What is Kinesiology Therapy?
So Alice, what is kinesiology therapy? This is the number one question that people ask me…..after this one – Can you help me? My answer to this one – I sure can!
Kinesiology is a lesser-known therapy than some, and it seems so mysterious! I remember when I first started seeing a kinesiologist. I wanted to know what these people were doing to my child, and it fascinated me about how and why it worked. After you read this blog, you should know the answers to the following questions:
- What is kinesiology therapy
- How does kinesiology work
- What is kinesiology used for
- What is kinesiology good for
- What to expect in a kinesiology session
- Does kinesiology work
What is Kinesiology therapy?
Kinesiology is a therapy using muscle monitoring (biofeedback) to check imbalances in the body. It is a natural health care system, which uses gentle muscle testing. This tests function in the structural, chemical, neurological and biochemical systems.
In the 1930’s kinesiological muscle monitoring was used as a tool to study human movement in depth. It evaluated the normal range of movement and restricted movement due to injury or disease.
George Goodheart is a famous chiropractor. He developed kinesiology as a therapeutic tool in the early 1960’s. He also discovered the relationship between Chinese meridians and muscle groups, organs and glands in the body. You will often see today chiropractors using this tool as an add-on to chiropractic work. This form of kinesiology is known as applied kinesiology.
As a standalone therapy, kinesiology stems from chiropractics and applied kinesiology. It is also based on the ancient Chinese acupuncture theory of qi energy. Pure kinesiology seeks to understand human movement. We use it to interpret problems and come up with treatments for those problems.
Holistic kinesiologists such as myself use this tool to find out what is going on in the body. We then use our training in TCM theory to interpret the root cause of these patterns.
Your internal world dictates your external world
The idea with kinesiology is any imbalance of physique, chemistry, nutrition or emotion can affect your health and well-being. How these stress patterns show up in your body is relative to what you want to work on.
This is why we ask so many questions and test all the different body systems. We then map together all these apparently unrelated individual symptoms. We uncover the root cause of your concern from a Chinese perspective.
How does kinesiology work
Kinesiology uses simple muscle testing procedures to find stress and imbalance. It uses meridian massage, touch, nutrition and counselling to balance the body holistically. Muscle monitoring asks the body for feedback on its current state.
Muscle testing is standard in neurologic tests performed by chiropractors and medical doctors. Muscle testing and reflex responses are the way neurologists assess neurologic motor function. Physiotherapists will check reflexes in the same way if they suspect nerve impingement.
Kinesiology testing does not diagnose disease. Muscle testing enables analysis, which detects minor functional imbalances. Minor imbalances will accumulate and cause compensation patterns. This leads to physical issues throughout the body.
Helping the body to restore balance, is done with the fingertips at appropriate pressure points. This is also known as acupressure. This is the most often needed correction in the body. Acupressure is like acupuncture, without the needles. We also combine the psychology of the acupoint with the physical work. This helps you to understand why your body is developing compensation patterns. This in turn gives you insight and the ability to make changes to support your health and well-being.
Imagine acupuncture points or pressure points like gates. The idea is that the gate should open and close at the right times. If the gate is jammed shut, then the qi gets stuck and causes pain and stagnation. If the gate is jammed open, then the qi flows too fast through the body and can create issues with energy.
We have many other therapy tools that we use. These are all designed to help and support your body’s own innate natural healing resources. We all have this resource – look at your skin. If you cut yourself, it starts to heal the skin almost immediately. Sometimes what you need is someone to show you how to tap into this resource. This is what we kinesiologists are for!
What is kinesiology used for
Kinesiology can detect imbalances in the body’s systems in four key areas:
- Chemical nutrition, hormones, pH, good health begins in the gut
- Structural bones, muscles, tissues
- Emotional fears, phobias, trauma, stress
- Electrical hydrations, energy levels and energetic fields
Kinesiology can identify and treat:
- nervous system problems,
- nutritional deficiencies or excesses,
- imbalances in the body’s energy pathways (known in TCM as meridians)
- and many other health concerns.
Applications of kinesiology to human health include:
- biomechanics and orthopaedics,
- strength and conditioning,
- sport psychology,
- sport and exercise.
Sports kinesiology works in areas of health and fitness for all levels of athletes. It is more often found with training of elite athletes.
Kinesiology is especially useful in areas where you feel stuck, stagnant, blocked or otherwise held back in life. I see people in performing arts careers, creative professionals, and many other walks of life who need help getting past these blocks in life.
Kinesiology is also an excellent choice when you find that you are not getting answers.
A lot of my clients come to me saying:
- they’re told there’s nothing wrong with them,
- nothing shows up in medical testing,
- or they are not getting answers.
Kinesiology can give you the answers that you are looking for
What is kinesiology good for
Kinesiology can have a significant impact on a range of health and well-being issues. It can:
- Enhance learning
- Boost sports performance
- Cut emotional, physical and mental stress
- Pinpoint and end allergic reactions
- Help overcome past trauma
- Identify nutritional deficiency or excess
- Aid the healing of muscle injuries
Kinesiology can help:
- Anxiety, fears and phobias
- Allergies, food sensitivities (note it is not a diagnostic tool)
- Arthritis, joint pain
- Back pain and slipped disc
- Behavioural difficulties
- Breast pains
- Bloating, gas
- Candida, thrush
- Chronic fatigue
- Coordination and balance proble
- Constipation and diarrhoea
- Developmental delay
- Digestive problems
- Eczema, skin rashes, and skin conditions
- Elbow pain
- Infections, immune problems
- Frozen shoulder, neck pain
- Heavy or restless legs
- Headaches and migraines
- Insomnia, poor sleeping patterns
- Learning difficulties
- Low energy levels
- Menstrual and hormonal problems
- Repetitive strain injury
- Sinus problems
- Tennis elbow
What to expect in a kinesiology session
All kinesiologists work a little bit differently. Training, knowledge, their own personal preferences, just like anyone! What will happen first is that you will complete a questionnaire and health history. Each consultation will be a bit different, as we will individually tailor our therapy to why you came to see us.
This is how an initial consultation generally runs:
Kinesiologists are renowned for asking a wide range of weird and wonderful questions. We’ll ask everything from family history, to childhood health, to what is your current concern, to questions about sleep and even poo! Yes, poo is a favourite topic of ours. All these things give us clues about what is going on in your body, and the root cause of why you came to see us!
We’ll do some counselling with you. We work through the psychological aspects and drivers affecting your health and wellbeing. This is part of what we call “Activating”. This is bringing things to the surface, or stirring things up. Important to the process, it helps the body to understand and take part in its own healing.
Then, we will ask you to lie down on our massage bed and be comfortable. We will ask you to raise your arm or your leg in certain ways. We then apply gentle pressure to your muscles to see how they respond. This is always in relation to what you are seeking help with.
We will also test your muscles against certain pressure points based on TCM. This is relative to emotional stresses, and any other challenges that came up out of your initial counselling and intake.
We draw from our toolkit, which may include:
- nutritional and biochemical training,
- meridian massage,
- and more to find out from the body what is causing it stress.
We will then draw from this toolkit to find out what is going to help the body best at that time, and apply that “correction” or “Balance”. Many times, it is acupressure that is most effective at the time. This involves holding pressure points on your body to regulate the flow of qi energy throughout your body, much like acupuncture does. Acupressure combines the physical application of pressure with Chinese theory of the point. It’s amazing how accurate this is!
We will give you “homework” between sessions, which is to reinforce what we have worked on in that session. Often this is things like meditation, general walking, mindfulness and yoga. Sometimes it will be something specific to what you came to see us for. For a recent client, I challenged them to show their artworks to others.
Some of us that have further qualifications. We may recommend supplements, essences, essential oils and homeopathy as required. These all are fantastic in supporting you to achieve your health and well-being goals.
To recap, each consultation for each client will be different. This is a therapy that is customised to suit your individual health and well-being needs. It isn’t a one size fits all approach. We listen to your concerns, observe you, look for the root cause, and help you to resolve what is going on for you.
Does Kinesiology Work?
There are always people who say that kinesiology is pseudoscience, quackery, voodoo and, my favourite, “woo”. What you can generally guarantee with these people is at least one of the following:
- they may have had a bad experience with a natural therapist. You need to find the right fit for you, like any other professional)
- they have done no research into what they are claiming
- they need to come and see a kinesiologist to work through their emotional reactions!
Like any therapy, you do need to find the right answer to your individual needs. You need to be comfortable with your therapist. You need to commit and not expect miracles overnight. You don’t need to believe in Chinese Medicine and muscle testing. It will work anyway regardless of your belief system.
You do need to walk through the door! That’s the first step. Do this and you will find that kinesiology is effective at helping you to resolve your concerns. You will find out what is holding you back and understand what your body is trying to tell you. Wouldn’t you like to know what you can do to help your body to achieve optimal health and well-being?
A good kinesiologist will be more than happy to work with any other professional that you may be seeing. Kinesiology will only serve to enhance what you are working on with them. It will not interfere with what you are doing. You are encouraged to speak to other health professionals about what you are doing. We seek to work integratively with any health professional you choose to see. It’s your health and well-being, and we aim to empower you to take charge of you!
For things to BE different, you need to DO different.
For people like me who are into reading and doing their own research, read on. Here’s a few links to published research papers – these highlight the effectiveness of kinesiology and Chinese medicine. There’s many more freely available.
Kinesiology as effective as a manual blood pressure machine
Complementary therapies for children with ADHD
Acupuncture for Tourette Syndrome: A systematic review