By McKenna Horsley and Hannah Brown
Frankfort locals have several options to put them on a path to healing. They just have to look in their own neighborhood.
Several practices and businesses in the town highlight complementary medicine, or medicine that is used in conjunction with conventional medicine.
Over the past decade, using alternative or complementary medicine has been on the rise in America. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, about 30% of adults and 12% of children use approaches to health care that are not typically part of conventional medical care or have origins outside of Western Medicine.
Using natural products, like herbs, vitamins, minerals and probiotics, is one of the most common forms of complementary medicine. Other practices that are popular include deep breathing techniques, yoga, chiropractic manipulation, mediation or massage, the center reports.
To explore how Eastern medicine could help alleviate various conditions, The Light Clinic offers services like acupuncture, herbal medicine, CranioSacral therapy, family constellation work, art therapy, dream work and more, as well as groups for meditation instruction, workshops and retreats.
The practice is operated by Dr. Joseph Fiala, L.Ac. and Dr. Emaline Gray, L.Ac., who are both licensed acupuncturists. The Light Clinic, which is housed in the McClure Building on the corner of St. Clair and West Main streets, opened in 2010.
Combining Eastern and Western Medicine is still relatively new for many Western patients, but it is an integration that has been well on its way in recent years, Fiala said.
Acupuncture, which involves the insertion of thin needles into strategic body points, is all about circulation and blood flow, Fiala said. If someone experiences pain, it is often associated with diminished blood flow to the area. Acupuncture restores circulation and heals the nervous system, which typically leads to immediate relief, he said.
For those who may be skeptical, the results speak for themselves, Fiala said.
Most referrals to the clinic come from medical doctors and a majority of patients report feeling relief soon after their first visit. Walking through the door for the first time is often the hardest part, he said.
“We love to see difficult cases. The more you have going on, the more mind-blown you are when the pain goes away,” he said. “I love to see the look on someone’s face when that happens for the first time in 20 years. It is truly a gift to be able to work with people in this way.”
Wicked Glass and Wanderlust Designs takes a more spiritual approach to self-care and complementary medicine.
The store is located on West Main Street, near the corner of St. Clair. Owners Belinda Davis-Lesniak and Nick Lesniak opened the business October 2019 after selling products at various holistic healing events and markets. They previously had a storefront in Lexington, but opted to move to Frankfort for the space beneath Otis Engineering.
“Self-care is a great thing because if you don’t take care of you then you are going to be down and you can’t help other people,” Davis-Lesniak said.
The storefront offers a wide range of products like crystals, healing stones, sage, incense, herbs, essential oils, bath fizzies, as well as things that aren’t in the healing realm, like stickers, embroidered house items with snarky sayings and more. Providing products that are sustainable is something important to the business, Davis-Lesniak said. She is also open to customer suggestions.
Wicked Glass also offers some in-house services and classes on various topics such as vision boards, stones, crystals and chakras. A regular event at the store is Shamanic consultations by JoAnna Dickey, of Richmond, who performs a variety of healing services like consultations, Reiki training and chakra aligning.
Davis-Lesniak said that she wants the store to be inviting to everyone of all backgrounds. Wicked Glass is a place where people can be themselves, she said.
“We have people from all walks of faith — Christian, Buddhist, people who don’t consider themselves with the metaphysical world,” Davis-Lesniak said.
Classes will have limited space and those interested can register at the store’s website, www.wickedwanderlust.com.
Right next door to Wicked Glass, at 236 W. Main St., is Self-Care Solution, which focuses on healing the mind, body and soul with natural methods.
At Self-Care Solution, healing is first focused on the mind. There are two psychologists on staff who offer counseling.
Self-Care Solution is a non-profit funded through MinorityFamilies.org, executive assistant Brittany Thompson said. However, they see anyone who walks through their doors.
“We take pride in offering low income minority families access to alternative counseling,” Thompson said, but their services are available to anyone of any race or age regardless if they have insurance or not.
For those without insurance, sessions will be provided at a low cost. Those with insurance do not have a copay.
“Along with therapy, we offer roundabout care,” Thompson said. “We have caseworkers and peer support specialists who provide maintenance care to clients in between the time they see the clinicians.”
Clients receive a personalized aromatherapy kit and access to virtual yoga classes they can do at home. Clients can also learn about essential oils that match their moods and attend art therapy classes.
Self-Care Solution also offers weight management and nutrition counseling.
In their storefront they sell essential oils, body butters, Epson salts, ear candles, tea, CBD products and more.
“We’re just offering whatever is therapeutic to you,” Thompson said. “It’s a place where you can go and be yourself. You come as you are and don’t be self-conscious. We help you get to where you want to be and we have fun in that process.”
Just down from The Light Clinic on St. Clair, is Vibrant Life, which offers a variety of alternative healing methods including Reiki, Ayurveda, crystal healing, spirit guide sessions and more. Teas, healing stones and more are sold in the storefront of Vibrant Life.
“Our bodies, hearts and minds have an amazing capacity to heal when supported in a positive way,” owner Shannon Gale said. “The alternative healing methods we employ at Vibrant Life are always empowering to the patient, and they build strength, happiness and wellbeing without unwanted side effects.
“They are even beneficial in mitigating the side effects of some conventional medical treatments, serving as a nice complement to a full health plan.”
Donna Schartung, a master healer for Reiki, said Reiki “is a laying of hands for healing.”
“Energy comes from God the creator through the practitioner into the client,” Schartung said. “It heals what needs to be healed.”
Schartung said she incorporates prayer into her Reiki sessions as well, so she is not only healing, but she’s putting love into the person as well.
“To me, it’s just channeling the Holy Spirit into them to heal,” she said. “Prayer helps whether a person believes in it or not.”