Applied kinesiology is a system of diagnosis that utilizes the manual muscle testing response as a reflection of the status of the anterior horn motor neuron pool of the muscle being tested (i.e. the pool of nerve cells in the spinal cord that respond when the muscle contracts). The fundamental objective of this new system of diagnosis is the evaluation and correction of nervous system irritation through the application of “natural therapies” designed to remove noxious irritants and restore normal neurological expression, thereby aiding in the promotion of health and the prevention of disease.
Applied kinesiology finds its roots in observations made in 1964 by Dr. George J. Goodheart, Jr, a chiropractic physician, then practicing in Detroit, Michigan. Goodheart’s observations regarding muscle balance, muscle strength and muscle weakness refuted the then held theory that muscle spasm was the primary cause of back pain. According to Goodheart, the primary cause of back pain is muscle weakness. Muscle weakness (as observed by manual testing) was soon to be understood as an inhibition of motor neurons located in the spinal cord’s anterior horn motor neuron pool.
Weakness (inhibition) of any muscle, Goodheart observes, causes the contralateral, antagonistic or opposing muscles to contract, thereby causing pain. When a muscle contracts without the normal antagonistic response, it isn’t the tight or contracted muscle that needs help, it is the weak (inhibited) muscle that needs to be strengthened (facilitated), thereby restoring muscle balance and relieving secondary muscle spasm. A real case of primary muscle spasm is, in reality, seldom seen. It is, rather, a secondary condition.
Applied kinesiology allows the doctor to diagnose, through the use of the manual muscle testing response, the need for the application of a variety of sensory receptor based therapies that, when appropriately applied, result in improved neurological function. This “new system of diagnosis” confirms that when the need is diagnosed and appropriate therapy is supplied, the results are often remarkable.
If we want to get more complicated, it is a neurological test for evaluating the body’s electromagnetic potentials. When we do Kinesiology, we are working with the nervous system, which is an electrical system and has positive and negative flows. It creates an electromagnetic field around it (very measurable) and it can be shorted out just like our electrical systems in our homes. The Chinese systems of flow of electrical energy are called meridians. In Kinesiology, we make great use of the meridian flow pathways in the body. The eastern medical practitioners have paved the way for us by literally mapping out electrical highways in the body. If electrical energy is not flowing properly to an organ or muscle or joint we can detect this imbalance through testing the nervous system. This system of diagnosis may sound simplistic but it is very profound and valuable.