From Personal Need to Helping the World

Companies are started for many different reasons. Isamu Masuda founded Nikken because he personally had a need and nothing fulfilled it. In the true spirit of entrepreneurship, he thought outside of the box and found a way to fulfill his personal need and in doing so, created a company that could do the same for countless people, first in Japan and eventually, globally.

Young Masuda became the son of a single mother when his father died in World War II. His mother managed a small shop, and when he was 18, young Isamu found a job with a bus company. Over the next few years, he worked his way up from washing buses to being a desk clerk.

Married at age 27, Masuda was intensely interested in ways to improve health, possibly because he personally did not have a robust constitution. He started to work at a shop providing health-related products. His goals and career path changed when his son was born with daunting health challenges. The need to support his family and help improve the health of his son and himself, was enough to spur him into action. Doctors told him his son’s recovery would be expensive, so the new father logically decided he had to find a way to make a lot of money.

Inspiration came in the form of personal experience. Japanese people are introduced to hot baths early in life and grow accustomed to communal bathing. Families enjoy public baths with a key feature: pebbles on the floor of the baths stimulate the feet. Creatively thinking, Mr. Masuda combined the concepts of the stimulating pebbles with the age-long practice of using magnets, believed by Japanese to be therapeutic. He created the first magnetic insole that could be placed inside shoes.

His invention was a hit almost immediately. His customers claimed they felt better in different ways. They said their circulation improved, they felt more energetic and they were getting better sleep. But Masuda was not a businessman and didn’t know how to expand, so he reached out to an experienced financier. Together they grew their insole business.

Nikken sold only insoles for the first three years of business. They were sold to help improve overall energy through stability and stamina from the feet upward. Independent distributors later expanded into other countries and Nikken has now been an international company for more than 45 years.

Kenko Insoles are now available in two variations: mStrides and mSteps. Both continue on the Japanese tradition of magnets for therapeutic usage combined with the effect of the hot bath pebbles. The contemporary insoles make use of patented magnetic DynaFlux® technology. Depending on preference you can choose Kenko mSteps® insoles that are “bumpier” for more intense massage effects or Kenko mStrides® for a smoother surface. Both are durable, provide support for feet, legs and back, and are ventilated so feet stay cool.

As the flagship product line, Kenko Insoles have withstood the test of time and have built a huge fan base. Here are a few examples of what people with happy feet say:

” I used to have discomfort on my ankles for years. Since I wear the mStrides, the discomfort went away! So grateful for the technologies!” U. Pho

“I feel grounded and connected all day with my mStrides.” C. Aubry

“Ever since I was 7 years old, I’ve had challenges with my joints and being on my feet for long periods of time. I consistently wear mSteps or mStrides in my shoes and even my sandals. I like both so I just keep them, without switching them out. I no longer feel challenged when I’m on my feet!” B. Richmond

“I teach aerobics and strength training so when serious foot discomfort threatened my ability to that as well as to hike and dance, I needed help. My friend gave me a pair of mStrides and I was amazed. My feet felt great, I had tremendous energy in my legs and my class even told me I was too peppy! That was 20 years ago and I’ve never taken them out of my shoes. It’s mind-blowing how a product can be so effective and so simple to use.” C. Livingston

“When I started working at a cable plant, I had to climb stairs throughout the day while wearing steel toed boots. My back and legs were strained and I could barely walk by the end of the day. I order mStrides and put them in my boots. Now I am able to go up and down the stairs as many times as needed without worrying if I will make it to the end of the day. I am so grateful.” – A. Markus

“I am a busy mom and entrepreneur business owner. I love my mSteps—it’s one of the easiest things I can do to improve my well-being without adding another thing to my to-do list. I have improved balance and feel that it supports the flexibility of my back, while my energy levels are better during the day. Slide them in the shoes and forget about it.” A. Weinberg

How are you doing with your Summer Active Wellness regimen? Walking, hiking, running or gardening, traveling and anything you do on your feet can be surprisingly easy with Kenko Insoles. From now until September 30, you can save 20% off the Summer Active Wellness Pack. It contains three Nikken technologies—nutrition, magnetics and PiMag® water— with a jar of Kenzen® Super Ciaga® powder, a pair of Kenko Insoles (choose mStrides or mSteps) and an eco-friendly PiMag® Sport Bottle.

Small but Mighty: The Powerful Blueberry

Blueberries are part of the genus Vaccinium. The main types of blueberries are highbush, lowbush, rabbiteye and half-high hybrid varieties. The most common blueberry for commercial cultivation is the highbush type. There are many varieties of blueberries each with their own characteristics in terms of size, growing season, flavor and ability to withstand cold.

Globally, blueberries are grown in high volumes in Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Peru and Morocco, but the United States is the largest producer. In Europe, Poland used to be the leading producer of blueberries but has been overtaken by Spain. Increasing demand for this delicious “snacking food,” as it’s often referred to in Europe, has resulted in new plantations being established in countries such as Ukraine, Lithuania, Serbia, Croatia, Romania, and Georgia.

In both Maine and eastern Canada, First Nation people, notably the Wabanaki tribes, were among the first to discover and use wild blueberries for nutrition and healing purposes. Fast forward to the modern world and the American Heart Association has certified blueberries as a heart-healthy food. Here are some of the reasons why:

•          Blueberries are low in calories but high in nutrients. A single cup (148 grams) serving contains 4 grams of fiber, and RDI (recommended daily intake) of 24% Vitamin C, 36% Vitamin K, 25% Manganese plus smaller amounts of other nutrients. Made up of 85% water, one cup of blueberries only has 84 calories and 15 grams of carbohydrates, making it one of the fruits allowed on virtually every type of diet regimen.

•          Blueberries are believed to have one of the highest antioxidant levels of all common fruits and vegetables. Available year round in both Europe and North America, it’s an easy and delicious way to incorporate a healthy fruit into a daily diet.

•          The antioxidants in blueberries have been shown to help reduce a primary risk factor for heart disease by preventing oxidative damage to “bad” LDL cholesterol.

•          Several studies suggest that blueberries and blueberry juice may help reduce DNA damage.

•          The blue color in blueberry skins are known as anthocyanins, which are a type of antioxidant that have associated traits, including the possibility of promoting maximum brain function and delaying mental decline. Anthocyanins also show evidence of reducing the risk of heart attacks.

•          Several studies have shown that blueberries have anti-diabetic effects by helping to improve insulin sensitivity and lowering blood sugar levels.1

•          Research suggests that blueberries may aid muscle recovery after strenuous exercise, so more studies are being conducted to gather additional data.2

Wild blueberries are slightly different from cultivated ones. Wild blueberries are smaller and grow on lower bushes. Many wild blueberries are harvested using hand-held berry rakes, but some are machine harvested. Both wild and cultivated blueberries are usually sorted, cleaned, and processed within hours of being picked. Those not sorted for fresh fruit markets are separated and partially frozen for easier transport and longevity.

Kenzen® Super Ciaga® is an immune-boosting antioxidant superfruit powder made with a combination of berries— Organic Elderberry, Organic Blueberry, Organic Blackberry, Organic Maqui Berry, Organic Raspberry.

From now until September 30, you can save 20% off the Summer Active Wellness Pack. It contains three Nikken technologies—nutrition, magnetics and PiMag® water— with a jar of Kenzen® Super Ciaga® powder, a pair of Kenko Insoles (choose mStrides or mSteps) and an eco-friendly PiMag® Sport Bottle.

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5187542/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6124147/