Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Reflexology as effective as nasal irrigation

© Diva N Focus. Image from

Thought this was interesting.
Kevin Kunz

"Reflexology massage" was found to be as effective as nasal irrigation for alleviation of chronic sinusitis in a University of Wisconsin School of Medicine study. Dr. Andrew Weil's Self Healing reports that "After two weeks of daily treatment, more than 70 percent of those who practiced either form of nasal douching (with hypertonic saline)reported improved symptoms. But surprisingly, the group that practiced reflexology massage - where pressure is applied to the feet or hands but may produce changes elsewhere in the body - appeared to fare equally well. The unexpected results for this technique may prompt further research." ("The Saline Solution?," Self Healing, January 2002, page 2) "Overall, 36 percent of subjects reported decreased use of sinus medication (decongestants, antihistamines, pain relievers, and nasal sprays) during the study with no measurable difference between the three groups."

(Diane G. Heatley, Kari E. McConnell, Tony L. Kille and Glen E. Leverson,"Nasal irrigation for the alleviation of sinonasal symptoms," Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery , Volume 125, Issue 1, July 2001, Pages 44-48

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Mother's Day Presents

It is almost Mother's Day and you are stuck for a present. There are flowers, candies and the like.

But what would really please your Mom is a little relief from her tired aching feet and hands. So let me present you this infomercial (hey, I don't get paid to write this blog so don't complain. Besides your Mom would approve.)

Present idea #1 - Rub her feet and hands. I know this may not be your cup of tea but she put up with you all those years. Give her a little tender loving care. She deserves it.

You might buy a wonderful book on reflexology like Complete Reflexology for Life to study some techniques. (Again a little self promotion on my part isn't all bad.) Start out with a few simple "desserts". (See pages 78-83 for the feet, pages 122-125 for the hands.)

Work up to some more involved techniques like thumb walking. (See pages 72-73) Don't worry about speed just go slowly and thoroughly. It has a great effect.

Present idea #2 Give her a reflexology kit. There is a good one I know called Total Reflexology kit (okay so I am pushing the self promotion a bit.) It contains everything you need for a reflexology self help session. There are reflexology socks, gloves, a foot roller, a reflex ball, charts and a 160 page book at a very nice price.

Present idea #3 Give her a Reflexology Deck which has 52 cards from the bestselling title, Reflexology: Health at Your Fingertips. It gives her the ability to study reflexology wherever she is and the deck fits so conveniently in her purse.

Present Idea #4 Give her a combination of the above. Complete Reflexology for Life for instance goes very well with the Reflexology Deck. Or combine the Total Reflexology kit with the Reflexology Deck.

Now don't delay. This is your Mom we are talking about.

Happy Mother's Day.

Kevin Kunz

Monday, April 28, 2008

Hurts so good

I have had people describe my work as "it hurts good". But I never took reflexology to the level that this brave soul took it. Perhaps the fact that that he never experienced the true effects of reflexology is that he indulge in "spa reflexology" which tends to be more like a foot massage.

"You see, reflexology, at least based on my experience in high-end spas in the West, is a wee bit of pampering -- a nice, pleasant little foot rub administered with tender love and care to aching feet on special occasions. It’s supposed to be a treat. Not that folks who practice reflexology in the West don’t believe in its ancient healing effects; they just don’t torture you in the process. (Might have something to do with wanting repeat business.)"

Kevin Kunz

Hurts so good: Global adventures in Asian reflexology By Kevin Raub, American Way Magazine, ISSUE: April 15, 2008

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Reflexology vs Romberg's Syndrome

This is a very interesting read.

I never get tired of reading these personal experience stories. I don't really think of them as testimonials as they are about a person's personal experience with reflexology and not really written to give testimony about it.

Kevin Kunz

Thursday, April 24, 2008

What if you could do your own reflexology program?

What if you could do a show on reflexology? What would you do? This is in response to the rather unflattering BBC Presentation.

This is Helen's suggestion.

Thanks Helen. This would make a great segment. I was really touched. I am
forwarding this to the BBC.

Kevin Kunz
Kevin - I'd love them to follow me round the residential homes where
I treat clients with dementia and adults with severe learning
disabilities (including non-verbal communicators and those
with "challenging behaviour")and see the positive difference
Reflexology makes to their lives. How when I enter the room client A
stops what he is doing and physically struggles to overcome his
mobility difficulties to enthusiastically walk with me - he wants to
be the first to have his feet done. Holding my old fashioned tape
player his face lights up with pleasure as I work on his feet and he
listens to the music before falling in to a deep sleep.I'd like them
to film client B who proudly prepares his feet for his treatment in
eager anticipation - no easy matter as he removes leg braces and
special boots (help refused) or client C who is like a child in a
man's body, his deafness means he has a special "interest" in the
rhythm of my movements across his feet - yesterday I heard him laugh
for the first time. And then I'd like them to film the pleasure on my
face as I experience once again that amazing feeling that I have the
best "job" in the WORLD!! I'm off now to soothe my son's feet - he is
running in the Madrid marathon (time to be a proud mum). Happy
posting - catch up with everybodys news soon. This is such a great
forum - thanks Kevin.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Reflexology Takes Broadside from the BBC

The reflexology segment of the "Alternative Therapies" series broadcast March 24, 2008 on BBC presented an uncomplimentary view of the subject. We have suggestions for programming that would take a more fair and factual look at reflexology. Certainly television programs aim to entertain and to present a visually interesting report. We've thought about that too.

Here's our take on reflexology program that would provide to viewers insightful and informative knowledge about the subject.

Read More

What would you present?

Kevin Kunz

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Reflexology Effect on Spinal Cord Injury

Dear Sir:

I'm not sure if you will be able to help me. I would like to know if you have any info on the effects of reflexology and people who have had severe spinal damage. I have a client who has been in a wheel chair for 16 years. He was healthy until the accident. His spinal cord was not severed but badly crushed and he has had 2 operation to fuse together his T12 and L1 and also some work done on his 3rd and 4th L. I have been working on his feet since the end of December, 2007 once a week, but he has had, right from the first treatment, tingling, twitching and burning sensations in his legs. At first they only lasted an hour or two but lately they are continuing to last almost up to the next treatment. Many times the sensations are in the same area as before, but many times they seem to be in different places. Before working on my client he said he had never felt anything below the knee except for in his feet, but he has had burning and tingnling in his calf muscle on the right the leg.

Do you have any research or any information that can help me understand better what might be happening with my client, if there are areas I should be concentrating on or techniques that would be more effective? Any information would be a great help I'm sure.

Thank You.

Certified Reflexologist


Try Pay particular attention to the eye-ear reflex area at the base of the toes. Functional MRI studies now show that this is an integrative area that brings a lot of areas together. It was a critical area with activating the "crossover effect". This is when working on one foot makes the other foot move. In the case of quadriplegia it can be the opposite hand.

We aren't sure that the "crossover effect" is present or if necessary for progress in all paralysis cases. But the movement became more sophisticated overtime implying some type of programming was going on.

There may be periods of increased spasming. He may be disturbed by this and want to quit. But it does seem to be part of the process.

Our points of emphasis list includes the eye-ear, head-neck and spinal reflex areas. The area along the spinal reflex area at the point of the injury (in this case T12 and L1) can be quite rough and as stimulating as the eye-ear reflex area. It is critical to locate and pay attention to this area.

You are in uncharted areas. We had some effect on all our paralysis clients. But they never had sensations in their feet to begin with.

Stay in touch. It is hard to say where this will end up but we found it kept them healthy above all else.

All the best,
Kevin Kunz

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Reflexology is Rubbish

Friend of ours went to a job counselor in the UK. He asked if he could train as a reflexologist. The job counselor told him not to train as a reflexologist. She told him it was rubbish and a passing fad.

The irony of this is that our friend had his life saved with reflexology. It turns out that he has a rare genetic disorder whose only symptom is sudden cardiac death. He had been revived using reflexology and was fitted with a defibrillator to protect him from the next attack.

He was at the job counselor's office because he could no longer do his occupation of bricklaying. The defibrillator prevent him from doing this and he was seeking a new line of work. Needless to say he wasn't impressed with the job counselor's point of view.

Kevin Kunz

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Reflexology For the Cancer Patient

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Integrative Medicine Service is offering a workshop on Reflexology for the Cancer Patient: An Integrative Oncology Seminar for Licensed/Certified Reflexologists. This is really exciting.

The only problem is that this seminar is being held in New York State.

New York State for decades has barred trained, qualified reflexologist from practicing unless they have a massage license. Now the New York State "reflexologist" needs absolutely no training in reflexology and can claim they are qualified as long as they have a massage license.

What is the outcome? Usually you get a foot massage and not reflexology in New York State. They are doing this to protect their citizens. At least that is their claim.

So I am curious what this seminar will present. Foot massage or reflexology?

I won't be able to find out. I am not qualified to attend.

Kevin Kunz

Monday, April 14, 2008

A Good Day

I have a new client with neuropathy due to diabetes. I worked on him last week and it looked like tough going. His feet were about the stiffest I had ever seen.

Today when I worked on him I noticed he reacted when I applied pressure on the tailbone area. So I concentrated on the tailbone area a little more. The foot started to loosen up. The same thing happened with the other foot.

Working the rim of the heel is good for loosening the foot in general. But I had never really spent that much time on it with other diabetics.

As he was leaving he showed me how he could lift his leg which had not been possible before. He was cautious but encouraged.

We have a long way to go but I learn something new from reflexology all the time. That is what makes it so darn interesting.

A good day.

Kevin Kunz

To work the tailbone area use thumbwalking along the inside rim of the foot. For further instruction see P95 in Complete Reflexology for Life.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Reflexology as a green technology

© efras. Image from

This morning I ran into an article about how our publisher DK/Penguin was planning at least to go partially green. When you think about it publishing does effect our environment with the demands of paper and the processes that go with it.

That started me thinking about how green is reflexology.

Reflexology is pretty green when you get down to it. The environmental footprint of a reflexologist is very light. There are no harmful chemicals and no medical waste. . There are no fumes or toxic chemicals released.

About the only thing is the energy used to light one's office or keep it heated or cooled. Some paperwork does consume paper products. And if you do house calls there are some greenhouse gases released from your automobile.

But compared to other practices reflexology doesn't really hold a candle to them.

Kevin Kunz

Monday, April 7, 2008

Chemotherapy and Reflexology

Chemotherapy and Reflexology

Our friend, Sara, called up for advice. She is a nursing student and one of her patients was asking about nausea, a common side effect of chemotherapy.

Sara called us up because she had heard us talking about it in relationship to reflexology. There is about 16-20 studies now on reflexology and chemotherapy that show positive results with nausea.

Sara asked where should I show them to work. We went to the research.

The procedure is to work lightly and never more than thirty minutes. The emphasis is on relaxation so the one study's routine started out with "desserts" or relaxation techniques including "side to side" and "hook in the ankle". Also the solar plexus reflex area is a good overall relaxing area. See The Complete Guide to Foot Reflexology or .

Sara asked if the solar plexus was on the Interactive Reflexology Charts. It is.

The next question is where do you work besides the solar plexus. The answer according to the research is to work the whole foot but with emphasis on the part of the body effected by the cancer. In this case it was colon- rectal cancer.

There should also be emphasis on the pituitary, thyroid and adrenal reflex areas to boost the immune system. These are endocrine glands.

I mentioned that there was some very interesting research saying that hospitals should teach the partners of cancer patients to do reflexology. Sara replied, "that is what I am doing."

If anyone can do it Sara can.

Kevin Kunz

Friday, April 4, 2008

Truthiness and the BBC

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Truthiness is a word that U.S. television comedian Stephen Colbert popularized in 2005 as a satirical term to describe things that a person claims to know intuitively or "from the gut" without regard to evidence, logic, intellectual examination, or facts. From Wikipedia

I grew up with a certain amount of truthiness. Living around physicists I learned that truthiness despite claims to the contrary was quite prevalent in the sciences. I didn't have a name for it back then but frequently emotion was present as reason because a scientist just knows these things.

Dr. Kathy Sykes, a physicist, on a recent BBC broadcast on reflexology demonstrated truthiness quite well. As a scientist she knows all about reflexology and it's research. She took 15 research studies and dismissed them with a wave of her hand.

The only problem with this form of truthiness is I corresponded with her BBC executive producer, Matthew Barrett, who assured me that these studies were taken from PubMed, a service of Medline. Medline is a database based on NIH standards which happen to be the highest in the world. These are the peer reviewed journals of medicine not reflexology.

That means that Dr. Sykes, a physicist, dismissed 15 studies done to NIH standards even though she is not a medical researcher of any sort. She just "knew" what was right and what is wrong. This is definitely a time saver.

The ironic part of this is that this truthiness about comes at a point where BBC is shutting down their Complementary Therapies division of their web site. Rumor has it that the BBC folded in response to the skeptics. (I know that this is true because of my gut feelings therefore it is true.)

While I have met some real fine skeptics there are many legions of skeptics that are firm practitioners of truthiness. They have whole forums where they reinforce their truthiness by being able to just know what is truth and what is fiction. And as long as more than one skeptic says it is true it has to be true.

Funny thing, the BBC refused to let me do a rebuttal. They just knew their report was fair and balanced. Truthiness in action.

Kevin Kunz

Thursday, April 3, 2008

NO, you are not going to have a heart attack!

© gualtiero boffi. Image from

"While studying my hand I noticed some tenderness in the heart and arteries area." So started a post to Yahoo Answers. The post ended with the writer being scared that what had been found using a hand chart could be a heart attack waiting to happen.

I get these queries all the time. I also try to answer them when I see them on the Internet. Charts do have their drawbacks. They aren't diagnostic tools.

Here is my answer to the poor person with the hand chart from Yahoo Answers.


Don't panic. Tenderness is not always a sign there is something wrong. It is simply a stress cue. That means there is stress in an area. And quite simply it could simply be stress in that part of your hand. Whether it reflects stress in another part of the body takes a skilled reflexologist.

Here is why it is necessary to panic. Reflexology hasn't been developed as a diagnostic tool. And self diagnosis is one of the worst things to do. I get letters like this all the time.

Second when you look at a reflexology chart it isn't simply the heart it is also the surrounding area. The heart overlaps with a number areas like the chest, lungs, and upper back.

The stress cue may be reflecting a number of these areas. I have had people strain a muscle in their back and it is reflected in a stress cue in the hand.

Is this a heart problem? No but that is why I tell people not to go to a reflexologist for a medical diagnosis.

Now if you are looking to find where stress lies in the body we are not bad at that. But that takes a series of questions as well.

Third the simple solution that is mostly for your piece of mind is to get a conventional medical exam. Nothing wrong with that. We all need regular monitoring and not because of soreness in our hands.

Believe me in my 32 years of reflexology practice I have not run across someone who has used a chart on their own and found a serious disorder.

One final note there are several types of pain. Acute problems usually are extremely sensitive to the touch not just sore.

Hope this helps.

Kevin Kunz