Kinesiology is a natural health therapy that manually tests muscles to determine energy imbalances in the body and uses a variety of techniques such as reflex and acupressure point manipulation, nutrition, exercise and movement to restore proper energy flow.
What Is It?
Kinesiology is a natural health therapy that manually tests muscles to determine energy imbalances in the body and uses a variety of techniques such as reflex and acupressure point manipulation, nutrition, exercise and movement to restore proper energy flow. Unlike traditional kinesiology used by physiotherapists and sports trainers, natural health kinesiology is holistic, which means that it encompasses chemical, nutritional, electromagnetic, mental and emotional aspects as well as physical and structural components of health. Kinesiology is used as a diagnostic and monitoring tool and should be used with other diagnostic methods
In the 1940s, muscle testing was developed by Kendal, Kendal and Wandsworth and was used to assess insurance injury claims.
In 1964, Dr. George Goodheart, a chiropractor in Detroit, discovered applied kinesiology when he noticed muscle weakness in healthy muscle tissue. Upon applying massage at the point of muscle attachment, the muscle was restored to normal function. Goodheart's research led him to find the links between muscle groups and their associated organs and acupuncture meridians. Goodheart also found that restoring function to a weak muscle in turn restored balance to the opposing muscle which tightens in response to the other muscle's weakness.
Goodheart founded the International College of Applied Kinesiology (ICAK) in 1973 and developed the vertebral challenge, a muscle-testing technique that is used immediately after a chiropractic adjustment to assess its effectiveness. Kinesiology became more accepted as ongoing research results had continual corroboration with other diagnostic techniques.
In 1968, Dr. Alan Beardall, a graduate of Los Angeles Chiropractic College became one of Goodheart's most brilliant proteges. Through study, personal observation and testing procedures he identified functional divisions within muscles and went on to isolate reflex points which further differentiated those muscle divisions. In 1975, Beardall named his new diagnostic method, clinical kinesiology.
John Thie wrote the book Touch For Health, which describes a basic self-help system of kinesiology for laypersons. He studied and researched with Goodheart and played a major role in the development of kinesiology. Thie wanted kinesiology to be available for the common person and his work in spreading the word is credited with popularizing kinesiology.
Applied kinesiology refers only to practitioners trained at the International College of Applied Kinesiology. Some other forms of kinesiology are Professional Kinesiology Practice (PKP), Educational Kinesiology (EDUK), Three in One, Biokinesiology and the layperson's version called Touch for Health.
PKP uses standard kinesiology techniques, but it does not diagnose or treat disease. It works on the emotional level, using goals and positive affirmations. EDUK uses specialized movements to enhance learning potential, while Three in One works to diffuse negative emotions. Biokinesiology makes the link between stressful emotions and nutritional needs with a combination of exercise and emotional release.
Today kinesiology is widely used in the United States, but elsewhere remains in the domain of natural health practitioners. ICAK continues to rigorously research this field of healing.
How Can It Help Me?
Kinesiology helps to determine causes of chronic symptoms, structural weakness, organ dysfunction, metabolic status, nutritional requirements, allergies, faulty brain integration and improper nerve function.
Because kinesiology is a holistic discipline, it helps many common problems, including aches, pains, depression, weight problems, digestive disorders, PMS, headaches, joint problems, sports injuries, lower-back pain, chronic fatigue, and behavioral and learning problems. Kinesiology also restores proper functioning of organs, muscles, nerves and brain, and improves body structure and mechanics.
Kinesiology is a valuable preventive medicine because it shows problems in body function before symptoms arise.
How Does It Work?
The body's energy systems are interconnected and work as a whole. They are the nervous, lymphatic, vascular, cerebro-spinal and acupuncture meridian systems. A problem in one of these will affect the others. Kinesiology is based on the principle that muscles work properly if their energy systems are balanced. When the muscle's neurological function is normal, the muscle is "switched on" and tests as "strong." The kinesiologist uses an indicator muscle that will test "weak" when there is an energy imbalance. This imbalance can be caused by many things, such as a malfunctioning organ, food allergy or bone or joint problem.
Also, specific muscles correspond to specific organs. Fixing a malfunction in one will correct the problem in the other. This also works on the structural level since proper muscle function results in proper bone and joint function.
How Is It Done?
Kinesiology is used by many different professions including medical doctors, chiropractors, naturopaths, dentists, nutritionists and sports trainers. It is used as an adjunct diagnostic tool which is both inexpensive and easy to administer and provides preventive health care.
A patient history is taken including diet and lifestyle. A physical examination will include visual checks for structural elements such as posture and balance. Blood tests are required if infections or other disease problems are suspected.
The clothed patient lies on a massage couch. The arms and legs are held in specific positions to isolate an indicator muscle. During a test, the muscle is gently pressed for a few seconds to determine if it is functioning properly. If it is, it can withstand the pressure. The test will be a therapy localization or a nutrition test.
For therapy localizations, the patient touches a part of his or her body that is not functioning, such as a subluxated vertebra or an acupressure point corresponding to a weak organ, while the therapist conducts the muscle test. North and south pole magnets are held to the body for testing. The muscle test shows whether the body is out of balance in relation to man-made energy as well as the earth's natural energy. Tiny, therapeutic magnets compatible with the body's energy are then applied to restore balance. These magnets are specialized and should not be confused with high-powered, generic magnets.
If a muscle is found to be weak, a treatment will restore energy balance and then the muscle is retested to assess the treatment. The cycle follows the pattern of test-treat-retest until the underlying problem is fixed.
In nutritional testing, there is a neuro-lingual (brain-tongue) reflex that occurs when food is tasted. When nutrient samples are held in glass vials against the body, their interaction with the body's energy field gives the muscle-test response.
Retesting is used to evaluate effectiveness of treatment and also to allow the body to know that a change has taken place.
The treatment uses nutrition, reflex points, acupressure points and meridians or muscle origin or insertion points. For nutrition treatments, muscles are tested to determine which nutrients are beneficial. Reflex points are used for neuro-lymphatic massage to stimulate the lymphatic system, or neuro-vascular holding points are lightly touched for twenty seconds to ten minutes to stimulate the circulatory system. The kinesiologist often uses acupressure holding points or performs meridian tracing in which the hands are held about two inches above the body and trace the flow of the meridians. Origin or insertion massage involves firmly massaging the end or center of the muscle. This massage is directed inward or outward depending on the state of the muscle.
For a nutrition test, a tablet is placed on the tongue or a sample in a glass vial is held against the solar plexus, navel or cheek.
A chiropractor uses muscle testing to determine which vertebrae are subluxated. When the patient holds a hand over a problem vertebra, the muscle-test response is weak. This diagnosis is affirmed with X-rays. A muscle test is done immediately after the chiropractic adjustment to determine the effectiveness of the treatment.
What Can I Do?
To learn basic kinesiology, take a Touch For Health course. Remember that this is only used to deal with minor problems and not for diagnosis or treatment of disease. Workshops called Your Body Can Talk are also offered by clinical kinesiologists
Where Do I Go Next?
Contact the International College of Applied Kinesiology in Kansas. Check with your local chiropractic association. (For more information, see Appendix 1.
Did You Know?
Nerve impulses travel at the speed of light.