Frequently Asked Questions: NKT

How is NKT different from other forms of massage?

This question is a little difficult to answer as there are so many different kinds of massage. The primary goal of NKT is to release muscular tension, so let's focus on how it stands out in that regard. Most massage techniques simply work on your muscles until they soften. However, all too often these muscles are tight because they are involved in dysfunctional compensation patterns - massage does not address this. NKT finds and corrects the neurological patterns that cause the muscular tension. The results from NKT are almost always more profound and more lasting than any other form of massage. Please visit the how NKT works page for more details.

How is NKT different from Physical Therapy or Chiropractic Care?

Physical therapists generally work to strengthen areas that have become weak due to injury, surgery, etc. A problem can arise with traditional physical therapy, however, if there is a compensation pattern involved. In these cases the exercises will tend to reinforce those compensation patterns rather than attaining the desired results. NKT addresses those compensation patterns, allowing the client better access to the weak muscles that need rehabilitation. It is my goal to have NKT taught to physical therapists and become an integral part of modern physical therapy.

Chiropractors specialize in aligning bones and joints. NKT deals strictly with the musculature and connective tissues that connect muscles to bones. While many chiropractors combine massage with a chiropractic session, NKT improves your chances of getting lasting results by providing lasting relief to any tight muscles that are pulling your spine out of alignment.

How is NKT different from Acupuncture or Acupressure?

Acupuncture and Acupressure are based on systems developed in eastern medicine that work to activate your bodies natural energetic healing. These techniques are quite effective, particularly in general, systematic problems and overall health. NKT focuses more narrowly on specific muscular imbalances and injuries. For these sorts of problems, an NKT-based approach will usually work faster.

How does NKT complement my current care?

NKT is an excellent complement to chiropractic care, physical therapy, any fitness program or even regular massage.

Traditional chiropractic care centers on keeping the bones (particularly the vertebrae) aligned. Frequently these bones come out (or are kept out) of alignment as a result of tight muscles pulling on them. NKT gets those muscles to stop pulling on the bones. The result: Chiropractic patients that receive NKT hold their adjustments longer!

As noted above, traditional Physical Therapy works to strengthen and rehabilitate weaknesses, but that work can be seriously impeded by any related compensation patterns. By clearing these patterns with NKT, my clients have returned to Physical Therapy (and fitness routines such as Pilates) with greatly accelerated and improved results.

When compensations result in tight bracing muscles, massage can become very uncomfortable and less effective in those areas. NKT can help calm those muscles down, allowing your regular massage session to be more enjoyable, and your massage therapist to focus on stress relief and relaxation.  

Can NKT help relieve old injuries, or help overcome holding patterns that developed a long time ago?

Yes. I have had many clients report that problems they have suffered from for decades, even since childhood, have greatly improved or even cleared up entirely with NKT. In many instances, we have solved issues that the client had simply given up on finding a solution for.

How many sessions will I need?

Occasionally, a compensation pattern is very straight forward and can be cleared up right away. Most patterns are a bit more complex and involve multiple bracing muscles holding for multiple weak ones. With nearly 700 muscles in the human body, there can be quite a few permutations to check and clear. Also, if we are dealing with a pattern that has been in place for years, we need to allow your body time to adjust. Also, bear in mind that any pattern that has been in your body for an extended amount of time has become a habit, and will take a little time to clear up.

Most of my clients report notable improvement after only one session. However, lasting change is really up to you. I will give you very simple excersizes to do at home to reinforce the work that we do together. The more diligent you are about your homework, the faster you will progress. Some clients are satisfied after are 2-4 visits, and many like to keep coming in for periodic (monthly or quarterly) tune-ups.

Some issues take longer – it all depends on how complicated the compensation patterns involved are. Car accidents and other severe traumas can take in the neighborhood of at least ten sessions, frequently more.

What should I expect from a session?

NKT may initially feel a bit more like a physical therapy session than a massage. Muscle testing is a very important component of NKT. It is how we find your compensation patterns and then re-train your body to eliminate them.  I will ask you to come to a bodywork session wearing comfortable workout clothing, such as you might wear to a yoga or Pilates class. As we work, I will put your body in certain specific positions and ask you to resist small amounts of pressure. These specific muscle tests help me to uncover any compensation patterns, and to cue your body to unlearn them.

One thing about this way of working is that I get right at the very tightest spots in your body. I try to work as gently as possible, but you may find yourself a little sore in the particular areas where we work for the next day or two. The overall relief and balance you will experience is more than worth it.

As we work to unravel more complex patterns, pain may shift around in your body. This can happen in cases where we have not yet found the whole pattern, meaning that there are still bracing mucles that are now working even harder. Working consistently to uncover your entire pattern is important, as even a small remaining part of the pattern can cause your body to regenerate the entire pattern.

I have finished a course of NKT treatments, and I am feeling great! Should I keep coming in?

The clients who have thrived the most under my care are the ones who have continued to see me about once a month for maintenance and fine-tuning. This lets us nip any potential problems in the bud, and helps you enjoy a better connection with your body. I particularly recommend that you come in for regular maintenance if you are active, if you are at risk for any sort of repetitive stress injury, or if you have some sort of underlying medical issue such as a joint replacement or scoliosis.

But I have tried so many things and they just haven’t worked. What makes NKT different?

The most common source of chronic muscular pain is our bodies' natural tendency to create compensation patterns. We unconsciously create these patterns in response to injuries, over-training, accidents, stress and other traumas. When a compensation pattern is active, certain muscles will weaken, while others will over-tighten to compensate for them. These imbalances create a vicious circle of pain that can go on for years. NKT works to eliminate these patterns. In short, I reconnect and strengthen the weak muscles, and release the tight ones.

These patterns are rarely detected or addressed by traditional physical therapy, chiropractic care, acupuncture, massage or western medicine. Finding and correcting them is what I do best, and the profound, lasting results are amazing.

A detailed explanation of NKT and how it works

About NKT practitioner Jeff Elam

Rates, locations and other practical information


(323) 687-5333

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