What is Applied Kinesiology?
Applied Kinesiology (AK) is a system used to help assess the nervous system that complements the standard diagnostic techniques used by primary health care practitioners. It utilises changes in muscle strength as different sensory stimuli are applied to the body.
The nervous system receives input and regulates information from many different systems including: the joints, ligaments, muscles; balance canals and organs as well as taste, touch, smell, sight and hearing. Changes in muscle strength testing is used to give feedback on how the nervous system is doing and suggest treatment (which may include joint manipulation and mobilization, myofascial, cranial and meridian therapies, clinical nutrition, and dietary counseling) and self-help measures which may be of benefit.
How Does Applied Kinesiology Work?
The nerves controlling the muscles are themselves affected to varying degrees by other parts of the nervous system (proprioception, interoception, sensory and motor system regulation, reflex phenomena etc.). Depending on how much a nerve to a muscle is told to switch on as opposed to switch off can affect the response of a muscle. The nerve going to a muscle is affected by what is going on in its own vicinity as well as commands from higher up in the nervous system.
Depending on which areas of the system are stressed or stressed when challenged, AK practitioners find different muscle weakness patterns. These patterns may suggest physical (structural) stress, chemical imbalance or a neurological stress.
What is a Muscle Test?
A manual muscle test in AK is conducted by having the patient resist using the target muscle or muscle group while the practitioner applies a force. A smooth response is sometimes referred to as a “strong muscle” and a response that was not appropriate is sometimes called a “weak response”.
This is not necessarily a raw test of strength, but rather an indication of muscle function and nervous system integrity.
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