Thursday, April 12, 2018

10 Awesome Ways Reflexology Can Help Your Family

By AlexanderHovanec - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

1. Take control. You can manage how your family feels just like you manage your family’s budget and meals and so many things. 
2. Target those complaints. Tummy aches, owies, headaches—there’s a reflexology solution for everyday problems.

3. Create some face time with your family. Everyone’s busy these days and reflexology creates time to sit and talk.

4. Show you care. Hugs are great but reflexology lets that loving touch go on longer.

5. Create a special relationship. One woman is called Aunty Foot by her young niece who loves her reflexology time.

6. What’s wrong, honey? I don’t know. When it’s one of those times when no words describe what your loved one is feeling, reflexology can bridge the gap.  

7. Take care of yourself. Your family needs you. That little thing that’s bothering you (nagging headaches, bad menstrual pains etc.) needs some attention for you to be your best. 

8. Take the edge off. Life is more of a tension filled roller coaster ride for some of us. As told to Kevin by more than one reflexology client, my family is glad to have me come and see you to make me easier to live with. 

9. Special care for special ages. Whatever the age, reflexology offers solutions medicine doesn’t. Whether it’s teething and colic for infants, growing pains for the teenager or reassurance for the elderly, you and reflexology can be there. 

10. You’re not alone. You’re not helpless. When life takes a turn with a serious illness or family problem, reflexology offers an opportunity to reach out when there are no words to help.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Take advantage of nature’s gym

"Take advantage of nature’s gym. Let the terrain and conditions dictate movement, making you stronger, healthier and more able to enjoy your time outside when nature’s call comes. Learn more at today. #TrainSoICan"

Ad for Merrill training shoe. I really like the idea of nature's gym. We weren't born with shoes. Nature provides the most natural workout for our feet. But it sounds like technology is catching up.

Take advantage of nature’s gym. Let the terrain and conditions dictate movement, making you stronger, healthier and more able to enjoy your time outside when nature’s call comes. Learn more at today. #TrainSoICan

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Why People Walked Differently in Medieval Times | Mental Floss

By Stilfehler (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Why People Walked Differently in Medieval Times | Mental Floss

We are heel walkers. In fact we are very hard on our heels. According to this article our ancestors were more toe walkers.

Barefoot runners are very different than shod runners in the area of the foot that receives the initial impact. The stride impact is directly on the toes with a barefoot runner. YouTube has a video which shows this dramatic shift.

As we age we tend to lose the fatty pad and the heel gets harder and harder. Also the heel is prone to spurs, jagged calcified outcropping from the bone.

In recent years I have focus more and more on the heel. I think the heel as much more sophisticated than I once thought. Because of the heel's role in locomotion I now think of it as a multitude of sensors whose job is to feedback information about the terrain under foot.

It is hard work and can be hard on your thumbs but by working the heel more I find it helps loosen the whole foot. Breaking down the deposits in the heel helps me to reset the this stress level not only in the foot but the rest of the body as well.

Kevin Kunz

Monday, September 11, 2017

Caregiver Reflexology: Beneficial for Cancer Patients

How much can cancer patients benefit from reflexology provided by friend and family caregivers? A lot according to a study headed by Dr. Gwen Wyatt of Michigan State University. Symptom severity was reduced significantly when reflexology was provided to women with advanced breast cancer by caregivers such as spouses.

Most interesting: results were obtained with little training to the caregivers and the number of sessions was few. The first visit was a training visit by a study reflexologist. The first weekly 30 minute caregiver session was observed and coached by the reflexologist. During the second weekly session, the caregiver was observed and received any needed adjustments in technique. Two further unsupervised weekly sessions were provided by the caregiver.

Significant reduction in symptom severity began for the cancer patients were seen at the second week and continued to the fifth week with results reduced at the 11 week mark. The caregiver-provided reflexology group saw significant reductions in: pain, fatigue, nausea, disturbed sleep, distress, shortness of breath, difficulty remembering, decreased appetite, drowsiness, dry mouth, sadness, vomiting, numbness/tingling.

The importance of the study is seen as the now proven ability to manage symptoms (see below) at home for the advanced cancer patient. 

  • Previous studies have shown that unmanaged symptoms lead to a reduced health-related quality of life. Management of symptoms can improve quality of life.
  • “more than 80% of women with breast cancer turn to complementary and integrative health (CIH) therapies for symptom management” with foot or hand reflexology as one of the most common choices
  • Home-based symptom management allows patients to receive interventions when needed (Such a conclusion was also drawn in a previous study of caregiver provided reflexology for pain relief of cancer patients.) 
  • Home-based symptom management allows patients to avoid “scheduling appointments for some time in the future with practitioners” (and as noted above receive immediate attention for symptoms) 
  • Home-based symptom management “minimizes the financial expenses and potential exposure to outside contaminants (experienced during a visit to a health care facility) for immunocompromised patients with advanced disease.”

The decision to research results of caregiver reflexology in the current study followed observations of 2010 research by Dr. Wyatt et al. During that study an unexpected result was the positive results obtained for cancer patients by research staff with no reflexology training.

Further research is planned to explore mechanisms of action at work. “The finding of the stable social relationship in this study points to the need to consider other potential mechanisms of action of reflexology, such as underlying biology. To date, the potential physiologic mechanisms suggested in the literature include: activation of receptors to release oxytocin for its positive effects on well-being [52]; facilitation of optimum circulation, which in turn eliminates toxins and supports immune, nervous, and glandular systems [53]; activation of the relaxation response [22, 54]; and complex inputs and processing via neuromatrices in the central nervous system [20, 55]. These theoretical mechanisms may or may not be the active ingredient in reflexology, and further research is needed on the pathways that may explain symptom reduction due to reflexology.” 

20. Stephenson N, Swanson M, Dalton J, Keefe FJ, Engelke M (2007) Partner-delivered reflexology: Effects on cancer pain and anxiety. Oncol Nurs Forum 34 (1):127-132
22. Sharp DM, Walker MB, Chaturvedi A, et al. (2010) A randomized, controlled trial of the psychological effects of reflexology in early breast cancer. Eur J Cancer 46 (2):312-322
52. Cronfalk BS, Strang P, Ternestedt BM (2009) Inner power, physical strength and existential well-being in daily life: Relatives' experiences of receiving soft tissue massage in palliative home care. J Clin Nurs 18 (15):2225-2233 53. Wilkinson S, Lockhart K, Gambles M, Storey L (2008) Reflexology for symptom relief in patients with cancer. Cancer Nurs 31 (5):354-360
54. McVicar AJ, Greenwood CR, Fewell F, et al. (2007) Evaluation of anxiety, salivary cortisol and melatonin secretion following reflexology treatment: A pilot study in healthy individuals. Complement Ther Clin Pract 13 (3):137-145
55. Stephenson N, Dalton J (2003) Using reflexology for pain management. J Holist Nurs 21 (4):179-191 
Gwen Wyatt, RN, PhD, FAAN, Alla Sikorskii, PhD, Irena Tesnjak, PhD(c), Dawn Frambes, PhD, RN, MSA, Amanda Holmstrom, PhD, Zhehui Luo, PhD, David Victorson, PhD, Deimante Tamkus, MD, “A Randomized Clinical Trial of Caregiver-delivered Reflexology for Symptom Management during Breast Cancer Treatment,” Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 2017 Jul 22. pii: S0885-3924(17)30301-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2017.07.037

(Note from Editor: The meaning of “management” of symptoms became clear to this writer when she accompanied her 96 year old mother to a semi-annual physical. Oh, you’re managing your symptoms, said the doctor when my mother described her successful efforts to care for her problems with acid reflux. Her description of another health situation evoked the same response. The value of managing one’s health? My mother has the blood work (blood sugar, cholesterol etc. levels) of “a twenty-year old,” according to the doctor. He also describes her as amazing.)

Further research- 
Medical applications of Reflexology:: Findings in Research about Cancer Care

Baby Boomers: Get off the Couch Now Or You May Not Be Able To Later

Move now or you might not be able to later. These are the results of a study that followed a group of people ages 50 to 71 for 8 to 10 years. Those who sat “the most and move the least had more than three times the risk of difficulty walking by the end of the study, when compared to their more active counterparts. … “Some ended up unable to walk at all. The study appears in the current issue of The Journals of Gerontology: Medical Sciences.”

Our advice: get up and move. The study’s authors suggest being up and about every 30 minutes.

Learn more how much and how often to move as well as others health dangers of sitting too much: Un-Sit Your Life

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

PTSD, the Fight or Flight Mechanism and Reflexology

By Icemanwcs (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Recent research into use of a drug to treat those with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) offers a clue to how and why reflexology work offers help to soldiers returning from war.

It is estimated one-third of veterans who returned home from Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from PTSD. Common symptoms include depression, outbursts, muscle tension, concentration levels and sleep disruption.
In a study by the U. S. Army shots called stellate ganglion blocks, an anesthetic, are injected into the necks of study participants. “The shots (used for decades for arm pain and shingles) interrupt messages along nerve fibers that control the fight or flight response.” (

Could interaction with the fight or flight mechanism provide explanation for the successful results using reflexology with Israeli soldiers suffering from PTSD following the Yom Kippur War of 1973?  
Improvements of 75% to 80% in the common symptoms were found the day after a  reflexology session. General feelings improved by 90% and medication was reduced by 50%. Improvements were reduced two days after a session and measured at 50%. Day 3 found symptoms back as before. Researchers suggested 2 or 3 sessions a week to achieve a more effective result.
The link between reflexology and the fight or flight mechanism is the role of the foot. in the body as noted by Kunz and Kunz. In case of danger, the feet participate in the overall body reaction to ensure the survival of the being. This reaction is commonly known as "fight or flight" because the body gears its internal structures to provide the fuel necessary for either eventuality. Muscles ready for action are also a part of this overall body response. The sudden adrenal surge which enables a person to lift a car is an example of this reaction. In case of danger, the hands reach for a weapon and the feet prepare to fight or flee. Pressure sensors in the feet are a part of the body's reflexive network that makes possible the "fight or flight" response.” (Kunz, Barbara and Kunz, Kevin, The Complete Guide to Foot Reflexology (Revised) RRP Press, 2005, p. 8
How does this work? “Reflexology is the organized, systematic application of pressure technique to the feet. Technique is applied on the basis of evaluation of the individual's feet, which reflect a body image formed by adaptation to stress. …
“Think of a slide or a movie projector. The projector projects a picture onto a screen. And you can make adjustments if the picture is blurry. The brain serves as a projector. It projects instructions down the spinal cord and throughout the nervous system about how the body is to operate. It is, in essence, projecting an image of how the body should work. Each body part receives instructions appropriate to its task. The kidneys, for example, are sent directions about their job of elimination of waste products and mineral balance. The feet receive information about locomotion as well as information about the whole body, so that their activities can match the abilities of other body parts to fight or flee. It is these shared images or projections of instructions from the brain that make integrated activities possible.” (Kunz, Barbara and Kunz, Kevin, The Complete Guide to Foot Reflexology (Revised) RRP Press, 2005, p. 15)

Reflexology Investment Opportunities — in China

By Ssolbergj [GFDL (, GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

How large is the reflexology industry in China? So large the government has issued a 200 page document providing information about investing. 

“2017-2022 Edition Foot Massage Industry Government Strategic Management and Regional Development Strategy Advisory Report by the research and technology in the foot massage industry analysis experts led the writing, the main analysis of the foot massage industry market size, development status and investment prospects. At the same time on the future development of the foot massage industry to make a scientific trend forecast and professional foot massage industry data analysis to help customers evaluate the foot massage industry value.”

Cost of an electronic version of the document: US$6000