Applied Kinesiology (AK)

What is Applied Kinesiology Chiropractic (AK)?

Applied Kinesiology (AK) is a manual method that assesses structural, chemical and mental aspects of health using applied kinesiology / manual muscle testing combined with other standard methods of diagnosis. AK, a non-invasive system of examining body function that offers individualized health care. Muscle testing is not a muscle strength or muscle weakness test it is a neurological test.

How Do You Use Applied Kinesiology Chiropractic?

Our chiropractors adjust based on applied kinesiology (muscle testing) instead of x-ray like most chiropractors do. The reason is because the x-ray only shows where the bones are and the bones don't do anything. Bones are passive and they only move because a muscle pulls it, and the brain tells the muscle to pull. By using AK the Dr Ekberg can find a very specific point on the body to make an adjustment. Giving a very specific adjustment creates a more effective chiropractic adjustment.

Just as you are different from anyone else and you are different every day your chiropractic adjustments will be customized every time you come in to your specific needs at that time.

How Do You Use Muscle Testing For Supplements?

Our brain and heart run make electrical pulses. This is how we read heart scans, EKGs, and brain waves. Because of this our body has an electrical field. Our nutrition practitioners use applied kinesiology (muscle testing) based of the electrical field each of us have. Below is a video that explains this concept and shows a demo of how muscle testing is used for supplements, chiropractic and more.

Is Applied Kinesiology Real or Fake?

There are some articles talking if applied kinesiology is real or not. Applied kinesiology debunked sites, there are two main ones, are run by people who do not have a medical degree and try to debunk everything. Below you can watch a video by Dr. Ekberg, Olympian, holistic doctor, and nutrition practitioner, showing how people do muscle testing wrong and how it can be misused and misunderstood.

We hope this video clears up any confusion.

Applied Kinesiology / Muscle testing, What is it (applied kinesiology / muscle testing)? How does it (applied kinesiology / muscle testing) work? There is a lot of misconceptions there's a lot of abuse some people ask me does muscle testing work I think that's kind of like asking does language work you can use language to lie you can use language to inform you can use language to deceive you can use muscle testing for all of those purposes so it all depends on what are you trying to do with it if you use it as a tool and you have some integrity it's a fabulous tool so let's show you what it is. 

Applied Kinesiology is like a Neurological Reflex

So first of all if you hold your arm out parallel to the ground keep that elbow straight so we're going to keep the person stable we're not going to put the arm out here and pretend that we're pushing out here and she falls over and call that a applied kinesiology / muscle test that's just silly but we keep it where everyone is stable I get in close and I can just lean in very very gently I'm gonna start applying a few ounces and then I gradually build up to about a pound or two and what I'm looking for is a solid feel so right there I got about two pounds of pressure I have what I call a lock all right so I'm pushing on the bone the bone is held up by muscle the muscle is controlled by a signal from the brain so we're checking all three components in that muscle test so just to make sure we know the feeling here I'm leaning in I got two pounds and it's really nice and solid I have a lock now if you move your right leg forward please a little bit more right there so now we're gonna do this again everyone is still perfectly stable there is no pushing anyone over now we start with ounces we gradually increase I feel for that lock and there is no lock all right there is no solid place where that resistance matches.

So what's the difference thank you what's the difference between the muscle function here and here while the bone hasn't changed the muscle hasn't changed they're still there they're physiologically the exact same but the muscle function changes because the signal from the brain changes so when we use it like this it's a neurological reflex just like if some if you're sitting with a foot dangling and someone taps your your knee you're gonna get a patellar reflex your nervous system is supposed to behave a certain way well here when you put the leg forward your brain interprets that as walking because normally when you walk a leg goes forward and the brain also knows that this is not very useful when you try to walk it has practiced this ever since you started crawling your brain learned that there's something called cross crawl that looks like this so when we are in this position the brain is going to try to turn this muscle off it's going to inhibit that muscle so you can swing back so let's check that if you move your left leg forward now this looks like the cross crawl pattern that the brain recognizes everyone is stable we go real real slow we feel for the lock and there's a perfect lock okay you can feel that difference good and so now this pattern matches and the brain is going to turn on this muscle is going to facilitate that muscle all right

So step back for me now with experience of tens of thousands of doctors on tens of thousands of patients we have learned that there are different things that are normal and different things that are abnormal so this is normal to facilitate so everyone has a little button if you will sitting right here that we can use to practice this and you can do the same at home if you like it's the skill it's an art it takes a while to learn but there's nothing magical about it and match for me so here we get a an unlock or an inhibition here we get a lock or a facilitation so it's just a great way to practice if you want to learn how this works now there are other things that we can check to see if the nervous system is behaving normally and because you are a person with a brain and a heart those organs are electrical they communicate and act through electricity that means your body is an electromagnetic field and I am an electromagnetic field so if I put my hand into your field I'm going to change certain aspects of how your nervous system is communicating and this is by the way it's not controversial we are electromagnetic fields and when you put two electromagnetic fields together they're going to affect each other that's just pure physics so one thing that we know is that the belly button has certain energies that are pretty sensitive so it's a good place to start so if I put my hand here and I push and we test that arm I get an unlock and that's a normal response for someone that doesn't get that unlock we called it that the regulation is blocked or stuck that means their nervous system is not processing it's not turning things on and off with the sensitivity that we need for the body to heal and adapt and do the it's supposed to and we've also found that there usually a number of different stressors that interfere with the body to cause it to be stuck okay so that's one of the things that you want to address or find someone who can address it because that is usually one of the most important barriers to healing people have tried hundred different things and they just can't seem to get any better very often the body is just kind of stuck. 

So I hope that helps we please comment on the video. We'd really like to know your opinions on this your experiences try it out and see if there's any questions if there's any inconsistencies that you have we'd love to try to clear those up for you and again don't come and just say that oh there's no way that this can work because it does if it's something you don't understand then just inform yourself okay it's pure physics it's pure neurology there's nothing strange about it it does take a little bit of practice so be patient if it's something that you'd like to learn it comes in very handy because you can start checking things whether you have certain sensitivities or food intolerances they're ways that that even a layperson can use this to their advantage so let me know if you learn something if you have questions if you have experiences with it and we'd love to have a dialogue about this. Thank you

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On the ICAK-U.S.A. web site, you will also find a piece entitled "Quotable Research," which summarizes the above articles as well as others whose outcomes contribute to the validation of applied kinesiology. This is a discussion of applied kinesiology research.

What is applied kinesiology used for? and does it work? is it valid? I'm gonna give you just enough information in detail so that you can make an informed decision for yourself coming right up hey I'm dr. Ekberg with Wellness For Life and if you like to truly master health by understanding how the body really works make sure that you subscribe and hit that notification bell so that you don't miss anything

So applied kinesiology is simply the study of emotion but what most people mean when they say applied kinesiology is applied applied kinesiology were AK or muscle testing so that's what we're going to talk about and that's what we use in our office when we do a muscle test then we typically start with a arm stretched out we push on the bone the bone is held up by a muscle and the muscle is controlled by a signal from the brain so we're really involving three different systems the bone muscle and the brain one is passive one is active but one is regulating so the passive doesn't change the active doesn't change it's the regulating that changes it's the brain processing the signaling that changes so it's really the brain that we're testing 

Brain electrical - applied kinesiology muscle tests

Everything in your body is regulated by the brain so here's the process the body has receptors that send input that send efferent information incoming information to the brain and then the brain processes that so the combination of input and processing results in perception so that incoming information gives the brain enough data to paint a picture of what the world looks like the brain is never seen or heard or touched or felt anything but with enough information the brain can create a picture of the world if that information coming in is correct then the brain can paint a true picture and it can act properly 

So then the brain processes and it creates an output an efferent signal so it can affect the body parts that need to do things and then the body has receptors that give the brain more information and so this wheel keeps spinning and perception were input can come from three different big areas one is chemical one is mechanical or proprioception and one is emotional so all of these things can change how the brain processes and perceives things so chemicals if you put in chemicals or drugs or pesticides or if you get food poisoning those are all chemical inputs so our hormones and neurotransmitters etc mechanical and proprioception that's movement ninety percent of what your brain processes has to do with proprioception meaning where are the body parts in relation to gravity and the environment this is so important that is percent of what the brain does and things that don't move don't have brains so the main purpose of the brain is to process information and proprioception so that you can figure out where you are and you can interact with your environment and emotional obviously thoughts are real things you can have a stressful thought and get goosebumps or high blood pressure or an ulcer and so forth and this is a lot of information the incoming information is somewhere around a billion bits of information per second so that's a lot of stuff for the brain to process.

And now if we understand this model then the brain is really just a hub it only does things based on information it receives so it's really the incoming information that drives the system and any change in the incoming information is going to create a change in the outgoing information so that's what muscle testing is all about we test we push we get a response and if that response changes it's because we changed the input if that input is favorable then in our experience we get a locked muscle if that input is unfavorable we get an unlocked muscle okay it's sort of intuitive we can't prove that that's the case that locked is good for the most part and unlocked means that something is not helping the body but from millions and millions of muscle tests and interactions and people getting better it is our experience that that's the case we want to think of the muscle test as a neurological reflex because we have information coming in we have brain processing and we have a response and that response can be normal or abnormal 

So in the case of muscle testing the normal response is for that arm to lock the abnormal is for it to unlock the most part it depends on on what we're looking at and if you do a patellar tendon reflex if you have someone kick hit your kneecap with a little hammer then the foot is going to kick out that's a neurological reflex normally that would only kick out once but if there's something wrong with the brain then it's going to result in hyperreflexia and we get either an exaggerated response or multiple repeated responses so just like there are abnormal neurological reflexes in Neurology there are also normal and abnormal findings in muscle testing so the brain is what modulates and effect those things so muscle testing is one of the most controversial topics out there and for the most part it's because people don't understand it or because they don't know how to do it properly or they have unrealistic expectations patience so let's look at a few things here the proper way of doing a muscle test is to first understand that you're looking for a lock it's not a strong or a weak muscle it is a lock or an unlock it's a yes or a no it's not a gray scale of strong or weak and that's a skill that you have to develop it's an understanding you probably have to push on a few thousand or tens of thousands of arms before you get really good where you're sure that yes I know what a lock feels like and in order to establish that lock you need to have both the tester and the person being tested totally stable so you can either have them standing or you can have them sitting or laying down but it has to be in a stable position and then you want to use gradual pressure so you start with an ounce of pressure over the course of a few seconds you gradually increase to a couple of pounds and during that you sense if there is a change where if there's a rigid end feel to it so by practicing that you can tell if you have a lock or not it is not about a strong versus a weak muscle so I'm sorry if you've been exposed to some people who don't understand this and I've seen some horrendous examples on YouTube I don't know if I want to laugh or cry because it misleads people and it takes advantage of people like the stability portion for example sometimes I see people test like this and they say oh stand on on one leg and then they push way out here and the person goes flying there's nothing to do with a muscle test that has to do with balance and vectors and what direction you apply the pressure it's absolutely nothing to do with what we're talking about and the other thing is it has to be gradual and very often I'll see testing where they go oh look here and when they want to make it strong they do a gradual and when they want to show you how weak you went then they do it's superfast and you go flying again so realize that you have to know what to do and be consistent to get consistent findings and as good as this is there are limitations and we have to be aware of how to establish consistency but we also have to understand what the limitations are so the first limitation is bias because we are dealing with an information system and thoughts and emotions are part of this then it is sometimes not entirely possible to eliminate all bias that's why we don't use this as the single test we use it as an adjunct and we use it in cases where our bias is not very influential 

So I'll give some examples of that then it depends on skill and like I said you might have to do this a few thousand times before you get reasonably good and skill also understanding what we are looking for so that you put the patient in the consistent place so that you know to look for a lock that you don't change things up that you understand that this is one test and this is another test and this is another test so you have to be consistent to get consistent results and then you want to know that there can be other interference like I said we're dealing with information and we are changing with the muscle test we are working through a system of mechanics and proprioception but the body can also be influenced by chemicals and thoughts so if they have an interference with some chemical or metal or pathogen in their body in addition to what we might be testing then that can throw off the results and if we don't know how to eliminate an account for that then we may not get valid readings but if we do know how to account for those then we can get very very consistent and get very valid reading so very often people who don't understand this they'll say oh that stuff doesn't work this is pseudoscience or we haven't done any double-blind placebo-controlled trials or something like that and that's their opinion of the validity so well we'll get to that next but so far everything that I have discussed is physiology it is science you can read about this stuff in books you can verify this for yourself you can educate yourself and understand that everything that I've said so far is simply about neurophysiology it's about signals it's about how the brain processes things it's about the brain turning things on and off so if you disagree with something so far then you're just uninformed the rest of it however gets into opinion and experience so when people question the validity then this is where they have a right to their opinion and we also want to understand how can we use this so that it it's consistent and when I use this I cues it to test for toxicity and sensitivity for deficiencies and for subluxations and some people also use it to test for emotional states and beliefs and so forth I don't get into that because I think there are too many variables I think there's too much emotional bias I think there might have some validity for some people but I think you want to be very very careful and I just stay away from that now when we do when we test for toxicity sensitivity 

I am NOT diagnosing I'm not saying that you have metals or chemicals in your body I'm saying it appears your body has a reaction to something let's see if we can find something that makes it work better and this is completely different a blood test will test and see how much pesticide how much metal how much pathogen is in your bloodstream it's an absolute measure we don't do that we don't diagnose we're asking about the body's reaction and then we're using that reaction to see if we can find something to reverse that finding so that's very very important to understand that some people say oh this isn't valid because you can't diagnose they believe that we use this for diagnosing and we don't we absolutely don't and we don't want to so let me give you some examples of ways that I is this so for example the infraspinatus is a muscle in the rotator cuff so if you push down here while you stabilize here then you're testing the external rotator of the shoulder and that's the most common weak muscle that ever found more than half the people coming through the office probably have that one weak and then what we have found is that through a K through people collaborating they have found that there are certain reflex points and there's certain organ relations and that muscle most commonly relates to the immune system so again we don't diagnose we're not saying you have an immune deficiency we don't say that you have a disease but we pick an immune support product and we see if it reverses that finding and we don't care if you have an immune deficiency or not we just found something that isn't working and the finding gives us a reason to pick a particular product and now if that reverses the finding we believe that's a good solution so we can test in real time and we can bypass a lot of steps and we can get quicker results more specifically and it saves the patient money another muscle we can test is the subscapularis which is the opposite it's an internal rotator so if we push this way instead then we're testing the subscapularis which is related to heart and if we give the person something that typically supports the heart then that muscle tends to be stronger or get a lock so again we're not diagnosing the heart we're not telling anyone that you have a disease or you have a heart problem we're using the body's responses to tell us a likely product that will reverse this non function if we go to the latissimus which is if we test the straight arm into the body we pull straight out that's testing the latissimus and if that's not working there's usually a relationship to the pancreas and if we support the pancreas through a digestive enzyme then we typically can strengthen that muscle a lot of low back pain is due to a dysfunctional soaz which in turn can be due to a stressed adrenal and if we support that adrenal a little bit not calling it a disease but checking does an adrenal supplement does an adrenal support supplement strengthen that so as and then we give them some adrenal support and they come back and their back is better then we think that that was a good idea so when people say it doesn't work they're questioning the validity in terms of a diagnostic function again we're not diagnosing we're using this to ask the body we're changing the receptor input and we're asking the body what does it take to reverse this finding we never diagnosed anything we never said that you have any of these things but we're just looking for what does the body need to improve the function so I hope that was helpful in clearing up some confusion because there's a lot of it out there and a lot of it is based on lack of physiology knowledge and jumping to conclusion about the interpretation about the validity so let me know what your experiences are let me know if you've had good or bad experiences and if so let me know what happened so we can maybe figure out if they were following these steps or not if you want to have some fun with this I encourage you to start playing with it test each other push on some arms hold different things and see what changes just be careful until you have some really good skill don't read too much into what you find and be careful with the questions you ask and this is especially true if you go into the emotional stuff which I don't recommend once you start asking mental questions there's a whole lot more variables and complexity and confusion and chances for for false readings so if you want to have some fun just start playing with this I encourage you to do this on your own because it can be very helpful to figure out what you have if there's some foods that your body would rather not have or even in the grocery store if there's something that you're questioning whether you should buy or not once you get good at this it can be very helpful until you get good though I would encourage you to practice and be very very careful with how you interpret what you find until next time thanks.