Kevin Ollie played point guard in the NBA for 13 seasons for a dozen teams between 1997-2010, most notably three stints with the Philadelphia 76ers.
As a guard, it was his job to get his teammates into the best potential position to score and ultimately succeed. Ollie, who later coached the University of Connecticut to the 2014 NCAA Men’s National Championship, maintains that same mentality when it comes to business today.
Ollie recently partnered with Modern Acupuncture in an effort to spread awareness and the accessibility of holistic healthcare. He and business partner Dr. Charles Anderson will open a Modern Acupuncture location in Burlington, Massachusetts, in early 2020.
“It was something dear to my heart,” Ollie said. “I believe in holistic healing and I believe in making people’s lives better. It’s education we provide and an opportunity to change the narrative so you don’t have to depend on pills and your body can heal naturally. I just want to bring the best out of everybody.”
Founded in 2016, Modern Acupuncture is a series of franchised clinics across the United States offering acupuncture sessions that are typically 30 minutes or less. Facilities are designed in a spa-like fashion rather than a clinical one equipped with heated zero-gravity massage chairs and serene sights and sounds to offer visitors, including walk-ins, a relaxing environment.
Ollie and Anderson’s location at the Village at Burlington Mall will be Modern Acupuncture’s 53rd facility. The company is also expecting to open a location in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood in early 2020.
“I want to position ourselves as the first solution of treatment rather than being the last,” Modern Acupuncture CEO Matt Hale said. “It’s going to take a lot of education. Our goal is not just to grow Modern Acupuncture but to grow acupuncture as well.”
Acupuncture is the traditional Chinese practice dating back more than 2,000 years of utilizing fine needles inserted into the skin to stimulate specific body points based on the theory that energy flows through the body via certain pathways; illness or pain are a result of this energy flow being blocked.
According to Dr. Anderson, approximately 96 out of 100 Americans haven’t tried acupuncture, either seeking alternative solutions to aches, pains, sleep trouble or stress/anxiety including prescription pills, physical therapy or surgery, or being too intimidated to experience it.
Though it seems those who do give acupuncture a try love it: 66% of the nearly 1,000 Modern Acupuncture patients surveyed in March 2019 said they experienced a significant improvement of their conditions.
“Education is critical,” Dr. Anderson said. “The best education you can have is to make sure something is approachable, affordable and accessible. Those three A’s become really critical. We’re putting up more and more of these clinics in places people are always going. How do you make it convenient so people can touch it, feel it? Most of our referrals come from a friend or family member who tried it, so it gets others comfortable and demystifies it.”
With an opioid epidemic running rampant across the United States—10.3 million people misused prescription opioids in 2018 according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services—more and more people are seeking alternative treatments for everything from stress and anxiety to sleep issues and chronic aches and pains. CBD is on the rise in the public and sports sectors while various states legalizing the usage of marijuana is providing alternative options from prescription opioid-based drugs.
Since first opening, Modern Acupuncture has treated more than 400,000 patients with a quarter of them citing stress and anxiety as a reason for their visit.
“There’s such a crisis in this country with opioids and pain pill addiction,” Hale said. “Insurance companies understand now through studies and research that acupuncture is a viable resource to combat pain. Our goal is where this becomes part of people’s lifestyle not just for pain but for stress management, to improve digestion, sleep better and more.”