What is Applied Kinesiology?

What is Applied Kinesiology?

IN 1964, DR. GEORGE GOODHEART a teacher and mentor of mine for many years, made a discovery that was fundamental to the hands on healing arts. He discovered that postural distortion could be explained by a specific muscle weakness, and that both muscle weakness and its associated postural distortion could be corrected by hands-on technique.

Dr. Goodheart the son of a chiropractor, skilled in nutrition, homeopathy and other healing methods was also trained as a chiropractor, but as his father before him became proficient in many other procedures such as meridian therapy, osteopathic cranial technique, and clinical nutrition. Dietary and lifestyle considerations were also a major part of his approach. More important was his extensive knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry which provided him a solid background for applying and integrating existing techniques.

In addition, Dr. Goodheart studied the findings of other researchers concentrating not only on the body's structure, but on its chemical and mental components as well.

Along the way, he came across the findings of Dr. Chapman, an osteopath. who bad observed that various reflex points on the body related to specific organs and glands. Dr. Goodheart took Dr. Chapman's observations a step further, and upon experimentation, found out that these "neurolymphatic" reflexes correlated with specific hypotonic muscles (muscles that test weak upon manual muscle testing).

The technique of testing muscles to aid in the diagnosis aod treatment of a patient became known as "Applied Kinesiology". Over the past fifty plus years, the field of applied kinesiology has grown tremendously, and is able to offer an integrated analysis of each patient, incorporating various practices of alternative healing arts, such as: • The meridian system of Chinese medicine. • Asian and Indian herbs, as well as other herbs from all over the world. • Classical and complex homeopathy • Nutritional supplementation. • Chiropractic spinal and extremity work. • Cranial sacral techniques of osteopathy • Reflexology. • Traditional medicine, including diagnostic procedures such as blood and urine analysis, blood pressure evaluation, as well as orthopedic and neurological testing.

The use of manual muscle testing has become the signature of applied kinesiology, and is used to evaluate the functional status of the nervous system. Since the nervous system controls all major body functions, it is imperative that a doctor be able to evaluate its function. A general evaluation of the peripheral nervous system (that controls muscles and allows us to sense our environment via hot, cold, and touch receptors) and of the central nervous system (that allows us to sense our environment via sight, sound, smell. and taste), has been performed by doctors for quite some time. Applied kinesiology gives further insight into the nervous system, allowing an evaluation of the function of the nervous system that controls organs, glands, and other tissues.

Manual muscle testing is a great tool to help determine a patient's nutritional needs, as well as substances that he or she may be having issues with, including food and environmental allergens, chemicals, and heavy metals. It can also help assess whether the body has a problem with pathogenic bacteria, yeast, parasites or other microbes.

As in all holistic approaches, the applied kinesiologist treats the whole patient in order to help him or her achieve optimal functioning of all body systems. The holistic physician looks beyond symptoms in order to understand the reasons why a patient's system is dysfunctional, and to determine the basic underlying cause of the disease. Specifically, applied kinesiology includes three components within its paradigm: structural, chemical/nutritional. and emotional. This combination is quite unique, particularly because structural and emotional considerations are rarely integrated in other health approaches.

Structural: The structural portion of treatment involves the spinal and cranial sacral systems. Without proper structure, the body cannot function optimally. This may lead to vitamin deficiencies, acupuncture disturbances, as well as gland and organ dysfunction. Migraines, bowel irregularity, and reproductive problems are among the long list of conditions that may be instigated by poor structure.

Chemical/Nutritional: In order for the human machine to function optimally, it needs optimal fuel at optimal rates. Balancing our in-take of nutrients, and ensuring that our digestive system assimilates and uses the nutrients efficiently are paramount to achieving health.

Emotional: Applied kinesiologists often use structural corrections, meridian therapy, as well as nutritional and homeopathic approaches to impact a patient's emotional state. Though emotional conditions are often ambiguous and difficult to pin down, the use of manual muscle testing can help pinpoint issues and their underlying causes, that can then be addressed by either traditional psychological means or through specific applied kinesiology techniques to impact the psyche. Also, physical treatments that eliminate imbalances in the body are sometimes very effective in helping a patient overcome negative emotions.

The conditions for which people seek an applied kinesiologist vary greatly. Injured athletes, people suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic pain, temporo-mandillular joint (jaw) problems, concussions, intestinal issues, hip, back and neck issues and hormonal disorders are primary examples of those who tum to applied kinesiology for treatment.

Keep your muscles an arms length away from untrained professionals. If you choose to consult an applied kinesiologist, keep your eyes open. Many muscle testing systems have been developed over the years, some of which are inconsistent with the approach advocated by the international College of Applied Kinesiology. Many lay persons and professionals alike are performing muscle testing without proper training. Some fail to coordinate the muscle testing findings with other standard diagnostic procedures. This may lead to improper diagnosis and treatment, and may have dire consequences should you be suffering from a serious condition.

Make sure to check if the person you are consulting is a licensed health care professional, and has been trained in courses offered by the International College of Applied Kinesiology. To find an accomplished applied kinesiologist in the United States or abroad, check the website of the International College of Applied Kinesiology; www.icakusa.com. Although I am a licensed chiropractor, I expanded my practice “tool box” by specializing in applied kinesiology and becoming a diplomate of the American Clinical Board of Nutrition, a Certified Clinical Nutritionist and a Fellow and Diplomate of the International Academy of Clinical Acupuncture, as well as utilizing functional neurology.

For a more in-depth description of applied kinesiology click here to read the book chapter written by Dr. Rubenstein on applied kinesiology for a publisher.


Craig is Rubenstein DC CCN DACBN FIACA

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