As reported by a San Antonio, Texas newspaper, Muhammed Ali was drawn to reflexology after reading about its use by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Both were provided services by New York reflexologist Richard Minarik who applied his work with a stick.
“Leg-puller cures Muhammed Ali of his arthritis”
“A person could get hurt trying to pull Muhammed Ali’s leg. But for Richard Minarik it has paid off handsomely. Minarik is a foot reflexologist who says bodily ills can be cured by manipulating the feet.
“Last year (1976) THE STAR published a story about him curing Jackie Kennedy Onassis of a pain in her neck. Ali read the story and promptly contacted Minarik saying that he had painful arthritis in his neck which failed to respond to conventional treatment. After only two sessions of Minarik’s foot manipulation the heavy-weight champion reported a 100 percent improvement.
“He kept reciting poetry to me while I was working on him,” said Minarik. “They were all his own poems — one was called ‘The Feet’.” And now Minarik is treating Ali for arthritis in his right hand. Ali has even flown him from New York to Miami for several of the sessions.
“I have also taught him how to relax before fights,” said Minarik, who runs the Elmshurt Yoga Institute in Queens, New York. “Ali told me that next to him, I’m the greatest.”
“Minarik admits his treatment is not recognized by the medical profession. But that does not prevent him from practicing it. He took up the treatment at age 17 when a foot reflexologist cured him of crippling arthritis. “I’ve been a convert ever since,” he added.” (May 29, 1977 San Antonio (TX) Express (https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/65741416/)
Unknown, 1978, National Enquirer
New York reflexologist Richard Minarik is pictured working on the feet of boxer Muhammed Ali with a stick in preparation for a fight. Ali won.