With the increasing popularity of movement screening in the sports and fitness world, corrective exercise is, by association, also becoming more commonplace. By definition, corrective exercises must address and alleviate patterns of compensatory movement; the causes of weakness and pain.
And therein lies the rub. Most forms of corrective exercise, and also of most soft-tissue therapies, are effective, but temporary. You’ve likely experienced relaxation and “centeredness” following a massage, and also the gradual fading away of those effects. This occurs because your muscles haven’t had a chance to “learn” how to stay relaxed.
Enter NeuroKinetic Therapy (NKT), brainchild of David Weinstock. NKT is based on the phenomenon that our brains are capable of making very rapid and lasting changes to our muscular systems and motor control. In fact, the Motor Control Cortex (MCC) is the part of the brain where the magic happens (see video). Weinstock stresses that the beauty of NKT lies in the fact that it is a technique. Meaning that no matter the practitioner’s forte, be it Chiropractic, Physical therapy, Sports Medicine, Soft-tissue specialist, the same great results can be experienced.
Briefly, the NKT technique makes use of a window of time when the brain is open to relearning a correct movement pattern; a pattern that may have been altered or lost through trauma, poor postural habits, or inefficient movement. The NKT sequence begins with a brief assessment to give clues on where to start treatment, and unfolds as follows:
- A muscle or movement is tested
- If that muscle or movement tests weak…
- An overcompensating muscle or movement is found (usually a nearby tight or sore muscle)
- The overcompensation is deactivated (usually soft-tissue work)
- The brain is now open to repatterning
- The correct pattern is rehearsed and solidified through simple exercise.
With a skilled practitioner, a client can experience dramatic relief through NKT, but must also play a proactive role in treatment. The practitioner has found the source of the ailment, and has prescribed the corrective exercises. Now, it is up to the client to spend a few minutes every day performing the correctives so that the new, correct movements become habit. Some balk at having to do “homework”, but those who have been in pain for years find that a couple weeks of corrective moves is more than a fair trade-off.
It could be argued by those that have been through physical therapy that this is no different; that they’ve been down that road and it hasn’t worked. The reason that it hasn’t worked for some is that “traditional” physical therapy has not addressed the “why”. As in, “Why does the pain keep returning”. Because the root cause has not been addressed, and the root cause lies in the brain, where movement is modified, not in the muscles. NKT addresses the root cause.
In the New York/Metropolitan area, Kathy Dooley DC, Perry Nickelston DC and Eric Nelson DC, all utilize NKT in their practices, as well as teach the courses. They walk the walk, working with athletes and non-athletes alike. Some research, a call, and a visit can have you performing and feeling better than you have in some time.
Watch the video here: http://www.examiner.com/article/nkt-the-ultimate-corrective-exercise
Neurokinetic Therapy Webinar with Dr Kathy Dooley
Watch this informative video about NKT! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzIcVDfGv0s