Applied Kinesiology

An Interdisciplinary Approach to Health Care

Professional Applied Kinesiology (PAK) is an interdisciplinary approach to health care that draws together the core elements of many complementary therapies. Included in the Applied Kinesiology (AK) approach are specific joint manipulations or mobilization techniques, numerous myofascial therapies, cranial techniques, acupuncture meridian therapy, clinical nutrition, dietary management and various reflex procedures. AK is a diagnostic and therapeutic methodology employing manual muscle testing as a functional neurologic evaluation. Professionally trained manual muscle testing is essential to this methodology.

A manual muscle test is performed when the body is positioned for the maximal isolation applying pressure to lengthen the muscle as it is contracted against the pressure. Manual muscle testing evaluates for patterns of strength and weakness (technically referred to as "facilitation" and "inhibition", respectively). These strength and weakness patterns reflect differences in central nervous system control of muscular function. Any mechanical, chemical, or mental activities that alter a patient's physiology and affect neurological function may be evaluated by manual muscle testing. Recent research has demonstrated objective differences between normally facilitated and conditionally inhibited muscles and that there is a significant level of inter-examiner reliability among testers.

A basic principle of Applied Kinesiology is the triad of health.

The triad is represented by an equilateral triangle with structural health on one side, biochemical health on the second side and mental health on the third.  When a person experiences poor health, it is due to an imbalance in one or more of the three sides. The sides of the triad of health are interactive and they all must be evaluated for the underlying cause of the problem, as a health issue on one side of the triad can affect the other sides. Applied Kinesiology enables the practitioner to evaluate the triad's balance and direct therapy toward the imbalanced side or sides. This may even include referral to a more specialized health care practitioner.

Applied Kinesiology creates a more unified approach to the diagnosis and treatment of functional illness.

Functional illness is the gray area of health that lies between optimal health and a pathological condition. It is important to stress the difference between functional illness and a pathological disease state. A pathological condition is characterized by a clinical change in tissues and organs. A functional illness, however, is subtler than a pathological illness. For example, a muscle strain in the thigh makes it difficult to walk, whereas a broken leg prevents walking altogether.  Standard lab tests will produce abnormal results in a pathological condition, yet may not delineate abnormalities or observed cellular change in functional illness. However, recently developed tests have made great strides toward measuring functional illnesses. It is in addressing the "gray area" of functional illness that AK is most effective.

Additionally, Applied Kinesiology also uses other functional assessment measures such as posture, gait analysis, range of motion, static palpation and motion analysis. These assessments do not replace standard methods of diagnosis, but work in conjunction with time-honored applications such as clinical history, physical examination findings and laboratory tests. Together, these findings assist the clinician in developing an impression of the unique physiological condition of each patient. This clinical impression is used as a guide to the application of treatment therapies.

Applied Kinesiology examines the neurophysiology controlling all body function, including muscle performance.

The nervous system is composed of inputs from sensory receptors, integration of these inputs in the brain, and outputs. The sensory receptors include touch, pressure, pain, taste, smell and vision. When a weak muscle is found, we stimulate these sensory nerve receptors via massage, pressure on structures, tapping, manipulation, as well as other treatment methods and stimulation. If the proper receptors are adequately stimulated, the muscle will be facilitated or inhibited by the nervous system to the point where an immediate change of apparent muscle strength is observed.

Applied Kinesiology-based procedures are administered to achieve the following diagnostic and therapeutic goals:

 

  • Provide an interactive assessment of the functional health status of an individual that is not equipment intensive, but does emphasize the importance of correlating findings with standard diagnostic procedures.
  • Restore normal sensory input to achieve proper neurologic control and/or organization of body function by restoring postural balance, correcting gait impairment and improving range of motion.
  • Achieve homeostasis of endocrine, immune, digestive, and other visceral function by reestablishing neurological control and biochemical balance.
  • Intervene earlier in degenerative processes to prevent or delay the onset of frank, pathologic processes.

 

The practice of Professional Applied Kinesiology requires that professionals trained in clinical diagnosis use it in conjunction with other standard diagnostic methods. As such, the use of Applied Kinesiology and its component assessment procedures are used appropriately only by individuals qualified to perform those procedures, including medical doctors, osteopaths, dentists, chiropractors and other licensed-to-diagnose professionals. The doctors at Spectrum Applied Kinesiology and Chiropractic are licensed doctors of chiropractic and experts in Professional Applied Kinesiology procedures.