What is Applied Kinesiology?
Applied Kinesiology (AK) is a system that evaluates structural, chemical, and mental aspects of health using manual muscle testing alongside conventional diagnostic methods. Treatment modalities relied upon by practitioners may include chiropractic adjustments, soft tissue work, physiotherapy, cranial and meridian therapies, body supports (i.e. orthotics or lower back belts), home exercise, clinical nutrition, dietary counseling, and evaluating food and environmental irritants and various reflex procedures.
Applied Kinesiology uses the Triad of Health. That is Chemical, Mental and Structural factors that balance the major health categories. The Triad of Health is interactive and all sides must be evaluated for the underlying cause of a problem. A health problem on one side of the triad can affect the other sides. For example, a chemical imbalance can cause mental symptoms. AK enables the doctor to evaluate the triad's balance and direct therapy toward the imbalanced side or sides.
A Doctor using Applied Kinesiology during an examination will add a new dimension to standard diagnostics.
The Art & Science of Applied Kinesiology
In the history of the healing arts it is unusual for a genuinely new method of diagnosis to appear. If we think of x-ray, blood testing and many others, each has a unique contribution to make and allows us to see in ways that were not available before. Chiropractic has made such a contribution in the form of Applied Kinesiology, originally presented to the American Chiropractic Association in 1965 by George Goodheart, D.C.. The fundamental discovery was that the muscular system is amazingly sensitive to various physiological, energetic and neurological functions of the body, in ways that were previously unknown. Muscles would dramatically weaken or strengthen when directly challenged in one of several ways. For example, placing allergic foods in the mouth would weaken major muscles of the body, as would pressure applied to a disturbed joint or even touching an acupuncture point related to a disturbed organ. Gr. Goodheart recognized that muscle testing in this context could be used diagnostically. This insight has been developed within the Chiropractic profession for the past 30 years and is now being taught all over the world.
This development has been approached largely in a clinical context, although a number of interesting studies have been performed to confirm clinical observations. A statistical correlation of .91 was found between AK examiners, suggesting a high reliability of testing. In another study, nutritional supplements taken by test subjects as recommended by AK examination produced a statistically significant increase in muscle strength. The placebo did not. Another study found a .81 correlation between foods identified as allergic by AK testing and those similarly identified by the Philpott system of fasting and progressively introducing foods to note allergic reactions. Another study explored the AK hypothesis that a specific relationship exists between particular organs and specific muscles. A positive correlation was found. Another study performed in 1989 found a difference in brain wave patterns when strong muscles were tested as compared to weak muscles, as identified by AK examiners.
In most cases, any significant health problem will be reflected in muscular dysfunction. As a result, AK practitioners will commonly evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the muscular system to provide information on areas of patient concern as well as imbalances of which the patient is still unaware. Quite often new areas of distress can be identified outside the patient's arena of symptoms. This can lead to solutions of problems before they become pathological. We have had many cases where infections, tumors and even cancer have been located without the patient having any symptoms. Usually imbalances are less severe, and involve problems like headaches, neck pain, carpal tunnel syndrome or PMS. Sometimes the patient has fears that something serious is wrong, and it turns out to be a minimal problem.
AK may also be useful for selecting which supplements or herbs would be useful for a particular condition. The AK doctor can provide some additional basis for choosing, and thus make the supplement program more effective and specific in certain circumstances. The doctor can also re-tune the program over time as conditions change.
In the context of Chiropractic manipulative therapy, AK can help locate which joints need adjusting and provide a means of determining how they are related to other problems in the body. AK can also provide a means of evaluating which acupuncture points need stimulating for a particular problem. In some ways this method is superior to those used by oriental doctors who rely on pulse, tongue and iris diagnosis, which are not as specific. AK can also provide some basis for the application of magnets for therapeutic purposes. These are often useful as adjunctive therapy.
The range of applications of AK is not limited to those mentioned here. Bring in your concerns and see what light can be shed on them with AK.
1. Applied Kinesiology, Vol. 1 by David S. Walther
2. 'Applied Kinesiology Procedures Demonstrated in Laboratory Study' by Walter H. Schmitt, Jr. The American Chiropractor, Jan/Feb 1995.