Healing naturally

Alternative therapies growing in Craig

After Carol Wright had severe back problems, she found exercise nearly impossible. When she heard about infrared saunas, she and her brother Daniel bought one for their store right away.

Since then, Carol, the owner of Health Works on West Victory Way, has lost 90 pounds. Daniel said one visit to the sauna is equivalent to running two or three miles and causes clients to sweat out toxins from their systems.

"The system we've created to keep ourselves as comfortable as we do creates a significant amount of pollution or toxins," he said.

Unconventional healing techniques such as this one have become increasingly popular in Craig and seem to be on the rise, Daniel said.

The sauna, called thewrightlight, penetrates the skin deeper than traditional saunas. Clients lay in the sauna while it draws out water and toxins from the skin. According to Daniel, typical saunas pull out 1 percent to 3 percent of the body's toxins, and infrared saunas pull 15 percent to 20 percent.

"It can be better for detoxification than typical saunas," he said.

The sauna also has been used for pain relief, weight loss and cancer treatment, as it has decreased the cancer cell growth rate for at least one of Daniel's clients.

He recommends clients begin the half-hour sessions once a week and see how they react. Keeping hydrated is Daniel's top recommendation for those using the sauna. He also cautions those who are pregnant or have multiple sclerosis, severe adrenal dysfunction or hemophilia to consult a doctor before undergoing the treatments.

Each session costs $10, and Daniel said he offers special deals for those purchasing multiple sessions at once.

Health Works also offers a number of foods, vitamins and other nutritional supplements, as does Naturally Fine Herbs, Yampa Avenue and Victory Way.

"About every supplement that I have here is geared toward natural healing," owner Mary Funkhouser said.

The building houses a number of alternative healing professionals, including massage therapists, a chiropractor, colon therapist, self-improvement counselors and acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist Barbara Fix.

"Working with other professionals in this building, (business is) growing because we're all working together," she said. "This is what I've been working toward for 10 years, to get us to all work together."

Fix said she decided to go to school for acupuncture after she received treatments in Steamboat Springs. She has been practicing in Craig for 1 1/2 years, and she said she sees patients for pain, thyroid issues, premenstrual syndrome and menopause.

"You can treat almost anything," she said. "It's very effective, but you have to be willing to go with the treatment."

Funkhouser also has connections with the Metaphysical Room, also on Victory Way, where clients may be led in guided meditation.

"I believe in the body, mind and spirit in healing," she said, "and all need to be addressed."

Daniel agreed and said there was something for everyone at the alternative healing sources in Craig.

"Is there anybody that isn't dealing with some aspect of toxicity in their life?" he said. "It's about finding a way to deal with the stress. If you don't, it will at some point kill you."

Michelle Perry can be reached at 824-7031 or mperry@craigdailypress.com.

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