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What Is Neurokinetic Therapy?

We ask you to breathe out and meet the resistance as we gently push on your leg. For the first half second, the muscles your body remembers how to use meet our light touch. It may seem weird at first but we only ask your body to respond in ways it knows how. As you lay there with your heels pressing down on the table, we check just one of your deep core muscles, yet you may feel all the muscles in your neck begin to fire. This tells us your neck muscles are overworking because your core isn’t firing as efficiently as it should. This may be due to hunching at your desk all day, jutting your chin, and using your accessory neck muscles to breathe instead of your diaphragm. Whatever the reason, we’re not trying to find weaknesses to make you feel down about yourself, but rather to find compensations, retrain them, and get your body firing in all the right places.  These compensations can lay dormant for years and raise their ugly head as they transform into chronic pain brought on by an injury, trauma, or overuse. The body moves in patterns and we use these muscle tests to tell us where to look for the root cause of pain.

What is Neurokinetic Therapy?

Neurokinetic Therapy (NKT), is an advanced therapeutic system that can help your body heal by teaching it to unlearn movements and muscle functions it’s become attached to.  Created by massage therapist David Weinstock, this muscle test uses touch and pressure to retrain movement patterns and muscle memory stored in the brain.

What it’s not: Magic. Although sometimes it feels that way since it works amazingly well.

What it is: A system of precise muscle tests to help us identify where in a movement pattern the root cause of pain is located. It can reveal faulty muscle and movement memories your brain has stored away in the Motor Control Center (MCC) of your cerebellum. The MCC coordinates all the movement patterns in your body. And just like we humans, it learns through failure.

In plain English: NKT can reprogram your brain. And more often than not, when other treatments have failed and your pain is “mysterious,” NKT is the missing link. Not convinced?

How does it work?

NKT Neurokinetic Therapy is based on the following premise: when an injury occurs, certain muscles shut down or weaken, forcing other muscles to overwork and overcompensate, causing pain and tightness.

A practitioner will apply light pressure and ask you to resist, in order to evaluate the strength or weakness of each muscle, see where an injury comes from, and retrain your body to get rid of out-dated patterns. When a muscle is weak, the MCC understands this as failure and opens up to new learning. The question is: will what it learns heal you or cause you more pain? Think about it: after an injury, your MCC chooses the path of least resistance (your most successful repeat attempts at optimal movement). The most effective learning-by-repetition happens when you fail. Like a baby trying to learn how to walk but falling down over and over, so the MCC learns and adapts to your compensation pattern and holds it in its memory forever and ever—unless it can be convinced to change. Design flaw? Maybe.

The great news is this: old dogs can learn new tricks. This “failure” is the perfect opportunity for the NKT protocol to reprogram you at the neural level. Correcting these dysfunctional patterns is fundamental to successful healing.

Neurokinetic Therapy is used as both an assessment and rehab technique for:

  • low back pain
  • neck pain
  • carpal tunnel syndrome
  • running injuries
  • joint dysfunction
  • old scars
  • chronic or unresolved pain
  • tight muscles
  • anyone who exerts a lot of energy regularly (whether you’re a pro-athlete, a yogi, or a dancer)

NKT Neurokinetic Therapy is foundational to our holistic Urban Wellness Clinic philosophy!

Neurokinetic Therapy is all about hands-on muscle testing, which allows us to quickly diagnose the causes of your overcompensations. We test your body’s reactions to different movements, stances, and pressure. We review your present and past injuries, delve deep into your movement patterns, discover the weak points knocking you off-balance, and reveal the real causes of your pain. Expect a set of integrative exercises personalized to your unique needs.

And—because stretching and massaging gets all the glamour while essential strengthening and stabilizing is often neglected, we take it to the next level, fully integrating your treatment with practical functional movements (a deadlift can do wonders, friends)!

We’re one of very few clinics with Level 3 Neurokinetic Therapy practitioners in NYC, so expect the very best.

Tried everything but old injuries still nagging? Get assessed! We’re here to help.

Best in health,

Dr Emily Kiberd