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KST was developed by Tedd Koren, DC out of the necessity to fix the severe disc pain that had plagued him for many years. It was becoming increasingly serious despite a continuous search for the best chiropractic care he could find throughout the country. Ultimately, by adapting elements of several other chiropractic techniques in an innovative hybrid, he was able to adjust himself and completely resolve it. It took him 6 weeks. Dr. Koren quips that it probably wouldn’t have taken so long if he knew what he was doing at the time. To see if this method was viable, he began adjusting other chiropractors with challenging conditions that had eluded conventional care. The results were so beyond anyone’s expectation that Dr. Koren was encouraged by popular demand to begin teaching this method. Currently KST has been taught to thousands of doctors worldwide and has positively changed the lives of countless patients by allowing the innate intelligence of the body to do its best work in healing a wide variety of conditions. KST continues to evolve and improve with the shared clinical experience of many of these doctors through a very active internet forum and frequent hands-on seminars.
KST adjustments are especially gentle because they use an adjusting instrument called the Arthrostim. This is a hand held tool that produces a gentle tapping to the indicated points on the body. The idea is not to forcefully rearrange the bones and other structures of the body, but rather to send a well-received signal through the nervous system that updates local muscle tension and other physiological targets for better structural alignment as well as other functions. Mechanical alignment seems much more durable and easily maintained with this method due to the deep neurological control that it facilitates. In addition, many health conditions not typically considered in the chiropractic scope respond well to the improved nervous system networking.
The KST procedure is made up of three basic steps:
1. “Challenge” involves gently moving a body part in various directions. The structural system is thus scanned for subluxations - distortions that cause irritation or confusion to the nervous system
2. “Check” reveals where the distortions are located. The signal induced by the challenge causes a subliminal stress response. Although there are multiple ways of becoming aware of this subtle reaction, KST uses a body language biofeedback tool called the “Occipital Drop” to bring it to conscious awareness. It feels to the patient like the doctor is lightly sliding his thumbs down the back of your head. The reaction of the body to a positive challenge is felt by the doctor as a small shift to the muscles at the base of the skull. It is definitely subtle and takes some practice to perceive. Most doctors find that this sense becomes quite intuitive over time.
3. “Correction” is achieved by using the Arthrostim instrument with a specific vector - opposite the direction of the challenge. I’ve found that children especially like to be corrected this way. Infants often smile during the procedure and seem to like the soothing vibration.
What make KST so useful is the way the body sequentially reveals each subluxation as an individualized priority. It’s as if the system is addressing each distortion as an insult that was laid down over time, which is now being peeled away like the layers of an onion. The priorities are as unique as each person’s history.
Another major advantage of KST is that it permits any patient to be analyzed and adjusted in different postures: standing, sitting, lying down or in the position of injury or dysfunction depending on feedback from the body. This is very important because sometimes a particular subluxation is only observed when you are in a certain posture. For example, if a person was in a car accident, their subluxation may only be revealed and completely corrected while they are seated. Various sports present many unique postures and movements, and the correction of any revealed distortion in these positions can speed up healing from injury as well as improve performance. Children with dyslexia and reading problems have seen improvement when the body was analyzed and corrected with their eyes in various positions or while reading out loud while the adjustments were done. Distortions may appear only in the context of certain stressful memories. They may appear only when certain allergic foods, scents or substances are presented to the body. The possibilities are as vast as the human experience and are as individual as you.
KST is basically simple, gentle, effective, and easily adaptable to many other styles of Chiropractic. I often use the Occipital Drop to determine the priority for other techniques or methods, and apply them as needed, although the basics of KST are usually adequate for a classic chiropractic “miracle”.
“The biologist exploring the workings of the cell membrane to reveal its secrets, the physicist experimenting with light, motion or gravity to pry apart universal laws, the geologist seeking to learn about the history of continents from a slab of stone, the psychologist trying to understand a client's mind, the artist attempting to free the image encased in a lump of marble or to capture the person on canvas. . . . We are no different in our work.
We approach every patient as a scientist and as an artist, trying to discover the answer to our questions and perhaps to unlock a secret to their healing. We search to discover what is already there to reveal life's mystery and beauty. Not every experiment, not every hunk of marble, not every patient reveals a lesson we can grasp, but we keep trying”
--Tedd Koren, D.C. (Founder of Koren Specific Technique)