How to acheive your goals with neuro-linguistic kinesiology
In countless healing rooms and clinics across Australia, a quiet revolution is taking place. Growing numbers of practitioners are embracing a relatively new kinesiology modality, neuro-linguistic kinesiology (NLK), first developed by kinesiology practitioner Wendy Bennett. Principal of the Kinesiology College of South Australia and one of Australia’s foremost kinesiology trainers and consultants, Bennett has run a busy practice since 1985.
“Neuro-linguistic kinesiology is unique in its adaptation of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) techniques, which can be used effectively for counselling and change work,” Bennett says. “NLP, the development of Richard Bandler and John Grinder, uses language as a therapy and can assist with changing or defining any behaviour and creating optimum resourceful states to reach peak performance.”
“Since its inception, NLK has rapidly become recognised as an ingenious synthesis of neuro-linguistic programming and kinesiology,” adds Lyn Treloar, a Sydney-based practitioner and instructor of 12 years experience.
”This unique merging has given birth to a modality that is highly versatile and effective in its application and outcome.”
Origins of kinesiology
Australians now spend more than $1 billion annually on natural therapies not traditionally recognised as part of mainstream medicine. Of these natural therapies, kinesiology, now practised in more than 104 countries, has experienced one of the most rapid growths and has recently been classified by the Australian National Training Association as a complementary medicine. Consequently, some of Australia’s major health funds are now including kinesiology in their rebate schemes.
The peak body for kinesiology in Australia is the Australian Kinesiology Association. It boasts an increasing membership, including registered professional practitioners and some of the most highly respected kinesiology researchers and teachers in the world.
The association defines kinesiology as: “…encompassing holistic health disciplines, that use the art of muscle monitoring to access information about a person’s wellbeing. It combines Western techniques and Eastern wisdom to promote physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health. Kinesiology identifies the elements that inhibit the body’s natural internal energies and accesses the life-enhancing potential within the individual.” Kinesiology is a modern modality that has been around as part of the healing scene for at least three decades, although its roots go back much further.
"In the 1970s, American chiropractor Dr George Goodheart developed applied kinesiology, the framework of many kinesiology modalities today," Treloar says. Goodheart embraced techniques derived from Chinese medicine using acupressure and meridian systems. Kinesiology combines this with modern muscle monitoring techniques to balance the person, though in terms of its dual East-West roots, kinesiology actually goes back thousands of years.
Researching further, Goodheart explored the subtle energy pathways described in Chinese medical literature. He discovered via muscle monitoring a valid entry pathway into the information held as energetic patterns within the human body, finding he could rapidly access the same information the Chinese had deciphered. This was a breakthrough that pushed kinesiology to a new threshold. Today, NLK extends the traditions of kinesiology in its own distinctive fashion.
"NLK is a branch of kinesiology that has been endorsed by the profession as a unique and powerful system of mind-body medicine," Treloar says. "The combination of various NLP techniques together with NLK’s own carefully researched and developed assessment and treatment protocols and the universally employed kinesiology techniques have resulted in the creation of NLK."
Benefits of NLK
According to Bennett, NLK is designed to achieve improvement in a wide range of stress and health-related problem areas. It is also said to help develop excellence in learning and performance skills.
&"NLK incorporates some of the most innovative developments in kinesiology related to testing the primitive and postural reflexes, which have long been recognised by paediatricians and occupational therapists as crucial in the development of good learning behaviours," she says. "NLK offers dynamic mental fitness exercises that can be easily and effectively used in the classroom."
How does NLK work?
"NLK focuses on assisting a person to become aware of the changes they require in a very measurable and specific way,” Bennett says. "Like all kinesiologies, NLK uses meridian therapy, acupressure, bodywork, stress-release techniques and visualisation.” Using the kinesiology principle of muscle monitoring, the NLK practitioner “taps” into the unconscious mind via the muscles and nervous system to determine what is blocking the client from achieving his or her goal.
"NLK applies the art and science of muscle monitoring as a biofeedback mechanism into the human "bio-computer" – the mind/body system," says Treloar. "The technique uses the patient’s body to determine the preferable technique for treatment. This re-establishes the body’s innate healing capability, which is always seeking wholeness and homeostasis as its natural condition."
There’s a number of different ways to apply muscle monitoring and many specialised techniques are applied in NLK. “One of the most common and simple procedures," Treloar says, "is when the patient is asked to extend and hold his or her arm at a 45-degree angle in front of the body while the practitioner applies gentle pressure to the wrist. The practitioner looks for subtle changes displayed by the client’s muscle responses," she says. "These changes constantly give the practitioner feedback via a locked or unlocked muscle response. Each "test", which is non-invasive, gives the practitioner more information in terms of evaluating which balancing therapies would be most appropriate.”
What to expect from an NLK treatment
During a neuro-linguistic kinesiology consultation the client remains fully clothed. Once the practitioner obtains a comprehensive client history and clarifies the "problem" or "goal" in question, the muscle monitoring procedure begins.
An NLK assessment may include the testing of specific neurological functions, chemical and respiratory function, sacral, spinal and cranial function, primitive and postural reflexes, visual inhibition, allergy testing, psycho-emotional and behavioural patterns, and unconscious emotional blocks in the past, present or future. These procedures take place by touching specific acupuncture and reflex points, using symbology, repeating statements, visual stimulus, and postural and integrative movements.
Each NLK treatment is unique as it’s determined by the responses gained from the client via muscle monitoring, honouring the individual’s own healing potential. NLK corrective methods used borrow from a wide variety of healing disciplines that include various energy-based methods such as acupressure, Bennett reflex points, Chapman reflex points, meridian and chakra therapy, neurological repatterning, specialised bodywork, counselling, neuro-linguistic programming, guided imagery, colour therapy and nutritional and dietary feedback.
Balancing procedures are non-invasive, deeply relaxing and powerfully transformative. The innovative combination of assessment procedures and techniques means NLK is remarkably diverse and multifaceted in its application and outcomes. Often, it can seem too simple to have such an effective resolution but, as the Chinese sages taught so long ago, “A miracle is simply that which is divinely natural.”
NLK and the triad of health
The triad of health is a way of representing the interconnectedness of the different aspects of each human being. As they are interdependent forces, a problem in any one area will, over time, manifest imbalance in other areas. When you are experiencing health and wellbeing, all aspects of the triad are in balance.
Addressing only one component of our physical, mental and emotional health in many cases is not enough to obtain a genuine healing outcome. Buried psycho-emotional problems, structural imbalances or biochemical and nutritional deficits are all important aspects of neuro-linguistic kinesiology’s holistic approach. Whatever the original cause or components of a problem, NLK enables the practitioner to influence all aspects of the triad of health to achieve holistic wellbeing.
NLK and neurological repatterning
NLK has also been shown to be of benefit in the area of neurological disorders. Neurological disorganisation (poor brain integration) can be the result of birth trauma, illness, an impact to the head, poor diet, dehydration, allergies and emotional, mental or physical stress. All of which can alter our learning and performance, that is, memory, comprehension, coordination, concentration and behaviour. Two NLK techniques in particular stand out. These are:
- VAK repatterning
- Mental fitness exercises (MFE) VAK repatterning
VAK repatterning is used in combination with integrative movements, visualisation, eye tracking, humming and counting. Both hemispheres of the brain are stimulated throughout the procedure to create new neural pathways that will enhance learning and performance skills and behaviours.
Mental fitness exercises
Mental fitness exercises are a combination of movement and acupressure techniques given as home support. The exercise program uses easy-to-implement self-help activities that assist both children and adults to improve their learning and performance. Both the VAK repatterning and the MFE program are aimed at improving neurological organisation. This capacity for improved function is a medical term known as “neuroplasticity”.
These techniques address the source of learning and performance problems by stimulating neural pathways between the left and right brain hemispheres, thereby enhancing neurological, physiological and bio-energetic function.
For centuries, symbols have been used as a way of accessing the unconscious mind, the work of Freud and Jung popularising its use in therapy. NLK, coupled with the use of symbology, can be of assistance in addressing the underlying causes of such dysfunctional behaviour as co-dependency.
“Co-dependency is a concept originating from psychology and behavioural science,” Treloar says. “It is a self-defeating coping mechanism that causes stress, controlling behaviour and disruptive relationships and may even lead to physical illness.”
Unconscious self-sabotage may arise as a result of specific or combined co-dependent issues or patterns. Individuals with a self-esteem issue may feel either better or less than others, criticise and nag, or may be damagingly self-critical. The person dealing with a boundary issue may tend to lose their own identity in intimate relationships, isolate himself or herself socially and emotionally or be attracted to people who hurt them.
Those who suffer from dependency issues have difficulty knowing or taking care of their own needs and wants while people with reality issues feel guilty standing up for themselves, are people pleasers and consistently seek approval from others. The individual with moderation issues will be afraid of authority figures and swing from frustration to resignation. Assessing these co-dependent issues and patterns via the NLK protocols of assessment is like shining a torch into the unconscious mind.
The corrective techniques of NLK allow deep healing and transformation to occur, creating a more fulfilling life and a healthier relationship with oneself and others.
Heal the past, prepare for the future
Like many natural therapies, a key dictum of NLK is that, if you are to move ahead successfully with your life, you must first clear the past. Clearing your past traumas, whether physical or psycho-emotional, will have a direct effect in the present moment. We can all remember a time when we may have felt really challenged; for example, you may have had a car accident that was traumatic physically and emotionally. NLK allows you to go back to that point and clear the trauma from your cellular memory and the impact on the neurology and bio-energetic systems at that time.
Results are often profound, immediate and life changing. For instance, you may have felt very stressed and tense when driving and may have even avoided driving since your accident. After an NLK treatment, you can feel relaxed, calm and confident again.
Preparing for the future can also have a direct effect on the present moment. Most people can relate to performance anxiety of some kind — for example, performing in front of an audience, going for a job interview or sitting for an exam. NLK can be used to build confidence, courage and poise and boost the memory.
Neuro-linguistic kinesiology offers an opportunity to lighten the load. It’s like a key that unlocks an individual’s innate healing potential. It’s exciting to think where it can lead us and how it can awaken us to our true potential. As Carl Jung once said: “As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.”
Conditions that can be improved by NLK
- Digestive disorders
- Allergies and intolerances
- Learning difficulties
- Self-image and relationship issues
- Anxiety and depression
- Phobias and panic disorders
- Grief and trauma
- Muscle tension and pain
- Vision problems
- Addictive patterns
- Co-dependency behaviours
- Weight management issues