Creative Eldering: Clinical Kinesiology
~ By Susan L. Levy, D.C. ~
Have you taken a moment to marvel at the finesse and beauty of the movements of Olympic figure skaters, dancers, or athletes? Kinesiology is a science that studies and analyses the biomechanics of the muscles, bones, ligaments, and joints that allow these graceful, powerful movements.
Academic or Traditional Kinesiology began to formalize as a specific science in about 1949 with the publication of Kendall and Kendall’s book Muscle Testing and Function. Academic or Traditional Kinesiology approaches are used to analyze which muscles are involved in specific movement and activities, and even how many degrees of change in position can be measured for bodily motions, such as fingers, shoulders, knees, and the various areas of the spine.
Other Kinesiology disciplines developed over the next several decades, including Applied Kinesiology and Clinical Kinesiology. Applied Kinesiology is most often used by chiropractors, osteopaths, medical doctors and dentists as a means to identify weakness or imbalances often resulting in pain. Clinical Kinesiology “applies non-traditional, bio-energetic methods which allow you to unlock or ascertain your body’s hidden messages, and obtain insightful answers to health problems you’ve been searching for through more traditional approaches” (Your Body Can Talk, 2nd Edition, 3). Though very different, all forms of Kinesiology are valuable, non-invasive diagnostic tools.
Dr. George Goodheart, a doctor of chiropractic, discovered that different body and muscle movements based on Traditional Kinesiology could further be used to corollate to spinal segments and organs. This came to be called Applied Kinesiology. Dr. Goodheart’s protégé, Dr. Alan Beardall, continued his teacher’s research and methodology. Dr. Beardall soon realized that there are “functional divisions within muscles, and went on to isolate reflex points which further differentiated those muscle divisions” (Your Body Can Talk, 2nd Edition, 4). Dr. Beardall also began using various hand positions, called handmodes, in order to determine energetic imbalances, linking body, mind and spirit. He also devised testing methods to determine physiological causes of symptoms and imbalances.
When using Clinical Kinesiology, the body acts similarly to a computer, reacting to various data it is given and responding with a “strong” or “weak” muscle test. Clinical Kinesiology muscle testing typically uses a group of large muscles, such as the shoulder muscles. A strong or weak response is elicited from the person being tested based on a question presented by the person doing the testing. Specific instructions for muscle testing procedures, including how to perform self-testing, can be found in the first chapter of Your Body Can Talk, 2nd Edition and in the introduction section of Your Aging Body Can Talk.
Based on Dr. Beardall’s findings, there are three main categories of treatments appropriate to Clinical Kinesiology findings. These are Chemical, Structural, and Electromagnetic. Chemical treatment options often include dietary changes and the addition of nutritional supplements, including specific vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and herbal remedies. Structural treatment methods include chiropractic treatment, massage, and others. When Clinical Kinesiology muscle testing indicates an energetic or electromagnetic imbalance in the body, acupuncture, magnets flower essences and homeopathic remedies are most often recommended.
Clinical Kinesiology offers a clear and effective means to translate the language of your body through non-invasive and precise means, it can even be used as a preventative evaluation tool to determine imbalances before they manifest physical symptoms. One the greatest benefits of Clinical Kinesiology is that it works on the whole person rather than segmenting them into unconnected and unrelated components. Clinical Kinesiology is based on the consideration of a whole person, body, mind and spirit working in synergistic harmony.