought that the concept of offering massage benefits to a wider range of the population was brilliant,” she says.

They went on to purchase five Massage Envy locations, as well as five European Wax Center locations, which specialize in hair removal and promoting healthy, softer skin.

When Bruce received an acupuncture treatment and was impressed by how much better he felt, Stephanie realized that acupuncture just might be the next revolution in whole wellness. “People experience positive outcomes from acupuncture and see it as a way to manage their health journey on their own,” she says.

When they learned of the Modern Acupuncture franchise, co-founded by Seattle-based acupuncturist Bob Doane, the McGoverns realized there was a lack of acupuncture offerings in Dallas; clinics were not easily accessible or tucked away in office buildings and lacked visibility. Some charged rates that were cost-prohibitive or had limited hours. Seeing a need and a niche, the couple opened their first franchise in February and now own three in Dallas.

“The Modern Acupuncture franchise is ideal because we know people are looking to get away from opioids and pharmaceuticals and use natural ways to treat issues such as pain. But only 3 percent of the U.S. population has gotten an acupuncture treatment because lots of people, while receptive and curious about it, didn’t know where to go,” Bruce says.

Modern Acupuncture locations are generally located in busy shopping centers and they have bright, visable signage. The clinics provide a relaxing, spa-like environment and offer walk-in appointments.

The first appointment includes a health history and intake procedure, and once a client is established, appointments run 30 minutes. Modern Acupuncture has a community environment, meaning that treatments aren’t conducted in separate rooms, but in a semi-private area. The practitioners use a technique called distal needling that inserts needles in the body from the elbows and knees down and into the face and head, so there’s no disrobing. Clients relax in a zero-gravity chair and can watch tranquil nature videos, listen to music or take a nap. They are offered complimentary herbal tea after each session.

Because acupuncture often takes more than one treatment to be effective, Stephanie emphasizes that it is important to keep acupuncture affordable. Complimentary first-time sessions are offered, and the center operates on a membership model, with packages starting at $69 per month, which includes two sessions.

Modern Acupuncture specializes in acupuncture for sleep, pain relief, headaches, stress and even cosmetic therapy, in which finer-gauge needles are inserted into different points on the face to increase collagen to the area, eventually reducing fine lines and wrinkles. There are currently eight licensed acupuncturists on staff among the McGovern’s three locations. One of their acupuncturists holds a doctorate in Oriental medicine, and they feature monthly training videos to help all the acupuncturists expand their skills and knowledge.

Bruce and Stephanie are pleased with their decision to enter the field of natural wellness, and they thoroughly enjoy operating those types of businesses. It’s a win-win situation, Bruce says, as he and Stephanie are savvy with the business aspects, and most practitioners would rather focus on making people well rather than tasks like managing the books, advertising or searching for locations.

“We like to hire people that have a passion for what they do, and then we just let them do their thing,” says Stephanie. “I think one of the things that makes us successful is that we care about our people and their talents, and we get out of the way and let them do what they do best.”

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