What Is Chiropractic Kinesiology?

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  • Written By: Marlene Garcia
  • Edited By: Daniel Lindley
  • Last Modified Date: 02 October 2019
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Chiropractic kinesiology is a form of alternative medicine using manual muscle testing to identify unbalanced electrical signals from the brain. It is based on how muscles communicate with organs and other muscles in the human body. While asking specific questions, a chiropractic kinesiology specialist might identify a chemical, emotional, or electrical cause of illness linked to weakened muscular strength.

Two forms of kinesiology treat different conditions that might cause disturbances in muscle functioning. Applied kinesiology tests hundreds of muscles to analyze illness or nutritional deficiencies in organs, the vascular system, or glands. Specialized energy kinesiology employs a muscle test of the arm to evaluate mental, emotional, or energy dysfunction caused by stressors.

Chiropractic kinesiology might use one or both forms of the technique as a holistic approach to treat patients. If muscles supporting the skeleton become weak on one side, they might cause misalignment of bones, leading to arthritis, osteoporosis, or rheumatism. Practitioners of kinesiology ask patients questions during the muscle test as method of communicating with the brain’s electrical system to find the source of illness.

Chemical causes of muscle weakness might come from food or poor nutrition. A doctor practicing chiropractic kinesiology might ask the patient about diet or lifestyle to discover the root of chemical imbalances. If muscles are affected by electrical sources, questions might focus on the use of electric blankets, microwave ovens, or time spent using a computer.


Emotional causes might be uncovered by asking a patient about events that cause stress. Mental stress might disrupt the biochemistry in the body, leading to weak muscles. Outside influences might weaken, strengthen, or produce a neutral effect on the body’s muscles, according to kinesiology theory. Treatment is based on a triad of health balancing structural, mental, and chemical functioning.

In 1964, American chiropractor Dr. George Goodheart developed chiropractic kinesiology, using muscle-testing techniques developed in the 1930s. During the exam, the chiropractor applies pressure to a certain muscle while asking the patient to resist movement. If the patient cannot resist the pressure, it might indicate a weak muscle connected to a nerve in the body.

The straight-arm test represents the most common form of test used in energy kinesiology. The patient attempts to hold the arm straight while the doctor applies pressure to the hand while asking yes and no questions. This test might indicate effectiveness of electrical signals from the brain to the muscle.


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