Hello Adventurous and Wonderful People!
Thank you so much in helping me prepare and explore the world of NKT, Neurokinetic Therapy. It’s been a crazy ride so far and I hope you’re as excited as I am to continue. I figured I’d send this list along as something you can hold onto and refer back to as your come across questions in your own practice. The protocol is as follows:
Shorting any of these steps will not likely result in a lock, so here’s a breakdown of each step.
Releasing a Muscle*
We release a muscle because it is inhibiting or taking over the function of another muscle or muscle group. There are many ways to do this, but I usually demonstrate slight manipulation of “the spot” either with your own fingers or a tool (tennis ball, rumble roller) followed by stretching the line of pull of the muscle we’re releasing. A cheat for this is googling the facilitated muscle listed and to remind yourself if the picture and videos don’t help. Also, email questions to email@example.com or through Trainerize with your subsequent program.
- Continue “stretching” until you feel a change for the better. No specific numbers here.
- Make sure you’re on the specific spot. “Close, but no cigar” won’t work.
*Reactions to Releases
It is not uncommon to have some sort of reaction to releases. Whether it’s a light headed positive feeling or more unpleasant like nausea or shortness of breathe, make sure to take care of yourself during this “positive change.” Get water, go for a walk, or take a nap. Sometimes a hug is appropriate as well, so ask if you need one.
Keep talking to your care professional about how you are adjusting. This isn’t a hard science and a LOT of environmental and emotional factors come into play. If you have the urge to shut down, that’s OK, but try to reach out anyway. Protection mode is powerful, but not always helpful.
Activating a Muscle
We activate muscles we’ve found are inhibited. Inhibited muscles are ones that just aren’t doing their jobs properly for some reason. They are the slackers in class so we want to wake them up, specifically. Activation drills are like isolation exercises but should not be pushed to any real point of fatigue. 80% effort is enough to cause positive change without overuse.
- Take your finger or tool off the facilitated spot, or “hot spot” FIRST. Then proceed to your release. You can’t do both at the same time. It’s just not how it works.
- If you feel a cramp or your initial trigger point (the spot you just released) while Activating, stop. Release the initial spot again until you feel positive change, and then use less pressure or range of motion on the activation. Don’t cheat this and push through.
- ACTIVATION IS NOT A MAX LIFT. The point is for that muscle to be reminded of it’s job, not freak out and default back to its original faulty action.
This is programming. Subtle variations in your routine can help your tissue work, rather than keep working against it. A screening process like FMS, SFMA, or Z Health can provide comparable data in your progress over time.
Be gentle with yourself. This is a self-care process of learning and discovery. You are not broken. You are figuring out neat things about yourself and how your body works. It takes time. As long as the benchmarks you’ve set (breaking through plateaus, movements with less pain, etc) are improving, we’re doing good work.
These protocols are not meant to substitute professional medical opinions. Consult a qualified practitioner before beginning any new treatment plan and make everyone known about all prior medical conditions. Tissue work can help a lot, but it DOES NOT SOLVE EVERYTHING. Being referred out doesn’t mean a failure, it just means there’s someone who can help you faster and is more qualified to do so.
If you’re not going to Release and Activate at least once/day, then don’t start. Just don’t. Try another method or make regular appointments with a manual therapist, to do the work for you. But getting it to stick is YOUR work. Like it or not, your brain decided to take a shortcut somewhere so your brain has to relearn it. And being bull-headed or stopping as soon as you get relief is not a long-term or healthy solution. Because, honestly, you could end up half helped and more frustrated than when you started. That said, if you’re not experiencing relief almost immediately (the same as in-session) then something is wrong. Reach out and figure out if it’s a replication problem or a shift issue (shift being the problem area actually shifted). Make consistent follow up appointments until you have things figured out.
And please, no max attempts until you feel settled and the original reason for exploration has subsided. This is just my opinion, but unless it’s absolutely necessary, huge patterning changes should not be in-season or just prior to competitions. There’s not enough adjustment time. Again, be gentle with yourself.
Hope this helps!
Your Partner in Progress,