Kinesiology is a series of tests that locate weaknesses in specific muscles reflecting imbalances throughout the body. Then specific techniques or treatments are used in an attempt to rebalance what has been revealed by the kinesiology tests. Thus, kinesiology is used as both an assessment tool and as a limited therapeutic modality.
Kinesiology is part of a diagnostic healing system that detects and corrects imbalances in the body before they develop into a disease. Its purpose is to restore overall system balance and harmony. It is used to alleviate muscle, bone, and joint problems, treat all manner of aches and pains, and correct many areas of imbalance and discomfort.
Since interpretation of the muscle tests is both complex and subjective, it should only be performed by a licensed health professional trained to look for “subclinical” symptoms (those which have not yet become a major problem). Kinesiology, itself, is more of a diagnostic technique and should not be thought of as a cure for any particular problem but more so part of a diagnostic approach to find the root cause of dis-ease in the body.
Traditionally, the word “kinesiology” refers simply to the study of muscles and body movement. In 1964, however, American physician George J. Goodheart founded what has become known as Applied Kinesiology when he linked oriental ideas about energy flow in the body with western techniques of muscle testing. First, Goodheart noted that all muscles are related to other muscles. He observed that for each movement a muscle makes, there is another muscle or group of muscles involved with that movement; one muscle contracts while another one relaxes. So when he was presented with a painful, overly tight muscle, he would observe and treat the opposite, and necessarily weak, muscle to restore balance. This was then a very new technique.
Further, Goodheart argued that there is a definite and real connection between muscles, glands, and organs, and that by testing the strength of certain muscles he could learn about the possible health or condition of the gland or organ to which it was related.
Applied Kinesiology (AK) is based on the idea that the body is an interacting unit made of different parts that interconnect and affect each other. Everything we do affects the body as a whole; therefore, a problem in one area can cause trouble in another area. According to kinesiology, the muscles eventually register and reflect anything that is wrong with any part of the body, whether physical or mental. Thus, a particular digestive problem might show up in the related and corresponding muscles of the legs. By testing the strength of certain muscles, the AK physician is able to gain access to the body’s communication system, and, thus, to read the health status of each of the body’s major components.
The manual testing of muscles or muscle strength is not new, and was used in the late 1940s to evaluate muscle function and strength and to assess the extent of an injury. Applied Kinesiology measures whether a muscle is stuck in the “on” position, acting like a tense muscle spasm, or is stuck “off,” appearing weak or flaccid. It is called manual testing because it is done without instruments, using only the kinesiologist’s fingertip pressure. During the first and longest appointment, which lasts about an hour, the AK physician conducts a complete consultation, asking about the patient’s history and background. During the physical examination, patients sit or lie down, and then the kinesiologist holds the patient’s leg or arm to isolate a particular muscle. The practitioner then touches a point on the body which he believes is related to that muscle, and, with quick, gentle, and painless pressure, pushes down on the limb. Patients are asked to resist this pressure, and, if they cannot, an imbalance is suspected in the related organ, gland, or body part. This diagnostic technique uses muscles to find the cause of a problem, and is based on traditional Chinese medicine and its idea that the body has common energy meridians, or channels, for both organs and muscles.
AK physicians are able to locate body deficits that stem from a variety of causes such as chemical, structural and emotional/electromagnetic stress factors. Once the exact cause is determined, the AK physician can make the correction through a variety of techniques in order to facilitate the rebalance the flow of energy and restore health. Often he/she will recommend a complementary program of nutrition therapy.
There are no major risks associated with this gentle, noninvasive therapy. It is generally safe for people of all ages and has no side effects.
Patients should expect muscle testing to discover the cause of their physical complaint and to be told how to correct it.
Acupressure — A form of acupuncture in which certain points of the body are pressed with the fingers and hands to release energy blocks.
Alleviate — To make something easier to be endured.
Complementary — Something that serves to fill out or complete something else.
Deficiency — A shortage of something necessary for health.
Diagnostic — The art or act of identifying a disease from its signs and symptoms.
Flaccid — Flabby, limp, weak.
Meridian — In traditional Chinese medicine, the channels that run beneath the skin through which the body’s energy flows.
Spasm — An involuntary, sudden, violent contraction of a muscle or a group of muscles.