Monday, June 29, 2009

5 Ways to Quickly Ground Yourself

© ERJNC . Image from
I was walking on the dewy grass this morning thinking about grounding oneself. I don't want to go too complex and talk about grounding your energy and all that. More I mean how do you make better contact with the earth. 
Because of being insulated from the ground with shoes, socks and hard surfaces like concrete we are prone to be more or less unbalanced. As we age this becomes a major problem as our loss of communication between parts of the body that help us integrate with the surface below becomes very fuzzy and out of tune. 
Unfortunately this can lead to a host of catastrophic events involving falling. And don't count on walkers and canes. They too have problems as 47,000 elderly take falls even with walkers and canes. 
The solution is actually quite simple. Here are 5 ways to quickly ground yourself. 
1) Walk on the dewy grass without your shoes. There is a type of spiritual harmony that comes through this mediative like walk. And it stirs up the connections silenced by shoes and hard, flat surfaces. 
2) Get a wobble board and practice on it. It seems impossible to maintain your balance at first using one of these contraptions. But overtime the subtle shifts of weight become easier and you depend less on supports like a tall chair to keep you from toppling over. 
The interesting part is the feeling you get after you have done this for a while. It is a sense of grounding. You feel your feet and the surface underneath as an interplay of motion on surface rather than some vague feeling. 
3) Walk on a cobblestone mat. The foot is not one big sensor. Rather it is a collection of a lot of sensors that sense pressure, stretch and movement. The foot is meant to respond to different terrain quickly and efficiently. In a faction of a second the foot should be able to quickly adjusting  to varying surfaces. 
Once again the sensory blindfold called the shoe dulls our movement senses. A "flat foot" meets a flat surface with mind numbing repetition. A cobblestone mat or even walking on the rocks in your garden can reawaken those silent areas in the brain once activated by the shifting terrain underfoot. 
4) Roll your feet. Roll you feet on about anything to light up the connection between the surface of the foot and the brain. My old standby is a couple of old golf balls dropped in a sock. Tie a knot and you have a pretty good foot roller. Again this introduces variety to the rather dull existence of a foot confined in a shoe. 
5) Rock your feet side to side. Let's face it we have about one way of walking - heel to toe. If you stand with your feet about shoulder width wide, bend your knees and gently roll across your feet from side to side you awaken all kinds of sensors that deal with lateral or side movements.
Here is your motivation to start now.  
"Falls in people older than 65 caused about 15,800 deaths and 1.8 million visits to emergency rooms in 2005, according to data from the C.D.C.’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control."  New York Times,  Study Warns of Hazards for Elderly Using Walking Aids by Derrick Henry, June 30, 2009

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Shoeless Friday

©  gvictoria photo from

I tried this out on Twitter and Facebook. People liked it.

Many companies have casual Fridays. Why not shoeless Fridays? It would go a long way to reducing stress in the workplace. 
What do you think?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Music, cardiovascular rhythms fall in sync- Reflexology?

© briank, photo from

Music, cardiovascular rhythms fall in snyc

Apparently there is a reflexive response to music according to a new study coming from Italian researchers. It effects the rhythm of the heart.

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Music may indeed soothe the savage breast, according to a study showing that people's cardiovascular rhythms tend to fall in step with musical ones.

In a study published Monday in the journal Circulation, Italian researchers found that healthy adults' heart rate, blood pressure and blood flow changed in response to musical crescendos and decrescendos.

The findings, the researchers say, suggest that music somehow directly affects nervous system control of cardiovascular rhythms.

I feel reflexology has a similar effect. I have often felt that it is like a timing chain on your car. Throw off the timing on your car and you have terrible problems. Throw off the timing on your body and the results can be catastrophic.

Several times I have had the opportunity to work on a patient with a heart rate variability monitor attached to them. It is fascinating to watch as the various measures get back into sync. In fact each time I have worked on them with the monitor the results seem to be the same. It is like they are once more brought into a tempo that is less stressful.

My father-in-law was in the ICU with terrible arrhythmia's that were out of control. It was like a roller coaster. Barbara and I decide to work on him twice in one day to try to get him back into sync. When we left after the second time his heart rate synced into a perfect 70 beats per minute. And it remained that way.

Does stress throw off our timing mechanism? Can reflexology reset the tempo? What do you think?

Kevin Kunz

Monday, June 22, 2009


Ron S. Doyle
twittercizeTwitter Feet: Sit upright, keep toes on floor, flex calves & bounce your heels as fast as you can for one full minute!I think these people are a riot. They give one minute exercises that you can do while you Twitter. Search for them on Twitter.
I was drawn to this because I happen to find this a great exercise to get the blood flowing to your feet and legs. I have done this for years. It is kind of fun. And if it does annoy the person next to you on a plane flight good for long trips.  Try it. Kevin Kunz 

Friday, June 19, 2009

Double Vessel with a Foot-Massage Scene

©2009 Erma Slyvester 
Erma Slyvester, a great reflexologist from Albuquerque and a good friend of ours found this vessel in the Art Institute of Chicago. Here is the description. 

  • ChimĂș
  • North coast, Peru
  • Double Vessel with a Foot-Massage Scene, A.D. 1200/1450

Here is a direct link to the Art Institute for a picture without the glass.

Nice Spotting Erma. 

Kevin Kunz 

Follow me on Twitter @kevinkunz

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Long Time Coming

I am working on the web page today. Our web site started in October of 1996. 

It is kind of like opening up a time capsule looking at the older files. So much has changed and yet so much has remained the same.

And looking at those files makes me think I need to change as well. Back then we were desperately fighting not just to be perceived as legitimate but also to remain legal. 

What has changed is the amount of research that has been done on reflexology. And not just simple studies but highly sophisticated studies with functional MRI's and doppler sonograms have now been published. There are double blind randomized the gold standard of the medical world which seemed impossible back in 1996. 

What hasn't changed is the lack of research by certain members of the media. Lazy "journalists" who make sweeping statements about the lack of any real evidence still abound. They can't even type "reflexology research" into Google to find out if any research exists. 

And our dear friends, the skeptics who pontificate without any real investigation of the facts are still around. I used to fight with them on a regular basis but it became boring when they didn't present any real arguments. Really boring because they "knew" reflexology is rubbish intuitively. 

And I don't feel defensive anymore. I don't know when it happened but I loss the sense that either the journalist who hadn't  discovered Google or the know- it- all skeptic really matter anymore. People have been adopting reflexology into their lives in droves. 

The people spoke during this time. They  were less put off by these attacks than I was. They did what seemed to be natural. Try reflexology and see what happened. Enough apparently achieve results to make them "believers" and to turn reflexology a household word. 

the legal situation changed as well. Initially we were told by legal authorities that we may not be able to practice in all 50 states. We fought back from that with extreme sacrifice on all our parts to see reflexology wasn't wiped out by anti-prostitution laws and medical practices acts.

We are now down to 12 states that continue to hold the field hostage to silly laws that don't protect the consumer. New York and Florida are two of the most primitive states in regard to complementary therapies making absolutely no sense whatsoever. The consumer be damned. 

But what has changed is the almost daily calls from a poor reflexologist who was being harassed  by some massage board.  These boards were usually stacked with massage schools owners trying to hold onto a market share. A couple of times the massage board member/ massage school owners tried to force people out of practice without due process but instead used  raw intimidation. 

The consumer didn't matter to these boards. They were simply interested enforcing a monopoly granted to them by legislatures who found these laws appealed to voters worried about massage parlors. 

People are still trying to crack New York and Florida. But in general there has be more peace. We may still have backward thinking states like these two for awhile but they too will change.  

In a lot of ways we have made progress.  Research continues to be moving along with more NIH studies and more sophisticated methods. Laws are slowly coming in that speak to a field of study and not to "touching laws". 

Now I get calls from reflexologists working in hospitals and reflexologists participating in studies. My heart leaps when I hear of these successes.

 I have seen more massage therapists who do reflexology respect the field for what it is rather than as one of many techniques they employ. They have become a very positive force within our community. 

There will be more issues like New Hampshire and Texas which seemed safe but now are starting to slip. Someone will be trying to gain advantage by deceiving the public -it's guaranteed.  

So I am weeding out the defensive web pages and it feels good. The clutter of past issues is being swept away. 

We are here to stay. And we will continue to grow. 

Now back to the web site.  It needs a good scrub. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Lots and lots of news

It has been the week for news. 

The real good news is that Reflexology: Health at Your Fingertips is back in stock.  It is available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble. 

Complete Reflexology for Life is still out of stock (and going for ridiculous prices) but there is a paperback edition coming in on August 17th. The hardback edition isn't coming in until September 17th. 

The Reflexology Path Kit is also coming into Barnes and Noble stores on September as well. Remember it is only being offered by Barnes and Noble. 
Total Reflexology, the very popular kit from Barnes and Noble seems to be in good supply but stocks are dipping and it is hard to say whether it will be available for the holiday season. Total Reflexology ran out three weeks before Christmas and wasn't back into stock until March. 

Both kits may be out before the holiday season is over with.  So you might stock up as soon as you can. 

Another kit is in the works. It should be out sometime in March of 2010. 

And we are just waiting for the paperwork from Apple on the IPhone/ ITouch app (see illustration).

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

IPhone/ITouch Foot Reflexology App

Learn reflexology areas on your IPhone or ITouch reflexology app
Coming soon at the ITunes store!!!

The electronic reflexology chart was created as an educational tool for those wanting to learn about reflexology. Call it an unintended consequence or maybe a collateral benefit but the availability of the electronic reflexology chart has become more. It's being used as a health-giving instrument.

You see, the reflexology chart maps a reflection of the body on the feet and hands. The body's organs, limbs and joints are pictured. The charts provide a road map for focusing pressure applied to the feet and hands but aimed at influencing the functioning of the reflected body part. An assessment of some 169 studies shows reflexology to be 83% effective at achieving a health result through this means.

But back to the electronic reflexology chart. While the use of reflexology for health purposes has been around for literally thousands of years - Egypt and the land of the pharaohs in 2350 BCE is among the first known uses - the modern-day reflexology chart dates from developments in the early 20th century culminating in the charts of American Eunice Ingham introduced in 1938. Many reflexology charts today are off-shoots of her charts. Millions of reflexology charts have been distributed around the world in books or as stand-alone charts.

The Internet has provided both convenience of use and a new audience for the reflexology chart. Thanks to the electronic reflexology chart, it's no longer necessary to carry around a book or paper chart to become educated or refresh one's memory for the specific details of locating the body part reflected on the foot or hand. Such is the success of the interactive reflexology chart offered by publisher Dorling Kindersley (DK that the chart frequently receives more visits than the Dk home page.

And it is here that unintended consequences and collateral benefits are accrued. One comment on the page for the DK interactive widget foot chart tells the tale. Concerned about a partner's recovery from abdominal surgery, this individual consulted the electronic reflexology chart and applied technique to the relevant reflex area. And, what do you know, the partner's hospital stay was shortened as the patient responded by defecating and passing gas as needed before release from the hospital.

Certainly, similar results have been experienced by those consulting the paper reflexology chart. The easy availabilty of an electronic reference, however, makes accessbile information when and where it's needed.

That accessibility just got easier with the release of the reflexology chart IPhone App. Available at the ITunes store for 99¢, you too can be in touch with reflexology information to learn or utilize the valuable information.

Kevin Kunz

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Foot reflexology - Clearspring comment

Foot reflexology - Clearspring: "My partner just had major back surgery thru her belly and one of the most
important things proving progress is gas and bowel movements. After following
your chart, most of the problems with this were eliminated!!
Thanks!!" Dawn George

We knew a nurse who was referred to as the poop nurse because she could produce the same effect with infants.

Congratulations Dawn. Good job.

Kevin Kunz

Follow me on Twitter- @kevinkunz

Paperback edition of Complete Reflexology for Life is coming out in August- Order yours today.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Cheapest Price on a Cobblestone Mat- Ever

Here is the cheapest price I have seen on a cobblestone mat ever. $22.25 and it is the same one used in the ORI study.

Have fun.

Kevin Kunz

Twitter me- @kevinkunz

Friday, June 5, 2009

Walking the Reflexology Path: A Year on the Rocks

A year of walking the reflexology path... Yes, June 5 will mark the one-year anniversary for me. I'd been using reflexology mats with their synthetic rocks for some twenty years but this was a different pursuit. As opposed to my previous sporadic efforts, this was a frequent and consistent walk on the rocks with a minimum of forty minutes three times a week. At the end of the year, I pause here to ask myself: was it worth it? My answer is definitive: YES. I wouldn't have missed it for the world and I won't be quitting any time soon.

It started as an exploratory project. We were, after all, writing a book for inclusion in a kit and we wanted some perspective. I started with the program followed by participants in an Oregon Research Institute (ORI) study. See below. I then branched off using tips gathered from Chinese Web sites discovered by using Google translate.

My conclusion: Walking the reflexology path is more than worth the effort. My own informal tabulation of results included: improved circulation, overall body temperature and digestion. More of a surprise was the exercise effect: shaping up the muscles of buttocks and legs, stronger movement and better posture. My feet liked the heavy pressure produced by the gravity-based experience. They felt lighter and more connected to the ground after walking. Over time, they just seemed to feel good period. There were also surprises early on: feelings of euphoria (as reported in a Japanese study of bamboo stepping) and better typing skills. These have been replaced as time has gone by. I now feel more of an overall sense of well-being. My typing skills are back to normal.

Is injury possible? Yes, just as over-doing anything, walking the reflexology path can be overdone. For me, it was walking backwards doing it as much as walking forward. It caused pain in the fascia of my heel. Solution: I cut down on the amount of walking backwards.

Are there undesirable effects? For me, again it was over-doing. Early in my program, walking too much resulted in hip joint discomfort. I also found my legs to feel heavy at times. In both instances, I quit walking and became mindful of how much walking was optimal for me.

My Program

I followed the ORI study protocol: walking three times a week for 30 minutes over an eight week period plus warm-up and cool down periods of 5 minutes each. My variations included use of bamboo stepping as a warm-up and cool down instead of ORI's rolling the foot on a wooden roller. While the ORI program consisted of actual mat walking of 12 to 25 minutes per session, I walked a solid 30 minutes. After the 8-week period, I considered my results. Then, influenced by information from China, I decided to walk every day. Some days it was 15 minutes (as suggested by the information) due to time constraints or because I just didn't feel like it. I continued a minimum of three 40-minute sessions a week. There were holes in this schedule. I missed a three week period because of travel and a busy schedule.

What could you expect if you tried this?

I would definitely say that results will vary quite simply because each individual will come to the experience with varying circumstances: age, previous history of physical exercise, and level of health among other things.

Negative effects will also vary with these factors. Those with pre-existing foot or joint injury or pain should proceed cautiously. Consider whether or not mat walking is for you. Pay close attention to your reactions if you do mat walk. Start off with short intervals so you can judge the results. Be aware of pain levels and the potential for achiness in joints.


ORI found that mat walking study participants (all over the age of 60) experienced improvements not shown by participants who just walked. Participants walked three times a week for 45 minutes over an eight week period including warm-up and cool-off periods. Mat walking was divided into intervals of walking ranging from 1 to 5 minutes with foot rolling in between intervals. The total time of actual mat walking ranged from 12 initially to 25 minutes eventually. Mat walking participants showed improvements of: lowered systolic blood pressure; improvement in ability to control falls; significantly lessened pain; significantly reduced daytime sleepiness; "improved perceptions of psycho physical well-being" and "increased levels of self-reported IADLs (Instrumental Activities of Daily Living)."

Reports found on Chinese Web pages note results such as: prevention of colds and flu; improved circulation to the whole body and brain; improved functioning of many of the body's organs; and improved mental acuity. Tap shek (stepping stone) fitness is recommended by the Chinese government. The construction of reflexology paths is a part of construction of other facilities (e. g. soccer fields and badminton courts) to encourage the Chinese people to participate in a national program of fitness.

One Japanese study reported on the results of including bamboo stepping with other measures to help ease the stress of mothers of hospitalized children. The bamboo stepping was a favored part of the program and succeeded in reducing stress.

© 2009 Kunz and Kunz

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Wobble Board, wobble balance board exercises.

I love my wobble board. I am not very good at it but I am getting better. 

My reaction to using the wobble board is a strange feeling in a way. I feel as though I have better grounding right after I leave the board. I am more aware of my feet. I also "feel" my body more. Why?

The body has sensors all around it which sense where parts of the body are even without looking. These sensors are called proprioceptors.

These proprioceptors can get harmed do to accident or injury. The messages about body position become somewhat scrambled and so re-injuring  becomes a real possibility. A wobble board can retrain the senses of proprioception to retune the communications among body parts.  

Using a wobble board on a regular basis can help retrain the proprioceptors and improve coordination, hence preventing further injury.-

I like the exercises that are on this site. they start out slow and build your sightless sense of body position therefore improving the foot to brain link. Try these exercises. 

Reflexology can really help to reconnect the disconnected. The pressure that a reflexologist applies creates the same type of signal as a wobble board. While a reflexology session is quite relaxing wobble boarding can be a little more intense especially when you first start out. 

Oh yeah and take their advice on using a support like a chair to start out with. The last thing you want to do is injure those proprioceptors. 

These wobble board exercises are a lot of fun as they train your reflexes. 

Monday, June 1, 2009

Is the foot a data storage device?

We were just talking this morning when an interesting question came up. Could you really call the foot a data storage device? I think you can. 

The foot does storage information. The body is a sum of it's parts including the feet. Information sharing goes on between all body parts. That alone implies stored memory. Past learned moves are stored as presets that respond to new demands. 

But the foot doesn't contain brain cells. So how does the foot send, receive, and store information. The proprioceptors have the capacity to send feedback through information received and signal changes in pressure, stretch and movement. 

What about storing information? Do proprioceptors have a memory capacity.  The proprioceptors don't exist within a vacuum. Rather they are pressure, stretch and movement sensors that coordinate their information with the brain and muscles. The proprioceptors work directly with the brain and rest of the nervous system to set the appropriate amount of tension within the body to respond to demands placed upon on it. This is referred to as movement intelligence and is where some of our overall memory takes place.    

But every footstep is not reinvented.  Rather it calls on preset stored information (data) to make that step possible. It has to be stored. 

What do you think? Is the foot a data storage devise? 

Chronic stress is a major cause of illness and premature ageing

Chronic stress is a major cause of illness and premature ageing, says Sir Cyril Chantler. - Prince's Foundation for Integrated Health

"The weight of scientific research shows stress has a huge impact on our ability to remain healthy, according to Sir Cyril Chantler, chairman of health charity the King’s Fund.'

"Speaking at the first annual conference of the Prince’s Foundation for Integrated health, Sir Cyril said: ‘Chronic stress activates the systems that increase your risk of chronic illness and damages those that protect us from illness.’ "

I have blogged in the past asking why we are ignoring this basic issue in our health care dilemma. It is one of the most direct routes to health care cost cutting and better health.

Time to do something about it.

Kevin Kunz