Dr. Tony Ly is a doctor of chiropractic out of Santa Ana, California. Dr. Tony practices Applied Kinesiology and Network Spinal Analysis to heal his patients. Applied Kinesiology and the Network Spinal Analysis technique are different forms of chiropractic that may look different from an outsider’s perspective, but they are both very powerful techniques and get many sick people well, which is what it’s all about. Dr. Tony explains the power behind muscle testing and how clearing out the interference in the nervous system can open up gateway channels to living a happy and healthy life.
Dr. Tony Ly is a doctor of chiropractic out of Santa Ana, California. He practices Applied Kinesiology and Network Spinal Analysis to help heal his patients. Applied Kinesiology and the Network Technique are different forms of chiropractic that may look different from an outsider’s perspective, but they are both very powerful techniques and get many sick people well, which is what it’s all about. Dr. Tony explains the power behind muscle testing and how clearing out the interference in the nervous system can open up gateway channels to living a happy and healthy life. Please welcome, Dr. Tony Ly.
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Applied Kinesiology And Network Spinal Analysis with Dr. Tony Ly
On the Expect Miracles podcast, we have a phenomenal doctor, Dr. Tony Ly. He practices out of Santa Ana, California. I’m very lucky and grateful to have him on the podcast. Dr. Tony, how are you doing?
I’m doing well. Thank you so much, Dr. Kevin. It’s an honor and privilege to take part in your show.
I love talking to you. You’re definitely a person that’s very in touch with what’s going on and I feel like you definitely heal people on a deeper level. I used to go over and get treatment from you in chiropractic school. I was always very impressed with what you were able to find and you treat people differently than most doctors. I’m fascinated and I want to learn more about it. Before we get into that, tell us where you are from originally.
I’m from sunny Southern California.
How did you get into chiropractic or the healing profession in general?
I was introduced to chiropractic. I stumbled upon it on accident. I always had a knack for working with my hands. Even prior to going to chiropractor school, I did bodywork and massage for years. I started off in high school just so that I could just keep my hands busy so I wouldn’t fall asleep in class. I went to college and got a degree in business economics and I worked in corporate for a few years.
How did you like that?
It was good. It just wasn’t fulfilling for me.
At what point did you realize that?
Almost close to a year and a half into it. I always tried to live an active lifestyle, but sitting on the computer desk in a cubicle for six, seven hours a day just wasn’t playing it for me. I thought about going back to school, applying to become a physical therapist. I took some time off of work just to have more time for the family. I took care of my brother. At that time, he was developing a condition where he became disabled and wasn’t able to walk anymore. During that time off from work, I was taken to his doctor’s appointments and we’d see all the specialists and medical doctors from UCI, UCLA, and they weren’t able to figure it out.
This happened just out of the blue one day that he wasn’t able to walk or was it a gradual process?
It seemed pretty gradual. He was totally normal. We’d play basketball together and then one time we were playing basketball. We noticed that he was running funny and then a couple of months later, he wasn’t able to run anymore. He had a limp in his walk and he started tripping more often and that’s when we saw something’s wrong. He went through numerous testings and lab testings. Everything came back negative and everything was all right. We just kept going to a lot of doctors and they just couldn’t figure it out.
In the meantime, they would just manage his symptoms with medications and he was on muscle relaxants and various other medications. It came to the point where he was taking medications and it was working and then it would stop working so we have to increase the dosage. It came to the point where he was on such a high dosage where when you look into his eyes, you just knew that he wasn’t there anymore. Then a family friend introduced us to a chiropractor and then it doesn’t hurt to try. We’ve tried everything else so we’re always open-minded and looking for solutions.
I think that’s huge when it comes to healing because you tell a lot of people about some amazing techniques and understandably some people either take the advice or leave it. I feel like you always got to be that invitation to give that to people and just say, “Maybe you can try this.”
We checked out the chiropractor and learned about how she practices and she utilizes a technique called Applied Kinesiology and that’s how I was first exposed to it. She worked with him and was able to wean him off the muscle relaxant and achieve the same results without the prescription drugs. It was through her, she helped him and she asked me what I was up to. I said that I was applying for physical therapy and that’s when she told me that I should look into chiropractic instead because it works with the nervous system and that controls all the functions of the body. It just made sense to me. That ten-minute conversation just changed the trajectory of what I pursued.
EM 74 | Applied Kinesiology Applied Kinesiology: Chiropractic works with the nervous system and that controls all the functions of the body.
What is Applied Kinesiology? Is it a chiropractic technique or is it something that a bunch of doctors uses?
The originator of Applied Kinesiology is a chiropractor, but a lot of other professions are able to learn and utilize it. There’s a dentist that learned Applied Kinesiology, physical therapists, medical doctors, and basically, it’s just a system of evaluating how the body reacts to different stimuli when it’s applied and how the nervous system reacts to it. The basis of Applied Kinesiology is called the Triad of Health, where it’s structure, chemical and mental, and just in line with chiropractic principles of trauma, thoughts and toxins. We want to have a balanced triangle, an equilateral triangle that has all sides balanced. Chiropractors are known more commonly as structure, getting adjusted structurally. Some people say, “My adjustment doesn’t hold.” There’s something more to it.
We know that food as fuel is very important input to the body. The one side of the triangle is chemical. What kind of food are you eating? Is it diet and try to change the foods so that the body can be functioning as optimal essentially. I always give the analogy of when you buy a nice expensive car, you want the top of the line fuel for it. It’s the same thing for our body, it’s working very hard for us so you want to eat the right foods to keep us nourished so we can function at our best. That’s mainly what Applied Kinesiology is about.
When you look at somebody doing Applied Kinesiology, they do muscle testing and it might look a little strange to some people, but it is highly effective. How does that work? My perspective of it is it’s almost like you asked the body a question and then it responds through the muscle testing. How does that work?
I just want to distinguish there are two types of muscle testing. The first one relates to Applied Kinesiology. AK muscle testing is you would isolate a specific muscle and then you will test it for its function.
For example, what would it be?
Let’s say you’re testing the deltoid. You have their arm out, elbow up, and you would push on it and if it weakens it can mean that the nerve to the area is not proper. In AK, we look at the body as a whole. We know that the vertebrae’s misalignment affects the nerves, and the nerves affect the muscles, and also the nerves go to the organ and every muscle has a relationship to an organ. It’s combining Eastern and Western medicine.
In what way?
With the relationship, how our muscle can be related to the organ. The organ has a specific emotion related to it too.
That’s one way of muscle testing. What would be the other?
The other way is that you would use an arm as a lever.
You would have your arm out to 90 degrees and then what would happen?
You would calibrate the arm, show me a response to a yes and show me a response to a no. Once you calibrate it, you can ask the question and receive a response. It’s like tapping into the inner wisdom of the body. Talk about innate intelligence to chiropractic. I’m not a very smart guy, but I know that the body is smarter than me and so if I were to meet someone for the first time, I don’t know anything about them but they live with themselves and their body remembers everything like a supercomputer. By using that muscle test and asking questions, now I can get a response and tell me how to approach care for them and where to go.
What type of questions do you start asking in general? I know it’s different for every patient, but to give people a little general idea how it works, what would be some of the questions you would ask?
I like to have analogy just to have people understand because it’s a little bit different type of work that they’ve been exposed to. I tell people your body is similar to a computer. For a computer to work, it got to have all the hardware, monitor, mouse, keyboard. For us it’s the bones, muscles, ligaments. Once you to have all the parts, then you have to wire everything together, make sure everything’s plugged in correctly and wire up the mouse to the motherboard and all that. For us, the wiring for our body is the nervous system. Then once you have all your computer together, you will start installing the operating system, the different programs. For our body, it’s like our mind and our consciousness. The questions I asked would be, “Where do I start? Do I start with the hardware? Do I start with the wiring, or do I start with the programs?” For example, someone would come in and I’d ask them, “Is it the hardware?” If I get a response of a yes then, “Where do you want me to start in the body? Is it in the spine? Is it in the extremities?” I can ask which segments.
How do you know if you’re getting a yes or a no?
It varies with different practitioners but for me, if they have the arm out and I push down on it and it’s nice, strong and stable, then the body must be happy. A yes is when the arm stays intact, it’s stays locked. When it’s a no, it’s not going to agree with them and so the arm would dip a little bit. It varies from person to person. It could be a huge dip or it can be like a minimal dip, but people can usually tell.
EM 74 | Applied Kinesiology Applied Kinesiology: I’m only listening to the body. The body is guiding me to where I need to go.
I remember when that one chiropractor came to our class and he was doing the muscle testing. I forgot who got up on stage, but you can ask some personal questions to the person but not out loud, just to themselves it and will dip down. You can figure out a lot about muscle, bone, tissue, all that, physical pain but you could also dive into emotional stuff and all that.
That’s an area you can tap into as well too.
It’s literally their body giving the practitioner yes or no, where to start, what to work on, and how we get this person healed and better.
I’m only listening to the body. The body is guiding me to where I need to go.
When you’re getting the answers you need, what then do you do for the patient? How do you treat somebody with Applied Kinesiology after the muscle testing?
Depending on what system we’re asking. Is it the hardware? Is it the wiring? Then we will apply the chiropractic adjustment.
I remember I was getting one treatment from you and you were also seeing what I was deficient in. You were seeing if I was deficient in any minerals or vitamins. You put a mineral in my hand, it might have been magnesium or something, and after the session, you told me to go get some magnesium because your body was showing me that it might be deficient in that. Is that something else that Applied Kinesiology can help with deficiencies in the body?
Applied Kinesiology is just seeing how your body reacts to stimuli. I remember working on you one time and I was working on the muscle and I wasn’t able to strengthen it. The question I asked is, “Is there something else outside that I can add to the body and it wants some nutrition?” I have a test kit. I have a little briefcase with various vitamins and minerals and you mentioned magnesium, it was magnesium that it was tested for. By putting it on the body or in your hand, it’s a response to see if it would change the muscle test. It was positive where it has strengthened your muscle tests and so as it strengthens it, it made your body happy and we want you to be happy.
You also do another technique, Network Spinal Analysis. I’ve got a C2 adjustment from you one time and it was phenomenal and you barely touched me. You barely put your hands on me. Something moved. I went home, I slept for three or four hours and felt great. What is that all about?
The approach to care regarding Network Spinal Analysis is that we’re trying to access the body, the computer, in a place where there’s most ease. During school, we learned about fixations where it’s restricted motion. Where this restricted motion is tense. I always ask, “Why is it tense?” Maybe the body’s innate intelligence, it’s so smart that it maybe protect us. Why would we move something when the body says that it shouldn’t be moving? Whether it’s primary or secondary. With the Network Spinal Analysis, there are different parameters similar to Blair Upper Cervical checks. You have them move certain ways and you get a response. Based on the response it tells you where to check or where to adjust.
What I have figured out in the past few years of practice is that it doesn’t really matter which technique or how you apply it but it’s all about presence, being there with the patient and best serving them. The more present you are, I feel like less force is needed. Rather than going against the body and in their defense posture where it’s stuck and restricting, you find a place where there’s more ease and they’re relaxed. If I barely touched with the area, is there more breath? Are you breathing better, more air getting into the parasympathetic?
Is that what they call a gateway in NSA or is that something different?
The contacts are at gateways.
What would be a gateway?
Gateways are along the spine, very specific areas, mainly in the cervical region and then your sacral region.
EM 74 | Applied Kinesiology Applied Kinesiology: We can choose to be stressed or we can choose to be relaxed.
What type of people do you see in your office? Do you see a wide variety of cases? Are people gravitating towards you for certain conditions? What’s your practice like?
I always put out there into the universe that I want to work on the difficult cases because it’s more exciting. I want to help people get through mental health. They may be seeing another practitioner, a psychologist. I just want to support them in that way too. For me personally, I went through anxiety during school and depression. I had counseling and then the greatest impact was just to get adjusted to help me with all that.
Did you notice a big difference like the anxiety and depression significantly decreased after the adjustments?
Actually, how I was first introduced to Network Spinal Analysis is that we were preparing for the boards part one and I was really stressed during that week. My first exposure to Network after entrainment in Network adjustment, I felt much more relaxed and at ease. I didn’t have to care or worry inside me that there was something going on that was different about this technique and it helped me so much. I want to share it with others too.
What did you feel after your first Network adjustment?
It’s similar to your experience but it’s more relaxed and I was just so sleepy. Just calm, with no care in the world.
That is what you needed too because that was extremely stressful, going through boards and not knowing what to expect. Chiropractic school in general for three and a half years was incredibly stressful every day.
I see a lot of people coming in for anxiety and depression towards the mental health or just a highly stressful life at work stress. They’re not getting enough sleep because the sympathetic nervous system is just in overdrive and trying to bring it back into the parasympathetic state.
I live right outside of New York City so a lot of people, they wake up, they go in, they commute, and they’re in the city. They are high-stress, they do the commute back, they come to me, we get them adjusted and they’re feeling great. Then they go right back into that repeated cycle and loop of just high-stress and high anxiety. It’s their lifestyle. It’s one thing to give the adjustment, what do you recommend for those people that are in that high-stress life 24/7?
My recommendation is to have them become more aware of themselves so that they’re more empowered. You notice that you feel good getting off the table, getting adjusted and how’s that make you feel when you’re at work? Is there something that you can take away that you felt at the office that you remember and just think about? A lot of times when people are stressed, they stopped breathing, they curl up into a fetal position and then put their hand in their head. If they would remember, being aware, “At the office, this is how I felt,” and see if they can enact the same feeling after getting adjustments in their life outside the office, then they can control that more too. It’s all about input. We have 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts a day. Having negative or stressful thoughts, it’s going to affect our body. Having a positive mindset and knowing that we always have the choice, we can choose to be stressed or we can choose to be relaxed.
I see this a lot in the upper cervical world and I know you see too in Applied Kinesiology and Network Spinal Analysis, especially because you brought up the mental health aspect. Especially with people that have been going through these emotional traumas for many years, you get them adjusted, they feel great for X amount of weeks and then the healing process starts. Do you see in a lot of your patients where past emotional traumas come up and you have to coach them through it? Let them know, “This is part of the healing process. This is completely normal. Your body is healing.” Do you ever experience that?
I have actually. The body is a supercomputer. It memorizes everything and so maybe you didn’t have enough energy or resources available at that time to process the trauma. It’s stuck in your back pocket, but as you get adjusted you have more energy resources, things will start to show up from the past. There was one case where someone had chronic headaches and their atlas wasn’t holding. We did the adjustment, but it will come back. As I learned more about the emotional aspects, the atlas has an association with allergies and emotion. I also utilized the Neuro Emotional Technique and tapping into that realm. You can use muscle testing and figure out at what age in which emotion they were feeling. The most common one is anger. It has relation to the liver, or sadness and grief have relation to the lungs.
EM 74 | Applied Kinesiology Applied Kinesiology: Believe in what you’re doing. Don’t worry about what everyone else thinks, just worry about yourself.
After you find that through the muscle testing, do you vocally just bring it up with the patient and coach them through that emotional experience? What do you do once you know what the emotional trauma was?
I just let them know that there’s an emotional component that’s showing up too. It’s up to them whether they want to talk about it or be open about it or not. They don’t have to tell me. If I tell them and they think about it, then it’s awareness for them and they’ll hold that snapshot of that time and then I would deliver the adjustments. They release it. I’ve had people cry on the table after an adjustment.
As an emotional release.
I’ve heard stories of that happening all the time that when it first happened to me, I didn’t know what to do. Did I hurt them? First, they would cry and then they will start laughing. It’s just holding the space in and knowing that it’s safe to do so for them, it means a lot to them.
Are there any other techniques you bring to the table or those are your main core group?
I talked about Applied Kinesiology, Network Spinal and Neuro Emotional Technique.
That’s the first time I’m hearing about this. Is it similar to AK with the muscle testing and all of that? I’m not familiar with that.
It’s like Applied Kinesiology. AK has set the foundation and from there, different doctors branched off. There’s Total Body Modification, which works with reflex points on the body. It’s utilizing not the AK muscle testing but the other type of muscle testing. You just see if the wiring of your heart, stomach or your lungs are functioning at 100%.
For those that might be interested in Applied Kinesiology, where can people find that technique to get treatment?
There is a website called ICAK, the International College of Applied Kinesiology. They can Google it and there’s a chapter in the US and there’s a chapter in Europe. It’s all over the world. You can learn about Network Spinal Analysis, just Google Network Spinal Analysis or it is EpiEnergetics.com.
Where can people find you and your practice? Do you have a website?
My website is www.BodhicittaChiropractic.com, which means the awakening of the heart and awakening of the mind.
What is one piece of advice that you have taken with you for the years that you would like to share that’s really resonated with you?
The biggest piece of advice that I’ve utilized a lot is just to believe in what you’re doing. No matter what anyone else thinks, just don’t worry about what everyone else thinks. Just worry about yourself.
How did you come to that? Were you going through something?
I was always interested in things that weren’t common. The way I practice is not very common and learning various techniques. Even going through school, a lot of teachers or other people will be like, “I don’t know if that works.” I was exposed to it and I was just exploring. Don’t stop exploring. Find the truth if it works or not. In the beginning when I was learning, I do question a lot like, “Is it real?” I kept seeing results happen and I was trying to figure out why it works. Finally, I accepted that it does work and I accept it and I help people and giving people hope.
Thank you so much for coming on the show. It’s been a while. It was good catching up with you. You are a great guy. Tony, thanks so much for coming on and I would love to have you on again anytime.
It’s an honor. Thank you so much, Dr. Kevin
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