Kinesiology is a system of holistic health care which combines manual muscle-testing with the principles of traditional Chinese medicine.
What can Kinesiology treat?
Kinesiology is not a panacea but a way of assessing and correcting imbalances which may relate to:
- stress such as headaches and migraines, sleep disorders, phobias, anxiety and depression
- irritable bowel syndrome
- learning problems
- injuries including sports injuries
- childhood complaints such as allergies, ear infections, asthma and eczema
Kinesiology has its roots in the early Sixties with American chiropractor Dr George Goodheart. He used muscle testing to evaluate muscle performance and posture and discovered that muscles are monitors of stress and imbalance within the body.
According to kinesiologists, certain muscles are linked by energy to acupuncture meridians which are in turn linked to organs and glands; disease results from blocked or imbalanced energy channels. Goodheart discovered that, through muscle-testing, he could evaluate the energy in the meridians (and therefore the organs) and, through gentle manipulation and massage of points along the meridians, could strengthen muscles. The aim is to bring about balance in the body by releasing energy blocks, eliminating toxins, reducing tensions and enhancing the body’s natural healing ability.
Kinesiology works with the mind, spirit and emotions as well as the body to treat a wide variety of health problems. Practitioners claim it can change attitude, improve co-ordination, sports performance and artistic skills. It is increasingly used for detecting food intolerances and nutritional needs, allergies and additions.
There are about 16 different branches or modalities of Kinesiology. Although universal fundamentals such as muscle testing, stress release and food sensitivity testing will be found in most Kinesiology courses, each branch has its area of focus and has developed its own specialised methods of assessment and correction. Applied Kinesiology (AK), for example, is the parent discipline developed by Goodheart and focuses on the physical aspects of the body and nervous system. Most AK practitioners have a medical background and are trained chiropractors, osteopaths, doctors or dentists. Systematic Kinesiology is a whole system of basic AK offering a foundation in the principles and practice of Kinesiology.
Consultation and treatment
Sessions usually last an hour. Most practitioners will take a detailed history at the first session and ask about details of diet, medical history and working life. The assessment includes muscle testing (ie. placing arms and legs in specific positions and holding as the kinesiologist applies gentle pressure), most of which are performed while you are lying down on a treatment couch and, more rarely, while you are sitting or standing. From these tests, a kinesiologist can ‘read’ the body. A strong muscle may ‘lock’ or resist pressure which is a sign of health; a weak one will feel spongy and give way.
Treatment varies according to what your body says it needs. It could involve nutrition support, dietary changes, tracing meridians or massaging specific points on the body.
The kinesiologist will advise you about further sessions and may give you some self-help techniques that will support your healing process.
Sessions costs between £20 and £50 for the first visit; £15 to £35 for subsequent visits.
Touch for Health is a simplied form of Applied Kinesiology developed in the Seventies by a colleague of Goodheart’s, John Thie. Thie believed that Kinesiology should be shared with the wider population so they could learn to help themselves, their families and friends. Touch for Health is not so much about self-help as about self-responsibility; it does not aim to diagnose or treat symptoms but to ‘balance energy’ in the body. Contact the Kinesiology Federation for a list of practitioners.
How to find a practitioner
There are about 16 schools of Kinesiology – The Kinesiology Federation is an umbrella organisation which covers most of them. Minimum requirements for membership are 150 hours of training and 200 hours of clinical experience within a period of two to three years. The Federation has codes of conduct and ethics and members, who use the initials KFRP after their names, must be insured. At present, the Federation together with other organisations is working closely with the National Occupational Standards, part of a government directive, to create a set of accepted standards for the practice of Kinesiology.
In the hands of a qualified practitioner, kinesiology is harmless and many people of all ages and states of health seem to benefit. However, let your practitioner if you suffer from thrombosis, varicose veins and phlebitis, if you have any recent scars or if you are pregnant. Patients with serious medical conditions should also seek the advice of their GP before commencing treatment.