NeuroKinetic Therapy: The Missing Link?
Recently, I traveled to Toronto, Canada to attended a NeuroKinetic Therapy (NKT) seminar. Many of you are probably not familiar with this. But in my opinion I think that is the “the missing link” that I and many other like-minded therapists have been looking for!
David Weinstock developed NKT in part due to his own frustration with the lack of permanent results that he was obtaining with his own clients. He found he was treating the symptoms, not the causes. Although his clients loved what he did and received temporary relief, some of them would return with the same discomfort. Clearly, something was missing…
What is NKT?
In the early 1980s Dr. Weinstock started incorporating manual muscle testing into his practice which he later combined with the idea of muscle compensation.
By testing and retesting muscles, Weinstock learned that muscles become chronically tight to brace for weaker or inhibited muscles. A muscle doesn’t necessarily have to be stretched and released because of tightness. If you do not find why the muscle is tight in the first place and fix that relationship the muscle will eventually tighten up again.
NKT also works with the Motor Control Center (MCC) which is where the body coordinates it’s movement patterns Here is an example of this concept from Weinstock’s book:
Let’s say I want to get a cookie off the top of the shelf. Before my hand can reach up there and grasp it, many things need to happen in a chain of command. First the limbic system demands that I “fill my needs.” Next the cerebral cortex selects a strategy: “Take this route.” Then the motor control center (MCC), where all movement patterns are coordinated, says, “Do it this way now.” That message is sent to the spine, whose command is “Do it!” Finally, all of this neural information arrives at the muscles, where “doing it” actually occurs. The brain learns from failure. When a client cannot perform a manual muscle test, the MCC “lights up” and becomes available for new learning. David then realized that the cause of the unresolved conditions lay in the MCC. – NeuroKinetic Therapy: An Innovative Approach to Manual Muscle Testing by David Weinstock
NKT, therefore, is a technique that not only recognizes the importance of motor control theory; it works with the body’s MCC to make significant changes in movement patterns. The brain has to relearn how to perform a functional movement pattern and rid itself of a dysfunctional one.
Why would you develop a dysfunctional muscle pattern in the first place?
Well, this is an easy question: Lets look at an easy example: athletes.
When an athlete is out on the field or court the pressure to compete means that their body willdo anything it can to make the movements that are asked of it. If the body does not have the proper movement pattern to accomplish the requested task, it will find another pattern. There are many reasons why someone may have a faulty movement pattern. Examples include bad pasture, improper breathing, a sprained ankle, etcetera. The body will compensate for these weaknesses by creating faulty movement patterns. Unless corrected, these patterns can persist and cause discomfort or pain.
NeuroKinetic Therapy works by prompting the body to forget faulty movement patterns and relearn proper ones.
I think that this technique is going to help practitioners figure out the why’s in practice. Yes, you may have plantar fasciitis but why did you get it? Diagnosing someone with a problem is not necessarily the hard part. It’s figuring out why they developed the problem in the first place!
Patients, should ask their doctor why they are experiencing pain or discomfort. Don’t settle for someone who just does the cookie cutter treatment without diagnosing underlying causes. In my opinion you, as the patient, should be able to experience some kind in four visits. If you do not then the treatment that you are getting is not the treatment that you need.
I’m not saying that my treatment is the only treatment but I will keep learning new techniques and searching for the answers to better serve my patients!
– Dr. Megan Reed, Peak Wellness and Chiropractor