The term Applied Kinesiology was first coined by the chiropractor G.J. Goodheart in 1964. He subsequently began teaching it to other chiropractors. His study group eventually became “The International College of Applied Kinesiology” (ICAK) in 1974. In the UK, Kinesiology is also taught by the Association of Systematic Kinesiology (ASK) and it is from ASK that I received my own diploma in 2016. While this practice is primarily used by chiropractors, it is now also used by many other practitioners. By 2003, Applied Kinesiology was the 10th most frequently used chiropractic technique in the United States, with almost 40% of chiropractors employing this method and nearly 15% of patients being treated with it.
What is Systematic Kinesiology?
The practice of Kinesiology depends upon a fundamental link between your muscles, your organs and the meridians described in Traditional Chinese Medicine. The meridians are energy channels which flow through the body and carry subtle energy or Qi. Recently, scientists at Seoul National University believe that they have confirmed the existence of meridians, which they refer to as the “primo-vascular system.” (See refs 1, 2, below). For example, the Pectoralis Major Clavicular (PMC) muscle in the shoulder is considered linked to the Stomach (organ) and the Stomach Meridian. As such, any issue affecting the stomach will have an effect on the response of the PMC muscle, and it is this that is detected by the kinesiologist, via manual muscle testing.
One muscle or many?
Kinesiologists believe that every muscle is related to an organ and a meridian, and they have now been able to attribute specific properties to over forty different muscle/meridian combinations. This gives great subtlety to our work. With digestive issues, we might look at the Quadriceps (Small Intestine and it’s associated meridian), whilst for issues relating to the Kidney, we will be more inclined to test the Psoas, linked to the Kidney meridian. In our practice, we learn to work with a wide variety of muscles to cover the main organ systems: stomach, spleen, heart, small intestine, bladder, kidney, gall bladder, liver, lung, and large intestine.
Healing through balance
Kinesiology proposes that imbalance in any organ or meridian will perturb the functioning of its associated muscle. The aim of kinesiology is to return the body to balance. The body is seen as both a highly connected system and one that is capable of great self-regulation. Whilst traditional medical approaches aim to identify an ailment, and then provide a cure, most often in the form of a drug, kinesiology works by determining which circuit is out of balance and then offers a way to bring that circuit back into balance. Kinesiology is thus not diagnostic.
Balance may be brought about by in several ways:
• gentle massage of muscles or specific neuro-vascular or neuro-lymphatic points;
• vitamin or mineral supplements added to the diet;
• work with the emotions;
• energetic techniques with the body’s energy centers, the meridians, and chakras.
We can further trace an imbalance to any of four categories or realms — structure, nutrition, emotion, and energy. In kinesiology, these are regarded as equivalent — emotion and energy are considered just as important as structure or nutrition.
The aim of the kinesiologist is to balance your muscle-organ-meridian systems and thus bring you closer to a fuller expression of your health.
What kind of conditions can kinesiology help with?
Have you ever felt permanently exhausted? Or that something not quite right with your diet? Do you wake at 4 am each morning and then can’t get back to sleep? Perhaps you suffer from migraines, your medication helping you cope at the time, but the migraines keep returning? These and many similar conditions can leave us stumped as to what to do.
“Perhaps I should take some vitamins or minerals,” you say, “but which ones?” These are often surprisingly difficult questions to answer without blood tests and complex biochemistry. Kinesiology, however, enables us to answer these questions through muscle testing, so enabling your body to speak clearly about what will support it, and what won’t.
Should you be lacking a vitamin or mineral, your body is thus able to communicate with the kinesiologist via a muscle test. Bringing an appropriate nutrient into your body’s energy system will balance the muscle and strengthen the circuit. Kinesiology is thus also highly appropriate for looking at food imbalances, sensitivities, and intolerances. We aim to balance the whole person.
Whilst the medical and scientific establishments remain out on Kinesiology, I was initially trained as a research scientist at the beginning of my career, completing my Ph.D. in genetics in 1990. My own discovery of Kinesiology has been empirical in the sense that I can now feel my own sensitivities to supplements and to energy work, through muscle testing. There was no greater surprise to me when I could feel my intolerance to wheat completely blocking my Quads, on the therapy table. A conversion to gluten-free bread removed in a month a chronic gut pain that had become a normalized part of my own body experience. I woke up one day and realized this dull ache in my gut had simply gone. I also realized that the colonoscopy I had undergone with general anesthetic some years previously had been totally unnecessary.
I personally owe a great deal to kinesiology, and a great deal to my wonderful teachers, too. It was my own powerful experience that encouraged me to find out more, and to then train professionally. If I have two hopes, the first is that I may be able to help you, as much as kinesiology has helped me. My second hope is that one day the scientific establishment will realize that our bodies are just so much cleverer and more subtle than we give them credit for. Things are changing, for sure, as you will see from the references below.
(1) General article: Science proves that meridians exist.
(2) Chen et al. 2013. Wave-Induced Flow in Meridians Demonstrated Using Photoluminescent Bioceramic Material on Acupuncture Points.