Muscle Testing Gets to the Root of Health Issues

The word kinesiology means “the study of movement” and was originally used to describe a field of medicine concerned with the workings of joints and muscles. Since the 1960s, other systems of kinesiology have evolved based on the work of American chiropractor Dr. George Goodheart, who discovered that particular physical symptoms were often related to weaknesses in particular muscles.

Goodheart proposed that a language between doctors and patients could be created by testing those muscles and working to strengthen them, which he noticed led to the improvement or disappearing of other health problems. Eventually Goodheart named this system Applied Kinesiology (AK) and used it to evaluate the structural, chemical and mental aspects of a person. He said that muscle testing could ascertain which therapies, including nutrition, diet, manipulation and exercise, would help to restore well-being.

One popular form of AK is the use of muscle testing to determine energy changes within the body. The procedure involves a practitioner applying gentle pressure to specific parts of the body, often the arms or legs, to test the response of the underlying muscle. The tested muscle will either easily resist the pressure from the practitioner or give way.

Kinesiologists use this on/off response to gain valuable information about other imbalances within the body and the necessary procedures to correct them. If a patient has lower back pain, for example, the practitioner can press on various vertebrae while pressing down on the arm until the arm goes weak. The practitioner can then make a correction on that vertebra, after which the muscle should test strong.

If a patient has a rash, the practitioner can start with a strong deltoid muscle, touch the rash and see the muscle go weak. She can then have the patient hold a supplement designed to clear up the rash. If the muscle tests strong, then the supplement will most likely help.

A central AK concept is the triad of health, envisaged as a triangle with sides labeled structural, emotional and biochemical. For example, a structural problem such as an injured joint may have emotional repercussions. A biochemical problem, such as excess intake of a toxic mineral or underproduction of hydrochloric acid, can have structural and emotional effects. All three sides must be addressed for complete healing to occur.

If a patient is having a hard time healing from an old back injury and the practitioner cannot find anything physical to correct, it may be an emotional issue. The practitioner can use muscle response testing to find the emotion that is keeping the patient from healing. When identifying the correct emotion, the muscle will go weak. He can then do a variety of emotional clearing techniques until the muscle responds strongly when the emotion is stated again. Sometimes, there are additional emotions to clear before the back pain goes away.

AK doesn’t just treat the symptoms of a problem, it works with other diagnostic measures to get to the root of the problem and help to repair the body holistically. When a person’s energy is in balance, they are closer to performing at their highest potential and achieving their goals.

 Kristine Jelstrup, LMT, CBK, is a natural healthcare practitioner and owner of Central Square Health and Wellness, located at 126 Prospect St., #5, in Cambridge. For more information, call 617-833-3407 or visit

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