What is it?

According to AK theory, the body has its own ‘knowledge’ of imbalance which is reflected in muscle dysfunction. The body functions as a whole because of a network of energy ‘circuits’, which are similar to the meridians in acupuncture and also incorporate the nervous, circulatory and lymphatic systems. Body imbalance interrupts the circuit to a corresponding muscle, which then tests ‘weak’.

AK techniques were later developed by John Thie, a chiropractic colleague of Goodheart, into a self-help system for lay people called Touch for Health.
What a consultation involves

In an AK consultation, different large muscles are selected and pressed by the practitioner while the person being tested tries to maintain certain positions. If the muscle is ‘weak’ there’ll be no resistance; if it’s ‘strong’ it will be easy to keep in position.

Foods, chemicals, herbal and homeopathic remedies can also be tested by holding them against the body – or even just holding them in the mind – during testing. The substance or thought is believed to exert an influence on the body ‘circuits’, influencing muscle function.
What’s it good for?

AK is claimed to be especially useful in the assessment and treatment of long-standing conditions. However, results aren’t always replicable and research evidence is limited. Practitioner experience and proper training are essential.
Further information

If you’d like to learn more about kinesiology and its uses, the following organisations and publications may help:

Kinesiology Federation
PO Box 28908, Dalkeith EH22 2YQ
Tel: 0870 011 3545

Principles of Kinesiology by Maggie La Tourelle and Anthea Courtenay
ISBN: 072253454X

Touch for Health by John F Thie
ISBN: 0875161804

This article was last medically reviewed by Dr Stephen Hopwood in April 2009.