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Chronic Pain Research by Christchurch Kinesiologist

What Kinesiology Can Do

1.Help pain suffers who have been unable to gain relief from other types of treatment

2.Provide access to and release a wide range of emotions without talk therapy.

3. Undergo therapy such as energy medicine and movements not generally available elsewhere

Below is a brief summary of an eighteen month research project that investigated the effectiveness of using the natural therapy of kinesiology. In this research kinesiology was offered to people with a range of musculoskeletal pain with a maximum of six sessions. Although some people's pain was reduced or eliminated in less number of sessions. The aim was to treat people who had been suffering from muscle pain for between six months and twenty years. Some of the participants were disabled as a result of their pain and for many their pain impacted negatively on their lifestyle and enjoyment of life.

Is Kinesiology effective for treating
Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain?

Reason for Kinesiology Research into Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is a growing problem in Australia and New Zealand both in economic and social terms. It causes long-term disability and emotional distress, not just to the person involved but also their family.

The purpose of this research was to demonstrate that Kinesiology might be effective in treating chronic musculoskeletal pain, particularly in people who have been unable to get permanent relief from conventional treatment or do not want to use medications

Research Results Graph .jpg

Results of Kinesiology Research

Overall results are promising with 72% of the cohort gaining substantial improvement in their lifestyle.


16% of participants had full elimination of pain.


A further 40% were in the category “almost complete reduction in pain with some residual symptoms, full return of lifestyle, normal sleep patterns, no restriction and improved health.”

These people also now have the ability to use self-management techniques to prevent a relapse in their condition. 

Outcomes ranges:

  • 1-no change,

  • 6-no pain remaining

Note:Two people in outcome one didn't complete treatment.

Key Findings From Chronic Pain Research

1.Movement Therapy

Research showed that physical movement was a key issue for some, particularly those people who had developed physical disabilities due to their pain. Several times Brain Gym® activities gave almost immediate relief from pain.

The reason for this change was not clear. Due to the sudden change it could be surmised possibly a neurological change - that is a change in signals or neural messaging - or many people who do these Brain Gym® activities feel more relaxed, hence making a change due to lowering stress levels.

It is well known that movement, such as contralateral movement engages more areas of the brain. Not only as shown on the homunculus, but also more engagement of both hemispheres of the brain.

2.Self-responsibility - take care of your pain

There is sometimes an expectation that a partitioner, doctor or pain specialist will provide treatment which reduces or removes pain without the patient themselves doing anything except come to appointments.


This was clearly the case for three of the people on the research project. Three people who did not do the homework had little or no benefit. (See outcome 1 and 2 in the graph above.)

This research clearly shows the importance of self-efficacy, as most people used recommended techniques to change their attitude or lifestyle. Those more involved with doing activities at home or who gave more attention to factors that arose during each session, gained more benefit with an improvement in their condition.

There are types of kinesiology that are more passive - treatment being done to a client - than that used in this research, more reminiscent of many pain treatments. Therefore the kinesiology used for this research cannot be generalised to all types or modalities of kinesiology.

Self-Development Aspect Of Kinesiology

By its very nature Kinesiology is a self-development process where patients can gain insight into the way they live their lives, their subconscious reactions to their environment and what they have experienced in their past.

This self-development can result in improved well-being and happiness, albeit sometimes difficult for the person who has experienced kinesiology treatment to explain and harder to put into words to describe the change that's taken place.

Duration Of Kinesiology Treatment

It may seem logical for those people suffering more complex chronic pain and/or more severe disabilities to need a prolonged period of treatment.

How can a person who has been experiencing chronic pain for over 10 or 15 years find pain relief or pain resolution in a shorter time than someone who only been in pain for 18 months? 

Research No of consultations.jpg

This research did not find a link between the length of time someone had chronic pain, the number of consultations and the final outcome of their treatment. This is certainly a conundrum and could benefit from more research.


Perhaps the previous sections on self-responsibility may provide a clue to this finding.

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