Neurological Integration System (NIS)

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Neurological Integration System (NIS) is a non-invasive, brain-based health approach that uses neuroplasticity to optimize your body systems. 1 Because every body function involves neurological communication, NIS can affect the entire body. 1 Visits can address the priorities that your body shows in the clear, or with reference to specific complaints. Every visit is as unique as you, because visits are COLLABORATIVE and EXPLORATORY. Patients love how gentle and effective the NIS approach is.

What can NIS help with?

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Mind-Body Health Care

NIS can be applied to all the body systems, since they all involve the neurological circuitry of the brain.1,2

Examples include:

  • Musculoskeletal (joints)- such as in the spine, arms, and legs

  • Cognition and learning

  • Stress, emotion and trauma

  • Digestive

  • Immune

  • Neurological

  • Physiological

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Brain and Body Symptoms

Symptom patterns appear when there is altered physiological function resulting from a signal disruption, which is like a fuse blowing in the signaling system.2 Sometimes, when many such fuses have blown in a signaling system, the cumulative disruption of function amounts to labeled complaints, such as hypertension.2 Other common examples of labeled complaints that can be investigated with Neurological Integration System (NIS) include:

Musculoskeletal complaints- arthritis, sciatica, joint degeneration, scoliosis, disc herniation, fibromyalgia, headaches, sprain and strain injuries

Emotional, cognitive and learning complaints- anxiety, depression, burnout, ADD/ADHD, dyslexia, Aspergers, brain fog, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and stroke

Digestive complaints- gluten intolerance, acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome

Sleep disorders- sleep apnea, insomnia

Pediatric complaints- ear pain, learning disabilities

Other complaints- migraines, vertigo, dizziness, chronic fatigue, allergies

…among others.2

 

When signal faults occur in neurologic circuits, the body functions supplied by the circuits are diminished. This is like the dimming of a light that lacks power supply.

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The repair of signal faults with NIS care is like restoring the power supply of a light. Just as a fully powered light shines with maximum luminosity, so also do we enjoy our greatest vibrance when our neurologic circuits are fully connected.

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General results that Dr. Marla Lerner-Powers' patients regularly report with NIS care include:

  • pain relief

  • stress relief and improved stress tolerance

  • increased range-of-motion

  • decreased muscle tension- Along with this, Dr. Marla Lerner-Powers notes that muscles that once felt tight and ropey on palpation often have more of a soft and buttery feel after NIS

  • improved focus

  • better sleep

  • better physical and cognitive function

  • improved posture and balance

  • improved bladder function- patients frequently report longer, comfortable bladder retention and decreased urinary urgency

How NIS Works

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NIS harnesses the ability of neurons in the brain to form connections. This ability is summarized by the Hebbian, neurophysiology principle of learning described as "fire together; wire together."3 In other words, neurons that fire at the same time become connected by synapses.3 This neural network formation principle applies to communication pathways for all the body systems.

Exploring the Underlying Cause

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NIS is a top-down approach that allows us to explore the underlying causes of your symptom pattern, according to YOUR nervous system. By inputting information into your brain and checking the response of your brain to the input, we can determine the integrity of the neurologic circuits for all the body's systems.4 We also can identify specific signal faults in your brain circuitry and use NIS to restore connections as needed.

Rapid Neurologic Learning (Neuroplasticity)

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NIS utilizes a phenomenon of the brain's attention to achieve immediate neurologic circuit repair. At any given moment, your sensory information is constantly monitored by your brain, but only a small portion ever reaches your conscious awareness. During the correction portion of an NIS visit, after specific signal faults have been identified, the neurocircuitry information is input to the brain through the sensory system.5 This step is like typing words into a computer, and the information is first registered in the brain at the post-central gyrus.5,6

 

The post-central gyrus, aka the primary somatosensory cortex, or S1, is the part of the brain that receives tactile sensory information from the body.6 It is regarded as a reception and dispatch centre, because it acknowledges sensory input, and sends this information to other brain areas for higher levels of processing.5 Every body part is mapped onto the post central gyrus in a defined area, as illustrated below in what is called the sensory homunculus.6

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Inputting information to the brain through the somatosensory system prompts firing of neurons at the post-central gyrus (PCG). The information that we input to your brain at this step is the neurological circuitry that has disrupted connections.5 Next, we use the Integration Step of NIS, which focuses the attention of your brain to your PCG while the neurons composing the disrupted neurologic circuit are firing. This is like putting a magnifying glass to the PCG to focus on this input, and the result is that the focus on the neurons that are firing in this specific area is so great that the connections between them are restored.5

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Because the brain is capable of bypassing the need for repetition to achieve learning--neuroplasticity--there is no need for additional exercises or special diets for results through NIS. While diet and lifestyle are helpful for supporting the ability of the body to get optimal results, the "work" in NIS is entirely performed within visits. There is no homework.

Your NIS Visit

The flow of your NIS visit consists of assessment and correction steps. Throughout your visit, we use a muscle test to get information about signal faults from your body, and feed information back to your brain and prompt neurological integration to restore function. We may use established treatment protocols for foundational needs, or identify unique corrections.

Muscle Testing

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Muscle response testing is a scientifically validated approach for testing the physiologic response of the body to challenges, or "tests."8,9 The muscle test acts as a feedback indicator that reveals when there is a disconnected signal. It also allows us to see when full communication has been restored.4 During NIS visits, we use muscle testing to assess your body's systems, as we explore the causal issues of your symptom pattern. When a muscle stays strong after a muscle test, it is indicating that your brain is fully controlling the neurological circuitry that was tested.

History of NIS

NIS was developed by Dr. Allan Phillips, D.O. in New Zealand, and is the culmination of 25+ years of his clinical practice and research.10 He described how he was inspired by an experience of how just one hair, informing his nervous system through a single hair sensory receptor, was able to initiate a cascade of neurologic communications leading to his realization that someone was behind him. From this recognition of the significance of information communicated by a single neuron, and the neurophysiological principle that the brain regulates body function, he developed NIS, which is now taught and practiced globally.

Maintenance Care with NIS

Dr. Allan Phillips recommends quarterly check-ups with NIS once your initial health complaints are resolved, and you have transitioned to a maintenance schedule.7 He notes that it tends to be challenging for our bodies to function optimally beyond the life span of our red blood cells, which averages 100-120 days.7 The goals of maintenance care are to prevent what may begin as minor complaints from developing into significant problems, and help you live with your fullest vibrance.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is NIS treatment?

What is an NIS chiropractor?

What causes signal faults?

Who is NIS for?

"NIS treatment” refers to care with the NIS approach to healthcare. It is based on the principle that the brain serves as an automatic signaling system that governs all of the body’s systems. It is different from many other treatment methods in that you work to restore function and resolve physical and stress symptoms through neurologic learning. The Integration Step is a noninvasive way of prompting rapid neuroplasticity after feeding neurocircuitry information to your brain. It is the same principle as hitting the “save” button on your computer work. The goal of this non invasive approach is to help your body achieve optimum function, thereby resolving symptoms.

N.I.S. provides a series of evaluation and treatment protocols that allows the doctor to tell the patient when they have “signal disconnects” or what is often called “blown fuses or circuits” whereby the brain may not be communicating with the body properly.

When someone uses the term “NIS chiropractor,” they are referring to a chiropractor who practices Neurological Integration System (NIS). Similarly, they may refer to their work as “NIS chiropractic,” although NIS is not an approach that is limited to chiropractic. Other health care practitioners such as MDs, DOs, acupuncturists, and PTs also may practice NIS.

When stress tolerance is exceeded, we may experience disruptions in normal neurologic signaling, causing symptoms.11 This can be due to internal or external stressors, such as physical, chemical, emotional stress, etc.11

Neurological Integration System (NIS) is suitable for the whole family.7 It is gentle enough for a newborn baby, as well as for seniors. Whether someone has symptoms or is pain free, NIS work can help achieve optimum function.

What is NIS testing?

What is Neurolink therapy?

NIS testing refers to the neurologic checks that are performed using muscle testing to assess neurological signalling. This allows us to use the intelligence of the brain to identify signal faults that your brain corrects during your visit, restoring neurologic communication and optimum function. From the perspective of your brain, these signal faults represent the underlying cause of symptom patterns.

Neurolink therapy and “NIS System” are other ways of referring to Neurological Integration System (NIS) care. The goal of health care with NIS is to restore body function by regaining neurologic control by the brain.

How is NIS different from other treatment methods?

NIS is a neurologic software solution, while manual body work--moving soft tissues and bones with the hands or instruments--is a hardware approach to healthcare. If you try to fix a software issue with a hardware treatment, the results are likely to be less than satisfying.

References
 
  1. Phillips AK. Principles of NIS. Neurolink Global. Published 2021. Accessed July 19, 2022. https://www.neurolinkglobal.com/what-is-nis/principles-of-nis/
  2. Phillips AK. Patient FAQ's. Neurolink Global. Published 2021. Accessed July 19, 2022. https://www.neurolinkglobal.com/what-is-nis/patient-faqs/
  3. Munakata Y, Pfaffly J. Hebbian learning and development. Developmental Science. 2004;7(2):141-148. doi:10.1111/j.1467-7687.2004.00331.x
  4. Phillips AK. Muscle Testing. Neurolink Global. Published 2021. Accessed July 19, 2022. https://www.neurolinkglobal.com/what-is-nis/how-does-nis-work/muscle-testing/
  5. Phillips AK. Post Central Gyrus. Neurolink Global. Published 2021. Accessed July 19, 2022. https://www.neurolinkglobal.com/what-is-nis/how-does-nis-work/post-central-gyrus/
  6. Willoughby WR, Thoenes K, Bolding M. Somatotopic Arrangement of the Human Primary Somatosensory Cortex Derived From Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Front Neurosci. 2021;14:598482. Published 2021 Jan 7. doi:10.3389/fnins.2020.598482
  7. Phillips AK. Who is NIS for? Neurolink Global. Published 2021. Accessed July 19, 2022. https://www.neurolinkglobal.com/what-is-nis/who-is-nis-for/
  8. Cuthbert SC, Goodheart GJ Jr. On the reliability and validity of manual muscle testing: a literature review. Chiropr Osteopat. 2007;15:4. Published 2007 Mar 6. doi:10.1186/1746-1340-15-4
  9. Rosner AL, Leisman G, Gilchriest J, Charles E, Keschner MG, Minond M. Reliability and Validity of Therapy Localization as Determined from Multiple Examiners and Instrumentation. Functional neurology, rehabilitation, and ergonomics. 2015;5(3):365-386.
  10. Phillips AK. Who developed NIS?. Neurolink Global. Published 2021. Accessed July 19, 2022. https://www.neurolinkglobal.com/what-is-nis/who-developed-nis/
  11. Phillips AK. Determining Individual Tolerence. Neurolink Global. Published 2021. Accessed July 19, 2022. https://www.neurolinkglobal.com/what-is-nis/how-does-nis-work/determining-tolerence/
  12. Phillips AK. What does NIS treat?. Neurolink Global. Published 2021. Accessed July 19, 2022. https://www.neurolinkglobal.com/what-is-nis/what-does-nis-treat/
  13. Phillips AK. What to expect at an NIS treatment. Neurolink Global. Published 2021. Accessed July 19, 2022. https://www.neurolinkglobal.com/what-is-nis/an-nis-treatment-what-to-expect/
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Dr. Marla Lerner-Powers is a member of the Neurological Integration System (NIS) Academy, and has been a Master's level NIS Practitioner since 2018.