Alternative medicine

Ridgefield man brings alternative medicine to Main Street

RIDGEFIELD – Kacey James, 24, has searched long and hard to find alternative treatments for his autoimmune issues and after countless visits to the doctor, he’s bringing a few new treatments to others in Ridgefield at his new store, HealthX.

“I realized there was nothing like it at home and it seemed completely crazy that there wasn’t. I just want to give people access to holistic and alternative approaches before I going to the more western approach with drugs and things like that,” he said.

James’ illness has caused him problems with his skin, sleep, energy and hormones. It wasn’t until he’d exhausted all the local options and came across functional physicians in California that he found some useful methods.

Functional medicine involves identifying the root cause of a disease, its triggers, and using therapeutic practices to help relieve symptoms, according to the cleveland clinic.

James combined unconventional therapies such as cryotherapy and photobiomodulation – commonly known as red light therapy – with a healthy diet and active lifestyle to address his autoimmune issues. He said the combination gave him “incredible results” when nothing else worked.

Similar treatments are now available at 415 Main St. in Ridgefield. The store opened on Saturday.

James’ shop offers a full body cryotherapy chamber, compression therapy and a red light therapy cabin among other amenities.

Unlike holistic medicine, which takes a multi-dimensional approach to balancing mind and body, these therapies – cryotherapy and photobiomodulation – often fall under non-Western practices.

Cryotherapy, similar to cold immersion, uses near-freezing temperatures to stimulate the body. A person will often enter a closed chamber and expose their body to liquid nitrogen at sub-zero temperatures.

Western Connecticut State University Institute for Holistic Health Studies Director Christel Autuori said cryotherapy stimulates the body into “fight or flight mode” to release stress hormones and certain endorphins to simulate balance.

“Our body really has the ability to heal itself if we give it time and support. The western medicine approach is more than a quick fix and we are a very impatient society and want quick fixes so a lot of people are not patient enough to allow the body to do its job on its own” , said Autori.

Autuori said she hasn’t come across much research regarding therapies such as cryotherapy and photobiomodulation, but they may have some benefit via stimulation. She recommends consulting a medical professional before deciding to engage in alternative therapies.

“For sure, looking at these practices in conjunction with conventional Western medical approaches will give you an integrative approach, which will give you the best of Western medicine and non-Western modalities,” Autuori said. “And that’s what I think is really optimal for any situation.”