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Applied Kinesiology: Synopsis

The purpose of this text is to provide an overview and working knowledge of applied kinesiology procedures, as well as to present new material not previously written in textbook form. The goal is to provide the applied kinesiology initiate with a thorough and workable introduction to the subject; for the advanced applied kinesiologist, there is reference material and the presentation of some of the newer procedures. Much of the text provided a true synopsis of applied kinesiology techniques, while in some areas a more in-depth look is presented.

Applied Kinesiology: Synopsis

The origin of contemporary applied kinesiology is traced to 1964 when George J. Goodheart, Jr., D.C., first observed that in the absence of congenital or pathologic anomaly, postural distortion is often associated with muscles that fail to meet the demands of testing designed to maximally and specifically isolate and evaluate them. Thus, muscle testing became an integral part of the evaluation procedure and manipulation of these areas of apparent muscle dysfunction improved both postural balance and the outcome of manual muscle tests.1

The use of applied kinesiology to help detect and correct hidden subluxations is a tool that we should all have in our technical toolbox. As usual, I have only scratched the surface in explaining this technique. If you would like to learn more about applied kinesiology, please go to If you have any questions or comments, please contact me at Until next time . . . adjust with confidence!

MMT is a standard component of the neuromusculoskeletal physical examination [22]. We agree with the authors that MMT is useful in the assessment of weakness of muscles directly involved with pain, injury, and neuromusculoskeletal disorders. However, extrapolation of MMT properties to unique AK applications is risky for several reasons. MMT reliability/validity for specific neuromusculoskeletal conditions may not be generalizable to other applications such as identification of organic disorders. MMT may be reliable/accurate for muscle strength assessment in isolation, but not when used in conjunction with a spinal challenge (force applied to a vertebral articulation) or other provocative test used for specific AK diagnosis. The authors also confuse two uses of the term validity: test accuracy and diagnostic validity. A test may be extremely accurate, let us say for example dynamometric evaluation of muscle force in newtons, but still have no sensitivity or specificity for the diagnosis of a specific condition [5, 6]. Cuthbert and Goodheart conflated evidence for AK with evidence of the reliability/validity of standard orthopedic MMT. The reliability and accuracy of MMT does not establish the usefulness of MMT for its unique AK applications.

Editor's note: This is the second in a series of three articles on applied kinesiology (three different authors); Dr. Richard Belli's "Applied Kinesiology and the Motor Neuron" appeared in the April 21 issue.

MMT has allowed us to discover the dramatic functional relationships that exist between the cranium and every other articulation and tissue in the body. Furthermore, patients are not treated in a "touchy feely" fashion in which the patient's skull is cradled for an indeterminate time, until the cradler perceives warmth or a yielding or softening sensation. Assurance, specificity and repeatability may be introduced into your work with the cranial mechanism. There are many other physical signs and tests (besides MMT) that also reveal cranial dysfunction; these have been written about extensively in the applied kinesiology (AK), sacro-occipital technique (SOT) and osteopathic literature. Returning the dura to a physiological range of tension by using specifically applied cranial corrections is a major goal of AK evaluation and treatment, which seeks to achieve zero defects inside and outside the cranium.

Clients are asked to hold a position against a therapist's resistance while stabilizing the proximal part of the area being tested to reduce compensatory action by muscles other than those being tested. Resistance needs to be applied gradually ("hold" or "don't let me move you") in the opposite direction of muscle being tested and both sides should be tested to provide a comparison. Consistent and accurate test positions, accurate joint placement, and avoiding the use of use of compensatory muscles results in an increased reliability in using MMT as an evaluation tool.

The subjective judgment in the amount of resistance applied during the test is directly proportionate to the validity of a muscle test. This, as well as improper testing procedure, inter-examiner bias and agendas, and neurological disorganization can all have an effect on achieving accurate responses and can call the efficacy of the test into question.

In addition to standard orthopedic and neurologic assessments, applied kinesiology (AK) practitioners use MMT to identify what are believed to be immediate neurological responses to a variety of challenges and treatments. Tests of maximum force are actually less relevant to this use. It is also at this point that muscle testing can depart from the traditional, and enter into the realm of the energetic. A variety of "challenges" can mean anything from food to a supplement to a thought, feeling or an emotion, or what type of modality or treatment is needed. It is also at this point where those testing often have the least amount of training.

Manual biofeedback combines manual muscle testing with the basic physiological biofeedback model for a useful clinical therapy that can help improve poor muscle function due to brain, spinal cord and local muscle injury. It can expand the scope of most muscle testing-based techniques and be applied to a wide range of patients, including those with common aches and pains to those with more serious physical ailments, including special-needs children and disabled adults. In addition, manual biofeedback is especially useful as a preventive tool to help avoid neuromuscular imbalances that can potentially increase morbidity and mortality, and reduced quality of life.

A year later on April 28, 1993 the Occupational TherapyDepartment and two other departments were asked to present theirproposals and elaborate their visions of computer use at San JoseState University. A synopsis of the proposal follows. 041b061a72

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