“People love this book. Now that they’re staying home so much it gives them so many ideas about what they can do.” Chiropractor who shares Intermittent Moving with patients.
Thursday, September 16, 2021
“People love this book. Now that they’re staying home so much it gives them so many ideas about what they can do.” Chiropractor who shares Intermittent Moving with patients.
Monday, September 13, 2021
- Pursuant to being included as authors of the study, Barbara and Kevin Kunz have completed training as Biomedical Research Investigators as well as in Conflict of Interest as required by the School of Medicine, University of New Mexico.
Thursday, April 15, 2021
Kevin Kunz is pleased to be among 14 speakers presenting:
The Importance of Research and Education in Reflexology
April 19 to 24, 2021
11th European Reflexology Conference
organised by the
French Federation of Reflexologists
European Reflexology in Europe Nexus (RIEN)
Delayed by a year due to Covid but now coming to you
on-line with the program presented in
English and French languages
Details and how to sign up here:
The talks will be available on-line from April 19-23, 2021.
On April 24, 9 am to 12 noon (3 am to 6 am EDT in the US) 3 live debate sessions will be presented by the speakers moderated by David Whatley. Included will be openings and closings by Eduardo Luis (President of RIEN) and Elise Manzoni (President of French Federation of Reflexologists).
Introduction from research WG: Understanding Reflexology and Research
Stronger Together: Reflexology & Research
What is the effectiveness of Reflexology? Can we study it?
Lee Anthony Taylor
Measuring our Successes in Reflex Therapy
Introducing https://Reflexology.Report ! How to make scientific Research about Reflexology available to all Reflexologists
The Importance of Research in Reflexology
Sue Alma Evans
Research pilot on the use of duopody Reflexology to reduce chronic pain, prescribed opioid medication and GP visits in south west Cardiff, Wales.
Abad José Manuel
The importance of research in Reflexology
The implementation of combined Reflexotherapy in Oncology.
The Future of Reflexology
The emotional conversation between the organs and the limbic system. Meet zonal Reflexology and nerve Reflexology
Stress and Trauma Sensitive Reflexology start of research
Cerebral cortex and its functions
Gbadessi Didier Jacques
Reflexology and cerebrovascular accidents (stroke) in Benin
Reflexology applied to Alzheimer’s disease, my method
The interest of Reflexology during pregnancy
Ben Abdeslam / Hanan
Research and the importance of reflexology during the perinatal period
Abstract Dyspepsia, opening of the aorto-mesenteric narrowing and podal Reflexology 2.
Monday, February 22, 2021
Roots of Research
Over the millennial, with a history dating back thousands of years, reflexologists have produced results, creating healthy outcomes.
It’s now research time, time to answer questions about why this would be.
For us it’s been forty years in the making but it’s a goal all reflexologists want. At least that was what 100% of those responding to a questionnaire said when asked. Forty years ago reflexologists said, yes, about the statement, “They could discover how reflexology works if they tried.” It’s about to happen.
We are pleased to work with Dr. Stefan Posse, neuroscientist at the Human Brain MR Imaging Research Laboratory University of New Mexico School of Medicine, to explore the “Neuro Pathways of Applied Reflexology,” exploring proving the concept of reflexology, using fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) brain scan. The research is administered by the non-profit University of New Mexico Foundation.
The intended research is a search for an honest, straight forward answer to why reflexologists create such results.
We’ve been looking for the answer for years, decades actually our entire careers. Our interest is to close the circle on a search that started early in our reflexology careers. One event lead to our dedication to the search. See below.
Dr. Posse’s interest? Just as we reflexologists are interested in the foot and what it has to say, neuroscientists are interested in the brain and what it has to say. The brain scan provides such information.
In technical terms Dr. Posse notes:
“There is an urgent need to characterize the biological substrates (the part of the central nervous system, i.e., brain and spinal cord that underlies a specific behavior, cognitive process, or psychological state)* and mechanisms of reflexology. Functional MRI is uniquely positioned to answer questions about brain regions stimulated during reflexology, synchronization of brain activity and the role of the limbic system in conveying benefits to the patient. (The limbic system is a set of structures in the brain that deal with emotions and memory. It regulates autonomic or endocrine function in response to emotional stimuli and also is involved in reinforcing behavior.)*
“The real-time fMRI technology developed at the University of New Mexico in the Human Brain Imaging Research Laboratory is uniquely suitable for mapping with high sensitivity and specificity the entire connectome (the system of neural pathways in a brain or nervous system, considered collectively)* associated with the application of reflexology. This includes brain activation and brain connectivity and changes thereof during stimulation of different body parts using reflexology. Mapping activation and connectivity during the fMRI scan enables monitoring of data quality and experimental feedback to the subject with the goal of enhancing the effectiveness of the treatment.”
*Material in parentheses is our addition.
Roots of Research
The roots of this project for us date to forty years ago and our work with a paralyzed clientele.
“Jimmy, are you moving your fingers?” It was a question asked of a client during the course of simultaneous hand and foot reflexology sessions.
His answer was, “No, Kevin is.”
For any client this was a different response to reflexology work. Since Jimmy was a quadriplegic, this, movement of fingers, was not supposed to happen under any circumstances. And why would he say Kevin had caused it?
It turned out, Kevin’s reflexology work on a particular reflex area of the left foot had prompted movement of the fingers of Jimmy’s right hand.
Jimmy’s answer lead us to a search for answers and an eventual hypothesis for the question, how does reflexology work and, many years later, research with Dr. Posse.
Why would this be?
The question became why: why would movement of fingers be prompted by reflexology work? A similar phenomena was observed as we worked with two additional paralyzed clients both paraplegic. The movement prompted by reflexology work to the same reflex area of the foot was of the opposite foot. Also observed with all three clients were effects on the internal workings of the body: sweating, grumbling of the intestines and shivering with reports of no sensation of cold.
As we would discover, pressure whether prompted by a footstep or reflexology technique application creates a reflex response throughout the body. Such a simple answer now adopted as a cornerstone the the reflexology definition. It was a year in the making.
Kevin had been studying in detail how a footstep happens. Barbara was studying the nervous system.
Kevin recognized the change in movement by the paraplegic clients as time went on. After six months both clients reflexology work prompted movement of their feet as a segment of taking a footstep.
Barbara discovered the concept of proprioception. Proprioception is the body’s ability to sense pressure, stretch and movement. Especially important is deep pressure to the bottoms of the feet. It was a Eureka moment.
Putting the two together, the footstep and the ability of the foot to sense pressure, we saw our reflexology work had tapped into deep pressure sensors in the bottoms of the feet, stimulating a part of the body’s walking mechanism.
As we found out, internal organs work together with pressure sensors in the feet. Think of the fight or flight response. In time of danger, the adrenal glands respond as do other activities of the internal mechanism. The feet stand ready to do their part. Such responses go on day and night as our bodies respond to what we do. Pressure sensors in the feet contribute to whole body communication whether one is sitting or standing or walking, each requiring a different level of energy expenditure.
The results produced by the work of reflexologists over millennia is created by this coordination within the nervous system of the internal organs (autonomic nervous system) and the ability to move (motor nervous system).
This was and is our hypothesis. The word pressure has subsequently been adopted into many definitions of reflexology. Effects on the autonomic nervous system is seen as a viable model of how reflexology works. After more than forty years we look forward to seeing it tested
Join Us: Research Proving the Concept of Reflexology
Imagine a few thousand years later and it’s 32 BCE. Mark Anthony is being criticized by historian Ovid for working on the feet of Cleopatra at a dinner party.
Imagine today and 21st century technology is being used to prove the reflexology concept that’s been around for thousands of years.
Research is being launched using fMRI brain imaging to prove the concept of reflexology. “Neural Pathways of Applied Reflexology” will study what happens in the brain and spinal cord as reflexology is applied.
We seek to raise US$150,000 to fund the study. Join us as we seek to move into the future an idea that lives in the hearts and minds of millions around the world and throughout history. Here’s your chance to join the reflexology revolution, becoming a part of those who believe in reflexology and its use in health, wellness and medicine.
The research will be lead by Dr. Stefan Posse, internationally recognized neuroscientist at the University of New Mexico (UNM) Medical School’s Human Brain Imaging Research Laboratory. (https://vivo.health.unm.edu/display/n302957944). Internationally recognized reflexology authorities Barbara and Kevin Kunz will provide the reflexology knowledge and application. All three are volunteering their efforts. All donations will be administered by the non-profit UNM Foundation. (https://www.unmfund.org/fund/npar-fund/)
Study participants will have reflexology applied to a specific reflex area of their feet as real time fMRI imaging records what happens in the brain and in the spinal cord. Neuroscientists will then assess the resulting images to determine which parts of the participants’ brains and spinal cords respond to the stimulation of reflexology. In a second clinical phase of the research, the same procedure will be followed with study participants who experience a specific health concern.
Imagine: we could be able to peer inside the brain and spinal cord to map reflexology’s path in the body, continuing a trail from humankind’s past into its future. What treasures might we find? Where could new discoveries lead?
Monday, January 25, 2021
Reflexology research for hospitalized patients supported by mechanical ventilation:
Potential General Impact of a Single Reflexology Session on Physiologic Parameters
Research shows that reflexology effects a variety of physical and psychological concerns. Research also demonstrates what a single reflexology session reflexology can do for the reflexology client:
• creates relaxation
• reduces anxiety
• diminishes pain
• improves blood flow to the kidneys, intestines, and feet
• improves blood flow to parts of the brain related to the reflex area
• decreases heart rate and blood pressure
• increases oxygen saturation and lowers respiratory rate (functions of the lungs)
Can a single reflexology session make a difference for hospitalized patients, especially for those in the most serious of circumstances, supported by mechanical ventilation? Findings in research show possibilities.
Further, what can such findings mean for the providing of reflexology services for the benefit of reflexology clients?
While multiple variables can influence the results of a reflexology session, three studies of patients supported by mechanical ventilation demonstrate key issues. In the studies, the length of time reflexology is applied and reflex areas to which technique is applied potentially made a difference in positive results.
At issue for the reflexologist and client: can applying technique to a limited number of reflex areas for the duration of a session provide specific benefits?
The three studies investigated physiologic parameters of patients following open heart surgery as well as length time for weaning from mechanical ventilator support. Stabilization of physiologic parameters and length of time on mechanical ventilation are both important to a successful outcome for patients.
The best results among the three studies were achieved in a study where 30 to 40 minutes of reflexology work was applied to solar plexus, heart and lung reflex areas of study participants. Following reflexology work, statistically significant differences were found in physiologic parameters (heart rate, respiratory rate, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, mean arterial pressure and oxygen saturation) for intervention participants compared to those in the control group. (17a/29)
No significant differences were found for physiologic parameters in a study where 20 minutes of foot reflexology was applied to the heart and lung reflex areas of study participants.
No significant differences were found for physiologic parameters in a study where 20-30 minutes of foot reflexology was applied to the solar plexus, respiratory, circulatory, urinary, lymphatic reflex areas of study participants.
All three studies demonstrated shorter weaning times from mechanical ventilators: 165 minutes for the first noted above; 39 minutes less for the second and 100 minutes less for the third.
As noted by the first study:
“Statistically significant differences from patients in the control groups were found in heart rate, respiratory rate, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, mean arterial pressure and oxygen saturation. As noted by researchers: “The findings of this study support the hypothesis that foot reflexology positively affects the stabilization of physiological indicators of critically ill patients and decreases ventilation dependence as compared with patients who did not receive foot massage.”
Length of time and reflex areas were deliberately chosen. Length of time for technique application was chosen from three previous studies. “Based on the claim of reflexologists (three studies as well as Kunz and Kunz, Complete Reflexology for Life), the points on the plantar surface of the foot which may be responsible for stabilization of physiological indicators and reduction of ventilation dependence were chosen. … “The steps of foot reflexology technique were adopted from Kunz and Kunz (Complete Reflexology for Life)”
Additional research demonstrated positive results in two studies of physiologic parameters following coronary artery bypass surgery.
30 minutes of foot reflexology applied to solar plexus, hypothalamus, pituitary, lung, adrenal gland, heart (left foot only) reflex areas of study participants resulted in greater improvement than the control group to physiologic parameters (respiratory rate, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, mean arterial pressure, oxygen saturation, heart rate)
Also improved to a level greater than other the control group was patients’ anxiety. Patients’ agitation showed significantly higher reduction. Extubation time was significantly shorter.
30 minutes of foot reflexology applied to solar plexus, hypothalamus, pituitary, lung, adrenal gland, heart (left foot only) reflex areas of study participants was shown to result in a significant difference in physiologic parameters (respiratory rate, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, mean arterial pressure, oxygen saturation). No significant difference was shown for heart rate. A significant difference was seen in patients’ anxiety levels.
Books by Kunz and Kunz
Medical Applications of Reflexology: Findings in Research About Post-operative care, Maternity Care and Cancer Care
Evidenced Based Reflexology Research: For Health Professionals and Researchers
Medical applications of Reflexology:: Findings in Research about Cancer Care
Reflexology: Hands-on Treatment for Vitality and Well-being
Complete Reflexology for Life: Your Definitive Photographic Reference to the Best Techniques and Treatments
Intermittent Moving Books
Intermittent Moving: How I Lost My Pants and Mastered My Weight
Un-Sit Your Life: The Reflex "Diet" Solution
Thursday, September 24, 2020
Part 3 of 3
Could a reflexology technique serve as a therapeutic approach for those with Alzheimer’s? The possibility exists that a targeted reflexology technique could mirror the researched effects of targeted light and sound techniques to help dissipate tangled amyloid plaque areas commonly found in the brains of those with Alzheimer’s. Linking sight, sound and the pressure techniques of reflexology is the sensory experience provided by each.
Exposure of “Alzheimer’s mice” to specific sound and light has been demonstrated by MIT researchers to increase activity of gamma brain waves and, as a result, lessen amyloid plaque areas in the mice brains. (1) (2)
“Gamma (brain wave) activity represents an important marker of successful memory formation, episodic recall and other behavioral and cognitive functions. Sensorimotor, learning memory, information processing, and behavioral functions are important in everyday life of humans and are also integral in execution of life processes.” (3)
Gamma brain waves are known to decrease in activity for those with Alzheimer’s. In both the light and sound studies it was found, “Once the brain is flushed with gamma waves, two effects come into play: fewer amyloid plaques are produced and more of these existing plaques are cleared out by immune cells known as microglia.”
MIT researchers found specific light exposure created change in brain waves of the visual cortex of the brain while specific sound exposure created change in the auditory cortex as well as a nearby area, the hippocampos. Further areas of the brain were found to be effected by exposure to light over a longer period of time.
The researchers hypothesize that other sensory experiences could impact further areas of the brain. ‘If we can activate gamma (brain waves) in many different brain regions, perhaps we can get a huge area of the brain involved,’ says (MIT researcher Dr. Li-Huei), Tsai. ‘Treating the whole brain will be important for people with Alzheimer’s disease.’” (1)
MIT researchers would like to determine “whether other modes of sensory stimulation, such as sound or touch, have similar effects on the regions of the brain that process those inputs. Ultimately, the goal is to find multiple ways to noninvasively stimulate the brain so that the induced gamma waves propagate strongly throughout it.”
Reflexology technique application provides the sensory experience of pressure to the feet and hands. Kunz and Kunz posited this theory in 1981 following work with paralyzed individuals. Pressure sensors in the feet communicate information about movement as well as activities throughout the body including mechanisms such as the autonomic nervous system. (3)
Researchers working with healthy male subjects found that targeted reflexology work created increased gamma and beta brain wave activity in the frontal cortex of the brain. (1)
“The frontal lobe (cortex) is the part of the brain that controls important cognitive skills in humans, such as emotional expression, problem solving, memory, language, judgment, and sexual behaviors. It is, in essence, the “control panel” of our personality and our ability to communicate.… “It is also responsible for primary motor function, or our ability to consciously move our muscles, and the two key areas related to speech, including Broca’s area.” (5)
What specific sensory experiences created increase in gamma brain waves?
Exposing “Alzheimer’s mice” for an hour a day for a week to lights flickering at the speed of 40 hertz per second “sharply reduced” by half the build-up of beta-amyloid plaque in the visual cortex of mice brains. Longer term treatment showed
MIT researchers also studied using sound to increase activity of gamma waves in the brain. Mice were exposed to sound at a hum of 40 hertz for an hour a day. Results were even more promising than those of the light study. Reduced was the plaque in not only the auditory cortex of the brain but a near-by area the hippocampos where memories are stored.
A reflex area reflecting the cortex of the brain located in the ball of the big toe was targeted by reflexology researchers. Five minutes of application to each big toe for seven consecutive days resulted in an increase in gamma brain waves.
Further implications for targeted reflexology
Does reflexology effect amyloid plaque? Such research has not been conducted. (Amyloid imaging using the PET (positron emission tomography) has emerged as a method other than post mortem autopsy. (6)) The possibilities are intriguing. As noted below in more recent research at MIT, longer term application of sensory stimulation of light included effects beyond those noted above.
Further results benefiting those with Alzheimer’s are possible. “… MIT researchers tested the effects of longer-term treatment by exposing mouse models with more advanced Alzheimer’s disease to up to 6 weeks of gamma entrainment by visual stimulation. Results showed stimulation increased gamma brain waves in the visual cortex and higher-order brain areas, including the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. Continuing stimulation also preserved neuronal and synaptic density in these brain regions, improved performance on memory tasks, and reduced inflammation. Findings point to an overall neuroprotective effect, even in the later stages of neurodegeneration, the researchers reported.” (7)
(1) Dougherty, Elizabeth, “Seeing the Light, Aging Brain Initiative researchers discover a potential Alzheimer’s therapy,” Spectrum (MIT), Spring 2017
(2) “Low-Hum Therapy Seems to Counteract Alzheimer’s Symptoms in Mice” https://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/low-hum-therapy-seems-to-counteract-alzheimer-s-symptoms-in-mice/
(3) Cevat Unal, Menizibeya O.Welcome, Mariam Salako, Faruk Abdullahi, Nuhu M. Abubakar, Vladimir A.Pereverzev, Siti Sugih Hartiningsih, Senol Dane, “The effect of foot reflexotherapy on the dynamics of cortical oscillatory waves in healthy humans: An EEG study,” Complementary Therapies in Medicine, Volume 38, June 2018 , Pages 42-47
(4) Kunz, Barbara, Kunz, Kevin, The Complete Guide to Foot Reflexology (Third Edition), RRP Press, 2005
(6) Subapriya Suppiah, Melanie-Anne Didier, Sobhan Vinjamuri,” The Who, When, Why, and How of PET Amyloid Imaging in Management of Alzheimer’s Disease—Review of Literature and Interesting Images,” Diagnostics (Basel). 2019 Jun; 9(2): 65., PMCID: PMC6627350, PMID: 31242587