Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Kevin goes to the hospital—stories from the reflexologist at the foot of the hospital bed

Remembering back to my first reflexology hospital call—the client who had undergone surgery for stomach stapling due to morbid obesity—I wasn’t aware as I rolled the chair up to the foot of the bed after his surgery that his doctor had given him a 50-50 chance of surviving. His aunt was there, the loving relative who was also a nurse, watching my every move. She liked me personally but didn’t think too much of that “reflexology stuff”. 

All I can say about her attitude is—the next time I visited, she rolled the chair up to the bed and folded back the covers. It turned out she had been monitoring his vital signs and they had improved after my previous visit. Dick survived the surgery and lived for another 20 years.

The point is that Dick needed the stomach stapling operation. But that very same operation could have killed him. Reflexology acted to be like a life perserver until his body could respond and normalize. What happened with no official sanctioning was a hybrid of medicine and reflexology. 

The next time I made a hospital call it was at the request of the head of the Nursing Department at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. One of her graduate nursing students was in CCU (Cardiac ICU) for a heart attack and the heart attacks were continuing—in the hospital. It was the first time I could watch the heart monitor as I worked. I could see her pulse rate decline from 140 bpm to 70. She was asleep when I left.

She did have a blocked artery and there was a heart bypass surgery performed. She needed the operation but the reflexology helped stabilize her prior to the surgery. The surgery had a positive outcome. 

Then there was the time my father-in-law was in ICU with congestive heart failure. His heart refused to go into a regular heart beat and they wanted to cut him open to shock his heart, hoping it would go into sync—something he definitely did not want to happen. Two hours after I left, the nursing staff noticed his heart dropped back into a regular rhythm where it stayed. No surgery was required. 

I used to call it under cover work, visiting the hospital to do reflexology and hiding my work. But things changed dramatically over the years. 

 Many years ago my 6 year-old grand nephew was in pediatric ICU with flesh-eating bacteria attacking the pericardium protecting his cardiac muscle (23 days I would not want to re-live). It was life threatening. I worked on him day and night fighting to keep him alive. 

I always stopped my reflexology work when the staff came in so I wouldn’t be in the way. One time as the doctor was leaving after a visit, she turned around to say, "Be sure to work the lung area."

 With that, I knew then that times had changed for reflexology visits to the hospital. By the way, Jakey just turned 21. He needed both medicine and reflexology to survive. 

Maybe it is time to build a hybrid between what medicine does well and what reflexology does well. In all these cases these people needed medical attention. But there is no reason it has to "be either or" medicine. In fact it is more like the "best of both worlds" medicine.

You could say it is a medical hybrid of sorts.

Barbara and Kevin Kunz




4 comments:

Ien van Houten said...

I believe that lack of the ability to think and/and instead of just either/or is at the root of many human problems. Excellent entry.

Laser said...

I gave my father a few Reflexology London treatments while we were both on holidays in South Africa, visiting my sister. Of course he loved the idea of having his feet massaged especially by his daughter whom he had not seen for a couple of years.

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