Neurokinetic Therapy (NKT)

Posted by on Jun 15, 2013 in Bodywork Techniques

nktAt Psoas, we have therapists who specialize in many bodywork techniques. One of our least understood, yet most powerful techniques is Neurokinetic Therapy (NKT). It is very interesting but somewhat confusing so let me try to explain as simply as possible.

Many of our clients at Psoas are seeking help for pain or dysfunction. They are athletes with injuries old and new, or desk workers with repetitive strain injuries. Some are recovering from surgeries, waking up in pain daily, or have sustained injuries from a fall or auto accident. The pain may be constant and relentless, or it may seem to come and go. In many cases, coming to Psoas is not their first attempt to resolve this problem.

The root of this pain can be simple, or it may be a bit more complex. Let’s look at a simpler, yet typical pain scenario:

  • you hurt your hip
  • you feel pain
  • the brain doesn’t want you to feel pain
  • the brain re-maps the movement pattern of your hip to avoid contracting the painful muscles
  • your movement appears similar as before, but actually the muscles you’re using now are a bit different
  • this movement is less efficient but it’s still relatively effective and you may feel a little better. For a while.

So there is a resolution of the original pain due to the re-patterning. The hip seems to work fine – the pain is either gone or very minimal but has caused you to use the muscles of the upper leg more, and slightly differently than before. Now skip ahead 6 months:

  • you start to have terrible pain in your knee when you run
  • you see a doctor for your knee – no luck
  • you see a chiropractor for your knee – no luck
  • you get new running shoes for your knee – no luck
  • you can’t resolve your knee issue

What’s going on?

Your new knee pain is real but it is not the main issue, it is a symptom of another bigger problem: the compensatory pattern of movement created by your brain that uses the muscles of the upper leg less efficiently and more often. The deliberate change in the pattern of movement to avoid pain is truly remarkable. But not making the switch back to a natural, physiologically appropriate manner of movement after healing is the problem. If only your muscles could switch back to the proper movement on their own . . .

This is where NKT comes in.

NKT is a unique and powerful bodywork modality that can help the brain to re-adopt its original, efficient movement pattern. Here is how it works (it gets a bit technical):

NKT practitioners work on the body in order to affect the brain – more specifically, they work on the cerebellum – in order to treat the cause of the problem rather than only addressing the symptoms. The cerebellum directs movement, balance, and coordination. The work is done along the body’s neuromuscular pathways using a precise form of muscle testing and an operational protocol that creates awareness and active participation of the cerebellum. Employing NKT, your Psoas therapist will release the over-contracted muscles that are holding the compensation patterns together, and activate the correct patterns with the attention of an alerted cerebellum. This will enable the brain to rid itself of dysfunctional compensation patterns and return movement to natural function.

NKT is not a flowing massage. It is a combination of muscle testing and deep focused work. The practitioner alternates between these two things until the compensation pattern is discarded by the brain in favor of the correct movement pattern. The moment the compensation pattern is resolved, the pain will either be gone or can be addressed again with traditional bodywork. With NKT, significant improvements are immediate and long-lasting.

NKT can be the key to unlocking compensation patterns and restoring your body’s innate power and flow. Clients often experience profound corrective results. Every day, our Psoas NKT practitioners deal with athletic injuries, frozen shoulders, whiplash, knee and hip pain, sciatica, rotator cuff impingements, and more. For those of you who’ve tried other treatments with only limited success — perhaps NKT is your next step.

For more information on Neurokinetic Therapy or to book an NKT session today call Psoas at 415.227.0331.