Common steps and sub-activities
I am deeply indebted to Isobel Stevenson for her help in providing me with the following information for my site.
Isobel became a Touch For Health instructor in 1981 and, after further study of Kinesiology, this became the initial focus for her practice. She qualified as a McTimoney Chiropractor in 1987 and completed two post graduate courses in Craniosacral Therapy, with Thomas Atlee in 1991 and with Franklyn Sills in 1997. She also uses a range of other techniques in her work including EFT, flower essences and visualisation
Isobel can be contacted via this link - Isobel at the Still Point practice
Kinesiology is a non-intrusive method of locating muscular, energy, emotional and bio-chemical imbalances in the body. It is therefore a form of diagnostic tool.
The method uses 'muscle testing' which is based on the discovery that there is a correlation between the muscles and the acupuncture energy pathways (meridians), and that the muscles can act as indicators for the meridian energy. Muscle testing is used to discover what will enhance or deplete the energy, and therefore assess both what may be causing an imbalance and also the most beneficial treatment.
Over several decades many different branches of Kinesiology have developed and the profession is still evolving. Specialisms range from
the treatment of structural & musculoskeletal problems leading to postural imbalance and physical aches and pains
digestive problems relating to nutrition, and possibly leading to lack of energy
bio-chemical imbalances, including hormonal imbalances
emotional & spiritual issues.
As the approach is essentially diagnostic, the therapist then uses healing techniques to provide treatment.
Kinesiologists are rarely just kinesiologists, most have additional healing skills as well, as such you will often find that the kinesiologist will diagnose with muscle testing, but treat using for example, acupuncture or Craniosacral therapy or McTimoney chiropractics. If we take an example, tense aching muscles are often the result of their opposing muscles being weak. The Kinesiologist may use techniques to strengthen the weak muscles, which enable tight ones to let go, or use 'Rebalancing methods' such as light touch or massage of acupuncture points, which stimulate the blood or lymphatic circulation. Dietary changes may be suggested and possibly the use of nutritional or plant supplements.
Where the problem is an emotional one they might suggest [depending on their qualifications] flower essences, visualisation, counselling, and energy work, such as chakra balancing and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) to help people explore and unblock the issues involved.
Pain or illness is rarely without emotional associations whether they are cause or effect. If not acknowledged or resolved, emotional stress can inhibit the immune system and interfere with healing.
Isobel's account of her work
I sometimes need to ask my new clients to suspend disbelief for a while when I first introduce muscle testing to them, as the concept of carrying on a non-verbal conversation with their bodies can be very hard to take in. However, I have been holding such ‘conversations’ in my practice for the last 30 years and it has become totally natural to me, though I am reminded regularly by my clients of the sense of amazement and exciting potential I felt when I first used this extraordinary tool and experienced it for myself as a recipient.
I have learned many skills and techniques for helping the body and mind to heal, people are complex and often so are the health problems we experience. I have continuously found that muscle testing underpins most of my work as it enables us to find a pathway through the maze of symptoms or difficulties a person might bring to our sessions, and utilise their body’s own wisdom in discovering the most appropriate and effective treatment approach at that time.
So what is it, and how does it work?
At the simplest level, imagine the tester positioning a limb, such as lifting up the arm, then gently applying pressure to the arm as if to push it back down whilst simultaneously asking the person to resist the pressure so their arm doesn’t move. When the muscle is easily able to match the pressure applied and not give way, a clear ’locking’ sensation is felt by both the tester and the person being tested. By the particular positioning of the body and the angle of applying pressure, different muscles can be assessed and all the main muscle groups of the body can be checked in this way, with various methods of correcting imbalances where necessary.
Initially it is common and understandable to assume that we are testing muscle power and, if considerable pressure is applied, then that is true. However, in my work I use a more subtle pressure which assesses muscle organisation – the ability of the muscle, through its connection with its nerve supply, to respond with just the appropriate degree of resistance. To illustrate how this may be experienced, if a particular muscle tests ‘weak’ or disorganised on one side of the body yet quite ‘strong’ and organised on the other, the person will feel a clear sense of comparison between the two and will often make comments indicating that they don’t feel properly connected with the one which tests weak, as it just doesn’t seem to do what they are mentally instructing it to do. It is also possible for a muscle to be very strong in a powerful sense, yet extremely disorganised – I have tested a footballer whose thigh muscles were very powerful but gave way easily with the gentle pressure I was applying, much to his consternation!
But something more seems to be going on, because the muscle response can instantly change with the introduction of some additional stimulus. The change may be from strong to weak if the stimulus is stressful or unbalancing to the body, such as a substance the body is intolerant of, an upsetting thought, or stretching of a tight muscle in another part of the body. Conversely, the change could also be from weak to strong if the stimulus is going to have a beneficial effect on the body, such as a nutrient the body is depleted in, touching a relevant treatment point, or a flower essence which would help to restore emotional balance. The change will be reversed with the removal of the stimulus.
It is as if, when a muscle tests ‘strong’ or organised with that clear locking sensation, we have an intact circuit. If we introduce something which will have an unbalancing effect, it acts like a circuit breaker, and the muscle ‘unlocks’ and tests weak. Similarly, if the circuit is ‘broken’ in the first place and we introduce something which will restore balance, the weak muscle strengthens and the lock returns. The change in muscle response is an outward physical manifestation of something which has changed within.
For Kinesiologists this phenomenon enables us, within a carefully constructed framework and with approved training & qualification, to develop a kind of language to ‘talk’ to the body and enable it to talk back to us. There are many branches of Kinesiology specialising in different aspects of health, whether on the level of the body, mind or spirit.
So the question arises – what is that something which has changed within?
For me the answer has to do with Energy.
Before my 30 years of muscle testing, though I was already on a trajectory towards it, I found myself standing in a book store in San Francisco reading a book about physics, and laughing out loud! At this point I remembered my physics teacher at school who was tall and stooping and wore a brown lab coat and managed to present his subject in a spectacularly boring fashion, such that I gave it up at the earliest opportunity. Yet here I was, enthralled and delighted with this book which still sits on my book shelf and, looking back was clearly a turning point in my perceptions of life. It is called The Dancing Wu Li Masters by Gary Zukav, no doubt it was the title which first attracted me.
It was this introduction to quantum physics which crystallised for me the understanding that everything is Energy, in different forms and different densities, and some scientists are now recognising that energy systems may exist which could be communicating with each other in ways that we do not yet understand. (I wouldn’t attempt to try and explain quantum physics, but many writers such as Zukav and Stephen Hawking have written extensively on the subject).
So if everything is Energy, then that goes for us and our bodies too, our bones being the most dense form and our thoughts perhaps being the lightest. I became fascinated with how one form of energy can affect another, especially how our thoughts and feelings can so easily affect those denser forms, our tissues and bones. As a chiropractor, I habitually start any treatment session with a quick examination of my client’s skeletal structures including their spine, pelvis and cranium, noting any misalignments and restrictions. It may be that the priority for a person’s system on a particular day is to address something on an emotional level and we duly spend the rest of the session dealing with that. I then check their structure at the end and it is completely different. What has happened?
It is the link between muscles and that great body of Eastern knowledge and understanding on which Acupuncture is based, which helps me to understand something of what may have happened. The founder of Kinesiology, American chiropractor George Goodheart, discovered the correlation between muscles and the energy channels in acupuncture known as Meridians. Each meridian is linked with a particular organ or system of the body, and each muscle is linked with one of the main Meridians. Perhaps what happens is that a change in our thoughts and emotions changes the energy flow in the meridians, which changes the tone of related muscles which in turn alters the way joints are held or supported, enabling an overall shift in structural balance. Or perhaps something much more immediate and direct happens. This is not evidence based research or a scientific explanation, it is simply something I have experienced repeatedly over a very long time – and I never cease to be amazed and inspired by it.
I have the sort of mind that likes to understand things, at least to be able to explain them to myself, but I am also increasingly comfortable with the not knowing and simply trusting what works.
I find that muscle testing provides an extraordinary window into our inner knowing, which isn’t readily available to our conscious thinking mind, and that it can be enormously helpful to people in exploring what is important to their wellbeing and finding a way forward - it seems to act like a bridge which can so often bring people to a new understanding of themselves.
References and further resources
This is a link to the Kinesiology Federation's website page which also lists the 12 approved Kinesiology specialisms whose training courses are approved in the UK
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