What is Kinesiology?
By Wendy Bodin, CK, CPH c2004 - 2009
The term Kinesiology today is used to describe several fields of testing physiological, neurological and emotional responses throughout the body. The purpose of this article is to explore the many applications of historical and modern Kinesiology and its techniques which are derived from Applied Kinesiology and ancient Chinese five-element model, meridian and acupressure therapies. It is the fastest growing and most comprehensive of all holistic therapies in the world.
Several years ago, I wrote a couple of articles explaining what modern Kinesiology is and the benefits of utilizing this marvelous technique. I thought maybe I should use one of those articles for this page on my website. But as I re-read them, I noticed each was aimed at a very different audience so the breadth of information was limited in each. I have found that there is still quite a bit of confusion and misunderstanding as to what Kinesiology is. The word Kinesiology can even sound intimidating to some as the word is not particularly warm and fuzzy.
When someone actually confused Kinesiology with Anesthesiology, I realized that maybe now is time to set the record straight. So, after eight years of using Kinesiology for everything you can think of including cleaning the proverbial kitchen sink, I decided to give you, the reader the big picture regarding Kinesiology and then breaking it down into some smaller pictures.
The term Kinesiology today has become a common name for the many, many varieties of Kinesiology. My best guess estimate is that there are literally hundreds if not thousands of named varieties of Kinesiology, Kinesiology techniques or methods. The more I research, the more names I find. So what is really going on here? Why so much confusion? Why is it so popular around the world, yet so little is known about it in the United States?
Let’s start with the history of Kinesiology.
Kinesiology first was developed as a study of human movement (the physics of body motion) in the late 1800’s. This application is the most commonly understood (and misunderstood) use of the term ”Kinesiology”. These traditional methods are taught in colleges and universities for physical therapists. As a result, many people believe this is the only application of the word “kinesiology” which has created much confusion. Traditional kinesiology is actually the parent from which the other methods evolved. However, the offspring do not resemble the parent much at all and are really very different things.
Let’s now talk about modern Kinesiology. We are referring to Kinesiology that is much broader in scope and application. The first modern method of Kinesiology is called Applied Kinesiology. All other modern methods of Kinesiology that have evolved since then are based on the foundation and principles of Applied Kinesiology. Applied Kinesiology was developed in the 1960’s by several Chiropractors who utilized traditional kinesiology techniques to measure muscle responses to various muscle tests and questions. The concept was truly amazing and has lead to a mushrooming of applications arising from their initial work.
Applied Kinesiology and the newer methods of Kinesiology are often called "muscle testing" but that is really a misnomer, in that we are only checking muscle responses, not muscle strength. Again, this is part of the growth and evolution of the field, as the term “muscle testing” is very limited by its definition and doesn’t scratch the surface of what can be accomplished with modern Kinesiology techniques. However, Kinesiologists do test muscle responses to receive information from the individual’s internal “body wisdom”.
Kinesiology testing is a very accurate method of accessing your own body wisdom. We ask you, not a book, what is out of balance in your body. By body, we mean the physical-body, emotional-body, mental-body and spiritual-body. Kinesiology is a method that can access, monitor and evaluate all the acupressure points on the body as well as the chakras, meridians and energy fields of the body. With the information gathered from the individual, then the Kinesiologist determines which paths, remedies etc. to take to restore balance for this individual. A good Kinesiologist will be able to determine what is the optimal order for these therapies or programs to be followed; working in harmony with the body in the order that the body/individual is able and ready to process.
Since the development of Applied Kinesiology in the 1960’s, Kinesiology applications have been grouped or classified into two major categories, each with several subcategories. Many of these categories overlap each other as well, as it is very difficult to separate these things when we are working in holistic (Body-Mind-Spirit) therapies. So the main purpose of the classifications are to differentiate the main areas of study for Kinesiology students. As a result, many different names of Kinesiology methods have followed suit, as Kinesiologists have developed and are developing their own methods with new names. But they will still fall under the major categories.
When a Kinesiologist is working with an individual, they may use any or all of the various methods with a client, usually in an integrated and personalized manner. The focus of your sessions will be then customized for you. So when you visit a Kinesiologist, the names of the methods that they have studied may or may not be known to you, but most Kinesiologists have studied and practiced methodologies that include a complete set of at least three of the main categories (body-mind-spirit). It is a truly holistic study and practice.
The main categories of Kinesiology methods relate to the categories of bodies within our own body. They fall into to two major groups, physical & mental with corresponding subgroups.
1. Physical body, Physiology:
- Structural: Focus is on muscle testing the structural body, both physical and mechanical. May or may not include nutritional therapies. This method is commonly used in chiropractic practice to indicate where a person is out of alignment. Any number of muscles can used as an indicator muscle.
- Nutritional: Nutritional testing for optimal dietary and accurate supplementation therapies that will assist the body to heal. Nutritional testing methods also include physiological tests.
Nutritional kinesiology testing methods work with resolving issues that may have been classified as clinical and sub-clinical conditions or illnesses. These conditions may be persistent nagging types of malaise that no other therapy has been able to resolve. Therapies that are utilized can include orthomolecular medicine (vitamin supplementation and herbal remedies). Some examples of conditions that respond well to nutritional kinesiology are: allergies, asthma, menopausal symptoms, candida (yeast overgrowth), parasitic infections, chronic fatique, fibromyalgia, adrenal & thyroid imbalances etc. Kinesiologists utilizing nutritional therapies should have training in herbal medicine and vitamin therapy.
- Mental/Emotional/Spiritual Bodies (Specialized Kinesiology): There are many methods of kinesiology that fit into this category; some stressing the primarily the mental, some primarily the emotional, some the spiritual and some methods combine them all.
This category of kinesiology testing is commonly referred to as "Specialized Kinesiology", However, this is not the name of a particular kinesiology method, but rather a category of study. It is considered to be 'specialized' since it is going beyond the realm of just the physical body. The focus is on accessing the etheric body for answers to questions on emotional, mental and spiritual levels. We are monitoring the flow of Qi or "Life Force Energy" throughout the body and determining where it is obstructed or depleted when asking questions regarding emotional, spiritual or mental issues. Once we know where the blockages are, then we know where to start our work. Most specialized kinesiology methodologies incorporate techniques such as Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP), Thought Field Therapy (TFT), Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), into their field of study and practice. Some of the issues that can be resolved with these techniques are to change habits, release fears, anger, resentment, diffuse anxiety, reduce stress, gain self-esteem, heal emotional wounds, and so on.
Kinesiology testing is so versatile and effective. It creates a very personalized roadmap to follow to accomplish your health and life goals. The possibilities are endless; as you are the source of the knowledge. It is all within you and for you to discover and utilize for your best good.
Wendy is trained in and practices all the basic fields of Kinesiology, structural, nutritional and specialized kinesiology. She is a Certified Wellness Kinesiologist, a Certified Kinesionics Practitioner and a Certified Herbalist in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda and Western Herbal systems. Please contact Wendy for more information. We are taking appointments in Albuquerque, at: Please contact Wendy for more information.
Contact Wendy for personalized sessions for you in New Mexico.
We are located at: 11811 Menaul Blvd. NE, Suite 2, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87112
Wendy Bodin was selected as a contributing writer and as the representative Kinesiologist for the book, Alternative Treatments for Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome”, 2nd Edition, by Mari Skelly and Helen Walker, 2006