Whether you’re searching for clear skin, relief from chronic migraines or general stress or pain relief, chances are, there’s an alternative therapy in town that promises to treat it. And if you’ve been taking over the counter pain medicines and getting no relief, you may be more than ready to try them. Here’s what to know before you go.
What it is: A technique using a mono-filament needle to treat pain patterns, trigger points and muscle soreness. Nothing is injected, but muscle tension is released and blood flow increases.
What it treats: Headache, migraines and TMJ along the jaw.
What the practitioners say: Robin Harrington, PT, DPT, OCS, a 15-year Physical Therapist with KORT Physical therapy tells us,”If there is muscle tension or tenderness in the muscle with destruction of movement…we can needle that region to get pain relief. Some users will experience soreness or aches at the site of the treatment, but it will subside. “
Cost: $85 for a treatment with no insurance. (Insurance will sometimes cover it when it’s done with other therapies such as massage.)
Side effects: Some light headedness, a “runners’ high” or jitters have been known to occur. Some experience bruising.
Caveats: “Anyone with a history of cancer, any blood clotting disorders or who is on blood thinners needs to consult their doctor,” says Harrington.
Where to go: Kort Physical Therapy, 210 E Gray St. Suite 807, 502-587-9350 (www.kort.com)
What it is: Piercing the cartilage of your ear (the daith) by a licensed body piercer-- typically found in or near a tattoo shop. It requires a unique procedure and tools.
What it treats: Migraines.
What the practitioners say: Doc at Artfully Insane was a medic in the merchant marines (that’s who I’d want piercing my cartilage) and has been licensed and practicing for 24 years. “Most clients experience immediate relief,” says Doc. “Some gain temporary relief or even none at all.” But for $30, you might want to roll the dice.
Side Effects: “Infection is the only enemy here,” says Doc. “Sometimes people’s bodies will simply reject the piercing. Eighty percent of issues are self-induced from bacteria on the hands.”
Caveats: “At the very least, you’ll have some pretty jewelry on your ears,” he tells me in his dead-ringer for Sam Elliott voice.
Where to go: Artfully Insane, 2604 Bardstown Road, 502-409-8288 (www.artfullyinsane.com.)
What it is: In a stressed out, over-booked world it offers a chance to completely unplug from all stimulus and reconnect with yourself. The fact that you’re in a pod with 200 gallons of water and 900 pounds of epsom salt is an added bonus.
What it treats: Joint pain, hypertension, fibromyalgia, general anxiety and PTSD.
What the practitioners say:“The brain is quite responsive without any external stimuli,” says Greg Ellis of Weightless Float Center. “Our brains produce similar waves to REM sleep in the float tank, resulting in what feels like four hours of sleep to the body.” Cortisol (the stress hormone) levels are lowered.
Cost: $65 for a 90 minute float, with discounted memberships available.
Side Effects: None.
Caveats: You’ll want to avoid if you have liver issues or magnesium sensitivity.
Where to go: Weightless Float Center, 600 Distillery Commons, 502-567-4111. (www.weightlessky.com.)
What it is: A soothing, relaxing session in a cave-like setting surrounded by five tons of the purest pink Himalayan salt crystals that allows total rest and relaxation. The low light and soft music or optional guided meditations will soothe your mind and ease your soul.
What it treats: Stress, allergies and skin conditions like acne, psoriasis, or eczema.
What the practitioners say: Nicole Bartlett of The Salt Cave (co-owner with Kim Rash) tells us, “Halotherapy is known to ease symptoms associated with allergies, inflammation, bacteria, and viruses.”
Side effects: Although there are no known dangers, it is not recommend for anyone actively undergoing chemotherapy or suffering from kidney or liver disease.
Cost: $35 dollars for a 45 minute session in a group setting. Private sessions are available.
Where to go: The Salt Cave, 9800 Shelbyville Road, 502-996-7000. (www.louisvillesaltcave.com.)
What it is: Hypnosis isn’t just for the Las Vegas stage and it’s far more mainstream as a therapy than it was 40 years ago.
What it treats: Typically used for smoking cessation, weight loss, and controlling anxiety. It can also treat panic attacks, phobias and be used for pain management
What the practitioner says: Dr. Gene Oliver states, “There has to be a conscious desire to bring about change.”
Side effects: None.
Cost: $675 will give you a good start with five 50-minute sessions.
Caveats: Oliver, who’s practiced for 35 years, cautions, “Working on complex issues requires a practitioner with a specialty in that particular field,” says Oliver who has practiced for 35 years. “Hypnosis is NOT a group activity, and one should be leery of 1-2 session success stories.”
Where to go: Louisville Hypnosis Academy, 4500 Bowling Blvd, #100, 502-208-4048. (Louisvillehypnosisacademy.com.)
LED Light Therapy
What it is: An FDA-Approved treatment that “is known to reduce pain and increase circulation, thus improving the body’s natural ability to heal itself,” says Emily Semersheim of In Light Medical.
What it Treats: Fine lines, workout recovery, brain health, and circulation.
Side Effects: None known, but avoid placing directly on pregnant bellies.
Cost: Treatments run $65-$120 and you can lease or purchase your own unit home use from $1200-3000.
Caveats: “Pain management is the primary reason clients use this treatment. Circulation and a lymphatic cleanse are others.”
Where to go: www.inlightmedical.com