New tool in the toolbox

New tool in the toolbox

New tool in the toolbox

I recently completed two continuing education seminars called Neurokinetic Therapy (NKT). The seminars focused on a novel type of muscle testing that identifies compensation patterns within the brain and body. This type of muscle test focuses on very light force to see if a muscle has a neurological connection to the brain. By using NKT, practitioners can identify areas that are overworking and understand why other areas are compensating for them. By addressing muscles that are overworking, muscles that are under working can turn on which will improve movement patterns, muscle tone, pain, or other symptoms someone might complain about.

One of the most interesting points I learned during the seminar is that muscles that are high tone (tight, palpable muscles that feel like they need to be stretched) can both be overworking (facilitated) or underworking (inhibited). This is significant because muscles that are inhibited are weak and tight, whereas facilitated muscles are strong and tight. Before I took the seminar, I would release all the muscles with high tone but I didn’t know if they were facilitated or inhibited. Now with NKT, I can identify the facilitated muscles to release, where in the past I would have potentially released a weak muscle. That would have been a mistake because I was lengthening a muscle that didn’t have a good neurological connection, meaning it didn’t have the ability to do its job. Now that the inhibited muscle is weak and long, it will have a much harder time to do its job properly or the problem will return shortly after the treatment, not making a lasting change.

A great example of this is the psoas muscle. Some of you may have had work done on your “tight psoas,” but more often than not, the psoas is inhibited. If you have had repeated work done on your psoas and it still remains tight, that’s because the underlining compensation pattern with another muscle is not being addressed. The remarkable thing is once the relationship is normalized, both high tone muscles (facilitated and inhibited) will relax, even though you only worked on one muscle! This is because the brain is reset and proper mechanics are restored to the system.

Muscles aren’t the only structures that can cause dysfunctional compensation patterns. Joints, scars, and the jaw can also contribute to muscle compensation in other areas of the body. So if you’re a mom, had a c-section, and noticed poor core strength, your scar may be contributing to the problem!

By taking this seminar, I feel much more confident that I am addressing the root cause of dysfunction and making more meaningful and longer lasting change with my patients. In addition, I am also able to prescribe specific exercises to improve compensation patterns and movement inefficiencies. So if you want your underling and root cause of dysfunction fixed, book your appointment with the Osteopath today!