Thursday, February 26, 2009

I am exhausted!!!

I have been in a running conversation on Facebook all day long talking about what is going on in Australia. I didn't blog yesterday because I was suddenly approached by the Reflexology Association of Australia. They are apparently applying to become a part of the health care system. They wanted to use our latest research publication, Evidence-Based Reflexology for Health Professionals and Researchers to send to the Health Ministry as back up to their application.

I mentioned this on Facebook which set off a day long conversation about what is going to be need to be included in the health care system of any country. You can't blame people who aren't researchers to understand this issues so here is a short primer.

1) You need evidenced based research. That means the studies are done to scientific standards and that the studies show evidence that reflexology is effective for certain conditions i.e. diabetes.

2) The gold standard of research is double blind, controlled studies. But there are other credible research studies.

3) The studies to be considered legitimate they need to be in peer reviewed journals. That means they have a review board of professionals that review the studies to make sure the studies meet scientific standards.

These are tough standards but the good news is that there is quite a bit of evidence based research on reflexology. And it has appeared in peer reviewed journals.

Kevin Kunz

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Million (More) Reflexologists

Launched a very exciting newsletter. The Chinese estimate there are 4 million reflexologists in mainland China. They don't think that is enough. They think they need at least a half a million to a million more. I put the newsletter up on

Enjoy and let me know what you think.

Kevin Kunz

Monday, February 23, 2009

Ringing in the Ears

A left human ear. David Benbennick took this photograph today, March 14, 2005.

This post was placed on the Reflexology Community. Thought this might be of interest.

"I was on the phone with my pharmacist to see if the hissing sound in my
ears was tinnitus caused by new medication I'm taking. (She thought it
was more likely the one that I just got off.)
Anyway, I opened up my reflexology reference book under tinnitus and it
said to work the web between the pinky and ring fingers. Was that ever
sore! Within five minutes the hissing was gone (it's been worsening
over the past few weeks) although the reflex was still very sore.
Right away I noticed that my ears felt warm, as if I had been rubbing
them into circulation although I hadn't touched them!
Isn't that wild?! I love my "Complete Reflexology for Life"!"


Makes writing books worthwhile.

Kevin Kunz

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Wii-habilitation 'could prevent elderly from falls' -

Playing the Nintendo Wii Fit could improve balance and help avoid falls in seniors, researchers taking part in a new study suggest.

Researchers in Aberdeen think playing Wii Fit may improve the elderly's balance and lower risks of falling.

The University of Aberdeen, Scotland and the UK's National Health Service (NHS) have embarked on a four month study on people over 70 to observe any changes in balance after regular use of the Wii Fit.

I love the title WII-habilitation. Years ago they used video games with kids recovering from cancer. It was supposed to help them visualize destroying the bad cells. I am not sure how well it worked but it was definitely innovative.

But why not use games to develop our much neglected sense of balance. We were taught in school there are 5 senses like that was true. The sense of balance was ignored. But try anything with a thrown off sense of balance and life becomes a living hell very quickly. The world goes topsy turvy instantly.

The foot is linked in tightly to the balance system. I have used the WII Fit system with a great deal of interest. The platform you stand on detects your minute shifts in weight and registers them in the game you are playing. The Wii Fit system also measures your balance giving you feedback as to where your balance weaknesses lie.

But the best part is that it is fun. You can use your head to bounce back soccer balls while avoiding flying shoes and panda heads and improve your balance at the same time. Or you can ski your way to better balance. There is a whole category for balance alone.

The foot becomes smarter in the process. It learns to make small movements and not to overreact. It's adaptation to changes in balance become less rigid and smoother in response. That has to be good for the brain/ foot connection.

That is where we become weak with age. Our brains lose connection with the feet and the feet lose connection with the brain. The estimates on the cost of falls are in the billions. It is the leading cause of death among seniors.

I hope WII-habilitation becomes a craze among seniors and younger folks as well. It is not just the economic costs but the terrible human costs that must be considered.

Kevin Kunz

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

New Markets Reflexologists Ought to Consider

© vtupinamba. Image from

I was talking to a good friend of mine from college last night. She is high up in a major advertising company. We were talking about the growing markets in reflexology. It was kind of a surprise to me that the "tired feet" market hadn't occurred to my friend. With her sophisticated marketing knowledge the idea that people will come to reflexologists not just for a health concern but also for their tired feet didn't cross her mind. 

It reminded me of one of my clients who was a real success story. She was a music teacher who was having trouble standing because her feet hurt her so much. Her job was in jeopardy.

I both worked on her and taught her some self help techniques. She ended up rolling her feet on those sticks you bang together to make rhythmic music (I forget what they are called). She wrote me a very touching letter about how I had saved her and her job. 

I explained to my friend that people do come to reflexologists for their health concerns. But there are a percentage that come for their tired feet. That started me thinking about other reasons people come to see reflexologists. 

There are people who use reflexology to help them keep fit. In fact, the Foot Reflexology Awareness Association in California worked with the athletes from the Police Olympics in California. 

The Chinese in fact consider reflexology as a form of fitness. They look at reflexology not just for athletes but for young and old to build their strength and stamina. They see it as a way to cut health care costs. 

Here are the markets I see:

People pursing a health concern.
People seeking happy feet.
People looking for stress relief. 
People pursuing fitness in a very core way. And as a preventative technique. 
Employers seeking ways to cut health care costs, cut absenteeism and promote employee satisfaction. 
Boomers looking for ways to improve the quality of life for their parents. 
Hospitals looking to improve patient satisfaction and cut the time for recovery. 
Parents who would like to see their children develop strong minds and healthy bodies. 
Companies who want to keep their highly pressured executives from burning out. 
Creative outfits who want to help their artists.
People who just want to feel good all the time.

What types of new markets can you see for reflexology? 

Kevin Kunz


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Pulse - Homeopathy and acupuncture backed for NHS funding

© RickSr. Image from

Pulse - Homeopathy and acupuncture backed for NHS funding

This is a really exciting study. Here are some bits from it. Read the whole thing and pass it on.

Homeopathy, acupuncture and reflexology are among a range of complementary and alternative therapies a new trial concludes should be provided on the NHS.

The major new Government-funded study found there would be a range of benefits to patients in providing access to complementary and alternative medicine, and that the treatments could even save the health service money.

• 81% of patients reported improvement in their physical health, 79% in their mental health.

• 84% of patients directly linked improvements in their health and wellbeing to the complementary treatment.

• 62% of patients were suffering less pain, with 55% said they had been able to reduce their use of painkillers.

• 64% of patients in employment said they took less time off work after treatment.

• Half of GPs reported prescribing less medication for chronic or acute patients during the trial.

• In 65% of cases, GPs reported a health improvement.

Source: Evaluation of Government-funded pilot project in Northern Ireland, carried out by Social & Market Research (SMR)"

Kevin Kunz

Thursday, February 12, 2009

How I got interested in reflexology

I was writing this for a reflexology group over on Facebook and thought I might share it with you as well.

The question is, "How did you get started in reflexology?". My answer.

I was browsing through a bookstore years ago when I spied a red book on reflexology. I picked it up, thought it was interesting and bought it.

I took it home and started working on myself. I feel asleep right away which I thought was odd. Up until that time I could not fall asleep during the day.

I started working on family and friends. They started reporting all these results which I found hard to believe. I wasn't at all good.

Then I met Barbara, my soon to be wife. She had continuous sinus problems and the medications side effects were troubling to her. For the first time she had relief.

Then a life changing event took place when a friend's daughter was in a head on crash. Her husband died from the event and she was brain injured. The doctors told her parents to institutionalize her.

Our friend asked me to attend a reflexology seminar. The rest is history.

We often get people telling us how our books changed their life. I guess since a book profoundly changed my life I understand.

Kevin Kunz

BTW Our friend's daughter went back to teaching and although still with some partial paralysis worked until retirement.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Shoes That Generate Energy

Here is something ineresting I bumped into this morning.

A team of undergrads at MIT -- led by Shakeel Avadhany and Zack Anderson -- has produced a prototype of a shock absorber for vehicles which can harness and generate electricity back into the vehicle. The team claims that their prototype increases a vehicle's fuel-efficiency by up to 10 percent by using a "hydraulic system that forces fluid through a turbine attached to a generator."

That got me thinking about a shoe that would give back energy to the "system".

Modern running shoes are designed to be shock absorbers. Running shoe companies like Nike have spent millions on studying the damaging effects of heel shock and how to mitigate it. But this has been a passive system meant to buffer and not add energy to the system.

What if you designed a shoe that would generate a small current as it shock absorbed. that energy could be used to stimulate the feet with light vibration. It could be used to feed more information from under foot into the nervous system therby giving us a more exact picture of our body position like the iShoe

Or it could contribute to less foot fatigue by a light massage to break up the harmful stress patterns that form over a day. How do you see this generated energy being put to use?

Of course there are those who would say why not just use a battery. What fun are they?

Kevin Kunz

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Wiggling Your Toes to Save the World

© yurok. Image from

Okay I received quite a reaction to my last blog on wiggling your toes to help you sleep. It was fun to see people's reactions both the wigglers and the soon to be wigglers.

So I decide this idea could save the world one wiggle at a time. See if you can follow my logic. Good luck.

We are having an epidemic of insomnia world wide. In the US alone it's estimated that around 1/4 of the population have fallen victim to a sleep disorder of some kind - that's approximately 70 MILLION PEOPLE! More than half of these suffer chronically according the web site

That a lot of people. It is also a lot of prescriptions. And lost work. Throw in the costs of lost productivity and accidents due to drowsiness on the job and you have a very expensive problem.

There is also a link between loss of sleep and weight gain. According to Science Daily- "The study found that women who slept for 5 hours per night were 32% more likely to experience major weight gain (defined as an increase of 33 pounds or more) and 15% more likely to become obese over the course of the 16-year study compared with women who slept 7 hours. Women who slept for 6 hours were 12% more likely to have major weight gain and 6% more likely to become obese compared with women who slept 7 hours a night". Sleeping Less Linked To Weight Gain, ScienceDaily (May 29, 2006)

Obesity is linked to serious health problems that are both life threatening and expensive.

So if you could get those 70 million people all wiggling their toes to fall asleep what would the health benefits and the cost savings be? Even if only a fraction of those trying the wiggling technique succeeded it could save people from the agony of insomnia. It would also save millions.

Wiggling your toes to help with insomnia could be a way to save the world from the costs of insomnia. Pass it on. The more we wiggle the more we snooze.  And the more we win. 

Kevin Kunz

Monday, February 9, 2009

Wiggling Your toes to Sleep

© Linnea. Image from

I guess I thought I had heard it all when a reporter from Woman's World called up. She asked if we had an supporting evidence that wiggling your toes can help you fall to sleep. I had to reply we didn't but a quick Google and there is a study on wiggling the toes, children and sleep.

The more we talked the more I realized that I just hadn't thought of it. I always talk about the toes and their importance. I encouraged people to rotate, pull, stretch and rub them because they have weak little muscles that will strengthen with some attention. But wiggle?

I do other things to promote sleep at night like use a foot roller just before bed. And I have to say that our regime of walking on cobblestone mats has had a profound effect on my sleep patterns once I get to sleep. But that is the trick- letting go of the day and just falling off to sleep.

I decide to be my own guinea pig and try wiggling my toes prior to sleep. For me it does seem to work. Even if I wake up at night I start wiggling my toes again and away I go. Fascinating.

And it really makes my feet feel good. In helping the writer with the article I explain that every muscles in the foot is involved with the toes. So by wiggling your toes you are relaxing the whole foot. but better yet relaxing your feet causes not only a relaxation response in the foot but it soon spreads to the rest of the body. Before you know it you are in a deep sleep.

Give it a try tonight. Wiggle your toes for about a minute or so. If you like it do it some more. I like to wiggle both left and right together but there are no hard and fast toe wiggling rules. Just repeat it as desired.

Let me know what you think. Does wiggling your toes help you to sleep?

Kevin Kunz

Friday, February 6, 2009

Can people afford reflexology?

I think the natural assumption is that in tough economic times people cut back on "luxuries". Well they do but that is where the focus should be. Reflexologist's services can be a luxury but I have had clients describe the sessions as necessary.

You need to market, market and market your services. This is the time to ramp up your marketing rather than cut back. But that makes no sense if are hurting from clientele cutting back.

The answer is word of mouth advertising- the cheapest and most effective. Do you have client's (both old and new) email addresses? Could you offer them a comeback special?

What events can you do? Where can you volunteer a little reflexology for some publicity? What other ways can you find to get the word out?

Lastly please don't get psyched out. Our first book, The Complete Guide to Foot Reflexology, came out in a recession and went on to become a bestseller. It has remained in print for 28 years.

With all the stress and it's associated problems with some smart buzz your business can grow substantially. But don't wait for the business to come to you. Go out and get it!!!

Kevin Kunz

Thursday, February 5, 2009

New kit from Barnes and Noble

You haven't heard from me for awhile. We have been in New York for a photo shoot. We can now anounce that we have a new kit coming out from Barnes and Noble. It is coming out in September. The new kit is a Reflexology Path Kit.

The last kit Total Relexology Kit sold out three weeks before Christmas. It will be out of stock until March.

It will be quite a kit. More details shortly.

If you have found the last kit helpful we would like to hear your comments.

Kevin Kunz