BENSON — After three cryotherapy treatments to an injured left knee, Cindy Allen is already noticing a reduction in pain, swelling and inflammation.
Allen’s treatments are being done by Christine O’Hara, who recently started Live in Harmony, a new holistic healing business. O’Hara performs treatments in a space she is renting at the Clip Cut ‘n’ Polish beauty salon, 384 E. Fourth St.
Certified in reflexology and auriculotherapy (ear seeds therapy) treatments, O’Hara learned the art of cryotherapy while studying sports medicine at New Hampshire Technical Institute.
“I’m amazed by how quickly my knee started improving,” said Allen, whose injury happened in January 2020. “I have a torn meniscus and a stress fracture to this knee, and it can get extremely painful.”
Cryotherapy is a cold therapy often used in sports medicine for treating a number of injuries, O’Hara said.
“I do spot cryotherapy, which means my treatments are done on targeted areas of the body that are inflamed and painful.”
In Allen’s case, her left knee was treated with a continuous cold flow of water and ice generated through a special machine for 30 minutes.
Cryotherapy works by constricting blood vessels in the area being treated, thereby decreasing inflammation.
Reflexology is the application of pressure to areas of the feet or hands to reduce pain and such psychological symptoms as stress and anxiety, explained O’Hara, who added that the treatment is also used to help with relaxation and sleep. It’s also used for chronic pain such as fibromyalgia.
“Pressure applied to different areas of the foot corresponds to specific points on the person’s body to help with relaxation and healing,” O’Hara said.
“When I take a person’s information for reflexology treatments, I ask them where their pain is coming from, whether they have heart conditions, what kinds of medications they’re on, and what kind of vitamins or minerals they’re taking,” she said. “This background information is important because there are certain conditions that do not warrant reflexology.”
O’Hara uses a special foot chart to guide her as she applies pressure to specific areas of her client’s feet.
“I go over the reflexology chart with the client so they understand where I’m going to be touching them during the treatment,” she said. “Some people have very sensitive feet, so I want them to know where I’m going to be applying pressure to prepare them for it.”
Before starting the process, O’Hara uses a special machine on her clients’ feet that kneads or massages them for about five or 10 minutes prior to the hands-on reflexology treatment.
“One of my clients was having pain in his right hip as well as sinus issues,” she said. “After I found the corresponding location on his feet, I worked on that area to relieve his symptoms.”
O’Hara also uses ear seeds therapy, or auriculotherapy, to help alleviate such conditions as migraines, vertigo and sinus problems, to name a few.
“Ear seeds are tiny seeds that are placed on certain points of the ear to clear blockages that could be causing health conditions,” O’Hara said while showing a model of an ear marked with different pressure points.
There are five main pressure points that help alleviate different conditions, she noted.
Clients she’s helped by using ear seeds therapy have found relief from migraines, vertigo and depression, she said.
“Ear seeding is a form of auriculotherapy that comes from the ancient Chinese tradition of acupuncture and acupressure.
“I’m really excited about having my own space where I can use these holistic healing treatments to help people who are going through pain, anxiety and other conditions.”