“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover.” – Mark Twain


For most everyone, the ability to move about, engage in activity, and simply be mobile are things that are too often taken for granted. And, while the metaphorical aspect of taking action and embracing movement, even if it means venturing into the unknown, may appeal to many, sometimes physical motion is the real issue.


When we are injured, especially in our lower limbs, ankles, or feet, movement suddenly becomes either a painful activity or a daunting challenge – or both. And treating those injuries and their resulting impact and consequences becomes a vital function.


a ballerina spinning a chiffon scarf in the air to visualize movement


Understanding Movement Dysfunction


Movement dysfunction occurs when your body’s ability to move efficiently is compromised. This can be caused by various factors, including:

  • Past injuries
  • Muscle imbalances
  • Poor posture
  • Repetitive strain

These issues can disrupt the communication between your brain and muscles, leading to faulty motion patterns. Over time, these patterns can overload certain tissues, leading to pain and inflammation.


The Science of Movement: What You Need to Know About NKT®, AiM and Movement

Movement is the foundation of our daily lives. From the simple act of walking to the complex maneuvers of your favorite sport, our bodies are designed to move. But when motion becomes dysfunctional, pain and limitations can quickly follow. At Pain and Performance Solutions, we believe in addressing the root cause of movement dysfunction, and that’s where innovative approaches like NeuroKinetic Therapy (NKT®) and Anatomy in Motion (AiM) come in.


This article delves into the science behind these techniques, exploring how they can help you rediscover optimal movement, improve performance, and ultimately, achieve lasting pain relief.


two people playing and dancing together


The Art and Science of NeuroKinetic Therapy ®


NKT® is a specialized form of manual therapy that combines elements of neuroscience, kinesiology (the study of movement), and muscle testing. It is a specific type of manual therapy that focuses on addressing movement dysfunction.


Here’s how NKT® works:

  1. Muscle Testing: NKT® practitioners utilize specific muscle tests to assess how well your muscles are firing and coordinating with each other. These tests not only identify weak or inhibited muscles but also pinpoint potential underlying neurological imbalances. Motor control theory suggests that the cerebellum, a part of your brain, stores and coordinates all your movement patterns.
  2. Addressing the Root Cause: NKT® goes beyond simply treating the symptoms of pain. By identifying these faulty movement patterns, NKT® practitioners can address the root cause of the problem. Proponents of NKT understand that pain often stems from the brain using faulty movement patterns to compensate for past injuries or weaknesses.
  3. Neurological Reprogramming: Through a series of targeted manual therapy techniques and specific exercises, NKT® aims to retrain your brain to utilize optimal movement patterns. This “neurological reprogramming” helps restore proper muscle function and improve overall movement efficiency and reduce pain.


The Benefits of NKT®:

  • Reduced Pain: By addressing the root cause of pain, NKT® aims to provide long-term pain relief.
  • Improved Movement Efficiency: NKT® helps your body move more efficiently, reducing stress on joints and muscles.
  • Enhanced Performance: Athletes can benefit from improved movement patterns and coordination, leading to better performance.
  • Injury Prevention: NKT® can help identify and address movement dysfunction before it leads to an injury.


Anatomy in Motion (AiM): Flow with Your Body


AiM is a movement-based approach to improving function and reducing pain. It emphasizes the body’s inherent ability to heal itself when it can move freely and without restrictions.


Here’s what sets AiM apart:

  1. Focuses on optimal alignment and unrestricted movement: The core idea is that your body has an innate ability to heal itself when it can move freely and without restrictions. AiM helps you rediscover this optimal alignment.
  2. The Flow Motion Model: AiM is based on the “Flow Motion Model,” which outlines optimal movement patterns across the entire body. This model developed by Gary Ward, the founder of AiM, describes the ideal movement patterns throughout the body, particularly focusing on the gait cycle (walking).
  3. Connected System Approach: AiM views the body as a connected system where limitations in one area can affect how you move everywhere else. A tight hip flexor, for example, can contribute to back pain.
  4. Movement-Based Rehabilitation: AiM practitioners assess your movement patterns and design corrective exercises to restore optimal alignment and retrain your body to move more efficiently. These exercises often involve breathing techniques and focus on achieving specific postures and motion sequences.


a person breakdancing on blacktop


The Benefits of AiM:


  • Improved Mobility and Flexibility: AiM helps restore optimal joint range of motion and improve overall flexibility.
  • Reduced Pain: Increased mobility can significantly reduce pain caused by joint stiffness and muscle tightness.
  • Enhanced Body Awareness: AiM practices cultivate a deeper understanding of your body and its movement patterns.
  • Improved Performance: AiM can help athletes refine their technique and achieve greater efficiency in their chosen sport.


NKT® and AiM: A Powerful Combination

Both NKT® and AiM share the philosophy of addressing the root cause of movement dysfunction. NKT®’s focus on neurological reprogramming provides a valuable starting point for identifying imbalances while AiM’s movement-based approach then helps reinforce these changes and retrain the body for optimal movement.


We integrate both NKT® and AiM principles into our treatment plans, creating a comprehensive approach to restoring your pain-free movement. Our therapists will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan designed to address your specific needs and goals.


a silhouette of a person doing yoga on a hill


Pain and Performance Solutions: Treatment Therapies for Improved Movement and Pain Relief


If you’re experiencing pain, limitations in your movement, or simply want to improve your overall performance, NKT® and AiM could be the key to unlocking your body’s full potential. Contact Pain and Performance Solutions today to schedule an appointment and rediscover the joy of pain-free motion.


In addition to these therapies, another approach we utilize to enhance pain relief is Active Release Technique®, or ART®, which is a proven method for addressing a diverse range of soft tissue and joint pain. ART® is a patented, non-invasive treatment approach tailored to target various types of soft tissues. This treatment both secure and free of pharmaceuticals, while being remarkably efficient. And this is true with all of our therapies.


To discover what we can do for your chronic pain issue, contact us for an appointment today. During our preliminary consultation and evaluation, we will work with you to establish a comprehensive understanding of your existing pain issues, your history concerning neck pain and discomfort, any distress you may have encountered, and your current physical activity level.

Call us today at (707) 636-4404 or make use of our online booking form to schedule a consultation and pay a visit to our office.