Westerly Natural Market offers a huge selection of nutritional supplements, organic produce, all natural groceries, environmentally friendly body care products
Table of Contents > Alternative Modalities > Body talking Print

Body talking

Image

Related terms
Background
Theory/evidence
Safety
Author information
Bibliography
Technique

Related Terms
  • AK, applied kinesiology, behavioral kinesiology, contact reflex analysis, dental kinesiology, muscle testing.

Background
  • Body talking, another name for applied kinesiology (AK), is a technique that uses muscle testing with the aim to diagnose nutritional deficiencies and health problems. It is based on the concept that weakness in certain muscles corresponds to specific disease states or body imbalances. Body talking practitioners may diagnose organ dysfunction, energy blockage, or allergies (including those to foods and drugs).
  • Muscle testing is when a practitioner touches certain key points of the body to subjectively test if a certain muscle is weak or strong.
  • AK was developed in the 1960s by George Goodheart Jr., a chiropractor who asserted that postural distortions may be associated with weak muscles. He suggested that with his assessment technique, interventions could be identified and tested based on their ability to make muscles stronger and change postural distortions. Currently, chiropractors, naturopaths, medical doctors, dentists, nutritionists, physical therapists, massage therapists, nurse practitioners, or other qualified health providers may practice AK. The International College of Applied Kinesiology (ICAK), founded in the 1970s, has established standards of practice for this form of assessment.

Theory / Evidence
  • Applied kinesiologists theorize that physical, chemical, and mental imbalances are associated with secondary muscle dysfunction - specifically a muscle inhibition. Muscle inhibition is when a muscle is blocked or suppressed.
  • AK practitioners may evaluate the health status of patients according to three health factors: chemical, mental, and structural. It is proposed that ill health may result from an imbalance in these factors. Joint manipulation or mobilization, myofascial therapies, cranial techniques, meridian therapy, clinical nutrition, dietary management, or reflex procedures may follow the practice of AK. Environmental or food sensitivities may be evaluated by muscle testing.
  • Although scientific study of applied kinesiology is limited, there is a growing body of research to suggest that applied kinesiology is not effective for the diagnosis of medical conditions. Some research suggests that it may not be possible to diagnose underlying diseases based on muscle responses. Other reports note that the diagnoses made by AK practitioners are not consistent, and do not accurately reflect the nutritional status of patients. Because nearly all AK tests are subjective, many regard the practice with skepticism.

Safety




Author information
  • This information has been edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).

Bibliography
  1. Friedman MH, Weisberg J. Applied kinesiology - double-blind pilot study. J Prosthet Dent 1981;45(3):321-3.
  2. Garrow JS. Kinesiology and food allergy. Br Med J 1988; 296(6636):1573-1574.
  3. Grossi JA. Effects of an applied kinesiology technique on quadriceps femoris muscle isometric strength. Phys Ther 1981;61(7):1011-6.
  4. Haas M, Peterson D, Hoyer D, Ross G. Muscle testing response to provocative vertebral challenge and spinal manipulation: a randomized controlled trial of construct validity. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1994; 17(3):141-148.
  5. Jacobs GE, Franks TL, Gilman PG. Diagnosis of thyroid dysfunction: applied kinesiology compared to clinical observations and laboratory tests. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1984;7(2):99-104.
  6. Kenney JJ, Clemens R, Forsythe KD. Applied kinesiology unreliable for assessing nutrient status. J Am Diet Assoc 1988;88(6):698-704.
  7. Klinkoski B, Leboeuf C. A review of the research papers published by the International College of Applied Kinesiology from 1981 to 1987. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1990;13(4):190-4.
  8. Lawson A, Calderon L. Interexaminer agreement for applied kinesiology manual muscle testing. Percept Mot Skills 1997 Apr;84(2):539-46.
  9. Ludtke R, Kunz B, Seeber N, Ring J. Test-retest reliability and validity of the Kinesiology muscle test. Complement Ther Med 2001; 9(3):141-145.
  10. Ludtke R, Seeber N, Kunz B, et al. Health kinesiology is neither reliable nor valid. Focus Alt Compl Ther 2000;5:95.
  11. Triano JJ. Muscle strength testing as a diagnostic screen for supplemental nutrition therapy: a blind study. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1982; 5(4):179-182.

Technique
  • Body talking tests muscles as a diagnostic method. Commonly, patients lie down and raise their dominant arm.
  • The arm-pull-down test is considered by the International College of Applied Kinesiology (ICAK) to be a very poor form of muscle testing. The arm-pull-down test involves many different muscles making it difficult to distinguish the muscle with the problem. Through evaluation of the function of specific muscles pre- and post-treatment throughout a patient's body, therapeutic effectiveness for particular problems may be assessed.
  • Applying the proper therapy results in improvement in the inhibited muscle. Scientific, repeatable and accurate muscle testing requires the specific isolation of a muscle before it is tested. Next, the AK practitioner instructs the patient to resist as the tester places downward force on the subject's arm. The tester subjectively evaluates the force exerted by the subject to determine the strength of the muscle. This is supposed to give a baseline for further testing.
  • The AK practitioner performing the test applies pressure opposite the patient, but this practitioner is also the one who decides whether one push is stronger than another.
  • Much of the subjectivity in manual medicine has been overcome by the use of manual muscle testing as a diagnostic indicator.

Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)


The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

Search Site
Follow WesterlyMarket on Twitter