History of kinesiology
Muscle testing is the basic tool of kinesiology. Neurology textbooks define muscle testing as “a means of testing the motor function of limbs”. Therefore, simple muscle testing has actually been around for a while, accepted as a valid technique and used extensively in orthopaedic medicine by physiotherapists, chiropractors and osteopaths. Based on these ideas, Dr George Goodheart, an American chiropractor, founded kinesiology in 1964. As interest grew in utilising this technique Dr Goodheart drew together a group of doctors who were also interested in developing this further and the International College of Applied Kinesiology (ICAK) was formed.
Today, kinesiology is regularly utilised by osteopaths, chiropractors and dentists. In many countries kinesiology is seen as part of the healthcare system, meaning doctors suggest to their patients to visit a kinesiologist to support their health and well-being.
How does kinesiology work?
The kinesiologist will ask you to lie on a massage table fully clothed, with the shoes removed. The practitioner will then gently exert very light pressure on your arm (or sometimes a leg muscle) and ask you to respond with equal pressure.
The kinesiologist uses changes in your muscle’s strength to determine the presence of a health imbalance. Each time a relevant factor is introduced the muscle's response changes, similar to a switch.
This happens because the brain perceives the factor as relevant for the body and creates a neurological response that creates a change in the motor function of the tested muscle - for an in depth medical explanation of how this works please see Schmitt and Yanukk, (1999) in the International Journal of Neuroscience. We can use variations of this method to test all kinds of factors, from injuries to emotions.