The General Adaptation Syndrome and Muscle Testing

 

The General Adaptation Syndrome was first described by Hans Selye as the three distinct stages that any organism goes through when experiencing stress. Selye explained his choice of terminology as follows: “I call this syndrome general because it is produced only by agents which have a general effect upon large portions of the body. I call it adaptive because it stimulates defense…. I call it a syndrome because its individual manifestations are coordinated and even partly dependent upon each other.” He defined these as the alarm, resistance and exhaustion phases. We can see the way that this works with muscle testing by examining the way that a muscle responds to a specific stress.

Often in a Touch for Health class, we have someone think about a stressful situation while checking an indicator muscle as a way of determining whether or not the body will respond to an emotional stress. When we do this as a precheck, we expect that the previously balanced muscle will immediately go into under-facilitation, becoming weak. This coorelates with Selye’s first stage of stress – an ‘alarm’ response. In the alarm stage, we immediately go into a dip as our body grapples with the new stressor. Soon however, our body adapts and begins to compensate for the new stress and we enter the second phase which is ‘resistance’ and can also be referred to as a balanced-imbalance. The individual is managing to cope, but it is taking more energy to do so than is optimal as they have to go into a compensation pattern. In muscle testing, we often see this as a stressed, over-facilitated muscle – something that is incapable of relaxing properly. It can look like it is fine when we simply run through basic muscle-testing protocols, because it is compensating, but looking a little deeper tells a different story. When the compensation has gone on over a long period of time, eventually the body can no longer keep it up. At this point, it goes into the third stage ‘exhaustion’. Here we see the muscle go back into an under-facilitated state, but it is more dangerous this time. The body no longer has back up reserves that it can draw from and is falling apart.

The best example I have for this is what happens when a family member is in the hospital for an extended period of time. At first, everyone panics and runs to their side in a typical alarm reaction. Very quickly though, the hospital becomes the ‘new normal’. It exists in a state of balanced/imbalance as the family takes turns bringing things, dealing with doctors, exchanging news, etc. This compensation can go on for quite a long time, until eventually, the strain of the situation becomes too much, the ‘exhaustion’ phase.

“Every stress leaves an indelible scar, and the organism pays for its survival after a stressful situation by becoming a little older.”

Hans Selye (1907-1982)

The GAS is one of the reasons why, in a Touch for Health Wheel or 5-Element balance where you are charting a pattern of over and under-energies, if a muscle both unlocks and shows an indicator change when you touch the alarm points, it is counted as a stress. It means that the stress in that particular area is so great that compensation patterns are beginning to become difficult to maintain and it is slipping towards the third stage of stress.

The real problem here of course is that we do not experience stress in our lives in one area at a time. It’s not like we get to recover from one before the next stress comes along – instead, we are often in all three stages, dealing with many different stressors, from the physical to the mental and emotional. If you have several systems that have been in the resistance phase and heavily compensated for a long period of time, it doesn’t take much more to push them into the final stage. We sometimes call this, “the straw that broke the camel’s back”. You hear people say, “He was never sick a day in his life!” describing someone who has suddenly died of a heart attack, but what is more likely true is that he had many systems highly compensated and the heart was not able to take the last bit of stress.

Knowledge of the GAS allows us to take our muscle testing a little deeper. When you find stress in a specific meridian/organ/tissue, etc. you can challenge further to see what stage the stress is in. This could be as simple as offering a verbal challenge, or if you use a modality like SIPS (Stress Indicator Point System), you could use light and deep touch on the point to see which gives you an indicator change. If you are familiar with Powers of Stress from Applied Physiology, this is another way of gauging just how much stress the system is under. All of these are ways of making sure that we get to the root of the matter and help to reestablish balance in the body on the deepest level.

Create your Marketing Avatar

What is an Avatar? Basically, what you are doing here is helping yourself define very clearly the ideal client – the person that you want to reach out to and work with. Spending a little time on this allows you to be precise in the way that you are marketing and invest your time and money in the best way possible. Does this feel silly for some people? Maybe a little. After all, in some ways this is basically the adult equivalent of creating an imaginary friend. A couple things that it might be helpful to remember:
1) There are no wrong answers. This is about who you want to work with, so don’t worry if it sounds a little odd when you write it all out. We’re not trying to please everyone – maybe the oddballs are your ideal clients and that is totally ok. In fact, when putting this together you may want to actually focus on some of the ways that your avatar is different from the people around them. Knowing how they are quirky and what sets them apart from the crowd is what allows you to connect with them on a deeper level.
2) This can be fluid and can change. You are not stuck with this indefinitely. You can add things, and take them away as you grow. You can add more avatars in the future to represent the various aspects of your business. You my friend, have options, so don’t be afraid to jump in and have fun with this.

Download the free PDF and begin!  GEMS avatar creation WS

KinesioGeek Magazine: Updated Media Kit!

We are entering year three for KinesioGeek Magazine! The magazine serves several different purposes; it connects us as practitioners in a small industry, brings new information and research to our attention, and showcases products and events that are of interest. If you’ve never considered advertising your products, classes, conferences, etc. before, this might be the time! Get your message out in front of people who are as passionate and invested in Specialized Kinesiology as you.

We are building a strong presence in the world and we’re all in this together!

Click here to download: KinesioGeek Magazine Media Kit

GEMS in USA (VA) with Chena Anderson

GEMS stands for Goal, Element, Mode, Stack. It offers an easy-to-follow flow chart that allows a student or practitioner to easily figure out where the priority stressors for an individual are and what balancing technique will work to resolve these efficiently. It is based on information from the TFH synthesis and is designed to allow a practitioner to flow easily from one modality to another, incorporating the entire body of knowledge available to the individual.

The aim of this class is to teach a system that will allow the student to use everything they know in the Specialized Kinesiology realm thus far and bring in additional aspects as they are learned, so that all information falls under the GEMS umbrella. It offers help and advice in areas such as: how to set up your office and attract clients, walking you through a typical session, taking money and rebooking, marketing and networking, practitioner ethics and scope of practice – in short, all the areas where practitioners feel stress about setting up their professional practice.

This can also be used as a bridging class for those interested in taking more in-depth Specialized Kinesiology classes, such as SIPS, LEAP, Brain Integration, etc. These classes assume that a student has knowledge of how to use finger-modes and scan sheets, work from an indicator muscle and properly stack information. None of these techniques are part of the TFH curriculum however, so often students are left feeling overwhelmed when they arrive in the classroom and instructors are left spending large amounts of class time explaining techniques that are not really part of their modality.

Each day can also be experienced as a separate class; GEMS Flow and GEMS Business. If you are only interested in attending one day, please let your Instructor know when you register.

GEMS in USA (Springfield MO) with Christine McGough

GEMS stands for Goal, Element, Mode, Stack. It offers an easy-to-follow flow chart that allows a student or practitioner to easily figure out where the priority stressors for an individual are and what balancing technique will work to resolve these efficiently. It is based on information from the TFH synthesis and is designed to allow a practitioner to flow easily from one modality to another, incorporating the entire body of knowledge available to the individual.

The aim of this class is to teach a system that will allow the student to use everything they know in the Specialized Kinesiology realm thus far and bring in additional aspects as they are learned, so that all information falls under the GEMS umbrella. It offers help and advice in areas such as: how to set up your office and attract clients, walking you through a typical session, taking money and rebooking, marketing and networking, practitioner ethics and scope of practice – in short, all the areas where practitioners feel stress about setting up their professional practice.

This can also be used as a bridging class for those interested in taking more in-depth Specialized Kinesiology classes, such as SIPS, LEAP, Brain Integration, etc. These classes assume that a student has knowledge of how to use finger-modes and scan sheets, work from an indicator muscle and properly stack information. None of these techniques are part of the TFH curriculum however, so often students are left feeling overwhelmed when they arrive in the classroom and instructors are left spending large amounts of class time explaining techniques that are not really part of their modality.

Each day can also be experienced as a separate class; GEMS Flow and GEMS Business. If you are only interested in attending one day, please let your Instructor know when you register.

A Vision for the Future of Specialized Kinesiology

Guest post by Ludovico Feletto, also published on www.knowlative.com

When people ask me to explain what Knowlative.com will look like when it is fully developed, it usually takes me a long time to explain the concept of what we are building.

Let’s compare how things are in the Kinesiology world now, to how things could be with Knowlative.

Let’s say that I am a student that already knows how to perform a Muscle Response Test, and I have completed one of the “core” specialized or applied kinesiology courses available. My goals are:

  1. To constantly upgrade my skills with the most effective procedures available;
  2. To store my client’s records in a safe and usable way and to access them easily in my work;
  3. To keep an eye on how my activity is evolving by tracking the number of sessions I give and the procedures I use most;
  4. To write a scientific paper.

Before Knowlative

  1. To upgrade my skills, I have to look for new courses available but that isn’t always a simple task. Sometimes what seems to be a very promising course is actually a waste of time and money. Sometimes a very useful procedure is impossible to learn in my country or in my geographic region or it is not advertised at all in my area so I do not even know it exists. So, I have to settle for what is available in my region; and sometimes this is not sufficient to progress in my profession.
  2. Storing my client’s records can be another time consuming and quite frustrating task. If I write down the results of what I am testing this process slows down my work. And then, if I keep confidential and sensitive data the time (and money) required to keep them safe and to adhere to Data Protection Laws can be significant. If I do not track anything to avoid these problems I will never be able to see the evolution of my practice and notice which techniques I tent to skip or ignore. Furthermore, I will never be able to write a scientific paper on the effectiveness (or not) of my balances (See point 4).
  3. What happens if I want to see how I am progressing over time: how many procedures I use in a session with my clients, how long it takes to perform a given procedure, which month do I work most (and least), what is the age group of my clients, what are the most common complaints or goals, and much more? This data, which would be very useful to improve my practice, target my advertisements, see what areas I need to strengthen, is nearly impossible to get if I do not invest a huge amount of time in tracking and calculating it.
  4. To write a scientific paper I have to expect to spend a huge amount of time (and money) planning the study carefully, collecting all the data (and for my study to be relevant I have to collect huge amounts of data), analyzing all the data and writing it. All these tasks are very specific and the majority of us do not have any idea how to achieve even the most basic skills needed to go through all the process. So, basically, I cannot do any scientific study… and as a result, Specialized Kinesiology will never be taken seriously.

In short, without Knowlative I am still traveling with a steam engine while my competitors are testing a Hyperloop trip.

With Knowlative

  1. Logging in, I have a showcase of Kinesiology Courses available from all over the world with the option to directly contact the author for more details. The basic procedure of every course is available inside my “Wikipedia-style” learning pages just a few clicks away and I can try it immediately with a test client to see if I like it or not and if I’m interested in the “real” content of the course. I can see how often the procedure is utilized in their practice by users that already took that class and the feedback they give of the lessons. If I decide to take that course I can (only for selected courses) attend online in the Knowlative platform or be redirected to a webinar of the author or, if I prefer to meet the creator of the procedure in person, I have all the dates and locations of his/her next classes.
  2. While I am working, I can browse for the appropriate technique for my client in Knowlative. The “manual” is adaptive (it shows me step-by-step what I need in real time) and I can easily record all the results of my testing. Without paper manuals, I do not waste time searching for the right page, and by recording all data in the “manual” Knowlative page directly I do not need to worry about storing data in a usable way. And if I do not remember a step of a certain procedure, with one click I can see its complete description.
  3. When I am finished working I can immediately access all the updated statistics of my practice with intuitive graphs and suggestions. I do not need to do anything for this; Knowlative does all the boring jobs for me.
  4. Experienced statistic experts analyze the collective data of Knowlative and build up observational studies. With the information gathered they design specific studies and I can decide to add an appropriate client with a few clicks. In fact, Knowlative matches my client’s parameters with the studies available in real time and, if appropriate, it asks me if I want to participate. This process will only add a few selected additional questions to my standard session and only 2 minutes of my (and my client’s) time. And my name will appear as a contributor in the scientific papers produced with my help. Without needing to spend of huge amount of money, we build strong evidence that Kinesiology is the essential tool for the medicine of the future.

And with Knowlative I have an additional bonus: if I add my findings, procedures and experience to Knowlative Database I am rewarded with a part of the project’s income in relation with how much my materials are used by other members of Knowlative and the advancement in manual response testing is much faster.

Without needing to spend of huge amount of money, we build strong evidence that Kinesiology is the essential tool for the medicine of the future.

How Knowlative will develop

To achieve the big picture, we have been working since December 2015. You can see the next phases of Knowlative in the picture. We are assembling the software and managing all the issues building a company brings up. Every one of us is working for free in evenings, weekends, vacations, …

Soon we will have to absorb more expenses to make this vision came true. The most problematic aspects are the legal issues involved in Knowlative. We have an estimation of expenses for 20000 Euros for this area alone.

We have done a lot of work so far, but now we need your help.

So, if you like what Knowlative will bring to your professional practice register to this site and visit our crowdfunding at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/knowlative-cooperative-knowledge#/

If you, as a client, see how Knowlative can improve the quality of your Kinesiologist, help us with the crowdfunding!

And do not forget to spread the message to your friends.

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About The Author

Ludovico Feletto – Medical Doctor & Creator of Knowlative. Ludovico is a trauma and orthopedic surgeon and the creator of Knowlative. Since before his Specialization Degree in 2007, he developed a deep interest for an individualized approach to medicine, exploring many integrative methods of healing (acupuncture, Kinesiology, Neuraltherapy…). In his medical practice and in Knowlative he brings the certainty that the future of medicine is a system that assimilates the knowledge of the western medicine with the main eastern practices.

The Oxford Studies: Validating Muscle Response Testing: Part I – Methods Used

By Anne Jensen

Feature image is from the Touch For Health muscle testing charts, available through CanASK

When I was practicing as a chiropractor in North Queensland, I avidly used a range of muscle-testing-based techniques with my patients – and we loved the results. However, I soon realized that muscle testing was one of the biggest strengths of my practice – but also one of the biggest weaknesses. It was a strength because we could clearly and quickly tune in to the body, ask it what it requires, and focus any therapy on that. It was a weakness because it lacked scientific validity. That is, insufficient (e.g. too little) robust clinical research has been carried out which supports its usefulness – as a result, it is largely thought of as unscientific, meaningless, and even dodgy.

On one hand, I did not necessarily need scientific “proof” that muscle testing “worked” – I saw proof of it in my practice every day. But on the other hand, I was curious. So, I undertook a number of small research projects in my clinic, and well, I did them poorly. I just didn’t have the knowledge I needed to make the results meaningful, and for that reason, I looked for where I could gain this knowledge. This is how I came across Oxford University’s programme in Evidence-based Health Care. It is a programme designed specifically for practitioners who want to learn how to do rigorous clinical research. It was also run alongside Oxford’s Centre for Evidence-based Medicine, giving students access to some of the top clinical researchers in the world. It seemed just what I was looking for – so I applied – and was accepted! So, off I went to England for further tertiary education.

For my research, I had originally planned to study the effectiveness of an emotional healing technique (e.g. HeartSpeak) on those with depression. However, this technique uses muscle response testing (MRT), and as can be imagined, it was met with extreme skepticism within my department (the Department of Primary Health Care Sciences). Before my supervisors would allow me to embark on a large randomized trial, they insisted I demonstrate the efficacy of MRT. This venture then took a life of its own, and the randomized trial on depression was deferred to another time.

The first step that needed to be taken to investigate the validity of MRT was to figure out how to begin. This was not as straight forward as one would think. So, I started by defining what I meant by MRT, and that was: testing one muscle repeatedly as the target condition changed. Having studied Applied Kinesiology (AK) myself, I knew that MRT was jokingly (or not) called “The Arm Push Down Test” – and was often regarded as unsound. However, I also understood that it was used within many different muscle testing technique systems – such as HeartSpeak, Psych-K, Total Body Modification, Contact Reflex Analysis, and dozens of others. So, aside from myself, I knew MRT was used widely around the world. I recognised that MRT was different from the type of muscle testing done in AK, and as such, needed to be considered as distinct.

Reiterating the distinction, in MRT, one muscle is tested repeatedly (usually the deltoid) as the target condition changes. That means, one MRT is performed for each target condition (and usually the result of one MRT influences the choice of target condition of the next MRT). A target condition is what one performs the test to detect, and examples in common use include: stress, lies, chiropractic subluxation, meridian imbalance, the need for a particular nutritional supplement, etc. Another important aspect of MRT is that it is a binary test – that is, it has only two possible outcomes, commonly referred to as “strong” and “weak.”

Then, I clearly delineated MRT as being distinct from other forms of manual muscle testing (MMT). For instance, MRT differs from orthopaedic/neurological MMT (ON-MMT) done by many physiotherapists, chiropractors, and osteopaths, in that the target condition for ON-MMT is limited to muscular strength, and the result is not binary, but usually rated on a 0-to-5 scale. As introduced above, MRT differs from Applied Kinesiology style of MMT (AK-MMT) – also a binary test – in that with AK-MMT, any muscle can be tested, and the outcome of the test will have different meanings, dependent upon which muscle was being assessed.

The next step was to determine just how widely used MRT actually is – also called the prevalence of use of MRT. As my advisors argued, if only a handful of people use MRT, then assessing its validity would be impractical. So, I set about this task – which, again, was not simple because those in many different lines of work use MRT – and also those in no particular employment (i.e mothers). For instance, many chiropractors use MRT, but not all, and kinesiologists use MRT but a kinesiologist does different things in different parts of the world. So, interviewing those in particular profession seemed inefficient. Therefore, it was decided that if the various organisations that teach MRT were polled and asked how many they have trained over the years, and if the totals were adjusted for things like attrition, inaccurate accounting, and incompleteness, then a reasonable estimation would be achieved. The results of this polling were interesting for a number of reasons. Firstly, in a painstaking search, only 86 techniques that used MRT were identified; however, undoubtedly the actual number of named techniques probably far exceeds this number. Nevertheless, all teaching organisations were contacted by either telephone or email, with unexpected mixed responses, ranging from extremely helpful to unresponsive to outright hostile. Nevertheless, from the data collected, it could be estimated that over 1 million people use MRT worldwide (for the full paper, click here). This widespread prevalence of use of MRT certainly warranted investigation of its validity.

Next, a thorough literature search had to be carried out, to determine if previous research has already demonstrated MRT to be valid, because PhD research must uncover some new information or insights. I was pleased to learn just how much research on MMT has been done, but did discover that most of it was not associated with MRT specifically. So, yes, my PhD would result in unique research.

The next question that had to be answered is how to assess the validity of MRT. There are numerous terms that are used to describe tests and measures, such as valid, accurate, precise, reliable, repeatable and so on. Because in colloquial English, the meanings of these words differ from their use in research settings, it became important for me to understand specifically what each term meant. and also, because earlier research studies used these terms. After months of reading, I determined that the place to start was to assess the accuracy of muscle testing, and to use the standard protocol for diagnostic test accuracy studies, called the STARD Statement.

At first, I was resistant to using the diagnostic test study protocol – since, after all, MRT is not used to diagnose, per se. Then I read that a diagnostic test: (1) gains information about a patient, and (2) is used to guide treatment. Since MRT is used for both of these tasks, then this was indeed an appropriate approach.

Since a diagnostic test is used to detect a target condition (e.g. manual blood pressure testing is used to detect hypertension, and a series of blood tests are used to detect diabetes), I had to consider carefully which condition to target in my studies. Since MRT is used to detect a large range of conditions, the pool was extensive – and I knew that this choice would be extremely important.

Furthermore, to assess a diagnostic test, the results of the test in question (called the index test, MRT in this case), must be compared to the results of a reference standard (a test already in use to detect the target condition and already found to be valid). Since the validity of MRT was questionable, I also knew how important it was to select an exceptionally sound reference test. It would be much more convincing if MRT was compared to an established standard rather than to another speculative test.

After much consideration, it was decided that we would use MRT to detect deceit (a lie), or put another way, to distinguish false from true spoken statements. Deceit was chosen for a number of specific reasons – primarily because the reference standard would then be the actual verity of the statement, which would be definitively known and could be controlled. Because of this, the reference standard would be a gold standard, which would add rigorousness to this series of studies. The paradigm we chose to implement is one very commonly used: the muscle stays strong when a statement is true, and goes weak when a statement is false. While this line of research did not involve explaining why or how this occurs, in the field, it is often explained that lying is a stress, and stress causes the muscle (the body?) to weaken – so it makes sense. Aside it being in common use, this explanation has good face validity and a sound theoretical framework.

Then, we defined accuracy of MRT, to be the percent correct, and it would be quite straightforward to make this calculation (i.e. the number of MRTs gotten “right” divided by the total number of MRTs performed). Using statistical methods, this number could then be compared to chance to determine if there was a difference. We compared MRT accuracy to chance because, theoretically, in a binary test, the two outcomes (strong and weak in the case of MRT) would be equally likely. However, in practice this may not be the case.

Therefore, we sought to implement a second index test which could be used to compare accuracies. Since it is the opinion of some MRT skeptics that it is not actually MRT making distinctions, but rather that the MRT practitioner is good at “reading” people. With this in mind, the secondary index test we implemented was intuitive guessing; that is, without using MRT, but only visual, auditory and kinesthetic clues, the practitioner was asked to guess whether a statement spoken by the patient was true or false. The accuracy, or percent correct, of intuitive guessing could be compared to MRT accuracy to see if there is any difference. If there is no difference, the skeptics’ hypothesis would be correct; however, if there was a difference, then there would be something to MRT after all. This addition of a secondary index test was an important and valuable piece of this research methodology.

The next aspect of the methods that had to be considered was the participant enrolment criteria – that is, defining who we were going to recruit to participate. I wanted to get a very well-rounded view of MRT accuracy, so I wanted a broad sampling of muscle testing practitioners, otherwise known as a heterogenous sample. We recruited practitioners from any profession, with any amount of experience and any amount of expertise. However, to be included, they had to have had some previous training in some kind of MRT. In contrast, the patients recruited for the first study (the largest one) had to have no previous experience with MRT, and also had to be unknown to the practitioner who was going to test them. For the first study, after doing a sample size calculation, we recruited 48 unique practitioner-patient pairs, meaning a pair could only participate once. For the 3 follow-up studies, 20 practitioner-patient pairs were used.

Blinding is another important aspect of clinical research. In this series of studies, MRT accuracy was calculated using the case when the practitioners were blind to the outcome of the MRT, meaning they did not know if the spoken statement was true or false. In addition, practitioners were not blind to the paradigm under investigation (i.e. true statements à strong MRT; false statements à weak MRT). Unfortunately, blinding patients was not as straight forward – as they were aware that they were saying true and false statements. To balance this, they were blind to the paradigm being tested – that is, they were not told that their muscle will weaken when they spoke false statements. So, in the end, I believe we attained a fair degree of blinding.

There were a good many factors that we had to consider when designing these studies, and this first part of this 2-part article describes the general methods used. In Part 2, particulars of each of the 5 studies (see Table 1) will be outlined, the results revealed, and their implications discussed.

 

Table 1 – An outline of this series of studies assessing the validity of MRT

Study 1 – Estimating the Accuracy of MRT

Study 2 – Replication of Study 1

Study 3 – Replacing the Practitioner with Grip Strength Dynamometry

Study 4 – Using Emotionally-arousing Stimuli

Study 5 – Estimating MRT Precision using a Round-robin Format

 

GEMS – In Kelowna, BC with Instructor Holly Berezowski

GEMS stands for Goal, Element, Mode, Stack. It offers an easy-to-follow flow chart that allows a student or practitioner to easily figure out where the priority stressors for an individual are and what balancing technique will work to resolve these efficiently. It is based on information from the TFH synthesis and is designed to allow a practitioner to flow easily from one modality to another, incorporating the entire body of knowledge available to the individual.

The aim of this class is to teach a system that will allow the student to use everything they know in the Specialized Kinesiology realm thus far and bring in additional aspects as they are learned, so that all information falls under the GEMS umbrella. It offers help and advice in areas such as: how to set up your office and attract clients, walking you through a typical session, taking money and rebooking, marketing and networking, practitioner ethics and scope of practice – in short, all the areas where practitioners feel stress about setting up their professional practice.

This can also be used as a bridging class for those interested in taking more in-depth Specialized Kinesiology classes, such as SIPS, LEAP, Brain Integration, etc. These classes assume that a student has knowledge of how to use finger-modes and scan sheets, work from an indicator muscle and properly stack information. None of these techniques are part of the TFH curriculum however, so often students are left feeling overwhelmed when they arrive in the classroom and instructors are left spending large amounts of class time explaining techniques that are not really part of their modality.

Each day can also be experienced as a separate class; GEMS Flow and GEMS Business. If you are only interested in attending one day, please let your Instructor know when you register.

Day One Morning:

Introductions and finding out what areas are of highest concern to the group.

–        Review of goal setting and the difference between personal and ‘body agendas’

–        Review of 5-element theory and additional aspects

–        Teaching basic finger moding as a way of categorizing and inputting stress. History of finger and hand modes

–        Teaching stacking with hips and jaw. History of stacking and why it works

–        Introduction to the flowchart and scan sheets and how to use them.

Day One Afternoon:

–        Answering any questions about scan sheets and demonstration

–        Working in groups to practice the GEMS balance

–        How to use this to incorporate other modalities

–        Discussion of common business problems for health practitioners

–        Room set up, office set up and how to write a business plan (as much as time allows)

Day Two Morning:

–        Choosing a business name and generating marketing materials

–        Website considerations and creating a successful one

–        Money questions and legalities

–        Setting yourself apart from others in your field – personal questions to help create vision for your business

Day Two Afternoon:

–        Face-to-face networking and social media; going through social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter and how to use them to promote yourself and build relationships

–        Practitioner ethics

–        Practice going through a client session beginning to end using GEMS balance, client forms, taking money, rebooking, etc.

–        Answering any questions and making sure all group objectives have been covered

Don’t be pitchy. Tips for good presentations.

You are sitting in a room full of your peers, listening to a speaker present. They are funny and engaging and you are really enjoying the whole thing. And then… like a chill draft blowing through the room, the whole energy changes. The presenter is staring straight ahead, the smile is forced, they start rattling off numbers and you are told that the first 10 of you to sign up can bring a guest for free! Yes, they have launched The Pitch.

We are told that we need to pitch at the end of the presentation. It’s when you make your ‘ask’; for more clients, more sales, students for your next workshop, whatever. There are a ton of courses out there that are supposed to train you how to pitch effectively. But here’s what gets me – everyone is using these techniques now. The whole thing where the presenter writes some ludicrous number on a whiteboard, saying that her coaching sessions are normally $10,000 (or whatever number), then telling you there is a reduced price and then offering some number a small fraction of the original to the first group of people to sign up tonight. Yes, I know that, due to cognitive bias we tend to accept the first number we are shown as the true one and compare all the other numbers to it. But because we have all seen this particular trick so many times before, I’m not going to be impressed that you have reduced your price from $10,000 to $1500 if I sign up right now; personally I am much more likely to be vaguely annoyed that it took you 10 minutes to tell me that your rate is $1500.

So here’s the thing; unless you have some new technique that involves physical and mental gymnastics the likes of which we have never seen before, it is unlikely that many people are going to be sucked in to your pitch. If you want to try something revolutionary, why not simply leave the pitch out entirely?

I’m a big believer in the ‘soft sell’. If you’ve been speaking to a group of people for 30-40 minutes, they have a pretty good idea already of who you are, what you do and whether or not they want to do business with you. Do you really need to spend 5-10 minutes, the last bit of time you have with your audience, potentially alienating them? There is nothing wrong with an ‘ask’ – after all, that’s why you are there, but remember that the same rules that apply to good presentations apply here as well.

  • Keep it relevant. Remember who you are speaking to and what their particular needs are. Are these business people looking for stress management? Massage therapists looking for continuing education credits? Concerned parents with children struggling in school? What do you have to offer each of these groups?
  • Keep it short. Enough said.
  • Be genuine. Don’t turn into a smarmy salesperson, keep the same tone and integrity that you have displayed throughout your talk.

Sorry for the rant, but these are things we can all improve on to be more effective in getting the word out about Specialized Kinesiology and what it can do.

Do you have any tips for great presentations? Any pet peeves about ‘pitching’? Share them here.

We’re all in this together!

Alexis

SK Storytelling

Two weeks ago we were at the large market in San Isidro where we do the majority of our grocery shopping for the week. This is not a tourist market and most of the gringos are conspicuously huddled in one corner eating vegan burritos. I was at the meat counter – chatting in my broken Spanish with the muchacho who calls me over every week promising to cut me the best steaks – when I turned around to see my husband chatting in English with an American woman and her daughter. When I finished at the counter I introduced myself. She asked what I do, and I told her I work with Specialized Kinesiology. Let’s face it; that usually requires more explanation. A lot more. I had my whole elevator speech ready to rock when she broke into a huge smile and said “Oh how wonderful!” I had to admit that’s not the reaction I usually get to that statement. And she replied, “that’s because most people don’t have any idea what it is!” and she told me her story.

We are hard-wired to respond to stories. For so much of human history it was our primary way of transmitting information, of explaining our background and how the world worked and why things are the way they are. And while I can’t divulge someone else’s story here without permission, it made me think that I would like to hear more people’s SK stories. For those of you in this field, what brought you here? For those who are clients, what prompted the call and what changes have you seen?

Last month I ran a contest asking people for testimonials and I got a few stories from people that were truly sweet and humbling. It’s one thing to know this work is amazing, it’s another thing completely to read words like,

“After one treatment, I could finally lift my arm, which I hadn’t done for months,”

“I’ve drastically reduced my insulin requirement,” or

“The blockage is now totally cleared.”

Just from these short sentences, you get a glimpse into someone’s life, their story and their journey, and that’s much more powerful than me reading off a list of benefits!

I am in the process of creating an international online Specialized Kinesiology magazine right now and I would love for part of it to be about sharing SK stories. So, if you have a story about your experiences in this realm, please post them here. Some of them will end up in future issues!

And we all lived happily ever after.

Alexis Costello

 

How to Lose Friends and Alienate People with Social Media

It is shocking how bad people can be at social media. I recently wrote a bit about social media here and how to use it as a natural health practitioner, but this is different – this is more of a rant. I don’t claim to be a guru or a professional marketer, but there are a few things that drive me nuts with social media and since I want us to be friends (at least on Facebook), I want to share one of them with you.

Think about the name of the medium: social media. It means to be social, to share and be friendly. If you were at a dinner party and constantly kept shouting out, “I use _________ everyday to stay fit!” “_________ is the best product for weight loss!” “Ask me how you can make money from your computer with ________!”, how long would it be before you were left alone in a corner with no-one to talk to? Would you ever be invited back?

Because we can’t always see the people we are reaching with social media, it is easy to forget that they are actual people who want to be treated as such. No-one wants to feel like they are being shouted at or talked down to. They want to be heard. People use social media to check out a company or practitioner sometimes – to get a feel for who you are and what you stand for. If you want to be known as someone personable and empathetic then that needs to come across in your posts, tweets, blog, etc.

Yes it is OK to use social media to promote your business, but you want to do this in the same way that you would face to face; with an open dialog, responding to questions, asking your own and offering opinions and information. You can branch out from your own business and promote fun local events or businesses that would be of interest to your followers, or even just share something that makes you think or makes you laugh.

This is what friends do.

We’re all in this together.

Alexis

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Leave them below!

 

Navigating Social Media for your Natural Health Business

 

Social media and business guru Nikki Csek of Csek Creative and Kelowna Now spoke to Kelowna Women in Business in April to help us all become better communicators in the crazy world of social networking sites. I may be one of the world’s worst note-takers, so this is nowhere near everything that she talked about, but I have recorded a few gems for you here that might help you as you decide where to put your time and energy online.

According to Nikki, these are your ‘Must Haves’:

1)   The ability to access your website and make changes to it

2)   You must have identified and set up the social channels you wish to use properly

3)   You must make it easy to share – content is 7x more likely to be shared if it’s simple for your user

4)   Google Analytics

 

You’ve heard me discuss Content Marketing before, right? Unless you have a content strategy, nothing works. Her suggestion is to sit with a piece of paper and write ten article titles for your perfect customers. Once these are in place you know what you need to write and can schedule it for publishing.

Now that you know what you’re going to publish, let’s talk about how to get it ‘out there’ to your target market. Nikki had some analytics for the major social media sites that can help you decide where your potential clients are and meet them on their home turf.

 

1)   Facebook: 71% of Internet users are on FB and most of these are between 24-50 years old with equal gender representation. If you are posting regularly to FB and people are not engaging with you (i.e ‘liking’ and sharing your posts) you may need to reconsider what you are posting.

Find me by searching Happily Holistic – Be Your Best

2)   Twitter: 23% of Internet users are on Twitter, demographics between 18-29 years old and skewed slightly female. Over 30% of users check multiple times daily, so you can post more often without bugging people. (Nikki taught me that etiquette says you follow people back, so I’m working on that since manners are important.)

Follow me @healthylexi – I’ll follow you too!

3)   Instagram: 26% of Internet users are on Instagram and it is growing quickly. Demographics are between 18-29 and again skewed slightly female. I’m not on this one yet, so can’t add much to this!

 

In each of these you need to decide how you wish to be perceived, both by existing and perspective clients. You can search for and look at your competitors; see what they are doing well and identify opportunities. Take a look at how people are using technology and what channels they are using. For instance, are your perspective clients looking you up on their iphone? You had better be sure your website is formatted properly for that or they will get frustrated and wander off.

Of course, there is a lot more to all of this, but hopefully this will get you started.

Are you comfortable in the world of social media for your business, or do you find it difficult? Do you have specific questions we can help you with?

We’re all in this together!

Alexis

The myth of Boundaries

You’ve got to have boundaries. This was the message that was shouted at me loud and clear when I began my business. Especially because my office is attached to my home. Especially because when you work in the health field it’s easy to over-empathize and end up working on your clients stuff in off hours. Especially because I have young children at home.

The list goes on.

And, when I was starting out, I believed this. I set up separate phone lines and clear office hours and sound-proof doors. But rather than making my life less stressful, like all of these precautions are supposed to do, they seemed to be more trouble than they were worth. I worried about my boundaries like they were tiny kittens that I should be feeding with an eyedropper and nursing along; it seemed impossible that they would survive on their own.

A couple years ago I read something that changed all of that. It said that when we are truly living and working within our passion, then the boundaries tend to become blurry and disappear since we simply are who we are in every aspect of my life. This was what I needed to hear.

The truth is that life does not fit neatly into columns of work and home. My children, who are also homeschooled, are often wandering into my office, answering the phone etc. I could write long and involved pro/con lists about that, but the point is this; trying to stop this kind of interact was exhausting. Letting life happen is much easier.

Does this mean allowing people to walk all over you? No. It simply means allowing for flexibility and understanding that when you are doing what you are truly meant to do there is a huge amount of carry-over from one aspect of your life to another. Most of us work holistically, meaning that we look at the body as a whole rather than as a list of parts. A holistic approach to your work means that it fits into and reflects your life as a whole, rather than being a job where you punch in/punch out.

What do you think: is it better to have a 9-5 mentality or to try to work more holistically? I’d love to hear from you!

In the meantime, be amazing.

Alexis

 

Happily Holistic

A place where knowledge and care come togetherHH logo

The vision is to create a space where our amazing team of health practitioners can help make your goals a reality. This happens on a few different levels;
First: a space where people can book sessions to improve their health. We offer a variety of Services including specialized kinesiology, BodyTalk, Bach Flower Remedies, holistic nutrition and massage. Every session is unique because every person is unique.

Second: a place where those who are dealing with chronic illness can be cared for in a stress-free environment, receiving sessions and help from our team daily along the way. This would often include a specific and personalized diet and time in the beautiful grounds and gardens for exercise and meditation. This get-away would be appropriate for someone recovering from sickness, wanting to lose weight, wanting to quit smoking, etc. The rooms would be suitable for those dealing with allergies or sensitive immune systems. When possible, food is prepared using ingredients from the garden, grown organically and with much love and laughter. And yes, even though we are geared towards health, we strongly believe in good quality coffee and chocolate!

Third: an environment geared towards learning. You know the old saying; “give a man some fish oil and he’s healthy for a day, teach a man about fish oil and he’s healthy for life!” We offer certificate courses and workshops in a variety of modalities taught by members of our amazing team and by guests from other areas. To find out what courses are currently scheduled look at the Happy News page. If you are interested in a course that you do not see on the schedule, please contact us to see if it can be arranged. Students would have the option of staying on-site making use of the healthy environment, library, nutritious food, grounds and companionship of fellow students to get the most out of the class information.

For more information visit www.happilyholistic.ca