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Chiropractic Technique Summary: Neuro Emotional Technique (NET)

This information is provided to you for use in conjunction with your clinical judgment and the specific needs of the patient.

Dr. Deborah Walker


Dr. Scott Walker



Published on

July 21, 2010

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The Neuro Emotional Technique (NET) is a mind-body approach to help stress related conditions. Developed in the early 1980s by Scott Walker, DC, NET is a psychosomatic stress reduction intervention procedure aimed at improving health.

Dr. Walker graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1965, and although the large majority of his patients were getting excellent results, he was constantly frustrated when some of his patients with chronic subluxations simply were not experiencing the same degree of improvement.  Dr. Walker was an expert adjuster and he knew how to support the body with proper nutrition, but he continued to observe that a mind-body element was not being fully addressed.  Eventually, Dr. Walker developed a procedure (later to be called the Neuro Emotional Technique) using a specific chiropractic adjustment that achieved unprecedented results in dealing with the mind-body stress component of health. Encouraged by fellow chiropractors who were also seeing these dramatic improvements, the NET Seminar trainings were officially launched in May of 1988.

During the 1990s the Walker’s Home Run Formula was developed as a comprehensive model to address various components of overall well-being:  Emotional mind-body stress (NET), Toxins (homeopathic support), Biochemistry (nutrition) and Structural factors.  After years of clinical testing, Dr. Walker also produced homeopathic formulas that were made available in 1994 to specifically support the meridian therapy aspects of the NET process.

In 2000 another correction method (apart from spinal adjusting) was added that uses acupuncture pulse point therapy, giving licensed healthcare practitioners who were not qualified to adjust the spine the option of using the tool of NET to help their patients.  With his wife, Deborah Walker, DC, as the company’s CEO and co-developer, NET now has thousands of trained chiropractic practitioners and hundreds of Certified NET Practitioners who are helping patients around the world.

Stress and Mind-Body Principles

Emotional stress in the body can be defined as a physiological response to a stimulus.  Neuroscientist Joseph LeDoux demonstrated emotions to be first experienced in the old mammalian brain (or limbic system) and only secondarily in the neocortex. While general psychology predominately works with the neocortex (the reasoning brain), NET predominately works with the mammalian brain (or limbic “feeling” brain) and the attending meridian-related emotional processes. This is adapted from Neuroscientist Paul MacLean’s Triune Brain model of reptilian, mammalian and neocortical brains — The Triune Brain in Evolution (1990).

Hans Selye’s book, The Physiology and Pathology of Exposure to Stress:  A Treatise Based on the Concepts of the General Adaptation Syndrome and the Diseases of Adaptation (1950), covers the physiology and pathology of stress on every known physiological, hormonal, and metabolic system, as well as effects on various organs.  The most critical aspect of Selye’s work is that he demonstrated that emotional and mental stressors produce the same biochemical physiological responses as do chemical and physical stress.

While mind-body medicine has been around for centuries, it was only in the last few hundred years that there has been a major departure from the old Cartesian medical model of the mind and body being separate.  Modern mind-body medicine is now a term that demonstrates physical, chemical, mental and spiritual interconnectedness, and currently encompasses a wide variety of techniques. These include biofeedback, relaxation training, autogenic training, psychosynthesis, meditation, guided imagery, spiritual healing, prayer, Logotherapy, Gestalt therapy — just to name a few. Ultimately, mind-body medicine is the foundation for virtually all Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) modalities.

Principles and Theories

NET is an amalgamation of many principles taught in chiropractic colleges and other universities. NET utilizes the neuro-mechanisms of Manual Muscle Testing (akin to, but not the same as, Applied Kinesiology), the physiology of emotions, Pavlovian Response, Acupuncture meridian correlations, Repetition Compulsion, and memory and physiological response (including Semantic Response).

In NET, Manual Muscle Testing is used to access the physiology of the body, which includes the physiology of the emotional response. Muscles will usually test strong when a patient makes a statement with which he is congruent, where in contrast a muscle will usually test inhibited (weak) when the patient says a non-congruent statement. This dynamic has been scientifically validated by Monti, et. al. (Monti, Sinnott, Marchese, Kunkle and Greeson, Perceptual and Motor Skills, 1999, 88, 1019-1028). 

The physiology of emotions is based on the science that emotions are related to minute proteins in the body called Information Substances. Information Substances are comprised of neurotransmitters, neuropeptides, hormones and other specialized information molecules that permeate the entire body, including our DNA.  Most remarkable is the finding that virtually every neuro-chemical produced in the brain is also produced in white blood cells and usually in the intestines as well.  To some extent, the field of psychoneuroimmunology has suggested that the “mind” is part of every cell.  Dr. Candace Pert’s discovery of a natural opioid peptide neurotransmitter (beta-endorphin) was one of the first major steps in demonstrating this concept.
Pavlovian Responses are well known because of Pavlov’s work with conditioning and dogs.  It is also known that humans can have conditioned responses (physical and emotional). While conditioning is normal under most situations, so is the physiological counterpart of elimination of a conditioned response (extinction). Simply stated, normal extinction associated with a stress-related response sometimes does not take place — in these cases, the NET process can assist the body in completing the natural and normal physiological process of extinction.

Five Elemental LawAnother key dynamic of the NET process is a 1,500 to 4,000-year-old principle, known as the Five Element Law.  This acupuncture theory has been clinically validated in associating specific emotional responses with specific meridians. Classic examples include, “Over Sympathetic” is linked to the Stomach meridian, “Grief” is linked to the Lung meridian, “Anger” is linked to the Liver meridian, “Fear” is linked to the Kidney Meridian, etc.

Repetition Compulsion, one of Freud’s many contributions, essentially notes that once we have been traumatized (and also in NET’s view, “conditioned”), we may non-consciously seek to repeat a similar pattern in the future. Essentially, stress patterns from the past (if unresolved) will sometimes reappear when stimulated by similar circumstances (Stimulus Generalization).  A key component of the NET process is touching into the stress pattern to extinguish the original cause.  This principle is echoed from our chiropractic roots with DD Palmer’s quote, “Enquire what state of mind at time of taking disease or accident then deny the cause.” (from Old Dad Chiro by Vern Gielow. Published by Bawden Brothers Inc. 1981).

The association of memory and a physiological response is also a well-known fact. When we remember a past event, the body replicates a similar physiology that occurred at the time of that event. (On the Primacy of the Brain, Hassan, A.M., Ward, P.S., The University of Leeds, Psychology: Research and Reviews, Spring/Summer 1991, Vol. 10, No. 1 & 2, pg. 103-111).

LemonsA classic example of this can be demonstrated by asking you to visualize a big tray of lemons.  Now imagine that someone cuts a lemon in half and hands it to you.  You smell the lemon and take a bite of the lemon (including the rind).  You can feel the lemon juice saturate your tongue and trickle down your throat.  Is your mouth watering?  In most cases the reader is now experiencing an increased production of saliva.  This happens because we have a memory of what a lemon is like, and our physiology responds to that memory. Likewise, the principle of Semantic Response works because words carry a meaning and the body responds to that meaning.  For example, a person who has a “scared” physiological response to a spider may also have a similar response when just the word “spider” is mentioned.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The primary goal of NET is to resolve mind-body stress either via active subluxation patterns (a spinal correction) or active pulse points (meridian therapy) that are found through a method of advanced diagnosis. NET practitioners find (diagnose) the origins of unresolved mind-body stress using Semantic Response and observations of change in the Manual Muscle Test. The treatment process includes having the patient connect with his “feelings” around a stress-related issue (the memory/physiological dynamic) while a spinal or pulse point correction is made to allow the body to extinguish the unresolved stress response.  This correction process requires entering into the Neuro Emotional Complex (NEC) to provide a quick resolution.

NET defines the NEC as “a subjective mal-adaptation syndrome adopted by the human organism in response to a real or perceived threat to any aspect of its survival.”  It is important to note that all memory events in an NEC are considered "Emotional Reality" because these events may or may not correspond with actual or historical reality.  For example, some NECs may be associated with imagined emotional events such as misconceptions or nightmares.

The individual's unique NEC (syndrome pattern) contains:
    1. A specific subluxation or sequence of subluxations
    2. A specific emotion
    3. A conditioned response, a predisposition for stimulus generalization and a resistance to extinction
    4. A meridian imbalance and active pulse point
    5. A facilitated or inhibited muscle
    6. A specific active Meridian Access Point (body or pulse)
    7. A cathected and often recallable memory picture of a past significant emotional event
    8. A vulnerability to suppression, repetition compulsion and re-stimulation/reaggravation causing cyclical reinforcement
Walker's Home Run FormulaNET practitioners determine which stress factors within the Walker’s Home Run Formula model are contributing to the patient’s presenting condition.  These factors could fall in the categories of:  1) Emotional mind-body stress (NET), 2) Toxic stress (homeopathic), 3) Biochemistry stress (nutrition), and/or 4) Structural stress (physical correction).  When the Manual Muscle Test finds associated weakness in any of these four categories, the practitioner determines which application (NET, homeopathy, nutrition or structural correction) is needed to correct the weakness.  When the appropriate intervention is achieved, the previously weak Manual Muscle Test will now test strong.  Re-examination on follow up visits determines if the initial stress factors are stabilized.

Body-related manifestations of stress include all kinds of conditions, such as chronic and acute physical symptoms, pain of all types, organ dysfunctions, neurological problems, musculoskeletal and immunological conditions, allergies and much more.  Mind-related manifestations of stress include conditions associated with phobias, depression, anxieties, ADD / ADHD, nightmares, disruptive behavior, public speaking fears; emotionally engendered cognitive distortions and many other problems.


To qualify to attend an introductory level NET Basic training, practitioners must have the equivalent of a Master’s degree or higher (from an accredited university) in the health care field, and the practitioner must also hold a current license or certification through a state or national board that authorizes independent practice that is related to their degree of study.  NET practitioners include Chiropractors, Acupuncturists, Marriage and Family Therapists, Medical Doctors, Doctors of Psychology, etc.  Practitioners are trained to work within the structure of what their training and license allows, and they are encouraged to build a health referral base with which to support patients.

After completing the two-day NET Basic training, practitioners are able to return to their office and immediately help patients with a simple 2-Minute STRESS RELIEF Procedure.  Practitioners are also trained in the classic 15 steps of NET, as well as the principles of the Walker’s Home Run Formula.  Advanced training is also available with the possibility of becoming a Certified NET Practitioner.  To become NET Certified, practitioners must complete specific advanced trainings, pass a practical exam demonstrating the 15 steps of NET, as well as pass a 2-hour written exam.  Practitioners are required to complete on-going NET seminars in order to keep their NET Certification status.  NET Certification status is granted at the sole discretion of N.E.T., Inc., and can be withdrawn for any reason at any time.


N.E.T., Inc.’s, mission statement is, “We exist to strengthen practitioners of the healing arts.” NET supports its practitioners, both personally and professionally, with the highest standards of education, products and services with the ultimate purpose of alleviating human suffering.

NET practitioners are able to work within the flexible structure of the Home Run Formula model — using whatever “tool” they determine is best — to help patients with stress-related conditions. The end product of a successful treatment is a patient who is less stressed and more neurologically integrated.


The ONE Research Foundation is a non-profit organization that funds scientific research as it relates to both the principles and the practice of NET.  Below is a partial bibliography of published NET-related papers and other journal publications.  Of special note, The ONE Research Foundation established itself in 1993 as the official research arm of NET by incorporating as a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit organization.  The mission of ONE is to support the funding of scientific research with the ultimate goal of “Bringing NET to the World.”  The ONE Research Foundation has several studies currently in progress, and numerous future studies are scheduled. Please visit to keep abreast of ongoing published results.

Neuro Emotional Technique® (NET) Partial Bibliography

Published NET- Related Research Papers

Bablis, P. & Pollard, H. Anxiety and depression profile of new patients presenting to a Neuro Emotional Technique (NET) practitioner.  Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 2009; 15(2), 121-127.

Bablis, P., Pollard, H., & Bonello, R. Neuro Emotional Technique for the treatment of trigger point sensitivity in chronic neck pain sufferers:  A controlled clinical trial.  Chiropractic & Osteopathy, 2008; 16: 4.

Karpouszis, F., Pollard, H., & Bonello, R.  Adolescent Separation Anxiety Disorder managed by the Neuro Emotional Techniqque — a new bipopsychosocial intervention: A case study.  Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, 2008; 31 (2), 146-159.

Monti, D.A., Sufian, M., & Peterson, C. Potential role of mind-body therapies in cancer survivorship.  Cancer, 2008 Apr 21.

Pollard, H., Hoskins, W., McHardy, A., Bonello, R., Garbutt, P., Swain, M., et. al. Australian chiropractic sports medicine: half way there or living on prayer? BMC Chiropractic & Osteopathy, 2007; 15:14.

Monti, D.A, Stoner, M.E., Zivin, G., & Schlesinger M. Short term correlates of the Neuro Emotional Technique for cancer-related traumatic stress symptoms: A pilot case series. Journal of Cancer Survivorship, 2007; 1, 161–166.

Jensen, A. The efficacy of Neuro Emotional Technique (NET) for spider phobia: A pilot study. Master of Science degree thesis (Evidence-based Social Intervention). University of Oxford, Oxford. 2007.

Pollard, H., Hardy, K., & Curtin, D. Biopsychosocial Model of Pain and Its Relevance to Chiropractors. Chiropractic Journal Australia, 2006 (36:3): 92-96.
Bablis, P., Pollard, H., McHardy, A. Neuro Emotional Technique management of polycystic ovary syndrome induced anovulation: Report of an uncontrolled case series. Chiropractic Journal Australia, 2006;36(1):2-8.

Hardy, K., & Pollard, H. The Organization of The Stress Response and its Relevance to Chiropractors: A Commentary. Chiropractic & Osteopathy, 2006; 14: 25.

Bablis, P., Pollard H., Monti D. Resolution of anovulation infertility using Neuro Emotional Technique: A report of 3 cases. Journal Chiropractic Medicine, 2006 5(1):13-21.

Pollard, H., Bablis, P., & Bonello, R. The Ileocecal Valve Point and Muscle Testing: A possible mechanism of action. Chiropractic Journal Australia, 2006(36:4): 122-6.
Pollard, H., Bablis, P., & Bonello, R. Can the Ileocecal Valve Point Predict Low Back Pain Using Manual Muscle Testing? Chiropractic Journal Australia 36(2): 58-62, 2006.

Pollard, H. Reflections on the "Type O" Disorder. Journal Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics, 2005;28:547.e1-547.e9

Walker, S., Bablis, P., Pollard, H., & McHardy, A. Practitioner Perceptions of Emotions Associated with Pain: A survey. Journal Chiropractic Medicine, 2005: 4(2):89-96
Middleton, P., & Pollard, H. Are Chronic Low Back Pain Outcomes Improved with Co-management of Concurrent Depression? BMC Chiropractic & Osteopathy, 2005, 13:8 

Brown, B., Pollard, H., & Bonello, R. A Bio-psychosocial Approach to Hypothyroidism
BMC Chiropractic & Osteopathy, 2005: 13:5
Pollard, H., Lakay, B., Tucker, F., Watson, B., & Bablis, P. Interexaminer Reliability of the Deltoid and Psoas Muscle Test. Journal Manipulative Physiological Therapeutics, 2005;28(1):52-6

Pollard, H. & Bablis, P. Hypothyroidism: A new model for Conservative Management in two cases. Chiropractic Journal Australia. 34(1):11-18, 2004.
Pollard H. The somatovisceral reflex: How important for the “type O” condition?
Chiropractic Journal Australia, 2004 34(3): 93-102.

Monti, D.A., Sinnott, J, Marchese, M., Kunkel, E.J., & Greeson, J.M. Muscle test comparisons of congruent and incongruent self-referential statements. Perception and Motor Skills, 1999 June; 88(3 Pt 1):1019-28.

Peterson, K.B. A preliminary inquiry into manual muscle testing response in phobic and control subjects exposed to threatening stimuli. Journal of Manipulative Physiological Therapeutics, June 1996(19:5): 310-316.

Peterson, K.B. Two cases of spinal manipulation performed while the patient contemplated an associated stress event: the effect of the effect of the manipulation / contemplation on serum cholesterol levels in hypercholesterolemic subjects. Chiropractic Technique, 1995 May;7(2):55-59

Published Journal Articles

Technique Feature Interview:  Thinking About a Problem While Getting Adjusted? Neuro Emotional Technique Twenty Years Later, Scott Walker, The American Chiropractor, Volume 30, No. 12, December 2008, 18-22.

Technique:  Our Three Brains — and the Emotional Component of Health!, Scott and Deborah Walker, The American Chiropractor, Volume 29, No. 12, November 2007, 26.

Your Present Technique Works Better Than You Think It Does, Scott and Deborah Walker, The American Chiropractor, Volume 29, No. 5, May 2007, 22.
Help For Chronic Subluxations, Scott and Deborah Walker, The American Chiropractor, Issue 13, 2006, 22.
Complementary Medicine in Chronic Cancer Care, Daniel A. Monti and Jingduan Yang, Elsevier, Inc., Semi Oncolology, 32:225-231, 2005, 225-231.

10 More Great Techniques, 3rd Annual Edition, Neuro Emotional Technique, Scott and Deborah Walker, The American Chiropractor, Volume 25, No. 3, 2003, 26.

Neuro-Emotional Technique, Ella Thomas, Nature & Health (Australia), Volume 23, No. 6, December 2002 / January 2003, 80-81.

Unearthing our Roadblocks, A Professionals Guide to Overcoming Emotional Dissatisfaction, Anna Tobia, New Visions Magazine, August 2003,

Your Turn, Neuro-Emotional Techniques, Jef Gazley, Mental Health Resources, 2003, http://mental

Recurring Subluxation Patterns, Michael Kudlas, Michigan Chiropractic Journal, July 2003, 15-20.

Neuro Emotional Technique, Scott Walker and Theresa M. Pigott, Canadian Chiropractor, 1999, Volume 4, No 2, 10-14.

Phobia and Shock — Releasing the Emotions That Hold Structural Imbalances in Place, David Alan Tribble, Alternative Medicine, Issue 27, January 1999, 26-28.

Disobedient Vertebrae:  Are They (Neuro) Emotionally Disturbed?, Scott Walker, Chiropractic Products, October 1996, 22-26.

Mind Games, How to use psychology to enhance your performance, Roy M. Wallack, Triathlete Magazine, June 1995, No. 134, 59-59-63.

A Real Head Case, Physical symptoms can indicate psychological distress, Muscle and Fitness, February 1994, 58-60.

Ivan Pavlov, His Dog and Chiropractic, Scott Walker, Digest of Chiropractic Economics March/April 1992, 36-46.

The Triangle of Health: Once More with Feeling, Scott Walker, Digest of Chiropractic Economics May/June 1990, 16-25.

Interview with Scott Walker, DC, Founder of Neuro Emotional Technique (NET), and Steve Shaffer, DC, an NET practitioner, Lily G. Casura, Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, July 1988, 128-134.

Books Referencing NET

Integrative Psychiatry, Monti & Beitman, Weil Integrative Medicine Library Series (with chiropractic chapter by Pollard; includes NET), Oxford University Press, Inc. ISBN 978-0-19-538837-4.

My Twin Vanished: Did Yours?, Dr. Brent Babcock, Tate Publishing & Enterprises, 2009, ISBN 978-1-60696-637-2.

The Health of Business, Dr. Ramah Wagner, A&A Printing, 2008, ISBN 978-0-615-18264-3.

Muscle Testing, Serafino Amoroso, Author House, 2005, ISBN 1-4208-6772-5 (sc).

Technique Systems in Chiropractic, Robert Cooperstein and Brian Gleberzon, Churchill Livingstone, 2004, ISBN 0443-07413-5.

The Stress Effect: Discover the Connection Between Stress and Disease and Reclaim Your Health, Richard Weinstein, D.C. Avery, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 2004.

Puppet or Puppeteer, You Hold the Key to the Life You Really Want, Nell M. Rodgers, D.C., M.N., Awesome Press, 2003, ISBN 0-9745240-0-X.

Our Toxic World, A Wake Up Call, Doris J. Rapp, M.D., Personal Transformation Press, 2003, ISBN 1-891962-25-6.

Women’s Mental Health, editied by Susan G. Kornstein and Anita H. Clayton, with a chapter on “Complementary and Alternative Medicine, “ by Daniel A. Monti and Marie Stoner, The Guilford Press., 2002, 344-355.

Energy Psychology in Psychotherapy, Fred P. Gallo, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2002, ISBN 0-393-70346-0.

Alternative Medicine, The Definitive Guide, Burton Goldberg, Celestial Arts, 2002, ISBN 1-58761-141-4.

Sleep Disorders, An Alternative Medicine Definitive Guide, Herbert Ross and Keri Brenner,, Inc.,  2000, ISBN 1-887299-20-3.

Breakthrough Secrets to Live Your Dreams, Susan Friedmann, Paul Meschino, Mark A. Lorenson, Toni Robino, Jason Thomas Kicinski, Lillian Zarzar, Robert J. Iwaniec, Dustin Thomas, Jamie Neely, Roxane Martin, Gloria Andreae, Denise Nadler, AVIVA Publishing, 2000, ISBN 1-890427-07-1.

Energy Psychology, Explorations at the Interface of Energy, Cognition, Behavior, and Health, Fred P. Gallo, CRC Press LLC, 1999, ISBN 1-57444-184-1.

Good News For People Who Hurt, Lou Ann Hall, Agape’ Associates, 1999.

The Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine, Jennifer Jacobs, Carlton Books, 1996, ISBN 1-885-203-36-5.

Contraindications to Chiropractic Manipulation with Specific Technique Alternatives, L.M. Haynes-Mazion, 1995 by L.M. Haynes-Mazion, DC, CSDE.

Allergies, Disease in Disguise, Carolee Bateson-Kock, Alive Books, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2002, ISBN 1-55312-040-X.

Eliminating the Stress of Weight Loss, Joel S. Shain, The Monterey Wellness Center, 1992, ISBN 0-9625958-7-x.
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