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David Weinstock, a manual therapy practitioner, grew frustrated. It was more than 40 years ago, and his patients’ relief from pain and dysfunction often was temporary. Now, the graduate from Johns Hopkins University is a long-time advocate and pioneer of NeuroKinetic Therapy, or NKT. He codeveloped the movement therapy based on a chiropractic technique called Applied Kinesiology.

With his colleagues at the Institute of Conscious BodyWork in Marin County, California, Weinstock concluded that adjustments, deep tissue work, realignment and stretching wouldn’t rectify patients’ problems. Chronic pain from musculoskeletal issues can only be permanently resolved by addressing the root cause—the dysfunctional movement patterns stored in the brain.

Weinstock’s book “NeuroKinetic Therapy, an Innovative Approach to Manual Muscle Testing” was published in 2010. Translated into Japanese and Korean and now in its second edition, it’s the impetus for the therapy used internationally by chiropractors, physical therapists, personal trainers, massage therapists and Pilates instructors.

Mehmet Cingoz, owner of Mindful Movement in Fort Myers, is among several Southwest Florida therapists who incorporate NeuroKinetic Therapy into their practices.

“NeuroKinetic Therapy is an assessment tool that uses Manual Muscle Testing to determine not the strength of a muscle or function, but the strength of how well the brain communicates to that movement,” says Cingoz. “There are a lot of other techniques that utilize MMT; NKT’s protocol is unique in teasing out what imbalances or pain are a priority and which are symptomatic or compensatory. As a massage therapist, this gives me direction on what to release with great specificity.”

Muscles or tissue can weaken and “shut down” following an injury. Other muscles and tissues compensate for the weaker areas. An NKT practitioner will evaluate a patient’s strength or weakness and ask them to provide resistance after light pressure is applied to the affected area. It determines the location of the problem and retrains it with new patterns of movement; correcting the dysfunction is essential to successful healing.

Patients repeat the new, correct movements to replace improper compensation of weaker muscle use. Back pain, bursitis, jaw pain, neck pain, temporomandibular joint disorders or TMJ, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome and whiplash can all be treated with NeuroKinetic Therapy.

Reprogramming body movements is beneficial for reducing pain from injuries. It helps reduce muscle tension, improves recovery time and provides headache relief.

Jana Hamilton, the owner of Functional Therapeutics in Fort Myers, specializes in pain and injury prevention through massage therapy, exercise prescription, posture correction and self-care techniques. Hamilton also incorporates NeuroKinetic Therapy into her treatments. The business’ motto: “Whether you need maintenance and prevention care or need help with a specific pain pattern or injury, our skilled team is ready to help you meet your health care goals.”

Weinstock’s now standardized methods are part of the practices of therapists who’ve learned the techniques via certification. The therapy’s co-founder has a full international calendar of seminars, including a spring engagement that brought Weinstock to Orlando. Among a few dozen other locations, he’s headed this year to far-flung locales — Slovakia to Hong Kong and Canada to Brazil.

“The reaction to a successful assessment and correction not only has relief in symptoms or increased range and quality of motion, but also being shocked by the outcome,” says Cingoz. “Reevaluating a movement that hurt and was poor quality potentially within the first 15 or 20 minutes—and it to no longer feel that way—is a real shocker.

“Other therapies may have some great results, as well, which makes it hard to compare, but I think it’s the speed at which NKT drives change in the body in conjunction with whatever form of release work that any practitioner uses that is most impressive.”


Custom Fit Physical Therapy

9102 Cascada Way, Naples


Functional Therapeutics

1400 Colonial Blvd. #251, Fort Myers


Kinetic Physical Therapy

1082 6th Ave. N., Naples


Mindful Movement

8359 Beacon Blvd. #219, Fort Myers


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