Kinesiology, also known as human kinetics, is the study of human movement. We always call it in short as “Kine”. For kinesiology modules in NYP, there are practical and theory classes. Unlike other modules, we had more than 4 different teachers teaching us this particular module. It might be different for you, so it depends.
One of the very basic things that you’ll be learning
For the 1st semester, we learnt about the introduction which included the different planes of the body and how to properly record treatments, range of motion (must remember all the values!), manual muscle testing (MMT) and palpation techniques of the upper limb muscles among other things. This forms the foundation of physiotherapy as it allows one to understand how much the patient has improved before and after treatment. As my classmate says, “the practical sessions allow you to apply all the theories you have learnt in lectures, all the knowledge of body anatomy after looking at models, and to combine all those information together in one single train of thought when looking at a patient”. It is perfect for those who are visual and kinesthetic learners.
For girls, this is adequate.
The dress code for the practical lessons depends on which muscles we are palpating. For example, if we are palpating upper limbs we would need to wear singlets or any other appropriate clothing to adequately expose our upper limbs.
Example of a teacher demonstrating how to measure the range of motion of ankle dorsiflexion and plantar flexion using a goniometer
For practical sessions, normally the teacher will demonstrate what needs to be done on one student and we will observe and try to remember as much as we can so that we can practice on each other afterwards. We also get acquainted well with the goniometer which is a tool that measures the range of movement with respect to the joint. If you want to, you could purchase them so you can practice more on your family and friends at home.
Being physiotherapy students, we also need to build up our confidence and communication skills with the patient. Thus, practical sessions is the best time for us to train as the physiotherapists and our classmates help out by playing the role as patients. It really helps when your classmates give you the necessary feedback that helps you to improve. Of course, it’s only fair that you be the patient too(:
Any tips to ace kinesiology?
1. Kinesiology can get overwhelming very quickly due to the sheer volume of things required to know. So consistency is important to keep up for the class.
2. Come prepared for lessons by reading up on what you will be doing so you are not completely clueless when the teacher asks questions. A strong foundation in anatomy and kinesiology is a must as without it, you wouldn’t know where the muscle you’re palpating(feeling for) originates and inserts at.
3. Take each lesson seriously and practice what the teacher just demonstrated. This reduces your revision time greatly as it won’t be totally new material for you, leaving you more revision time for the other modules. Also, it gives you peace of mind and confidence to know that you have done it before so many other times already.
4. Work on different people all the time, not just your buddies whom you feel comfortable with, as your patients come in different shapes and sizes. Like any other subjects, a lot of practice is required for you to do well so make sure you put in the hours!
5. Communication is especially important when seeing patients. Take kine practicals as the opportunity for you to explain simply and clearly what you need your patients to do. Be creative and role play away!
Example of how we palpate and position our classmates
6. Since there is a lot of movement and change in positions involved, videos help greatly. To help you remember what the teacher demonstrated, you can take videos of your classmates doing the actions and use it as revision later. This is much easier than merely reading the descriptions of said actions.
7. There will be a lot of terms that you might not be familiar with, so for some clarity just pop by the library and look up the terms in the many reference books that is available.