Applied Kinesiology: Testing Your Muscles to Determine General Health

Applied kinesiology is a holistic health therapy that relies on the connection of a person’s muscles to different vital organs and systems in the body. Because of this relationship, strength abnormalities detected in certain muscle groups can be used to diagnose and subsequently treat ailments.

Applied kinesiology is a system used to evaluate mental, chemical, and structural elements of the body through manual muscle testing (MMT). This system is favoured by chiropractors worldwide with at least ten percent of all chiropractic patients receiving some level of applied kinesiology treatment.

The Manual Muscle Test

A manual muscle test is not a contest of pure strength. Rather, an applied kinesiologist therapist evaluates the smoothness of muscle contraction and the relative strength of an entire muscle group. This is evaluated using resistance methodology.

If a particular muscle’s contraction is not smooth, or found to be abnormally weak, it is deemed suboptimal. Weak responses lead to further manual muscle testing to explore how much of the muscle group is suboptimal. This information is used to draw conclusions as to the patient’s mental and physical well- being.

Nutrient Testing and Therapy Localization

Nutrient testing is used in applied kinesiology to identify a patient’s response to certain chemicals. In this type of testing, a patient will hold a bottle of pills while their muscles are tested, and the therapist will interpret the results. Once the deficiency is identified, specific nutrients will be prescribed to address the imbalance.

Therapy localization is a technique used to diagnose regions of the body not easily tested through manual muscle testing. A patient will place their fingertips on an area believed to be suboptimal while suspected optimal muscles are tested. In theory, the weakness in the suspect area will transfer to the muscle being tested


Applied kinesiology continues to grow in popularity among chiropractic patients everywhere. With roots in ancient Chinese medicine, it borrows from many of the same beliefs as reflexology and acupuncture. So, the next time you are feeling lethargic, or depressed, get your muscles checked. You might just be having a suboptimal day.

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