Wednesday, September 28, 2016

What Clients and Reflexologists Talk About

There’s now some science behind the reflexologist-client relationship. Aside from skills in reflexology, the reflexologist’s role places importance on listening skills. 
After all, sitting face to face with someone for up to an hour does encourage conversation. Listening skills contribute to the reflexologist’s ability to keep the client. Interestingly enough, there’s more going on than chit chat. As noted by a recent study, it’s “the role of the therapeutic relationship within reflexology practice.” 
Research by Dr. Peter Mackereth and colleagues sheds light on the question, What do people talk about during reflexology? and more. Mackereth and his colleagues analyzed 245 audiotapes recorded during a study comparing reflexology “to progressive muscular relaxation in improving the psychological and physical profile associated with multiple sclerosis.” “48 of the 50 participants ...share(d) worries and concerns. Recurring disclosure themes related to physical symptoms and treatment, psychological concerns, home/family worries, and work/leisure issues. 
“Explorative analysis revealed some differences in the amount of disclosure over the weeks, between for example the participant’s type of MS and time living with the diagnosis. 
“Conclusions: Reflexology appears to have created a space for patients to talk about their worries and concerns, and to receive advice and support from the nurse therapists. This work contributes to the debate about the role of the therapeutic relationship within reflexology practice.” 
Mackereth PA, Booth K, Hillier VF, Caress AL, “What do people talk about during reflexology? Analysis of worries and concerns expressed during sessions for patients with multiple sclerosis.,” Complementary Therapeutic Clinical Practice. 2009 May;15(2):85-90. PMID: 19341986

From the moment the reflexologist’s hands start their work, the relaxation—and more—begins.

Copyright- DK/Penguin

Yes, measuring real-time as reflexology is applied, EEG testing shows that the brain immediately goes into a more relaxed state as reflexology work commences. 
But there’s more. The creation of brain waves indicating relaxation as measured by EEG is not the only effect of reflexology work on the brain shown by real-time measurements.  
fMRI Testing
Real-time measurement by fMRI shows reflexology technique prompts activation of a particular part of the brain when technique is applied to a specific part of the foot. 
• The part of the brain responsible for short-term memory shows more blood flow when reflexology technique is applied to the side of the big toe.
• The part of the brain responsible for integrating body, mind and spirit—the insula—shows more blood flow when reflexology technique is applied to the adrenal gland reflex area. The insula integrates actions to balance emotions, homeostasis, and pain center.
• The left frontal lobe is activated by reflexology technique applied to the eye reflex area of the right foot. This is a part of the brain responsible for writing, movement, as well as personality traits such as problem solving, spontaneity, memory, language, initiation, judgement, impulse control, and social and sexual behavior. The cerebellum was also activated by technique applied to the eye reflex area. The cerebellum is responsible for posture, balance, and coordination of movements.
• Technique applied to the eye, shoulder and small intestine reflex areas of the foot resulted in activation in the brain of areas related to the foot and also to the areas of the brain related to the eye, shoulder and small intestine.
Doppler Sonogram Testing
Then there’s improved blood flow to the kidneys and intestines when technique is applied to the kidney and intestine reflex areas respectively as shown in real-time measurements by Doppler sonogram. 
General Effects
In addition there’s the general influence of reflexology work shown by research: pain relief; improved blood flow to the feet; decrease in heart rate and blood pressure; increase in oxygen saturation and lowering of the respiratory rate.
Taking a Tour
Now you can tell your clients or imagine yourself what’s happening as reflexology is applied to the feet. Give or imagine a guided tour as you point out the sites of influence: temporal lobe reflex area, improved blood flow for part of the brain responsible for short term memory; kidney reflex area, blood flow to the kidneys improving; same with intestine reflex area; adrenal reflex area, straight to a part of the brain important to integrating body, mind and spirit; eye reflex area, influencing parts of the brain responsible for moving.

Evidenced Based Reflexology Research: For Health Professionals and Researchers

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Reflexology by Kevin Kunz

Barbara and Kevin Kunz
Kevin Practices in Albuquerque, NM

What do his clients say about Kevin’s work?

• I am writing this short note to express my appreciation for an amazing healer, Kevin Kunz. I have been treated by Kevin for many years and have worked with Kevin as a professional colleague. I consider him a world master in the field of foot reflexology. I have seen with my own eyes results with severely impaired patients that defy medical explanation. I highly recommend and encourage anyone with health issues needing relief to consider treating with Mr. Kunz.
Dr. Laryr Marrich

• I’ve been seeing Kevin on and off for 35 years, mostly on.  He is my go to healer for almost anything that ails me. My work is physically very demanding and I have had many injuries.  … I would highly recommend Kevin to anyone and everyone who needs a body tune up, works long hard hours like myself or wants to have a great sense of well being in their body.  He has saved my life, physically and emotionally for many years. Sharon L.

• “I have been seeing Kevin Kunz for several years and he is amazing! My passion is running… . I had been experiencing a foot injury for quite a while and decided to see Kevin with the hopes that he could help me work through my injury. Well, he did and shortly after seeing him, I ran the 2016 Boston Marathon and finished with no pain and the pain that had nagged me for quite some time has not returned. … Kevin Kunz, thank you!”  Liz S.

• “I found Kevin and Barbara Kunz 20 years ago. I was told by several Doctors I had to have both of my feet operated on; major surgery on both. My feet actually were deformed into  points; from wearing pointed shoes everyday for 20 yrs.  Kevin actually fixed both feet back to normal.  … I learned so much about the health of my whole body from them.  I love their books because I know what they share works. Thank you Kevin and Barbara.”  Janna C.

• ”Kevin Kunz introduced me to reflexology and its benefits over 20 years ago …. I found that the treatments I received from Kevin effectively addressed a number of foot and ankle problems I was having. Over time I came to regard reflexology as an effective treatment that offers a number of benefits.… I would recommend Kevin to anyone wanting to learn more or interested in having a treatment." Ron B.

Call Kevin at 505-228-9076 to find out more.

Our Reflexology Story

Barbara and Kevin Kunz

People always ask how we got started in reflexology. Kevin tells them how he was walking down the aisle of a book store and found a book on reflexology. It’s one of life’s little moments where we always wonder what would have happened if he’d been walking down another aisle. 

For Barbara it was experiencing the results of Kevin’s work. His work provided a solution to her sinus headache problems and was the beginning of Barbara’s interest. For her, development of self applied reflexology techniques and hand reflexology techniques followed.

Our on-going in depth exploration of reflexology was launched by a question Barbara asked a client while she was doing reflexology on his hands. The question was “Jimmy, are you moving your fingers?” His answer was, “No, Kevin is.” That was quite a surprise. Our client was a quadriplegic paralyzed from the neck down. Yet, his moving fingers had interrupted Barbara’s work. As it turned out, Kevin’s reflexology work on Jimmy’s left foot had prompted the fingers of Jimmy’s right hand to move. Why? The answer took a year to research and realize. The discovery was to change everything for us. We discovered reflexology’s value is in the pressure it provides to the feet and hands. Just as vitamins serve as nutrients, such pressure application provides nourishment to the body and creates healthful changes. We were off on our journey to work with further clients and make more discoveries. 
It’s been a forty-year, never-ending fascination with reflexology. Every pair of feet and set of hands are unexplored territory waiting to be discovered. The greatest excitement and reward has been helping others. Every one of our 22 books is an effort to research and explain about how and why to use the incredible healing tool of reflexology.
We invite you to come along, to start your own journey, helping yourself and others feel better. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Implications of Reflexology Use by Breast Cancer Patients

Breast cancer patients benefit from reflexology use.
Following chemotherapy:
• Following reflexology work, breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy saw a significant decrease in nausea and vomiting and a statistically significant decrease in fatigue.
• A significant decrease in anxiety was demonstrated by breast and lung cancer patients who received one 30-minute reflexology session. A significant decrease in pain was shown for patients with breast cancer following reflexology work.
• Advance-stage breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy and/or hormone therapy saw “... significant improvements (10%) in physical functioning (walking, carrying groceries and climbing stairs) for the reflexology group compared to the control group (p=0.04). Severity of dyspnea was reduced compared to the control group and the LFM group (p=0.02)”
Following surgery:
Reflexology was demonstrated to have a statistically significant and clinically worthwhile effects on quality of life in patients following surgery for early breast carcinoma.
• A statistically significant decrease in anxiety and pain was shown for mastectomy patients who received a 30-minute reflexology session post operatively.
• Breast cancer patients saw an improvement and maintenance effect on the severity and distress of breast sensation following surgery.
During cancer care:
• Breast and lung cancer patients experienced significantly less anxiety following a 30 minute reflexology session with the breast cancer patients showing a significant decrease in pain.

• “The results revealed that the (10-minute reflexology) treatments produced a significant and immediate effect on the (breast cancer, lung cancer, or Hodgkin lymphoma) patients’ perceptions of pain, nausea and relaxation when measured with a visual analog scale.”

• Breast cancer patients saw a significant reduction in the volume of the arm affected by treatment-related lymphodema, a reduction that appeared to be maintained for more than six months. “Participant concerns were significantly reduced and their wellbeing significantly increased.”

Did you know a single reflexology session can help those with cancer?

For cancer patients receiving chemotherapy:
• A single 30 minute hand reflexology session resulted in lower levels of nausea, retching and vomiting for cancer patients receiving chemotherapy.
• A single session of reflexology reduced the anxiety of cancer patients receiving chemotherapy— 7.9 points on the state-anxiety scale compared to 0.8 in the control group.
• A single session of reflexology made significant changes in vital signs, general fatigue, mood and foot fatigue for cancer patients receiving chemotherapy.

For hospitalized cancer patients:
One reflexology session lessened the pain, nausea, stress, anxiety and depression as well as increased feelings of well-being and peacefulness for hospitalized cancer care patients.
• Hospitalized breast cancer, lung cancer, or Hodgkin lymphoma cancer patients experienced a significant and immediate effect on perceptions of pain, nausea and relaxation following a 10 to 15 minute reflexology session.
• Hospitalized breast and lung cancer patients who received a 30-minute session experienced significantly less anxiety with the breast cancer patients showing a significant decrease in pain.
For cancer care patients:
A 30-minute partner-delivered reflexology session provided to metastic cancer patients demonstrated a significant decrease in pain intensity (37%) and anxiety (62%). (20) 
• One 30-minute reflexology session significantly decreased anxiety for breast and lung cancer patients receiving cancer care as well as pain for breast cancer patients. (21)
For cancer patients post-surgically:
A 30-minute reflexology session following surgery reduced pain and anxiety for mastectomy patients. (6) 
For palliative care cancer patients:
• A 40-minute reflexology session was perceived to benefit quality of life by 100% of palliative patients. (4) 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Reflexology and Pain Reduction

Pain reduction is a significant result of reflexology work. More than 40 studies show positive out-comes for reflexology work ranging from “significant difference in” pain to “reduction in” pain.
Of note is the broad range of individuals whose pain is impacted by reflexology work. Included are individuals of all ages and health states: birthing mothers, menstruating women, phantom limb pain sufferers, lower back pain sufferers, kidney stone patients, senior citizens and individuals with pain resulting from surgery. Such a range speaks of impact on an underlying mechanism at work.
The use of reflexology to reduce pain is documented by both testimonials and research. One review of 177 reflexology studies showed that 35 or 21% tested the efficacy of reflexology for pain reduction. 
How this takes place is a matter of conjecture. Popular theories include pain reduction due to: (1) endorphin release prompted by reflexology work, (2) the gate control theory (the signal created by reflexology work replaces the pain signal at the “gate,” the spinal cord) and neuromatrix theory of pain, an expansion of the gate control theory that proposes that pain is a multidimensional experience involving three major psychological dimensions: sensory-discriminative, motivational-affective, and cognitive-evaluative.
See Evidence-Based Reflexology Research for Health Professionals and Researchers by Barbara and Kevin Kunz.

Reflexology reduces pain following surgery as found in 8 studies. Among post-operative study results, it was noted in one study: “there was a notable difference in pain intensity between the intervention and other groups after reflexology therapy. In addition, methadone consumption was significantly lower in the reflexology group than in the other two groups (p ≤ 0.001).” with a conclusion: “Reflexology is effective for reducing pain after appendectomy surgery.”

Among benefits of reflexology use to improve care in the obstetric ward is creating a better experience for expectant and new mothers. Included are avoiding use of and potential side effects of pain killing medication during labor as well as for primary inertia during delivery and saving money, helping reduce pain and, thus, encouraging mothers concerned about pain to use vaginal birth rather than cesarean section.
See Medical Applications of Reflexology: Findings in Research about Post-operative Care, Maternity Care and Cancer Care.
Eleven studies show use of reflexology helps reduce pain during cancer care:
• “...positive immediate effect for patients with metastatic cancer who report pain” (22)
• “...significant and immediate effect on the patients’ perceptions of pain;” (3)
• “...immediate decrease in pain intensity and anxiety...” (20)
• “...effective for reducing cancer pain” (7)
• “There was a statistically significant decrease in anxiety and pain in the experimental group compared to the control group over 5 different times. (6)
• “When applied skillfully, a reflexology massage is pleasantly relaxing and able to diminish painful sensations in the body.” (2)
• “One of three pain measures showed that patients with breast cancer experienced a significant decrease in pain.” (21)
• “... positive immediate effect for patients with metastatic cancer who report pain, although there was no statistically significant effect at 3 hours after intervention or at 24 hours after intervention.” This research established a three hour window of impact, with an effective “dose” to be administered every 3 hours. (23) 
• “Patients with breast cancer also showed a significant decrease in pain.” (11)
• “The committee pleased to find that the patients who received reflexology reported less pain, nausea, stress, anxiety, and depression; they also expressed increased feelings of well-being and peacefulness.” (15)
• “...less pain (P <.05) and anxiety (P <.05) over time were reported by the intervention group compared with the control group. In addition, patients in the intervention group received significantly less opioid analgesics than the control group (P <.05).” (24) 
See Medical Applications of Reflexology: Findings in Research about Cancer Care

Treating Chronic Pain with Complementary Health Approaches: Where’s Reflexology?

Where’s the reflexology? was my first thought when they introduced the story: Complementary health approaches and what they can do for those with chronic pain on the Sept 1, 2016, edition of NBC Nightly News. On closer examination, the study’s focus was limited to what was judged to be  the “most popular complementary health approaches” and “the five painful conditions.”
Research into the impact of reflexology spans a broader range of pain experiences. (See “Reflexology and Pain Reduction.”) 
The study dovetails with “New guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (that) urge doctors to take it easy in prescribing the potentially killer drugs (opioids), making it clear that overprescribing is driving an epidemic of opioid addiction.”
The study looked at 50 years of research into the most commonly reported forms of chronic pain and the “most popular complementary health approaches.”
“The review focused on U.S.-based trial results on seven approaches used for one or more of five painful conditions — back pain, osteoarthritis, neck pain, fibromyalgia, and severe headaches and migraine — and found promise in the following for safety and effectiveness in treating pain:
• Acupuncture and yoga for back pain
• Acupuncture and tai chi for osteoarthritis of the knee
• Massage therapy for neck pain with adequate doses and for short-term benefit
• Relaxation techniques for severe headaches and migraine.”