Applied kinesiology is a system that evaluates structural, chemical, and mental aspects of health using manual muscle testing alongside conventional diagnostic methods. The essential premise of applied kinesiology that is not shared by mainstream medical theory is that every organ dysfunction is accompanied by a weakness in a specific corresponding muscle, the viscerosomatic relationship. Treatment modalities relied upon by practitioners include joint manipulation and mobilization, myofascial, cranial and meridian therapies, clinical nutrition, and dietary counseling.

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 a raw test of strength, but rather a subjective evaluation of tension in the muscle and smoothness of response, taken to be indicative of stresses and imbalances in the body. A weak muscle test is equated to dysfunction and chemical or structural imbalance or mental stress, indicative of a body dissatisfied with suboptimal functioning. The most common test is the arm-pull-down test, or "Delta test," where the patient resists as the practitioner exerts a downward force on an extended arm. Proper positioning is paramount to ensure that the muscle in question is the prime mover, minimizing interference from adjacent muscle groups.

"Nutrient testing" is used to examine the response of various of a patient's muscles to assorted chemicals. Gustatory and olfactory stimulation are said to alter the outcome of a manual muscle test, with previously weak muscles being strengthened by application of the correct nutritional supplement, and previously strong muscles being weakened by exposure to harmful or imbalancing substances or allergens. Though its use is deprecated by the ICAK, stimulation to test muscle response to a certain chemical is also done by contact or proximity (for instance, testing while the patient holds a bottle of pills).

A double-blind study was conducted by the ALTA Foundation for Sports Medicine Research in Santa Monica, California and published in the June 1988 Journal of the American Dietetic Association. The study used 3 experienced AK practitioners and concluded that, "The results of this study indicated that the use of Applied Kinesiology to evaluate nutrient status is no more useful than random guessing."

Notable practitioners and theorists
George J. Goodheart, D.C. - Originated AK theory and practice and the first chiropractor appointed to the U.S. Olympic medical staff (1980) Applied Kinesiology and Sports

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Author's Bio: 

This definition is part of a series that covers the topic of Applied Kinesiology. The Official Guide to Applied Kinesiology is LaRue Eppler.

Since 1989, La Rue has helped thousands of people from numerous countries develop loving kindness with themselves. Based near Dallas, TX, La Rue has a full time coaching practice with clients from around the world. She travels internationally sharing her fresh insights while teaching her life changing techniques to lay people and professionals. She is co-author of 'Your Essential Whisper; Six Distinct Ways to Recognize, Trust, and Follow Inner Guidance with Absolute Certainty!".  She is most passionate when helping people learn to implicitly follow the voice of their inner genius, both with Whisper Technologies and Applied Kinesiology.

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