As a movement educator, I am always eager to learn about new modalities that will help me help my students and clients live better in their body. When I heard that the NeuroKinetic Therapy training would be offered in Dubai, where I live, I jumped at the opportunity to further my studies and gain a clearer understanding of assessing dysfunctional movement patterns and how to address them.
This practical, hands on training, runs over the course of two-days and is a fantastic complement to the work we do as Yoga Tune Up® teachers. In a nutshell, NKT relies on muscle testing – more accurately it is the function of the muscle that is being tested – to identify the root cause of a faulty movement pattern and correct it by reprogramming the motor control center located in the cerebellum.
Dubai-based NKT teacher trainer Keith Littlewood sums it up best, “NKT allows you understand which tissues are causing problems in specific patterns of movement. Instead of just going in and releasing tissue because it is problematic. NKT has evolved to ask questions of the body so that you apply a treatment to a specific tissue and pattern and not just generally, which is what many modalities often do.”
Over the two days, Keith demonstrated a variety of muscle tests, including the core, neck and upper and lower extremities. The aim of the tests is to find where a compensation exists – which muscle is facilitated and which is inhibited. Once the connection is made (and it’s not always easy to find it and sometimes requires serious investigative work and patience), the facilitated muscle is released and the inhibited muscle activated. The practitioner can then retest the relationship to see if the weak muscle now tests strong after treatment. If the change sticks – for example after asking the client to move around or challenging him with an exercise – then homework is given that includes a release and corrective exercise to be repeated several times daily to re-enforce the new movement pattern.
NKT forces you to think critically and to move away from cookie cutter explanations and solutions. As Rolfing founder Ida Rolf said: “where it is, it ain’t!” I experienced so many ah-ha moments during those two days and even had a hard time believing some of the results I witnessed. One of the course attendees who was suffering with plantar fasciitis walked up and down the room without any pain after a few minutes – really a few minutes! – of work on his lower leg. Another classmate who couldn’t squat properly did it wonderfully once her C-section scar was released. It was amazing and beautiful to see these people, both movement educators, achieve their full potential with movements that are so simple, but proved so difficult because of an existing dysfunction.
Our scope of practice as Yoga Tune Up® teachers fits very well with NKT. We can use the Roll Model therapy balls for release and YTU movements as corrective exercise. I am so excited that Yoga Tune Up® and NKT have decided to team up to offer a one day course on May 6 that’s opened to the NKT community only. The training, titled “Release Techniques for Non-Manual Practitioners: NKT Meets The Roll Model Method®,” will offer therapy ball techniques to work with facilitated and inhibited muscles as well as modifications in application of hands-off help.
I recently became a certified Level 1 NeuroKinetic Therapy (NKT) practitioner and I am looking forward to taking level 2 in Dubai in the fall. Until then I am practicing and learning. Sometimes I find a connection and am able to help my clients (and wow them at the same time, which is always nice), and other times, well, I investigate and investigate but I can’t quite put my finger on it! When that happens, I let my intuition take over, and it usually serves me well! As David Weinstock said in one of his trainings, using the NKT protocols doesn’t mean you can’t use your intuition!