Thursday, November 29, 2007

Holiday Feet

Here's a quick list of ways to save your feet from the holiday blues.

1. Be aware of your feet. Do not get so caught up in the rush of the season that you forget your poor feet. Stay in tune with how they are feeling and don't over ride them.

2. Take frequent breaks. Feet were not meant to stand or walk on hard surfaces for hours at a time.

3. Wear sensible shoes. Save those stylish shoes for times when you are not doing combat at the malls.

4. Interrupt stress and do it frequently. Try a reflexology session or a massage. A nice session allows your body to relax helps your feet relax as well.

5. Stretch prior to events like shopping or cooking or standing at parties. You don't have to be doing a marathon in order to get the benefit of stretching.

6. Use a trick that waitresses use. Lie on the floor and prop your feet up on a chair or coach. It helps reverse the flow of all that blood that has accumulated in your feet after a long time of standing and/or walking.

7. Break up the pattern of stress by rocking side to side. Stand with your feet about shoulder width wide. Bend your knees and rock side to side across your feet.

8. Just rub them. Really rub them to keep the circulation going. You don't have to be a professional reflexologist to get results. (But hiring one isn't a bad investment.)

9. Buy your feet a treat. A simple foot roller can do wonders and isn't costly.

10. Recruit your family. Even amateur foot-workers can make you feel better.

But above all enjoy your holidays.

Kevin Kunz

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Is the Carpal Tunnel near here?

A friend of ours was using Complete Reflexology for Life to work on his girl friend for her carpal tunnel problem. He was getting good results just using the directions in the book. Then suddenly she got a rush of "hot blood" flowing down into her hand,

What he had been working on was the sides of the two and third toes. He found it curious because it was an area that was somewhat outside of the directions for carpal tunnel and ask us how that could be.

Before we could give him an explanation he thoughtfully said, "Well that area relates to the neck for one thing. and you have been telling me how much from what she said you thought her neck was contributing."

But what really floored him was how immediate the effect was. She got instant relief the moment the blood started to rush.

I said, " Now you have your key area for controlling the problem. It will take time to condition a response so that it becomes more or less permanent but you are well along the way."

Remember to explore all the possible elements. Sometimes the most important clues are right there at your fingertips.

Kevin Kunz

Monday, November 26, 2007

A Really Dumb Move

Our bodies do a fairly good job of moving about from place to place and most of the time we really don't make a "dumb move".

I was doing a radio interview last night. I brought up something I hadn't thought about for quite awhile- "movement intelligence".

Our bodies make fairly good choices on where to move and how to move. This depends on our movement intelligence. That is all the information we pool together to make decisions and some times very quick decisions.

But movement intelligence depends on having enough information to go on. That is what I really like about reflexology. By simply stimulating your hands and feet you can improve your "movement intelligence'.

It gives you more options and better ways to react when you have to make a move.

Kevin Kunz

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Turkey Trouble

Here's a quick self help tip from Complete Reflexology for Life for overdoing the eating portion of Thanksgiving dinner.

Take a golf ball. Place it between your hands on the palms. Intertwine your fingers. Then simply roll the ball around the palms of your hands. Keep rolling until you start to feel some relief. You are rolling right on the digestive reflex area.

Now if there was only a technique for dealing with the relatives...

Happy Thanksgiving.

Kevin Kunz

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

More on Stress cues

--- In, learnecm wrote:
> Kevin,
> Thank you. Do you have any publications that talk more about the
> different stress cues like this one. I have been noticing others I
> would like to confer about.
> Thanks,
> Deb


We did two books on reading stress cues. The Complete Guide to Foot Reflexology- When we revised it we added a section on stress cues. And our original publication on treading stress cues is MyReflexologist Says Feet Don't Lie.

This is a smaller book which really was blasted, sadly on (Somebody trashed it for being too small.) Both are illustrated with sample feet.

What I like about reading stress cues is that it helps you to understand the individual. It tells you where the stress lies and allows you to much more quickly select areas for emphasis. Stress cues also gives you a stress history I think is better than a medical history for understanding the individual and their response to stress.(I actually prefer to look at medical history after I work on the individual.)

Being able to read stress cues gives your clients confidence in your skills. It also gives you a better sense of how long it will take to achieve results. And it helps you plan for getting results.

Reading stress cues is a skill worth developing. The future for me is studying large populations like Alzheimer's patients.

We think we have a stress cue connected to Alzheimer's. Statistically it is possible to see if you are in fact correct in the stress cue you have selected.

But simple memory loss I believe is also detectable.

Our photo shoot for Reflexology: Health at Your Fingertips in 2003 was in London. As you can see from this book and the DK books that follow we use an absolutely brilliant photographer.

I had worked my way through the entire crew working on feet except our photographer who was constantly busy.

I asked her if I could work on her feet. She declined as she was as usual setting something up.

But then she asked what I thought of her feet. (The photographer shoots barefooted as she wraps herself around the camera. Her feet help steady the tripod. She and the camera are one.)

"Well how is your memory?' I asked.

She was taken back and said,"You know I forget where I left the kids. How did you know?"

Do you know how I was able to tell that there was something going on with her memory without actually touching her feet? Remember this is a highly intelligent woman.

Kevin Kunz

Tip: I love doing classes on reading cues as you see a wide collection of feet. I also keep a digital camera handy. Then you can project it on screen for the crowd. And you have a record of the unusual feet you will see. And I will tell you there are usually unusual stress cues in any crowd.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Nose on the Toe

--- In, "ryanandbaby" wrote:
> Kevin, can you provide some insight on this? I had put this question
> out there earlier but not heard anything. I'm a reflexology student
> and three of my "clients" had extremely heavy callusing on the upper,
> medial portion of their big toes. Not down in the neck reflex area,
> but higher. Although none of them had mentioned it in my health
> questionnaire, upon further questioning, all three of them had
> suffered and been treated for a deviated septum. Coincidence, or is
> there something to this? I'd appreciate your insight.

This callus is what I call a stress cue. It is located at the appropriate place on the toe for an influence from a deviated septum. It could also reflect tension in the back of the head. Or it can be the whole plane passing through the head from the front to the back and all the accumulated stresses that gather there.

A deviated septum can reflect more than an injury to the nose. The nose is in a critical area just in front of the brain. Injury to the nose may involve a jolt to the brain as well. It depends on the force of the blow.

This stress cue also can reflect the brain stem. I am experimenting with this area for a variety of conditions. the brain stem is involved in a lot of issues including metabolism.

Hope this helps. Thank you for your query.

Kevin Kunz

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Cobblestone Paths Have Been Tested

What if simply by walking you could improve your blood pressure, reduce pain and gain stability. Researchers at Oregon Research Institute have shown just that with testing of senior citizens. The catch is that you need to walk on cobblestone mats.

"These are very exciting results," notes John Fisher, Ph.D., one of the lead scientists on the study. "Compared to conventional walking, the experience of walking on the river rock-like surface of these manufactured cobblestone mats improved participants' balance, measures of mobility, as well as reducing their blood pressure. These issues are highly important for preventing and delaying the onset of frailty among older adults, as well as helping them maintain their current health status. ORI Press Release

When we first encounter these mats in Tokyo in 1990 they were made out of wooden beads.The Japanese did a test using these mats. The test showed that walking on the mats not only improve blood flow to the feet but to the hands as well. Since in reflexology theory we relate the hands to the feet and vice versa it confirmed this theory.

There are many different types of mats from all over the world but these are the mats that were tested. Someday walking on mats may be a way to keep our senior citizens healthy and on their feet.

Kevin Kunz

Monday, November 12, 2007

Reflexology Paths

Reflexology Paths are paths which are designed to stimulate the reflex areas on the bottom of your feet. The paths are walked on in bare feet and consist of embedded rocks and logs to simulate the takifumi experience I mentioned in the last post.

Barbara and I first saw reflexology paths when we attend a convention in Tokyo in 1990. The first path was done at Shiseido Cosmetic factory. They did it for the health of the workers. And they had engineers study the blood flow in the feet. The engineers designed these unique pathways to stimulate each and every part of the foot.

Since then there has been an explosion of paths in Asia. Parks departments have installed them for their citizens. And condo offerings often contain a reflexology path as well as a swimming pool, clubhouse or whatever. Often government officials will attend the openings of these pathways.

They have spread from Asia to Europe with German bare footed parks that are more like nature trails and can be a couple of kilometers long.

Now they are invading the US with several being constructed. Washington State Parks Department has installed two. Aegis Living Corporation did one for their employees and Bastyr University installed one as well. A spa in San Diego built one and there are more planned.

Try these links to explore the world of Reflexology Paths
Shiseido Builds Reflexology Stroll Paths
Reflexology Paths Around the World
Taking a Virtual Stroll on Reflexology Paths in Asia
Taking a Virtual Stroll on Reflexology Paths in Europe

Next post I will talk about research into Reflexology Paths and how they have been shown to help seniors.

Kevin Kunz

Friday, November 9, 2007

Takifumi- Stepping Upon Bamboo

It is said that the ancient samurai's would go off into the bamboo groves and lop off a piece of bamboo. The samurai's would then split the bamboo piece in half. They would place the piece of bamboo on the ground with the rounded side up. They would then walk on the bamboo to build their fighting spirit. This was called takifumi or stepping on bamboo.

Takifumi is a very good exercise for the feet. All day long our feet are compressed from the forces of gravity. Walking on bamboo pushes the foot back into shape and decompresses the foot.

I also find it very good for stamina and find myself better able to balance. I also seem to require less sleep and wake up ready to go.

What if you don't have easy access to bamboo? Try a piece of 4 inch pvc pipe from the hardware store. Cut the pipe about as wide as your shoulder width and then split it in half. Place it on the floor and test it.

There are commercial takifumi devices like the one produced by Footlex (see below). The takifumi devices are molded plastic creations that are based on the takifumi tradition.

Or you can find a nice rounded river rock and step on that. Get two and make your self a set. Keep going with more rocks and you have a Reflexology Path before too long.

Reflexology Paths are spreading like a wild fire throughout Asia and Europe. These paths are just now taking hold in the US. The paths use rocks and logs to simulate the takifumi tradition and can be quite short to several kilometers long.

But like any exercise you should gradually increase the pressure. And if you have a foot problem or it hurts a lot when you try this it may not be the exercise for you. Particularly if you have a foot problem you should consult your doctor before proceeding.

The next blog I plan to talk about Reflexology Paths. Or as I like to call it "Disneyland for the Feet".

See you next time. Best of health.

Kevin Kunz

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Do You Have a Longer Second Toe? Part 2

Last blog I talked about having a longer second toe and the effects of it on the foot and body.

As you will recall a longer second toe often times means more foot stress. Foot stress can lead to stresses in other parts of the body such as the musclo-skeletal system but it can also impact your energy levels as well.

So what do you do about a longer second toe since sawing it off doesn't seem practical?

1) Good shoes are a must. You need a roomy enough toe box to allow your toe to stretch out and not collide with the tip of your shoe.

2) Rock and roll your feet. If you caught my earlier blog this is a simple exercise for breaking up the stress patterns in not only the forefoot but also the middle part of the foot where longer second toes tends to lock this joint. If you didn't catch the last blog here is a simple version.

Stand with your feet about shoulder width wide. Bend your knees slightly and rock side to side rolling over your feet. If you have problems with balance hold onto the back of a chair. (You can even use two chairs.) do it for several seconds and try to do it several times a day particularly if you are in a standing profession.

3) Calf stretches. Again I mentioned this earlier but let me repeat. The calf muscles attempt to pull the foot flat while the foot tries to maintain an arch. So loosening the calf muscles also loosening the foot as well. Stretch the calf muscles daily if not several times a day.

4) Roll your feet on a simple foot roller. Rolling your feet causes the plantar muscles (the muscles on the bottom of the foot) to relax. There are a wide variety of foot roller styles to choose from. Use your roller daily to break up the pattern of stress associated with a longer second toe. Remember interrupt the stress and do it frequently.

5) Find a good reflexologist to work on your feet. This is an investment but like good shoes it is a good investment. And it is so soothing.

Next blog I plan to talk about an ancient technique that can be very helpful with longer second toes and the stress that comes with them. It is called takifumi and it is the hottest thing in Asia right now.

Until then.

Kevin Kunz

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Do You Have a Longer Second Toe? Part 1

We once submitted a book proposal with this title after observing how many people with a longer second toe showed up at foot reflexology demonstrations. They would circle the demonstration and swoop in when they saw an opening.

Many people have longer second toes. It is referred to as a Morton's toe after a foot anatomist named Morton. (It is a great honor to have a toe named after you,) The figures vary widely on how many people have it but it seems to be more common certain ethnic groups. And there are real problems with this set up for modern kind.

It is something you can blame on your parents and get away with it. It is genetic. A longer second toe is caused by the arrangements the bones in the foot called the metatarsal bones. It isn't the toe bones themselves but the bones in the body of the foot itself.

The second metatarsal bone is longer than the first metatarsal bone. It simply juts the toe outward. This probably would not be a problem if you were in the wild. But shoes cause complications with a Morton's Toe.

Shoes cause pressure along the long arch or longitudinal arch of the foot. Feet tend to fatigue with this type of pressure. But Morton's Toe also places pressure under the second toe on the ball of the foot. There is often a characteristic callus there.

There are often energy problems associated with a Morton's toe because the foot locks in response right over the pancreas/ adrenal reflex area. People who have the Morton's Toe and have locked across the middle of the foot often have a bump on the top of there foot.

I start asking questions when I see the bump. "How is your energy?" is my first question.

There are three varieties of energy responses. Some people are high energy and on the go all the times. Then there are people who have sudden drops of energy at 3 or 4 PM like clockwork.

Then there is the third category who used to be high energy but suddenly their get up and go got up and went. They were very active for years until things seem to spiral downhill.

In part 2 of "Do you have a longer second toe?" I plan to talk about ways to counter the affects of a longer second toe.

Kevin Kunz

Monday, November 5, 2007

Jan's 90th Birthday

We had a pleasant Sunday celebrating our friend Jan's 90th birthday. Jan actually got me into reflexology in 1976. Reflexology had been a hobby of mine up to this point.

Then Janey, her daughter, was involved in a head on accident. Janey was brain injured and lost use of one side. She also lost some speech.

Jan wanted to take a course to help Janey and wanted me to take it with her. We took the class together. It started a long chain of events that led to my reflexology practice. Then I taught reflexology on a nation level and finally we publish our very first book.

Jan and Rol Schneider helped us with our very first book, The Complete Guide to Foot Reflexology back in 1979. We would go to their house to shoot photos and the kitchen was our photographic studio. Jan would make coffee and hold the drop light. Rol (who has passed on since) was our photographer. Barbara who then take those photos and make her now famous illustrations.

But it was more than the photos. Jan and Rol also gave us moral support. The first book wasn't easy. We had never published before. But Jan and Rol were always there for us.

As I sat next to Jan and reminisce about our long reflexology career it suddenly dawned on me how many people in that room alone she had an effect on with her pursuit on reflexology. There was her son who had experienced lime poisoning so severe the Poison Control people were calling him back every four hours. There was her sister-in-law who was one of my clients. There was her daughter, Jill who I have worked on countless times.

But it wasn't just my impact. Jan also worked on people like Linda who was sitting at our table. Linda had a very severe back pain while going through pregnancy. Jan both worked on her and also showed her some things to do for self help. As Linda drove away from Jan's house her back snapped back into place and she was fine.

Then there was Janey. The doctors told Janey after her horrific accident she would never live independently much less go back to work. She did both.

She retired after a long career at teaching and still substitutes from time to time.

And Janey got up and gave a short speech at her mother's birthday to thank everyone for coming. Who could tell her speech was effected.

That is not even considering the many people Jan helped without actually knowing them. We get letters, emails and so forth from people who tell us how much our books have helped them. What would have happened if Jan hadn't been there to encourage us on.

So happy 90th birthday, Jan. Pass it on.

Kevin Kunz

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Complete Reflexology for Life

I ran across this very nice blog this morning and thought I would share it.

Kevin Kunz

Complete Reflexology for Life

Having this past month off from blogging, gave me the opportunity to investigate new publications on reflexology.

I’ve got to tell you folks, I was so impressed with this recently published reflexology reference book by Barbara & Kevin Kunz, that I felt the need to share it with you.

I own several of their other publications; however, the beauty of this particular book, is the fact that it’s like an encyclopedia of most of their works combined.
Not only does it contain information on foot reflexology, but also hand reflexology as well.

It blew me away!

The illustrations and information are clear, precise, and easy to understand.
Not only is it beneficial for the novice, but also the professional as well.
It definately taught me a plethora of some new knowledge!

Book Highlights
*The principles and techniques of reflexology
*Self-help sessions and treatments for any stage of life
*Effective ways to treat health concerns
*Treatments for personal and professional use
*The use of self-help foot tools
*Proper foot care
*Teaches you how to easily incorporate reflexology into your daily life.

As a professional…I highly recommend investigating this book.
You can either purchase it at your local bookstore, or you can visit Barbara & Kevin ; where they can direct you on how to order it online.
It’s one of those books you’ll be able to use for the rest of your life!
So enjoy it…and be well.

Ron, C.R. aka solework
Ron's Blog