by Dr. Steve Perman
Applied Kinesiology (“AK”) is a comprehensive system of diagnosis and treatment originally developed in 1965 by Dr. George Goodheart. For more than three decades, some of the brightest and most innovative minds in the chiropractic profession have studied, practiced, augmented and refined AK so that it now is considered to be at the very cutting edge of natural, holistic health care.
Going beyond the basic concept of traditional chiropractic- spinal misalignment causing pressure and interference on the spinal cord and spinal nerves- AK addresses all of the components of the spinal lesion. These include the spinal nerve itself, a vascular (circulatory) component, a lymphatic (toxic drainage) component, a cerebrospinal fluid (dural) component, the acupuncture channel (bio-energetic) component and nutritional considerations. AK practitioners respect the complexity and variability in the human body when it is in a state of dis-ease or less-than-optimal health.
One of the primary diagnostic tools used in AK is manual muscle testing which can provide an incredible amount of information about the inner workings of the body. While physicians and therapists in many disciplines evaluate muscle strength as part of their orthopedic and neurological examination, an applied kinesiologist also uses the muscle strength (or lack of strength) as a potential indicator of deeper problems, including organic illness. Based on the concept that muscles and organs have shared “wiring” through the nervous system going back to embryonic development, AK has mapped out an elaborate and accurate system of muscle-organ relationships. Though someone may have a weak muscle without an organic problem, once an organ or organ system is under stress or diseased, there will be a corresponding pattern of muscle weakness that accompanies it.
Muscle testing is also used in AK for diagnosis/analysis through a technique called “therapy localization”. Simply put, if a muscle is tested and found to be strong and then the subject touches an area on their body that is not functioning normally, there will be a noticeable weakness in the muscle that was strong just moments ago. There are a number of theories being researched as to how this phenomenon occurs, but for the sake of this discussion, suffice to say that the body has its own “priorities” and when we localize on a “sick” area, the body’s “attention” shifts to the problem and results in the change in muscle strength.
The uses of this system of muscle testing are far-reaching. All of the components mentioned above can be evaluated including the direction of spinal subluxation, acupuncture points and channels and the need for nutritional supplementation. You can easily appreciate how useful this non-invasive analysis can be in the hands of a skilled practitioner!
AK also has its own methods of making spinal adjustments and cranial/TMJ adjustments, as well as treating conditions such as hiatal hernia, ileo-cecal valve syndrome, menstrual irregularities, allergies, learning disabilities, hypoglycemia, and migraine headaches to name just a few.
AK is taught as part of the curriculum in many accredited chiropractic colleges, though postgraduate certification is very rigorous and requires hundreds of hours of study followed by board examinations, as well as publishing requirements.