Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Can reflexology save the health care system?

© briank. Image from

Recently the quackbusters in England have been raving about complementary therapies. The question is whether the NHS is hurting the health care system by taking away from other "proven therapies" money that could be better spent. The argument goes that if you are spending money on things like reflexology you are taking away from things like chemotherapy. Not a proven point but one that allows them to rave on.

This started me started thinking about how in fact reflexology could be used to help save the health care system. If you use cost as a factor than the less time a person spends in the hospital the more the savings. If reflexology could cut the time spent in the hospital the cost savings could be major money.

When we first published The Complete Guide to Foot Reflexology we worked with a printer who weight in at over 400 pounds. Dick went in for a stomach stapling operation to try to save him from his morbid obesity. He almost died.

In fact, the doctor expected that the next call he received was that Dick was dead. To make a long story short I went in and worked on him several times a day in an effort to see if I could help. Dick made it. His aunt, a former nurse, could see that I had an impact on his vital signs as she was monitoring him.

But here is the kicker. Not only did Dick recover but he did it in record time. Normally at this time the projected stay in the hospital for a stomach stapling operation was seven days. Dick made it out in 5 days.

Okay so this was an isolated incident. But there have been others. The most dramatic was an AIDS patient who was going to be recovering from a gall bladder operation for at least 4 or 5 more days. He was very sad because when I saw him it was his birthday and who wants to spend their birthday in the hospital.

They released him that day. I was a bit shocked but he apparently met the criteria for release. And he had a very happy birthday.

Imagine the cost savings of each of these cases (much less the human element). If reflexology could help lower health costs by cutting the time spent in hospitals what would the savings be. And imagine the cost savings for an AIDS patient in a special AIDS ward.

Now this would be easy to test in a controlled way. All you have to do is have one group receive reflexology and then have a controlled group that doesn't. Then see if in fact the patients left the hospital earlier. Pretty simple. Or if you are a quackbuster you can continue to rave on.

How can you see reflexology helping to save the health care system? Let me know your thoughts.

Kevin Kunz

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