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What Is Applied Kinesiology And How Does It Work?

Applied Kinesiology (AK) is a method of assessment and therapy that involves observation and treatment of the musculoskeletal system. The practice includes testing different muscles and muscle groups to identify areas of weakness that link to imbalances in the organs, the digestive system, the blood supply, or other parts of the body. Treatments are then aimed to stimulate the body's own natural healing abilities. AK is considered a holistic approach to health and wellness, and it is a valuable tool in functional medicine.

What Is The History Of AK?

AK was first introduced by a chiropractor, Dr. George Goodheart, in 1964. He first observed that each muscle group was related to a bodily organ or system and noted weakness in a muscle can indicate an imbalance of some kind. He innovated methods of testing muscles and correcting muscle weakness through acupressure massage and dietary changes. Much of Goodheart's work is collected in a series of manuals he published over 34 years along with six books and dozens of articles. Though AK was first used by chiropractors, it has since been adopted by many other types of practitioners, including naturopaths, acupuncturists, and some medical doctors. Moreover, it has continued to develop through contributions from research and experiences in multiple types of practices.

What Are The Benefits Of AK?

Doctors use the methods of AK to gain a complete picture of the patient's health. Some of the most common benefits of AK include greater emotional well-being, increased mental alertness, stress relief, improved nutrition, healing of muscle injuries, pain relief, and a strengthened immune system. Because the therapy treats the mind and body as a single, unified system, the therapy is not used to diagnose or treat specific diseases. However, the methods of AK can complement traditional medical treatments as well as help to prevent disease by identifying and correcting nutritional deficits. Many practitioners also use the approach to identify food allergies and sensitivities the patient may not be aware of.

What Can Patients Expect At The First Appointment?

The first appointment usually takes an hour or more because the practitioner is getting to know the patient for the first time. AK practitioners usually begin by testing their patients' muscle strength and reflexes, observing their posture and gait, and taking a full medical history. The aim of the initial assessment is to get a complete understanding of the person and his or her treatment needs. The doctor may ask about sleeping and eating patterns, relationships, work, sources of stress, sources of pleasure or relaxation, and many other personal topics. The practitioner and patient then work together to establish wellness goals and design a plan to achieve them. A plan will typically include a combination of at-home lifestyle changes and in-office therapeutic treatments.

What Is Muscle Testing?

One of the most common methods of assessment in AK is muscle testing, and it is based on the idea that muscle strength conveys the strength of communication between the brain and the limb being tested. A weak muscle can indicate a blockage in the communication system, much like the concept of blocked energy in Chinese medicine. When a practitioner tests a patient's muscles, he or she is measuring the muscle's resistance to pressure. The doctor might ask the patient to hold out his or her arm and keep it stiff while the doctor tries to pull it down. Or the patient might make a bicep curl and resist the doctor's efforts to straighten the arm. To test for allergies, the patient might undergo muscle testing while holding a certain food in his or her hand or mouth. A weak response in the presence of a food or other substance indicates the possibility of a sensitivity to that substance.

What Other Methods Do AK Practitioners Use?

In addition to muscle testing, AK practitioners also use massage to stimulate energy flow along the body's meridians, the energy pathways first identified in traditional Chinese medicine. Massage techniques can include deep massage, craniosacral massage, and acupressure. Practitioners also stimulate lymphatic points and skull points to increase the flow of blood and other fluids to nearby organs and tissues. In addition to hands-on methods, practitioners may also use aromatherapy with flower essences, sound-wave therapy, light and color therapy, relaxation techniques, personal counseling, and visualization. Other therapies include acupuncture, nutritional consultation, and nutritional therapies.

What Is A Typical Treatment Plan

Each treatment plan is tailored to the individual's needs. Some patients are able to get significant results after a single session, while others improve gradually over several sessions extended a few months. It all depends on what’s going on and the severity. In between sessions, patients are expected to implement any lifestyle changes the doctor recommends, such as specific exercises or dietary changes, to get the full benefit of the therapy. A patient's treatment plan may also change as his or her wellness goals change.

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Who Can Benefit From AK?

Applied Kinesiology Madison WI can be safe and effective for patients of all ages and in all conditions. Some of the patients who benefit the most from AK are those who have complex medical issues that have not been resolved through standard medical treatments. However, it is important to note that AK is not meant to be a substitute for standard treatments for a serious condition like cancer, diabetes, or kidney disease. Instead, applied kinesiology can be implemented most effectively to promote wellness and support healing while a patient is undergoing other forms of treatment.


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