WHAT IS CLINICAL KINESIOLOGY?
Clinical Kinesiology (CK) is a system of measurement and a tool that allows the patient's subconscious to guide the physician's diagnostic path and the preferred prioritized therapeutic sequence. CK is a non-invasive diagnostic procedure that accesses the biological function of a patient and is a radical departure from the invasive techniques commonly used today.
Dr. Alan G. Beardall, DC developed the most extensive amount of research known today on muscles of the human body. Not only does his work contain detailed information on the proper function of each muscle but it also contains the most specific method of testing each division of each muscle as well as treatment protocols for all the factors contributing to healthy muscles: neurolymphatic reflexes, neurovascular reflexes, visceral organ reflexes, muscle acupuncture point, spinal vertebrae, spinal myomere level, Lovette Brother vertebrae, cranial bone, foot bone, nutrition, as well as a method to determine the emotional component preventing restoration of normal function. Dr. Beardall was a pioneer of biological research in the human body.
Definition of Applied Kinesiology:
Kinesiology in common medical usage is "the study of muscles and muscular movement." However, when coupled with the word applied, a whole new concept is envoked: the use of muscle testing to evaluate body function. That is, by manually testing various muscles, areas of dysfunction can be diagnosed. These areas can then be tested in relationship to therapeutic reflex points and acupuncture points to identify causal factors. Disease begins as an imbalance in the body on an energetic level. Weakness in a muscle is an energetic phenomenon which can be used to identify health problems before symptoms appear.
Historical Development of Applied Kinesiology:
Historically muscle testing was used to evaluate function, range of motion, and strength of muscles, in an attempt to rehabilitate conditions resulting from trauma and wasting diseases. Once muscle function was determined, physical therapy was the preferred treatment. In the field of chiropractic, these concepts were changed in a very innovative way by Dr. George Goodheart, the founder of applied kinesiology. In the early 1960's, Dr. Goodheart proposed a radically different idea for the cause of posture abnormalities. The prevalent view of the time, was that a tight, painful, muscle in spasm, was pulling the bones out of proper alignment. Goodheart said that in actuality, it was the weak muscles opposing the muscles in spasm that allow the tight ones to displace the bones. One way to conceptualize this idea is to visualize a swinging door held in place by two springs that allow it to swing in either direction. If one of the springs becomes weak for some reason, then the opposite spring, even though still of normal strength, will knot up in an attempt to eliminate the extra slack. No matter what is done to the knotted spring, the problem will not be permanently fixed; not until the weak spring is repaired or replaced. The beginnings of applied kinesiology were tied to attempting to correct postural abnormalities resulting from weakness of specific muscles or muscle groups. Thus a person's posture is analyzed, thereby revealing suspected weakness of certain muscles. These muscle weaknesses are then verified by muscle testing, physical therapy is applied and the posture hopefully corrected. The word, hopefully, is indicative of the fact that far too many times the posture does not normalize entirely, or the improved posture lasts only temporarily.
In order to effect relatively permanent corrections, Dr. Goodheart continued his research and found many therapeutic techniques that could affect muscle strength. He eventually identified "five factors" into which these techniques could be grouped. These five factors are the nervous system, the cerebrospinal fluid system, the lymphatic system, the vascular system, and the acupuncture meridian system.
A great deal of research took place in parallel with the developing of applied kinesiology by George Goodheart. An osteopathic physician named Frank Chapman did extensive research on the lymphatic system during the 1930's. Chapman discovered a series of reflex points, on the anterior and posterior aspects of the torso, usually in the intercostal spaces and along the spine, which he correlated with specific glands and organs, as well as specific diseases. Stimulation of these reflexes with a deep, rotary massage increases the lymphatic drainage from the associated organs, thereby promoting a healthier interstitial cellular environment. George Goodheart was able to integrate these concepts into applied kinesiology in 1965 when he correlated specific Chapman neurolymphatic reflexes to specific muscles, noting that a weak muscle could be strengthened by massaging its corresponding reflex. Since these reflexes were already associated with specific organs, Goodheart then developed the relationship of organs to muscles.
Another area of development in the early 1930's was the neurovascular reflexes discovered by Dr. Terence Bennett. These reflexes influence the supply of blood to various organs when they are lightly held. Most of these reflexes are located on the head and on the anterior trunk. Goodheart, in the 1960's, again capitalizing on techniques in other fields, noted that specific neurovascular reflex activation would strengthen specific weak muscles. He performed extensive research using biofeedback and thermocouple instrumentation to identify exact areas on the skin where temperature changes could be measured as a result of holding the Bennett reflexes. As in the case of neurolymphatic reflexes, Goodheart concluded that specific muscles were related to specific organs.
Up to this point, applied kinesiology had been making large strides integrating various western developed techniques within the boundaries of its previously very limiting concepts of posture analysis, muscle testing and physical therapy. Again, in a sweeping expansion of the kinesiological horizons, Goodheart took the over three thousand year old acupuncture meridian/organ relationships and combined them with his researched muscle/organ relationships to produce a correspondence of muscles to meridians. The meridians are a system of channels interconnecting all organs, glands, in fact, all tissues of the body. These channels carry both qi, commonly known as life force or energy, and blood to nourish all body parts both chemically and energetically. This system of pathways, as complex as the venous/arterial system familiar to Western medicine, consists of twelve main channels, associated with the primary organ they energize; twelve divergent channels branching off the main channels to provide nourishment to other tissues; fifteen collateral channels providing connections between pathways; eight extra channels providing an energy storage function to back up the primary meridians; innumerable branches to all areas of the body. Acupuncture points along the main meridians provide a means of testing proper meridian function and of affecting the energy flowing on the channel. Since the twelve main meridians correspond to the ten major organs and two major functions (lung, large intestine, stomach, spleen, heart, small intestine, bladder, kidney, circulation/sex, triple warmer, gall bladder, and liver), the ability to balance the energy on a meridian, by stimulation or sedation of its appropriate points, provides a means of re-establishing the energetic homeostasis of their associated organs.
4-Triad of Health
The next major step in the development of applied kinesiology came as a result of clinical observations that muscles are weakened for many different reasons. The causes of muscle strength change were divided into three major categories. The first category, structural imbalances, can result from such things as skeletal misalignments and uneven muscular development from one's exercise or employment. The second category, chemical imbalances, can be split into nutritional deficiencies, (of vitamins, minerals, hormones, enzymes, etc.), toxic conditions in the body, and allergies to food and environmental conditions. The third category, mental imbalance, can develop from emotional trauma and negative thought patterns. Thus, the concept of the "triad of health" was developed, and depicted as an equilateral triangle with one of the labels, structure, chemical or mental, on each of the sides of the triangle. It very quickly became obvious that any one side of the triad could affect either or both of the other two. For example, a chemical imbalance could affect the proper function of an organ, which in turn could cause a blockage in the associated meridian, which might then weaken a muscle, or create a hypertonic muscle, thereby precipitating a structural or postural alteration resulting in the actual condition of the complaint. The structural problem could be treated using the five factors described above, but this approach would only attack the symptoms, and unless the originating chemical cause was detected and corrected, the structural problem would keep recurring.
Even though applied kinesiology had apparently unified structure, chemical/nutrition, and mental/emotional aspects of health, along with several western and eastern therapeutic methodologies, there still remained several problems to resolve. First, how to determine what to treat as the priority cause, rather than treat all three sides of the triad with all five therapeutic factors each time; second, how to treat problems with no known muscle association. At this point, Goodheart discovered a procedure called therapy localization - probably the major contribution of applied kinesiology to accurate diagnostic procedures. This procedure is to simply touch the body and test a strong muscle. If it weakens, then the area of contact is a problem area. Nearly all pathologies or traumas will exhibit this phenomenon. However, therapy localization will only tell the location of a problem, not what the problem is. This same technique can then be used to determine which of the five therapeutic factors to use for treatment of a given problem. While having the patient therapy localize the problem and using the resulting weak muscle, touch each of the five factors in turn. The ones that strengthen the weak muscle are the involved ones and can be treated.
Problems in Applied Kinesiology:
Applied Kinesiology encompasses hundreds of very effective techniques - all of which achieve extraordinary results when performed at the right time and the right place. The problem is how to determine when any given technique should be used.
Clinical Kinesiology (CK) was born out of the frustration of not knowing what the patient's body wants to have worked on and which technique would be the most appropriate. By developing a dialogue with the body, CK lets the patient's body establish what the primary imbalance is. CK then lets the body reveal the adaptive patterns it developed to compensate for this imbalance, allowing it to accumulate all the related stored information, evaluate it and then display the underlying cause. This CK/body dialogue will then disclose which therapeutic will be most effective in resolving the underlying problem.