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As the toll of daily stress strips us of our ability to maintain a healthy inner equilibrium we experience symptoms of dis-ease. Kinesiology offers a natural healing process to put us back on track and live life to our full potential.
Kinesiology is a ‘verification tool’. It originates from the root words ‘kinein’ meaning ‘to move’ and ‘aesthesis’ meaning ‘perception’. Kinesiology originated in the 1960s through the work of a chiropractor, Dr George Goodheart, whose aim it was to enhance and improve the quality of his work and, through that, the quality of his patients’ lives. Since Goodheart’s initial work many different kinesiology modalities have been formed.
It is the philosophy of kinesiology that we are all created perfectly for what it is we are to achieve in life. However, when we are constantly faced with stress, we find ourselves in distress. This is our system’s way of indicating that we are ‘off track’ in an area, or areas, of our life and we are in need of attention. Put differently, we present with dis-ease symptoms and this is the messenger needed to focus our attention on the fact that we are not living life to our full potential and that we have resorted to re-acting instead of adapting appropriately.
STRESS VERSUS DISTRESSNo matter who you are or what you do, you have experienced, will continue to, and are most likely currently suffering from some form of stress in your life. Everywhere you look today people are offering quick fixes for stress relievers and de-stressing solutions. But what is stress? What happens to us when we are under stress and why should we do something about it?
The word stress is not really an accurate description of what is happening to us or rather our nervous system. A better description for what we call stress is distress, which is our reaction to stress rather then the stress itself. We are designed to function under stress. In fact, stress is a normal physical response to events that make you feel threatened or even those that just upset you. When you experience stress, or, as mentioned distress, be it physical, emotional or mental (real or imagined), the body’s defences are engaged, and an automatic response known as the ‘fight, flight or freeze’ or survival mode is activated and kicks in.
Our high-pressured and competitive lives have us continually experiencing this survival response. Instead of initiating the survival mode separately for each time we feel threatened, we start to continually defend against any and all stress that comes our way, causing us to stay in this heightened state of alertness known as survival mode.
STRESS AND THE BRAIN When in survival mode, our brain’s function is drastically affected. Under normal conditions the two hemispheres of the brain work together to reference one another in order to allow us to see things in different ways so that we can learn by comparison and/or association. Each hemisphere needs to be able to communicate their respective views to the other and this is done through neural connections of the corpus callosum. Under continued distress blood flow is restricted to the corpus callosum and redirected to the body muscles to help defend our survival. When this occurs the brain now responds only from a memory and not an associated or new options base. This means that we defend in the same way we did last time. We therefore become stuck in survival mode all the time and instead of finding, and invoking new responses, we continually re-act, again and again.
It is this survival mode that plagues us with dis-ease and symptoms as we are not able to compare and associate and find new ways to deal with the stress and subsequent distress that we experience. This is where kinesiology can play a role. Through it, it is possible to identify where one’s distress has caused an imbalance and offer new options in order to deal with the distress that one experiences.
HOW CAN KINESIOLOGY HELP?Kinesiology is an extremely gentle, non-invasive method of identifying what is going on, and why, and then applying suitable techniques to restore that sense of well-being we are longing for. Remember, the symptom is NOT the problem! Symptoms are merely ‘messengers’, our system’s way of communicating that there are imbalances, or distress, present. Are you experiencing any of these ‘messengers’ listed below? Or perhaps others?■ Headaches■ Depression■ Learning difficulties ■ Neck and/or back pain■ Insomnia■ Low blood sugar■ Allergies■ Sinusitis ■ Relationship difficulties■ General malaise■ Low self-esteem■ Phobias or addictions■ Repeated infections■ Skin problems■ Digestive disorders ■ Fatigue symptoms■ Constipation■ Menstrual disorders
HOW DOES IT WORK?Kinesiology uses the scientific knowledge of the functioning of the muscles of the body and the central nervous system to identify areas of blockages and imbalance. This is done by muscle monitoring, or by applying pressure on a contracted muscle and if a change occurs, or the muscle cannot stay contracted in the presence of a stressor, we are then able to identify where the distress is. Once identified, a kinesiologist uses gentle, non-invasive, extremely effective protocols to address and rebalance these. What does this mean for you? It means that a suitably qualified and trained kinesiology facilitator can identify, specific to you, what has caused your distress, and why, and then to apply appropriate techniques to restore balance and harmony. Once back on track, we can continue living with a better quality of life.
As an example, consider a common ‘messenger’ that many people often experience – headaches. I recently had a client who complained of a terrible headache at the end of every day. Remembering that the ‘messengers’ were just communicating the unbalance and distress that my client was currently experiencing we started working. She had been in a very traumatic car accident as a child and had suffered a severe whiplash and blow to the head. Due to this she suffered terribly from headaches. The physical stress of the accident caused such distress to her and the headaches were the ‘messenger’ of this imbalance. After applying an appropriate structural protocol to my client she has not suffered from headaches since. She no longer had to rely on the previous way of reacting when faced with stress and therefore her distress or ‘messengers’, the headaches, disappeared.
CONCLUSIONStress will always be a part of our lives but we can indeed change the way that we handle the stress, or rather how distressed we become when faced with stress. Next time you experience a dis-ease symptom perhaps consider the message that you are being sent and what this distress does to your life. You have the right to not live stress free but rather less distressed. You decide, your body, your life, your choice.
What is a Specialised Kinesiologist?In South Africa a specialised kinesiologist is someone that has at least 500 hours in at least two different kinesiology modalities. This means that practitioners need at least two years training of which 100 hours is a compulsory anatomy and physiology course.
As a specialised kinesiologist we do not heal, diagnose or prescribe; we merely help to facilitate a client to heal themselves and improve their quality of life. We all have the ability to heal ourselves; however sometimes we just find ourselves ‘off track’ due to the inability to deal with the stress and subsequent distress that it causes us.
You can find a qualified and trained kinesiology practitioner near you, or more information on studying kinesiology, by visiting www.kinesiologysa.co.za
Further reading1. Verity A. Kinesiology Module 1: Art of solution-orientated, neuro-training, College of Neuro-Training, An introduction to the principles and practices of kinesiology and neuro-training. Manual Version V. 13-1-2013: 7-10.2. ASKSA KZN website: www.kinesiology.co.za
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