The word kinesiology conventionally refers to the study of the movement of muscles, which is more accurately referred to as structural kinesiology. We are concerned here with a different type of kinesiology, sometimes called applied kinesiology or specialized kinesiology, which refers to muscle response testing, or muscle testing, for short.
Muscle testing, in some form, has likely existed in various cultures for a long time, however, in the United States it was established in the 1960s by a chiropractor named George Goodheart. Dr. Goodheart, as a chiropractor and a practitioner of Chinese Medicine, studied the subtle energy systems of the body as well as the physical systems. In combining his knowledge of these systems, Dr. Goodheart discovered the interrelationship among the energy meridians, the particular organs those meridians feed into, and the specific muscles that are governed by the meridians. Dr. Goodheart, along with his colleague Dr. John Thie, also a chiropractor, developed a system called Touch For Health (TFH) that forms the foundation for an entire family of kinesiology applications.
Applied kinesiology is a system that uses muscle testing to monitor the flow of energy in the body. Muscle testing produces two important responses—an observable visual response and a felt kinesthetic response. These twin indicators are produced simultaneously through muscle testing and allow for detailed observation of the body’s energy systems. This is possible because, in order for a muscle to fire, there is involved an entire bio-chemical-electrical-energetic process. In muscle testing, we are concerned with the energy aspect of this process.
Muscle testing is accomplished by positioning the body to isolate a particular muscle. The kinesiologist–a person trained to manually monitor the quality of the muscle response– then tests the muscle manually by applying about two pounds of pressure for about two seconds. A muscle that tests weak indicates a blockage or constriction of energy flow.
Muscle testing produces a binary code—a muscle feels either strong or weak—and this code can be used as a biofeedback indicator to gain information about any part of the body and other levels as well. Muscle testing responds to verbal “questions.” Thus, muscle testing can be used to access information from a variety of levels—physical, emotional, mental and spiritual because energy blockages may be present on any or all of these levels. The energy constriction is unblocked by a process called a balance.
A kinesiology balance can consist of a wide variety of energy centered techniques designed to assist people in moving forward on a multiple of levels. Depending upon the kinesiologist, physical contact during a kinesiology session ranges from no touch, to light touch pressure, to firm massaging. Kinesiology balancing may also involve movement activities and/or vibrational technologies, such as visualization, affirmation, meditation, flower remedies, color, sound and essential oils.
Because of its effectiveness as an assessment method, today kinesiology enjoys applications in medicine, chiropractic, dentistry, psychotherapy, energy medicine, veterinary medicine, athletics, business, education, and the performing arts. It is also used as a self-help aid, for example, for assessing nutritional or herbal remedies.
Kinesiology is most often used by health professionals and educators to help clients improve their quality of life. Kinesiology can enhance learning and performance skills, correct allergies and electromagnetic distress, eliminate physical dysfunction due to energy blockages, facilitate emotional balance, and transform limiting belief systems that are outside of conscious awareness. Clients often enjoy more freedom and peace of mind. As can be seen, kinesiology has a vast array of applications and can be an important facilitator of optimal health and vitality.