To find out if Kinesiology was a good therapy to help reduce chronic pain and make people feel better , I thought that we should do some clinical research. SO WE DID!
In 2004 we found 25 people who were willing to bring us their pain and have the extraordinary therapy that is kinesiology. For clarity, the kinesiology modalities used were Educational Kinesiology, Touch-for-Health and Professional Kinesiology Practice.
Our Chronic Pain Definition: Pain persisting for more than 3 months. Pain may have resulted from injury or illness or sometimes the start may be gradual and not able to be diagnosed.
The final outcome of the kinesiology treatment has been divided into six categories. The information for these results has been obtained from conversations with the participants. At the beginning of each consultation and the end of the final consultation every person gave feedback on their progress in respect to pain and general well being. Very few people were able to give precise percentage changes, therefore information for this section is subjective in nature
The categories used to evaluate the treatment are:
- No change in physical symptoms, pain levels – therefore no benefit from treatment.
- Some improvement in pain, body or spirit.
- Noticeable improvement in pain/sleeping/lifestyle/inner feeling and the ability to use self-management techniques.
- Good improvement in pain together with some regain of lifestyle, few restrictions and improved health. The ability to use self-management techniques.
- Almost complete reduction in pain with some residual symptoms, full return of lifestyle, normal sleep patterns, no restriction and improved health. The ability to use self-management techniques.
- Complete absence of pain and return to full lifestyle. The ability to use self-management techniques.
The most frequent outcome from the study was category 5. Chronic pain suffers in this category regained their normal lifestyle and were not hampered by restless sleep but still had some residual pain either constant or intermittent. As there was a maximum treatment of six appointments, in the research, these results could have been improved by more treatment, addition of suitable nutrients or regular maintenance treatment.
One example of category 5 is a 41-year-old female who had no pain after the final treatment session but felt that her hip would become painful again if she jarred it accidentally. Another person in this same category was a 51-year-old female whose pain in her knees and back completely cleared up, but the pain in her feet remained therefore she was successfully referred to a podiatrist. Since that time new treatments have been added that would be more effective for this person.
Another appropriate statistic is that 72% of people are category four, five or six, which means they gained substantial relief from kinesiology treatment, with 16% having complete elimination of pain.
The people in this study exhibited a range of pain symptoms and disability and other health problems either caused by the pain or ran concurrently. This complicated the final assessment, particularly if there had been complete pain relief in one part of their body, but little change in another pain area.
For example, a 35-year-old female who had suffered from constant severe headaches no longer had headaches after three consultations, had increased energy levels but still suffered the muscular aches and pains of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). She had also learnt breathing and energising techniques to use on a regular basis. Therefore, despite noticeable changes the most appropriate category was three. The classification meant that she was not in the 72% of people who gained a good improvement in pain and general lifestyle from the kinesiology treatment.
The holistic nature of kinesiology was demonstrated in this study. People not only gained relief from pain but also improved emotional and mental functioning. Other health issues were simultaneously addressed during treatment. A 55-year-old female was cured of abdominal bloating and the chronic sinusitis of a 51-year old male was alleviated.
What about those people finding little or no change?
The graph shows four people had no lasting pain relief or significant emotional changes (category one) from their kinesiology treatment. These people represent 16% of the cohort therefore they warrant closer scrutiny. One person only came for two consultations, failing to show up for her next appointment effectively removing herself from the study. Also another female was unable to continue treatment.
The further two people in category one had a common experience, that was a failure to do their homework between consultations. This may explain their lack of progress or development of self-knowledge. One of these two complained that her elderly husband would continually interrupt her relaxation sessions demanding her help or attention. The homework for the other category one person was to make dietary changes. She didn’t make the changes as she found it too difficult.
The person whose outcome was category two felt that she was more grounded and had found emotional energy during and after the first consultation. In the successive sessions her stamina and energy levels improved, however there was no change in pain levels or range of motion. This person did not like doing homework nor did she have the time. Unfortunately if homework is not done the body is unable to move to the next level of treatment. Think of the treatment as gradually removing the layers of the onion – layers have to be removed to get to the origins of the pain.
A GOOD STORY – the importance of self-help techniques
The importance of putting self-help techniques into practice was demonstrated in the treatment of a 66-year-old female with a cracked humeral head and torn ligaments and tendons. She was on a long waiting list for surgery. This injury left her with a disabled shoulder and arm that she was unable to use. During her first consultation, the first correction was a Brain Gym technique of belly breathing.
This technique involves three short audible exhalations to empty the lungs of air, then slow deep inhalations to fill the lungs. The reason for learning this technique became apparent when she described the excruciating pain she experienced if she accidentally knocked her shoulder. From that time on, whenever this happened she instantly started the exhalations therefore stopping the cognitive registration of pain and hence did not experience the pain. This is evidence of a technical intervention, which can influence pain perception.
From this research it was obvious that we had to look more at the emotional effects of chronic pain and to always check if an emotion needed to be considered during treatment. Please be reassured that we are not counsellors and you won’t be expected to discuss trauma or past events, just relax on our comfortable massage tables and release memories in a gentle, calm manner, guided by your kinesiologist.
We have also added the Rhythmic Movement Training to our treatment protocols. This is a hands on therapy mostly involving gentle rocking to release tension in muscles and rebalance the neuromuscular system to allow the body to rebalance itself. We also learn from every person that comes to our centre, as we are all different and unique.