The topic of Applied Kinesiology has led to some controversy so we should make sure we have a correct definition here. Kinesiology is the term given to the scientific study of human movement, whereas Applied Kinesiology is a section of alternative medicine practiced mainly by chiropractors, but has also included other health professionals such as naturopathic physicians, mainstream doctors, nurses, and physical therapists. This system uses a technique called manual muscle testing or MMT to evaluate various aspects of health, alongside standard medical diagnostic methods. Applied Kinesiology has not been endorsed by all medical associations, specifically the American Cancer Society, and the American College of Allergy and Immunology.
Practitioners of Applied Kinesiology are often described as “muscle doctors”. They will observe the way that the patient walks, runs, sits, and stands and then make a determination on which muscles in the body are not working properly. The whole idea behind this is that all the muscles in the body need to be balanced with each other for full health to be present. The central premise of Applied Kinesiology is that for every organ dysfunction, there will be an accompanying muscle weakness. AK also attempts to explain how certain nutrients or the lack of them can cause disturbances in muscle balance throughout a patient’s body.
Many opponents of AK consider it to be counterfeit medicine and that it distracts from legitimate medical procedures. There has been no continuous research on the practice; even the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine won’t pursue one. Many of the techniques employed by practitioners are based more on the power of illusion and suggestion, as indicated by the questions they ask patients and the resulting response to those questions and to substances they employ. The elements placed on a person are used to indicate a person’s reaction to that substance and how it affects their “aura” or energy field.
In contrast, the area of mainstream chiropractics concerns itself with the structure of the body, specifically the spine. Practitioners of Chiropractic Medicine will usually use spinal manipulation to reduce pain, correct alignment problems, and improve general function. The intent is for the body to heal itself. Many patients with lower back pain seem to receive positive benefits from standard Chiropractic Medicine. Conditions such as migraine headaches and neck pain also respond well. The results for other conditions such as asthma and fibromyalgia in which spinal manipulation was used have been inconclusive. Other techniques that can be utilized by Chiropractors are electrical stimulation, heat and ice, and counseling on lifestyle changes.
Before considering treatment by a healthcare professional who specializes in either Chiropractic or Applied Kinesiology (and some claim to do both), the patient should acquire as much information as possible. Find out about the education of the Chiropractor and where they received their license and certification. Are they up to date on any continuing education they need for their license? Do they have specialized training to treat your condition? Are they authorized to sell or dispense dietary supplements? Will they accept medical insurance? If possible, do a web search and see if you can get as much information as possible about the practitioner and see if they’re mainstream or if they also endorse Applied Kinesiology.