Introduction to Applied Kinesiology

Applied Kinesiology (AK) is an examination system that is unique in the healing arts. AK draws together the core elements of many chiropractic and complementary therapies. AK builds on a doctor’s standard examination with the evaluation of structural, chemical and mental aspects of health. Since muscles, nerves, organs and other body functions are inter-related the muscle tests in applied kinesiology can identify normal and abnormal function in the body.

Professional Applied Kinesiologists understand that muscle weakness is a major expression of physical dysfunction. The assessment of the functional status of the patient is a major addition that AK offers to traditional medical care.

In the past 50 years a scientific breakthrough has occurred that confirms the original findings of Dr. George J. Goodheart (the founder of AK), proving that muscles predictably respond to pain, inflammation, and/or injury with weakness. This research has shown that dysfunction of the muscle system is the most common clinical finding in patients. This breakthrough is in line with our common experience that pain makes muscles less powerful and more difficult to use.

Balanced vs. Imbalanced Muscles
Balanced vs. Imbalanced Muscles

Unfortunately this problem is routinely ignored in the diagnosis and treatment of patients because physicians do not have a tool to identify it. There is no other clinical method available for testing the loss of specific muscle strength and function as reliable, precise, and inexpensive as the AK manual muscle test.

Structural balance is maintained by opposing muscles. If a muscle is weaker than the one opposing it, the opposing muscle becomes tight and your skeletal structures will be out of balance. The weak muscle also causes imbalances in joint function resulting in inflammation and pain. Professional Applied Kinesiologists identify these weaknesses and diagnose the primary factor that is producing your problem thereby allowing your muscles to regain their strength.

When performing a muscle test, the doctor isolates a specific muscle by precise positioning of the patient’s body. The patient contracts the isolated muscle against pressure applied by the doctor. If the patient does not have the ability to resist the increasing pressure, the muscle is termed weak.

Muscle testing guides the most appropriate treatment
Muscle testing guides the most appropriate treatment

This has been demonstrated by neurophysiological studies published in scientific reviewed journals. If physicians are not capable of using these skills, they are missing the fundamental component of musculoskeletal dysfunction.

Application of the appropriate therapy normalizes body function. Included in these therapies are specific joint manipulation or mobilization, myofascial therapies, cranial techniques, meridian therapy, clinical nutrition, dietary management, exercise physiology, stress management and various reflex procedures. This improvement is demonstrated by the return of normal strength to the previously weak muscle.

AK is revolutionary because it allows your doctor to diagnose and treat the primary factor in cases of pain and physical dysfunction, i.e. muscle impairment and weakness. There are now more than 30 books and over 1,000 research papers published about AK since 1964. Several of these can be found in our list of CHC’s Research Publications.

The Basics of Applied Kinesiology

Professional applied kinesiologists use unique evaluation tools:

Muscle testing
Muscle testing

Challenge is a diagnostic procedure unique to AK that is used to determine the body’s ability to cope with external stimuli, which can be physical, chemical, or mental. After an external stimulus is applied, muscle-testing procedures are done to determine a change in the muscle strength as a result of the stimulus. These stimuli can include pressure on skeletal joints, exposure to foods or chemicals, or provocative emotional situations.

Therapy localization is another diagnostic procedure unique to AK that consists of placing the patient’s hand over areas of suspected involvement and observing for a change in the muscle test. This is of great assistance to the doctor in finding areas that are involved with dysfunction.

Nutritional evaluation in AK is done as part of your total examination. Evaluation of nutritional products and foods by using taste to determine how your body reacts to them, as observed by the manual muscle test, is an important addition to providing optimal nutritional support for patients who need it. The muscle test is used to confirm the other findings your doctor will use from laboratory testing, nutritional diaries, blood and saliva testing, and your history. This method of testing takes into account each patient’s biochemical uniqueness in order to find optimal nutritional support.

Factors of health treated at the CHC
Factors of health treated at the CHC

A great deal of new information has been learned about the body’s function by evaluating how nerves and muscles react to physical, chemical, and mental stimuli. AK examination will use your own body as the laboratory of investigation, taking into consideration a wide range of influences and functional disturbances that are producing the health problems that you want corrected.

Characteristics of Our AK Methods

  • Correlates with and enhances standard examination.
  • Diagnoses and treats the primary finding in cases of neuromusculoskeletal dysfunction, i.e. muscle impairment and inhibition.
  • Adds extra patient specific information to the standard history, physical diagnosis, and laboratory tests if indicated.
  • Helps the doctor to understand functional symptomatic complexes when standard diagnosis and laboratory tests show no cause for the symptoms.
  • Examines all sides of the triad of health.
  • Assesses body control by the nervous system.
  • Integrates function of the meridian system (acupuncture) into the examination.
  • Examines function before symptoms are present to prevent or delay the onset of pathologic processes.
  • Interdisciplinary approach – fits the best treatment to the patient’s specific needs.
  • Provides an interactive assessment of an individual’s functional health status that is non-invasive and not equipment intensive but does emphasize the importance of correlating findings with standard diagnostic procedures.