Merriam-Webster defines “innovation” as “introducing or using new ideas or methods,” an apt description of what one finds inside Innovative Body Recovery, a new Meridian facility offering high-tech treatments for age-old ailments.
Micah Kim, director of operations at the center at 11960 Lioness Way, in northern Douglas County, said he’s never liked visiting doctors.
“I don’t like going to the hospital or taking medicine,” Kim said.
More than a year ago, Kim injured his back and went to Dallas for an unusual treatment. He tried cryotherapy, standing in a chamber and getting blasted with cold nitrogen gas, and the pain went away.
The experience gave him and two business associates an idea for a business that would help people heal while turning a profit.
Micah, his brother Rocky, and business associate Shankar Ramakrishnan spent a year researching different therapeutic technologies before deciding to invest in a cryotherapy chamber, lasers and inflatable body wraps. In November, they opened their doors.
“I’ve always been into alternative therapies, diet trends and so on,” said Ramakrishnan, a wireless technologies engineer with AT&T. “I don’t put pills into my body unless it is absolutely necessary.”
In addition to cryotherapy, they offer air compression therapy — a vinyl suit filled with compressed air to squeeze the legs or arms — for tension relief and circulation. Also on the menu are full-body and localized light therapy treatments that zap clients with infrared laser light to treat conditions like depression, PTSD, attention deficit disorder and other cognitive issues.
Ramakrishnan cautions clients that the treatments aren’t cures. He also acknowledges that the though the FDA has approved compression therapy and the treadmill, it hasn’t approved cryotherapy or laser therapy.
Aron Yustein, M.D., medical officer in the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, wrote a July report stating there is “little evidence about (cryotherapy’s) safety or effectiveness in treating the conditions for which it is being promoted.”
Research Director Janet Bogle, a registered nurse, said she was doubtful of the treatment’s benefits until clients she met at a Cincinnati cryotherapy clinic convinced her that it works.
“I have two master’s (degrees) in health care, and I don’t want to jeopardize those,” she said.
Bogle, Kim and Ramakrishnan also said skeptics are welcome to try any treatment free of charge.
Jasmine Hufford, a 22-year-old student from Parker, took them up on the offer. After surgery left her with recurrent pain, Hufford researched drug-free alternatives and discovered cryotherapy.
“I was (skeptical), I mean you’re getting frozen at negative 240 degrees,” Hufford said.
Despite her initial concerns, she goes in three times a week.
“My pain is less frequently recurrent and the pain is less intense when it does come back,” she said.
Another client, 23-year-old Lassana Toure of Centennial, said he uses all of the treatments at the center, especially cryotherapy to relieve pain after workouts. He said he’s not concerned that the FDA doesn’t endorse the treatment.
“Personally, I would rather try it for myself to see if it works or not,” he said. “And it does work.”