What is Applied Kinesiology?

Applied Kinesiology is a complex system of evaluating body function that is unique in the healing arts and was developed to assist physicians in the treatment of their patients. It was discovered by chiropractors, Dr. George Goodheart specifically in 1964; however, many professions, including dentists, medical doctors, psychologists, osteopaths and naturopaths, to name a few, have also been trained and utilize applied kinesiology in their practices.

From the textbook:  Applied Kinesiology: Volume I: Basic Procedures and Muscle Testing, of the two volume set, I quote the following:


Applied Kinesiology Two Volume Set by Dr. David S. Walther

“The combined terms “applied” and “kinesiology” describe the basis of this system, which is the use of manual muscle testing to evaluate body function through the dynamics of the musculoskeletal system. “Kinesiology” comes from the Greek word “kinesis”, meaning motion, and “ology” meaning the study of a science or branch of learning. Kinesiology, then, means the study of the principles of mechanics in anatomy in relation to human movement. The term “applied” puts into perspective this utilization of kinesiology. According to Webster, the first definition of “applied” is: “Put to practical use: engage in for utilitarian or contributory purpose; concerned with concrete problems or data rather than with functional principles”. This certainly describes the use of kinesiology in the practical application known as applied kinesiology.”

Applied Kinesiology, has in its almost sixty years of existence, been both a blessing and a curse to the chiropractic profession. To those of us who have trained in its principles and systems, and to whom that exposure has made sense, it has definitely been a blessing. However to others in the profession, perhaps even equally exposed to it, it has become a hindrance or stumbling block…a real enigma to me. While I can certainly understand the aversion of those educated primarily in chemistry as their primary method of influencing disease; I am actually astounded the many chiropractors who become so vehemently opposed to Applied Kinesiology and its principles. I have found it to be an invaluable aid in my practice over the past twenty-seven years, I truly find it to be “fun” and it makes the process of “investigating” various health problems challenging…problems that many, many chiropractors would often send out to some other practitioner for treatment.

Chiropractic is primarily a structurally based system but that system does not exist in a vacuum…muscles, tendons, ligaments and organs all contribute to the integrity of the spine and the nervous system; hence, to ignore all the supporting and complimentary systems is, in my opinion, doing half a job.

By Way of Example, Applied Kinesiology teaches me that the vertebrae in the cervical spine, after a whiplash injury, may be subluxated (misaligned) not only as a direct result of the forces encountered in the motor vehicle accident but also may benfhgfh influenced by a lack of ligament integrity. And ligament laxity may be impacted by the influence of the stress factors related to the accident; hence, I would evaluate whether or not I had to nutritionally support the adrenal glands or the ligamentous structures themselves, as well as adjust the vertebrae of the spine, in order to assist my patient in recovering more rapidly. In addition, should I recognize through my applied kinesiological testing that the patient is suffering from ligamentous laxity, it would caution me to utilize a less forceful approach to treatment at the beginning, thereby reducing the possibility that I would contribute to the individual’s “sprain/strain”.

Applied Kinesiology can be very complicated and, at times, a bit esoteric; hence, the reason I suspect it has many detractors, but to me, and the numerous chiropractors who utilized it in their practices every day, it often provides a “light at the end of the tunnel” when it comes to the more difficult cases. There is no doubt in my mind that through the years unscrupulous practitioners have managed to utilize the more flamboyant aspects of manual muscle testing for their own selfish purposes and to promote their own agenda. My retort to that is: the proof is in the pudding.

I do not understand how an airplane flies but if the aeronautical engineer says it will fly, if he can get it safely up into the air and safely back down, then I’m on board.

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