The Clinical Application of Movement and Function
Applied Kinesiology – or AK – involves the art and science of muscle testing. The word kinesiology comes from the words “kinesis” meaning movement and from “logos” meaning to study. It literally means the study of movement. AK is the clinical application of movement and function.
In the 1960s Dr. George Goodheart found that he could evaluate body function by the use of muscle tests. The principles of muscle testing can be used to evaluate virtually any organ or system in the body. It can be used to find nutritional needs and food sensitivities. People evaluated with this method are often amazed that something so simple can work so well.
During the examination some muscles will test “strong” and others will test “weak”. The Chiropractor skilled in Applied Kinesiology may realize that the “weakness” found in the muscle test may not only indicate poor muscle function, but possibly a connection with organ function, nutritional issues, issues with the acupuncture meridian, lymphatic drainage issues or vascular issues.
The Chiropractor who is an Applied Kinesiologist understands that certain patterns of muscle weakness give clues to the body’s function. Each muscle, for example, can be tested to give an indication of how a specific organ is functioning. A television set and a lamp plugged into the same circuit can both malfunction together. If the television has a short in it, it can overload the circuit breaker, denying power to the lamp, causing it to go out. Think of the television as being analogous to the organ. The circuit breaker is analogous to the nervous system (spinal nerve and spinal cord). The lamp is analogous to the muscle. A skilled Applied Kinesiologist can use muscle testing and relationships like those between muscles and organs to aid in diagnosis and treatment.
AK uses muscle testing as a tool – along with physical examination, lab work and diagnostic imaging – through which we can discern the cause of your pain or health problem. Muscle imbalance causes structural strain. It can result in muscle spasm, joint pain, poor sports performance, a tendency for injury, or even systemic health problems. Structural stress can affect the nervous system, affecting every organ and system in the body.
Muscles not only move bones, they hold the skeletal system in place. There is a dynamic tension in the musculoskeletal system. The muscles act like guy wires holding the bones in place. Skeletal balance is maintained by opposing muscles. If a muscle is weaker than the one opposing it, the opposing muscle becomes tight, and the skeletal structures will be out of balance. A weak muscle can cause pain and spasm in the opposing muscle. Ironically, many therapeutic efforts are directed toward spastic muscles, which often are not the cause of the problem. For example, weak abdominal muscles will cause the pelvic to tilt and the low back muscles (which oppose them) to go into spasm. Until the weakness in the abdominal muscles is corrected, efforts to reduce the spasm in the low back will not be very effective.
The Chiropractor trained in Applied Kinesiology corrects muscle weakness and muscle imbalance by working with the nervous system, the lymphatic system, the vascular system, acupuncture meridians and nutrition. This is a holistic approach designed to get to the cause of health problems.
For more information, go to The International College of Applied Kinesiology.