Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Doing reflexology is good for you — for reasons you never expected

A new British study may help answer old questions about reflexology. Does the reflexologist receive as much benefit from reflexology practice as the client? Do reflexologists live longer? It may also raise a new question. Does self reflexology create results beyond those attributable to working the reflex areas of the hands and feet?
The study was about sitting time and fidgeting. It turns out that the positives and negatives of sitting are not as simple as counting time spent doing it. What one does while sitting is important too. And it’s here the questions about reflexology enter the picture.
According to the study, “Fidgeting is typically defined as involving small movements, especially of the hands and feet, often through nervousness, restlessness, or impatience. … The current results suggest that more complex movements of the hands and feet may be important to measure, in addition to level of physical activity (sitting time).
The study found women who fidgeted more while sitting lived longer. Among the women in the low fidgeting group, sitting more than 7 hours a day was associated with an increased mortality risk of 30%. “Among women in the high fidgeting group, sitting for 5–6 hours/day … was associated with decreased mortality risk. … Fidgeting may reduce the risk of all-cause mortality associated with excessive sitting time.
Previous research suggests why fidgeting may be beneficial. Fidgeting expends more calories than sitting still—118 calories an hour versus 80. Calorie consumption is linked to metabolism with more calories indicating more demand on metabolism. Research results showing sitting while reading or using a computer is less impactful on metabolism. It could be the benefit of intellectual stimulation while sitting.
So, where does reflexology fit into such concepts? Reflexology work whether applied to another or oneself includes complex hand movements of technique application. There’s mental mastery of techniques application appropriate to the specific part of the foot or hand and health concern. Then there’s assessment of what’s under thumb or fingers as one works as well as linking techniques in a coherent whole session.
The bottom line? Reflexology is good for you. Keep those hands moving.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Sedentary behavior is associated with 35 chronic diseases and health conditions

19 from WSJ
Aging (Accelerated biological)
Breast cancer
Cognitive dysfunction
Colon cancer
Congestive heart failure
Coronary heart disease
Diabetes (Type 2)
Erectile dysfunction
Liver disease (Nonalcoholic fatty)
Metabolic syndrome
Peripheral artery diseasse
Rheumatoid arthritis
Thrombosis (Deep vein)
Additional16 from our research
Alzheimer’s (risk)
Blood pressure (high)
Dementia (risk)
Endometrial cancer
Heart attack
Kidney disease
Lung cancer
Ovarian cancer
Pain/Discomfort (musculoskeletal)
Prostate cancer
Pulmonary embolism
Reproductive organ disorders (infertility, cervititis, cervical polyps, pre-menstrual and menstrual period pain, dysmenorrhea; fallopian tube obstruction; endometriosis, prostatitis and vaginitis)
Sperm count (low)
Uterine cancer

Friday, September 25, 2015

Is Preventing Alzheimer’s a Possibility?

Can we build better brains lessening cognitive decline and risks for dementia and Alzheimer’s? 

According to researchers, the answer is, yes. Choices we make every day impact the functioning of our brains. And these choices can lead to a better future, lessening risk not only for Alzheimer’s but also for dementia and cognitive decline.
Choices about how much we sit and move around today and every day are being implicated in how well our brains and cognitive functions will work in the future. 
Physical inactivity, sitting too much, has a specific impact while metabolic factors resulting from sitting too much have an effect as well. Walking abilities and what we do as we sit, television watching in particular, impact risk.
Read more and find out what these indicators are. Then we’ll talk about what you can do to target these risks. Is it an Alzheimer’s preventive? Research shows the possibility.
Indicators for cognitive decline and risks for dementia and Alzheimer’s
Indicators linked to increased risk for Alzheimer’s include:
• heredity (46%)
  • physical inactivity (21%)
  • depression (15%)
  • midlife obesity (7%) (linked to physical inactivity)
  • midlife hypertension (8%) (linked to physical inactivity)
  • diabetes (3%) (linked to physical inactivity)
  • smoking (11%) 
  • low education (with limited mental stimulation into adulthood)(7%)
Metabolic indicators
Indicators linked to increased risk for cognitive decline, dementia and Alzheimer’s are also linked to metabolic processes that are impacted by sitting too much and moving too little including:
  • elevated levels of blood sugar, 
  • elevated levels of fats (cholesterol, triglycerides) 
  • elevated levels of lipoprotein lipase (helps fat utilization by muscles as movement takes place)
  • high blood pressure 
  • “overweight/obese (individuals) could have a greater risk of AD than those with a more active, healthy lifestyle”
Walking abilities and falls
A risk of falling may be an early indicator of Alzheimer’s. The slower the walk among senior citizens, the more the signs of dementia. 
Sitting too long and too much creates musculoskeletal stress and, over time, dysfunction. Impacted in particular is loss of flexibility in the lower back.  “Flexibility, particularly in your lower body, is a key determinant in how well you age, including your risk of falling and your ability to get around.”.
Mental stimulation
Did you know that researchers link television watching and risk for Alzheimer’s? It is thought to be because it is the least mentally stimulating of seated activities.
What’s a person to do? 
First, recognize your chair dwelling lifestyle does not match your cave dwelling metabolism and muscles. 
Next, get up and get moving is the answer. But how much and how often? 
The answer: two hour more a day than you currently move with two minute breaks from sitting every 20 minutes. Also consider practicing exercises that effect the stability of the lower back. See below.
Why the program to un-sit your life? This is what the body, designed to live a much more active lifestyle than our chair dwelling culture, needs to maintain its metabolism and muscles. Moving 2 hours more a day with breaks from sitting resets both metabolism and muscles.
The result is improved indicators for metabolism as well as flexibility for  competent movement and mobility. The bottom line is improved indicators for risk of cognitive decline, dementia and Alzheimer’s.
What’s the link to reflexology?
It’s all about pressure to the feet. The reflexologist provides quality pressure to the feet. Un-sitting provides quantity pressure to the feet.
We became interested in sitting too much as we realized sitting too much translates into feet not receiving enough pressure to maintain the body as intended. Over four years of exploring the research, it became apparent that 2 hours a day with breaks from sitting every 20 minutes that created needed change in biomarkers and other indicators of the body’s operating system. The result is improved health and lessened risk for a long list of lifestyle conditions including those impacting cognitive function.
For more information, see Un-sit Your Life, the Reflex Diet Solution, Change your sitting habits, Empower your life by Barbara and Kevin Kunz

Is There An Alzheimer"s Sign?

In response to a posting on Facebook we received the following responses. The posting was about a blog we did several years ago. Is There an Alzheimer Sign?

I don't have a photo. But the second photo is definitely the exact same as my husband. He pass away over a year ago. I never took that into consideration at the time but his feet were like that before he was diagnosed with Alzheimer. I took care of his foot health.  
What an eye opener. Thanks for the info.

My husband has Alzheimer's for over 10 years and his feet look like your pictures. Thank you for what you are doing.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Scientists Use Functional MRI to Validate Reflexology Tenets

This is a bit dated but it is good info. -Editor

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) studies are about to change reflexology, providing illustration of some of reflexology's basic tenets. In three separate studies, Hong Kong researchers explored with fMRI what happens in the brain when pressure or technique is applied to specifc reflex areas of the left foot. Their finding: the specific parts of the brain activated by such work correlates with reflexology's theory and intended use.

Albuquerque, NM (PRWEB) February 11, 2008 -- Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) studies are about to change reflexology, providing illustration of some of reflexology's basic tenets. In three separate studies, Hong Kong researchers explored with fMRI what happens in the brain when pressure or technique is applied to specifc reflex areas of the left foot. 

Their finding: the specific parts of the brain activated by such work correlates with reflexology's theory and intended use.

In one study, reflexology applied to a specific part of the foot activated the reflected area. Specifically technique stimulation applied to the inner lateral corner of the left great toe activated the right temporal lobe, the part of the brain related to the reflex area. of the brain inner lateral corner of the left great toe to see if this would activate the part of the brain reflected by this reflex area, the right temporal lobe.

In another study, reflexology technique stimulation of the eye reflex area activated a region of the brain matching acupupoint stimulation of stroke patients with vision defects but not the visual part of the brain.

In a third study, reflexology pressure work was compared to electro-acupuncture work. This study is discussed in detail in below. The above-mentioned studies will be detailed in the future.

The studies were presented at the NeuroImage Meeting, the Annual Meeting of the Organization of Human Brain Mapping, 2005 and 2006. The researchers found that the"fMRI is a useful to investigate the central neural pathway of reflexology" The researchers, Annie M. Tang, Geng Li, Chan C.C., Edward Yang, K.K.K. Wong and R. Li are with the University of Hong Kong.
During the study "Comparison of Foot Reflexology and Electro-Acupuncture: An fMRI study," the researchers used fMRI to compare what happens in the brain when pressure is applied to foot reflexology's adrenal gland reflex area and what happens when electrical stimulation is applied to acupuncture's K1 point, both located in approximately the same area of the foot. 

What they found was that the areas of the brain activated by both "were mostly localized at insula region. The stimulated reflex zone and acupoint is the treatment point for psychological anxiety, inflammation and asthma according to Reflexology and Chinese medicine. The activation in insula demonstrated that massage (reflexology) or acupuncture stimuli at the point may probably regulate emotional and pain effects. Our results are consistent with the results in psychological asthma. Also, our results indicate that massage (reflexology) has the same function as acupuncture." Annie M. Tang, Geng Li, Edward S. Yang, "Comparison of Foot Reflexology and Electro-Acupuncture: An fMRI study," The Jockey Club MRI Centre, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong 474 TH-PM; Presented at Twelfth Annual Meeting of the Organization for Human Brain Mapping; NeuroImage 31 (2006) 237

The insula is associated with emotions, pain and visceral functions as well as integration of homeostatic information. According to Dr. Martin Paulus, a psychiatrist at the University of California, San Diego, the mind and body are integrated in the insula. "The insula itself is a sort of receiving zone that reads the physiological state of the entire body and then generates subjective feelings that can bring about actions like eating, that keep the body in a state of internal balance." (Blakeslee, Sandra, "A Small Part of the Brain, and its Profound Effects," New York February 6, 2007)

The fMRI study showed that reflexology stimuli activates other areas of the brain, one of which receives information about sensory information such as pressure to the feet. This area is the somatosensory cortex, the homunculus or the "little man," a representation of the body projected onto the brain. Reflexologists view the reflexology chart as a representation of the body projected onto the foot. The fMRI study thus shows that stimuli applied to the representation of the body on the foot communicates with the representation of the body in the brain. (Kunz and Kunz have long contended that the foot reflexology chart is one of several "homunculi" of the body. At least five parts of the brain are organized as a homunulus.)

The implications of the fMRI study are many. Among them is an understanding of other recent studies. For one, reflexology work was found to improve pain tolerance and pain threshold. (Carol Samuel "The effects on reflexology on pain threshold and tolerance in an ice-pain experiment on healthy human subject," May 13, 2007, International Congress on Complementary Medical Research (Conference)) The fMRI study has found a direct correlation between pressure to a single reflex area of the foot and one of the brain's processing areas for pain, the insula. 

This same area of the brain helps integrate homeostatic responses and may help explain results obtained in other research studies that link reflexology to changes in the body's viscera. Austrian researchers, For example, found improved blood flow to the kidneys after reflexology technique was applied to the kidney reflex area. In another study, Austrian researchers found the same results with an intestine reflex areas and blood flow to the intestines. Further research has demonstrated a change in blood sugar level (pancreas function) as well as functions of the heart.

Such results support a contention by Kunz and Kunz that reflexology's stimulation of pressure to the feet, by definition, communicates with and creates change in the body's homeostasis. The rationale is that in order to walk the body must see itself and fuel itself. The fMRI study demonstrates an actual mechanism with the body to explain such a theory.

Tang Annie M., Li Geng., Chan C.C., Wong K.K.K., Li R. and Edward Yang Brain Activation at Temporal Lobe Induced by Foot Reflexology: an fMRI Study, 11th Annual NeuroImage Meeting. 2005, 1445. (Publication No. :102229)
Tang M.Y., Li G., Chan C.C., Wong K.K.K., Li R. and Yang E.S., Vision Related Reflex Zone at the Feet: An fMRI Study, 11th Annual NeuroImage Meeting. 2005, 1431. (Publication No. : 102226)
Annie M. Tang, Geng Li, Edward S. Yang, "Comparison of Foot Reflexology and Electro-Acupuncture: An fMRI study," The Jockey Club MRI Centre, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong 474 TH-PM; Presented at Twelfth Annual Meeting of the Organization for Human Brain Mapping; NeuroImage 31 (2006) 237

Author: Barbara Kunz- Reflexology Research Project (Reflexology Research Project)

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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Un-sit with FitBit

Un-sit with FitBit
If the idea of un-sitting your life and moving about more through your day seems uninviting, consider motivating yourself by counting your footsteps. An easy way to do this is using a FitBit or VivoFit. Suddenly a chore can become a challenge.
I didn’t realize I was addicted until I lost my VivoFit at LAX. Suddenly I wasn’t getting credit for each footstep I took as counted by the band on my wrist. I wandered through the day without that rush of satisfaction knowing how much I was contributing to my own health. Lacking that  dopamine release I immediately ordered another one.
FitBit and VivoFit are wearable fitness trackers, basically an accelerometer on a wrist band that measures and reports foot steps. The band on your wrist can display instant feedback or your Smartphone can receive reports. They can do more but I’ll focus on the simple here.
Count your steps/build your health. Here’s what taking steps can do for you.
• Every 1,000 steps = 16% smaller waistline, 12% better HDL (good cholesterol), 15% better triglycerides
• Every 1,000 steps = 65 calories expended  if you weigh 120-pounds/100 calories for a 180-pound person
  • Add 2,000 steps/day and you’ll maintain your weight. Add more, you’ll lose weight
  • Taking 6,000 total steps per day significantly reduces risk of death
  • 7,500 steps/day = better self esteem, confidence, productivity; experience improvement in quality of life; lose weight, feel better / more satisfied about their physical appearance
  • 10,000 steps a day for 8 months = decrease in waistline circumference by 2 inches, weight loss of 10 pounds, reduction in high blood pressure by 34%, decrease by 69% the odds for men of having cardiovascular disease
For a hilarious take on wearing a FitBit see David Sedaris’s article in New Yorker magazine (

Un-Sit Your Life

Monday, September 21, 2015

Can a Facebook message change a life?

Sylvia Pyrda wrote me on Facebook from Poland. 

She is a reflexologist and asked for help with a client who had a stroke. So I wrote her back with my suggestions. Here is her response. 

Hi Kevin!    

I would like to thank you so much! Your advice about reflexology points after head stroke are priceless! I did it on this man and after 50 minutes he moved his left hand and leg ( before he couldn't) !! I was so happy and so was his family.. Thank you once again 😊 😊 If I ever could help you somehow just let me know. 

Greetings, Sylvia.

Dear Reader,

So there you have it. The paralysis that accompanies stroke may be easier to address than thought. If simple instructions sent via Facebook can get results in 50 minutes with reflexology what else can be done.

I am not saying this will work with every stroke victim. It doesn't. But if results from the US, UK and now Poland are any indications there needs to be a whole lot of research done. 

Stroke is devastating both mentally, physically, spiritually and financially. The costs to families and whole societies  are staggering.

And there is no need to forego conventional treatments. In fact it works right along with such medical therapies like physical and occupational therapies. 

If you want to read more on this search this blog with the term, "paralysis" and "crossover effect". If you want some visual instructions to follow try Complete Reflexology for Life. Look up "paralysis".

Warm regards,

Kevin Kunz 

These are YouTube videos we did of two stroke clients plus an example the crossover effect that lead to this stroke discovery.

Steve (crossover effect)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Don't go to Mars with NASA!!!

NASA Challenge: Space Pioneering – Achieving Earth Independence

Okay so the challenge was how to achieve independence from Earth for Mars colonists. I didn't expect to win but I was taken back by their response. Here is my response to their response. The response i got back was a form letter. Blah blah blah!!!

So no, I would not go to Mars with people with this point of view. Here is my proposal!
My concept of virtual reality for the feet was rejected for the following reason.

"While this concept may be useful for mitigating some of the effects of microgravity, it is unclear if it has any effect on other parts of the body besides the feet."

What drives me crazy is that it is clear that pressure to the feet have a profound effect on other parts of the body.

Your belief if I am correct is that the feet are isolated from other parts of the body and not truly integrated with the systems of the body like the nervous system.

So what you are saying is that pressure to the feet (proprioception) has no other effect on other parts of the body like the vestibular apparatus, the postural muscles, the internal organs ( fuel and oxygen to make locomotion possible) and the brain. 

Am I correct that this is what the Seeker believes? In other words the feet play a very limited role in the nervous system kind of like wheels on a cart. 

The feet are inert and not really interactive with the locomotive system or survival mechanism or metabolism or even as a contributor to human thought.

 Also that pressure to the feet doesn't cause an increase in blood flow to the brain. Walking is not really necessary for blood perfusion to the brain. 

If you don't stimulate the proprioception in the feet you may face the cascading effects of metabolic disorders such as heart problems, lung problems, Alzheimer's, cognitive decline, diabetes and autoimmune disorders. How will you treat these on Mars? 

Furthermore a lack of stimulation to the feet mean a lack of tone in the postural muscles. Musclo-skeletal problems are sure to follow. Weight gain and waistline expansion are probables. 

I am just puzzled how you can have such a view of proprioception. It is not just microgravity in the space flight to Mars but also the diminished gravity on Mars that could cause chaos in a number of systems. 

I am sorry but I have to say I can't understand the grounds on which this proposal was rejected. I don't care about winning. 

Yours truly, 

Virtual Reality for the Feet

NASA Challenge: Space Pioneering – Achieving Earth Independence

I wrote the following up for this contest. I was rejected for a rather weird reason. Click here to find out why? Don't Go to Mars with NASA

What is virtual reality for the feet?

Virtual reality for the feet is a method for simulating much of the earth bound sensory experience of resisting gravity. Devices embedded with servo- mechanisms can stimulate the proprioceptors in the feet. 

Why virtual reality for the feet?

Pressure to the feet has a myriad of effects. One of the most important functions is to stimulate the postural muscles. The postural muscles have an impact on the organization of the body. Postural muscle stimulation on the metabolic system and the tone of the musclo-`skeletal system. Further the impact extends to mental functions such as depression..

How could you achieve virtual reality for the feet?

Simple pressure to the feet could be achieved in a number of ways. Changeable shoe beds is the simplest way. Simply insert them into the boots.  Pressure enhancers could take the pressure from the sole of the shoe and amplify the signal into the sole of the foot. Both these techniques have their drawbacks. 

Or you can embed servo-mechanisms in the inside of the colonist's boot to apply light patterns of pressure to sole of the foot.This is the method I favor. Although more of a technical challenge it affords you greater flexibility in what could be provided to the colonists. 

When would you use virtual reality?

I can see using VR for the feet during the waking hours. It could be that a lessened amount of pressure is used during the sleep cycle. 

VR of the feet could be used on the long space flight as well as once on Mars.

Who would employ virtual reality for the feet?

The colonist would manage the VR for the feet. However, it could be setup for remote monitoring and control. There could be remote commands to stimulate the colonists if they needed it. Ot it could even be used to perform actions like revival. 

Note: These are attempts to answer questions from NASA.

How does humanity facilitate, enable, and incentivize the establishment of a second home on Mars?

Health is a major factor in any space colony. Knowing that steps have been taken to maintain the health of the colonists would help recruitment. improve the health of the colonist and may be a way to hack into the nervous system to solve various health problems.

Weightlessness and reduced gravitational fields can lead to bone loss and muscle destruction.  The loss of proprioceptive senses can lead to disorientation and perhaps certain psychological states such as anxiety. 

Physical Issues of Space Colonization

The space flight to Mars will take 260 days during that time the colonists will experience zero gravity and the detrimental effects arising from that environment. Add to that the fact that that the fact that the gravity on Mars is only about 38% of the surface gravity on Earth.   

The neural network of the body is profoundly impacted by the lack of weight bearing activities of standing, walking and moving while here on earth. The bedridden and wheel chair bound experience muscle weakness and bone loss.

Recent research on earth bound prolonged sitting has found the serious health effects of not weight bearing on frequent enough intervals. The impact on metabolic functions can lead to serious disorders such as diabetes, heart/lung and even Alzheimers as  examples. 

Could being in a zero gravity or reduced gravity environment lead to effects similar to the effects of prolonged sitting or uninterrupted sitting? It is hard to tell since the longest time an  astronaut was 437 days. A mission to Mars would entail a lot more time.

But the lack of stimulation to the postural muscles on an extended stay on Mars may be similar. A whole array of metabolic problems could  arise with an extended stay of Mars. 

However the differences could be to the musclo-skeletal system. While distortions to the earth bound prolonged sitter is complicated by gravity effecting their muscles the Mars colonists may be different issues. Still complicated by lack of full earth-like weight bearing muscles and bones could be distorted.   

Cognitive decline is associated with prolonged sitting. This could be a potentially dangerous situation on a space colony. 

What if there was a way to simulate locomotive activities thrby triggering the postural muscles which would reset the metabolic system, stimulating cognitive abilities, relieving some of the strains experienced by the musclo-skeletal system and building ground awareness for physical and psychological purposes. 

The bottom of the feet are a potential portal to access the nervous system. By applying the proprioceptive signals to the feet there could  be a way to simulate the actions of the postural muscles in an earth environment. 

Boots containing servomechanisms tuned to the locomotive needs of the colonists could be a way to deliver much needed sensory input. Pressure to the bottom of the feet can be programmed in a variety of ways to simulate the weight bearing of standing, walking or other movement patterns. 


Standing simulation for space flight
Increased standing sensory input in a diminished environment like Mars. 
Walking simulation in space.
Enhanced walking on the surface of Mars. 
Movement simulation during space flight.
Movement enhancements once on Mars. 
Relaxation modules.
Healing modules.

Virtual reality for the feet means that basic metabolic, musculo-skeletal and cognitive abilities can be addressed by simulating the proprioceptive messages that are routinely received in the everyday activities of walking, standing and other movements. 

It would facilitate preventative health measures that would protect the colonists from the serious consequences of the travel to Mars in zero-gravity. And it would it would address the issues arising from a diminished gravity environment. 

Keeping the body toned by stimulating the postural muscles would enable the colonists to function in a better fashion and keep their body's toned up.

How do we become and maintain Earth independence while living away from Earth?

Health is a critical element in living independently from the earth. The effects of zero gravity on the human body is well known. On Earth the devastating effects of prolonged sitting on our metabolism increases the risk of metabolic disorders such as diabetes. If you could even sent a supply of insulin with a crew of 4-6 crew members how long would a supply last. And since the onset of diabetes is an ongoing problem prevention seems to be key. 

And moving on to muscle-skeletal problems from a lack of tone would the colonists face greater challenges from not being able to perform the tasks necessary for survival. We need a system that can recreate the locomotive function of walking and moving in a field of gravity. 

How do we shape NASA’s human exploration program to minimize what we must bring with us and maximize the value and utility of what we bring, and augment it with what is already there?

There is some gravity on Mars. But what is missing is the demands of gravity on the locomotive system. If NASA would value the human foot and it's interplay with other bodily systems such as the the internal organs and the organs of balance it would make it feasible to establish a colony on Mars. The lack of proprioceptive signals and the cascading effects that will ensue may not be offset by a space ship full of pharmaceuticals. Stimulation of the foot triggers effects throughout the locomotive system. It may be more cost effective and feasible to create virtual  reality for the feet. It could simulate ground awareness and weight bearing with simple techniques. 

What specific capabilities and operations need to be developed, and how can specific natural resources on Mars be used to achieve true Earth independence?

Virtual reality for the feet would require programming of servo mechanisms that would simulate walking and other weight bearing activities, these servo mechanisms would be embedded in the boot. Pressure to the bottom of the feet could be patterned to trigger the maximum effect on the postural muscles and the vestibular apparatus even when the colonist wasn't upright. 

What should be put in place so that this initial foothold can thrive, instead of just surviving? 

If you expand on the initial thought that pressure to the bottom of the feet is critical to the colonist's health then creating many forms of sub stainable technology could be developed. A boot for instance that by applying pressure in Mars's gravity amps up the pressure signal could be developed. 

Just like a space suit is monitored for pressurization so to could the tone of the body be monitor for vagal tone by measuring heart rate variability. It would also be important to monitor vagal tone in order to keep inflammation in check. 

So a heart rate variability monitor would be essential to see proper tone is maintained. 

How do can we make sure that the sustainable systems/capabilities that we choose to implement will really provide the best holistic approach to Earth independence?

Testing the capabilities of a virtual reality system for the feet would be fairly straight forward. C-reactive protein tests and heart rate variability tests would show if the technologies developed are effective. 

What do you need to bring with you?

Boots that are programmable, or manually developed. Testing equipment such as a heart rate variability monitor ( i assume this would all ready by apart of the equipment on board) C-reactive protein test kits. 

What will be established once you get there?What will be established once you get there?

Testing stations and protocols for stimulating the proprioceptors.

How does it operate and how can it be tested now?

The basic principal is to apply the proprioceptive signal to the plantar aspect of the foot. It could be a pattern that simulates standing or walking. Or it could be a random pattern that would simulate the random patterns encountered in rough terrain. 

A series of servo mechanisms under the footbed of the shoe would be electronically triggered causing an increase of a slight pressure to the sole of the foot. 

Certain highly innervated areas such as the metatarso-phalangeal joint could be targeted for special attention. This area of the foot is activated in the beginning of the toe off stage in the end of the stance phase in walking. It communicates through the brain with the opposite foot to coordinate the swing phase with the stance phase. 

 Directional areas on the foot such as the cuboid bone which has also been referred to as the variable sensor can be target with movement sequences that simulate moving across rough terrain. This bone and it's movement has a global effect on the foot. It effects the subtalar joint which is involved in maintaining an upright position in human stance. It also effects the mid-tarsal joint  and the mid-foot joint which adjusts for terrain.  

If you want something a little further out you could have programs to perform revival, recovery from stroke, spinal cord injuries and other disorders. 

You could test it here on earth. Metabolic functions could be monitored to see the impact of plantar stimulation. Functional MRI's could be used to show the impact of various parts of the brain. Of interest would be the prefrontal cortex and the insular cortex. 

Why is it sustainable? Is there recycle, reuse? How long will it last?

It is sustainable because the technology is straight forward and should be simple to repair.

How is it intertwined with other systems/capabilities?

It would be integrated into other life support systems. 

How will it be maintained? 

It would require some electronics and repair of the servo units. 

Kevin Kunz

Friday, September 11, 2015

Un-Sit Your Life

Dear Reader,

Just to let you know we have started a new blog for our new book, Un-Sit Your Life. This book is for years in the making. And if we do say so ourselves it came out very well.

You might be wondering why two reflexologist would get into the issue of prolonged sitting. The short answer is that we see it as related via pressure to the bottom of the feet. The long answer is here.

We are changing course somewhat. We are looking more and more at the reflex. In this case reflexes are involved in weight control as well as keeping our metabolism in healthy shape.

We hope you enjoy our latest work. And we hope it helps you achieve your goals.

Warmest regards

Kevin Kunz

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Phantoms in the Brain

I am rereading Ramachandran's Phantoms in the brain. It is a fascinating read as he explores the human brain. Phantom limb pain is one of his main focuses. He tries to get to the very essence of phantom limb pain by conducting some very unusual yet logical experiments. He is using phantom limb to understand really understand how we perceive. There are some very curious questions that phantom limbs bring up. Like how do we perceive our hands, feet and limbs. And why do we continue to perceive them after they are gone?

One side phenomena he brought up was the effect of lung cancer surgery with the nails. When you have lung cancer the nails become clubbed. When the cancer is remove the nails become unclubbed while you are on the operating table.

Curious, really curious.