Applied kinesiology (AK) is a diagnostic method used in chiropractic and alternative medicine. Also known as manual muscle testing, AK uses muscle strength to assess several aspects of health.
Applied kinesiology views health as a triad – with structural, chemical, and emotional aspects. Each factor represents one side of an equilateral triangle in your “triad of health.”
These factors, or “sides,” all influence one another. When one side becomes imbalanced, the others will react and try to compensate. This can lead to further imbalances, steering you farther away from health – and closer to disease.
Is Applied Kinesiology the Same as Kinesiology?
No, although aspects of kinesiology are woven into AK. Kinesiology is the study of human movement. Applied kinesiology is a tool used by health professionals to assess health and customize treatment.
What is Applied Kinesiology?
Applied kinesiology (AK) was developed in 1964, by Dr. George Goodheart, a Michigan chiropractor and pioneer in his field.
Dr. Goodheart discovered that each muscle group in the body is related to a specific organ system. This led him to explore the link between muscle function and health and well-being.
He found that muscle weakness or strength could reveal specific imbalances in the body. By making that muscle strong again, it may improve the function of the related organ system as well.
Drawing inspiration from traditional Chinese medicine, he later integrated the concept of the energy meridians into his work.
How Does Muscle Testing Work?
The core principle behind muscle testing is that your body talks. Your body wants to be well and is constantly communicating with you, trying to bring you back into balance.
Unfortunately, we don’t always understand our body’s language. That’s where applied kinesiology comes in. Muscle testing allows you to tap into your body’s wisdom.
It’s a noninvasive way to quickly and accurately assess your health needs, instead of guessing based on symptoms.
That said, it isn’t meant to be a standalone assessment tool. It’s meant to be used in conjunction with other diagnostic data – such as physical exams, health histories, lab testing, and X-rays.
What sets applied kinesiology apart from other diagnostic tools is that it often finds imbalances before full-blown disease sets in. This can help you address concerns in earlier stages to prevent bigger problems down the road.
How Muscle Testing is Used
Applied kinesiology practitioners exert gentle pressure on specific muscles, one at a time. Patients are asked to hold or resist pressure in a specific direction.
Muscles that “lock” against pressure are considered “strong.” Muscles that “unlock,” or have trouble resisting pressure, are considered “weak.”
That said, muscle testing is not meant to assess muscle strength. It’s meant to assess the nervous system’s control over that muscle.
Muscle testing offers clues about how various systems in your body are working, including:
- Lymphatic system
- Nervous system
- Muscle and bone strength
If a muscle tests strong, it suggests that the related organ is functioning optimally. Any muscles that test weak may indicate a problem in that related organ or gland.
Muscle testing can also help practitioners identify what’s needed to feel better and come back into balance.
Benefits of Applied Kinesiology
The following are a few ways applied kinesiology can help assess and improve your health.
Muscle testing can make chiropractic adjustments more effective. Testing individual muscles helps identify which ones are functioning properly and which are not.
That way, your chiropractor knows the best way to address the subluxation. Muscle testing can even be used to confirm whether a misalignment was corrected. Applied kinesiology can also be used to assess gait, range of motion, and posture.
Muscle testing can help identify any irritants that may be harming the body. This includes bacteria, viruses, parasites, yeast, and heavy metals. Lab testing clearly does this too. But muscle testing is less invasive and expensive – and can be done quickly.
Muscle testing can be used to figure out which supplements work best for your body. If you test strong for a specific supplement, that’s a sign it’ll be a good fit. This prevents you from wasting money on unnecessary or unhelpful supplements.
Muscle testing can even be used to find the perfect dosage for you. While the standard dosage might work for some, it won’t for everyone.
For example, say you’re treating a parasitic infection with an herbal formula, but have poor liver function. The standard dosage may be too much for your body and overload your eliminatory organs. Muscle testing can prevent this, assuring you get the right dose for you.
Pinpoint food sensitivities
Muscle testing can help identify any foods that may be problematic for your body. Some practitioners do this by placing the food under your tongue. Others have you hold it in your hand or place a small vial of it on your body.
If your muscle tests weak for a specific food, it’s a sign it may causing you issues. This can be a less expensive and time-consuming way to pinpoint food sensitivities, compared to lab testing or elimination diets.
Identify nutritional deficiencies
Muscle testing can also be used to uncover underlying nutritional deficiencies. If you test strongly for a specific nutrient, it may suggest you’re running low on that nutrient. This can help you correct deficiencies before they get out of hand.
When someone is having symptoms, often more than one imbalance is at play. And knowing which to address first can be tricky. Applied kinesiology taps into your body’s wisdom to find which imbalance is the top priority. That way treatment can be as gentle, effective, and efficient as possible.
What Practitioners Use Applied Kinesiology?
Chiropractors make up the majority of applied kinesiology practitioners. In fact, roughly 40% of chiropractors use applied kinesiology in their practice.
Other practitioners who may receive training in applied kinesiology include naturopaths, osteopathic doctors, nutritionists, dentists, and physical therapists. You can find a practitioner trained in applied kinesiology here.
Improve Your Health with Applied Kinesiology in Orland Park, IL
So if you live in the greater Chicago area and are ready to discover how muscle testing can enhance your health, follow these steps:
- Contact us with questions.
- Book your first applied kinesiology appointment here.
- Discover how muscle testing can improve your health and well-being.
Other Holistic Health Services Offered in Orland Park, IL
At Anchored in Health, applied kinesiology isn’t all we do. We offer a variety of holistic services to help you achieve optimal health. This includes functional medicine, genetic testing, acupuncture, thermography, massage therapy, and the Shape ReClaimed program. If you live in the Chicago area, contact us to find out how we can help you live your healthiest life.