Tara Kachroo

NeuroKinetic Therapy

NeuroKinetic Therapy®  (NKT) is a highly effective therapeutic approach. Primarily, it uses manual muscle testing to correct movement dysfunctions and thus resolve the driving factors that cause pain rather than just chasing symptoms. It can be used to assess and treat low back pain, knee pain, jaw pain (TMJ dysfunction), balance issues, surgical rehab, other injuries, and postural problems.  Tara has the highest level of training available in Neurokinetic Therapy, she assists in all levels of training locally, and maintains her Level 3 certification through regular examinations.

The Theory Behind NeuroKinetic Therapy

Neuokinetic therapy works with neuoplasticity. All movement begins and is coordinated by the motor control center of your brain, which is located in your cerebellum. A large part of motor control is coordination. Various parts of the motor system must be coordinated to act in unison to produce movement. Movement is specifically the coordination of forces throughout a network of continuous tension. Principles of biotensegrity can help to explain how motor control works as an integrated system of managing tension.

The motor control system coordinates based on the information it is recieving and the history of strategies it’s used before. It selects those strategies moment to moment, coordinates movement patterns, and then sends nerve impulses to the muscles that carry them out. But dysfunctional strategies and coordination patterns can be stored – like bad programming or a bug in the system. This most often happens after misuse, overuse and underuse, repetitive stress, postural stress, and especially from traumatic injuries and scars.

Misinformation about the level of tension in certain body parts, such as from scars, or damaged ligaments can also produce dysfunctional patterns. When an old strategy can’t be carried out, when there is a structure or muscle failure, that’s when the brain is most neuroplastic and will learn a new one. NeuroKinetic Therapy takes advantage of the opportunity of failure to reprogram the brain into more functional patterns, discarding the dysfunctional ones.

NeuroKinetic Therapy practice by Tara Kachroo

Whiplash and Motor Learning

In David Weinstock’s book NeuroKinetic Therapy, an Innovative Approach to Manual Muscle Testing, he uses the example of whiplash to illustrate the Neurokinetic Therapy approach. Injury means dysfunctional patterns are stored in the brain. In the case of whiplash, the neck extensor muscles become very tight and painful. Often massage and stretching will have little or no effect or only be useful for a short time before the tension returns. David answers, “Why? The [brain] has now stored in its memory the fact that the neck flexors are weak and vulnerable. How is it going to keep the head upright? It chooses to keep the neck extensors tight to support the weight of the head. Until the pattern is cleared using the NKT protocol (or something similar), the neck extensors will remain locked.”

NeuroKinetic Therapy and Trauma

Motor control is organized in a hierarchy – with the limbic system at the top. It is because the limbic system is at the top of the hierarchy of motor control that trauma has such a massive impact on posture, movement, and the tone held in muscles and musculoskeletal structures. Thus both physical and emotional traumas are considered when doing this work.

Emotional work can be integrated into the goal of creating better physical functioning. Physical and physiological changes that come from effective changes in motor control can lay a strong foundation for resolving emotional trauma. However, if the client’s goal is to directly address emotional issues, I would refer a client to find a somatic therpist who works in the kitchener waterloo area. The deep and fundamental connection between motor control and trauma was developed into a method of emotional rehabilitation called Somatic Experiencing by Doctor Peter Levine, which informs the practice of Integrative Movement Therapy, but isn’t central to it.

The Practice of Neurokinetic Therapy

NKT practitioners include physiotherapists, massage therapists, chiropractors, personal trainers, acupuncturists, and yoga and pilates instructors among others.  Different practitioners utilize it in different ways based on their previous knowledge and skill set. 

Furthermore, different protocols are taught at each level — Thus, those with the Level 3 skill set are more capable of treating a full degree of motor control problems. If you are interested in studying NeuroKinetic Therapy yourself, seminars are available throughout the year in locations around the world. The list of seminars is available on the Neurokinetic Therapy website.