Edo, Nelson, & I chat about the new KinetaCore Educational Center

Dr. Edo Zylstra, PT, DPT, MS, OCS, IMSP recently reached out to me about the latest KinetaCore evolution: The KinetaCore Educational Center in Ashburn, VA launching on March 19th.You can find some introductory information about it here, and the interview you are about to read will go in-depth into the intentions, hopes, and experience of the new Facility. He partnered with Nelson Min, PT, MS, ATC to launch this First-Of-Its-Kind facility. Not only is Mr. Min a lead instructor for KinetaCore, but he is also a practicing clinic-owner. Many of you are already familiar with Dr. Edo Zylstra; if not, then check out our first interview.

Congratulation & Good Luck to KinetaCore, Dr. Zylstra & Mr. Min on their latest venture!

Enjoy the interview!


First, let’s get to know Nelson Min. Nelson, what lead you into the wonderful world of Physical Therapy?

Nelson: I am very blessed to be a physical therapist.  I think the PT’s I came across early on were amazing people and they had a strong and lasting influence in my pursuit of being a physical therapist.  I grew up in Delaware and they have an incredibly strong PT program there at the University of Delaware.  These were some amazingly skilled PTs who had such a good presence in the community.  They were also such a close knit group.  I just saw how interactive and rewarding this field can be because of these individuals who were really good PT’s and even better people.

Nelson, tell us about your history with KinetaCore. How did it start? And, how has it grown to where it is today?

Nelson: One of the keys to being a good PT is drive for continued learning.  There is so much to learn and I am continuously amazed at how much good info is out there.  I really enjoy taking continuing education courses and I realized that the more I progressed in my training the more these highly respected educators recommended incorporating dry needling into my skill set.

I took my first course at Regis University in 2009.  The professionalism and expertise of Edo and his staff for that class was such an inspiration.  The immediate results I noticed on my self over a weekend were undeniable.  Dry needling is such a great adjunct to any physical therapist and I knew I had to be a part of this company.

So, Edo & Nelson, there’s a new venture that’s about to launch on March 19th. Tell us about The KinetaCore Educational Center. What motivated its formation? And, what is it that you hope this will do for the profession of Physical Therapy?

Nelson: Functional Dry Needling® has changed my practice and how I practice.  It has made my already successful clinic into an even more successful and thriving one.  We want to share this with as many PT’s out there to hopefully make them even more successful in their businesses.

We also want to share this technique with the public.  It helps with such a diverse number of dysfunction that patients deal with, improved function is the goal but it also helps with pain and increased mobility and muscle function to name a few other benefits.  It has dramatically helped me in improving my patient’s outcomes.

We started the Kinetacore Education Center to achieve the goal of educating our profession with this technique in a setting that promotes the learning experience.  What typically happens with con-ed is to offer it in a PT clinic or facility and adjust it to the needs of a con-ed course.  In other words, you work with what you have available.  Our teaching center has no associated clinic. The design is for learning.  Three HD ceiling projectors and total surround sound gives any participant clear audio and visual regardless of their vantage point.

The other speakers we will be featuring include some of the most influential and sought after educators in our profession.  These educators have incredibly tight schedules and share a passion of advancing our profession.  We now have a facility where we don’t have to worry about the logistics of closing a PT clinic which often interferes with hosting some of these professionals.

How did/do you choose the instructors for the new KinetaCore Educational Center? What qualifications and qualities are you looking for?

Nelson: We are looking for instructors who have a passion for the advancement of our profession.  We look for skilled, intelligent and caring individuals who invest in the goal of advancing our profession with this technique and want to further our understanding of its mechanism and how to teach it more effectively.

All instructors are trained in Functional Dry Needling (FDN®) and require one year of clinical use before being considered as an instructor.   They are then required to go through a training process over three separate audits to safely and carefully progress them to independence in supervising and instructing. The training process concludes in a final check off with our senior instructors (Edo if possible)  to ensure quality and consistency with what and how is it presented.

We require that you are trained in our technique to be able to teach our system of dry needling.  These gifted individuals usually stand out during training process and it usually comes as no surprise when they first inquire about the opportunity.

I’m glad you mentioned not just the clinical aspect, but also the business dividends of Functional Dry Needling®. What is KinetaCore doing to promote Dry Needling to increase public awareness in the US?

Nelson: Edo has done such behind the scenes work with working with the APTA and several state boards to help incorporate dry needling into the state’s scope of practice acts .  He is one of the individuals who drafted the resource paper on dry needling for the APTA in 2012 and was recently accepted to be a part of the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy Dry Needling task force.  I think Edo brings public attention to this skill the right way by approaching this from the top down.

We also want to empower our participants.  Our website is a labour of love with marketing materials and electronic brochures.  The most important part of the website, however, are the educational videos that are constantly being updated for continued improvement of techniques and also the “Find a Therapist” feature.  This allows the clinician to market their practice.  Our google ranking is so fine tuned that our participants who sign up for the website membership can expect to get a number of people finding them through this feature on the web.  Ultimately, we feel the best way to market this technique is by delivering a good product which is a skilled PT  focusing on safety and proper technique.

Our goal is to be the support for all of our participants in this.  We have a system for participants to communicate with our instructors to answer any questions that may come up as they integrate this technique into their practice.  Each lead instructor receives dozens of emails a day from our past participants with solid questions.

How expansive will the course offerings range?

Nelson: We will be offering our course series of Functional Dry Needling® level 1 and 2, and Functional Therapeutics throughout the year.  In addition we will be hosting several manual therapy courses including Extremity Manipulation by Gail Malloy, The Changing Dynamic of the Scientific and Clinical Rationale for the Treatment of Selected Knee conditions by George Davies, Spinal Manipulation by Louie Puentedera, and SFMA for dry needlers by Kyle Kiesel.  I am still working on adding more courses spanning a vast topic range for the remainder of this year and next.

Edo:  I also have a goal to open up this teaching model and center up to other medical professions to give them a cost effective way to host educational courses for their specific professions as well.  That is as goal that we will try to realize over the next few year.

To the best of my understanding KinetaCore requires 200 treatment session of practice/experience after Functional Dry Needling® Part 1 prior to taking Part 2. Why is it set up this way? And, is this something KinetaCore pushes for when lobbying for inclusion of Dry Needling in State Practice Acts across the US?

Nelson: As expected the skill of handling a needle for people coming into our FDN1 course can be pretty limited.  Our bottom line is safety so we limit some of the more challenging muscles to level 2. Muscles that we feel need a more refined skill level to treat are placed into the level 2 course.   We require 200 practice sessions for our participants so that they are better prepared for the requirements of the level 2 course.  We feel that this skill level can only come about with practice.

Walk me through what it would be like to take my first course at the KinetaCore Educational Center. Class size, number of instructors per course, course progression, lab/hands-on time, etc.

Nelson: The class size varies but shouldn’t affect the learning experience because of our adherence to an average instructor to student ratio of 1 to 7.  We have a rule with our participants that if they feel they are not getting enough supervision, they need to indicate this so we can fulfill their needs.  It is the responsibility of both the instructor and the participant to make sure they have the optimal learning environment.  Exposure to as many instructors as possible gives the participant a much broader understanding of the application of the technique, so we purposefully rotate instructors and have the participants work with various body types through the weekend.

The first part of the course is our didactic lecture in order to lay down the framework of dry needling with its history, theory, research and integration.  We are then in lab for the remainder of the course systematically covering the entire body by regions in our small group labs.

Each of these small groups is first led by our instructors reviewing anatomy and then demonstrating technique.  We then have our participants pair up and practice the demonstrated technique for that region while carefully sweeping the room providing close supervision.

At the end of the second day, we have everyone go through another review process so that they can pair with another partner and get a different instructor to watch them.  We just want each participant to get as much supervision from multiple instructors as possible.

On the third day, each participant is tested both practically and theoretically.  There is no guarantee of passing and we have options for people who do not pass the testing.  We take this very seriously and give our students as much time as possible to practice, often staying late on Friday and Saturday evening working with our participants and giving them more one on one instruction.

Is there anything else you would like to share about the KinetaCore Education Center that we haven’t addressed?

Nelson: Our teaching center was designed to offer the best in continuing education.  We have some high end AV to show our detailed lecture notes as well as an interactive approach to see the anatomy simultaneously.  There are some high end anatomy apps out there now very conducive for learning and we incorporate them with our lectures and labs for a wonderful learning experience.

Because of the layout of the course, there is no bad vantage point.  You get a great view of the screen regardless of where you sit.  We have high end audio spread out uniformly throughout the venue as well so you get a clear sound regardless of where you are sitting as well.

Edo:  This is our first venture specifically developing a center devoted to higher learning for the medical professional.  If this is successful, I anticipate this as a first of many centers around the United States.  We are so thankful for all the support we have received from our families, friends and colleagues as we go faithfully into this adventure.

Thank you Edo & Nelson for this informative interview, as well as for allowing me the opportunity to share it with my audience. I wish both you the best of luck in your latest venture!

Connect with Dr. Edo Zylstra and Nelson Min on Twitter: @EdoZylstra & @NelsonMin2000

Also, find me at @Cinema_Air.

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