Kinesiology, also known as ‘human kinetics’, is the scientific study of human movement and muscle testing. It looks broadly at the physiological, mechanical and psychological mechanisms that catalyse our physical and emotional health on a daily basis, and any imbalances that may be occurring.
One area that Kinesiology has become very important in is food intolerance testing. Our staple diet has become so processed in the Western World and we are eating foods that our bodies simply were not designed to digest. There are various symptoms you could be experiencing that may be down to a certain food intolerance that you were not initially aware of.
Our article this week is provided by Kinesiologist Alison Manos, who lectures on the Kinesiology Foundation Course at CNM (College of Naturopathic Medicine). Alison looks at the sharp rise in general food intolerances in the Western World in the past 20 years (mainly down poor dietary choices), and the power of Kinesiology in being able, through muscle testing, to pinpoint these food intolerances in individuals and determine what foods suit them and what foods don’t.
Kinesiology is a system of health care which uses manual muscle testing to identify the body’s imbalances, removing the need for guess work on the part of the practitioner. One of my clients commented recently: “When I consulted Alison the use of muscle testing made it very clear exactly what my body needed, I found it such a positive experience.”
The History of Kinesiology & Muscle Testing
Muscle testing is a tool used to evaluate the motor response of a muscle to a sensory challenge and it involves the kinesiologist exerting very light pressure on an arm or occasionally a leg muscle, and the client being requested to respond with equal pressure. The muscle sensors communicate with the brain through the body’s feedback system and the muscle responds by remaining firm or giving under the pressure. The client remains clothed and the muscle testing is painless and non-invasive.
Once the imbalances are assessed, a variety of therapies and techniques are then offered to bring the body back to harmony, according to the feedback communicated to the kinesiologist through the muscle testing. There is therefore, as mentioned above, no guess-work involved in formulating a therapeutic plan for a client.
Apart from its wonderful use as an assessment tool, kinesiology is a blend of the principles of Chinese medicine with a range of gentle yet very powerful techniques with which to address the nutritional, emotional, structural, and energetic aspects of health. As it addresses the whole body in this way it can truly be called a holistic approach, which is one of the many great strengths of kinesiology.
Kinesiology was first ‘discovered’ in the 1960s. Originally kinesiology (from the Greek word “kinesis” meaning movement) was simply the study of movement, particularly of the human body. An entirely new application of it was discovered in 1964 by Dr. George Goodhart, a chiropractor in the U.S.A. He found that, when a muscle was tested, the result could reveal vital information about the organs and systems of the individual being tested. During the subsequent years the body of knowledge known as Applied Kinesiology developed rapidly.
I should like to look at one of the aspects of kinesiological healthcare in detail in this article and have decided to take food intolerance testing as I find it is an area of public interest that has grown substantially in the fifteen years during which I have been practicing kinesiology.
I quite frequently have prospective clients contact me specifically requesting a session of kinesiological food intolerance testing. As food intolerance may be one of the causative factors in many symptoms such as fatigue, bloating, anxiety, eczema, constipation, diarrhoea, depression, gas/wind, headaches/migraines, tummy pains, spots/acne and tiredness – we can see why.
The number of people suffering from food intolerances has rocketed in the last twenty years as can be seen from the laden shelves in the ‘Free-from’ sections in supermarkets. One of the reasons for this may be that in the Western World in general we rely heavily on foods which the human body was not built to digest. For example, foods such as milk from cows, highly farmed grains and highly refined sugar (both of which have had all the goodness refined out of them) are all consumed in large quantities today. Plus chemical additives, pesticides, synthetic ingredients, genetic modification and novel processing techniques have impacted our bodies’ ability to cope with our toxic load. So it’s not surprising perhaps, that the body cries out in protest and produces symptoms of illness and lack of well-being.
For example wheat is a staple food and is consumed freely in the form of bread, cakes, biscuits, pizzas, pies, pasta etc. Yet it has only been that way for about 2000 years since men and women started experimenting with agriculture, and indeed, modern wheat strains bear little resemblance to the grain that our more recent forebears regarded as a staple food. For the thousands of years that we were on earth before agriculture was developed, we lived naturally on unsprayed, unadulterated fruits, nuts, seeds, roots, shoots and anything we could catch, which to this day is the diet which suits most of us best.
Healthy eating is only “healthy” if you’re not intolerant to any of your food, and, as we are all biochemically different, a food which nourishes one person may be harmful to another. There is a lot of truth in the old saying “One man’s meat is another man’s poison”. This is one of the areas where kinesiology is so powerful as it has the ability, through muscle testing, to tap into that biochemical individuality and assess which foods suit each client and which foods may be causing them harm.
How it works
Some food intolerances are obvious, resulting in almost immediate symptoms such as vomiting after drinking orange juice and migraines after eating chocolate. Other food intolerances are not so obvious as the symptoms may not begin for many hours after exposure to the offending substance, and if the food is being consumed regularly each reaction runs into the next, rendering it almost impossible to associate the symptoms with exposure to a particular food. The only way to find out exactly what your body is absorbing well and what it is struggling to digest is through accurate screening techniques.
I usually recommend that clients bring samples of the kinds of foods that they eat to their session of kinesiological food intolerance testing as everyone eats differently, so people often come in with bags and bags of food samples. Kinesiology uses the muscles which relate to the different areas of the digestive system to identify food intolerances, and we use these muscles to gain information as to whether a food which is placed on the subject’s body interferes with normal muscle function.
You would be amazed how a muscle which tested as strong before a food was placed on the body, weakens when tested with the food in the subject’s energy field, indicating an intolerance. It is very powerful for the client to witness their muscles reacting in this way.
In my practice I find that if a client is willing to start avoiding these culprit foods they often experience a substantial reduction in symptoms within a very few days. If the client wishes, we can then use kinesiology to identify nutrients, perform stress releasing techniques, structural and meridian work to bring the body into balance and strengthen the immune system. This may enable him/her to be able to return, after a period of weeks, to some or all of the natural foods to which they were originally intolerant.
Your body biochemistry is different to everyone else’s, you are truly unique and kinesiology has the ability access that uniqueness so that a therapeutic plan especially tailored to each individual client can be formulated. Kinesiology is a wonderfully holistic modality as it addresses nutritional, emotional, structural, and energetic aspects of health, rendering it a particularly powerful system of health care.
Alison Manos practices Kinesiology in London. She also lectures on the Kinesiology Foundation Short Course at CNM (College of Naturopathic Medicine). For information on CNM Diploma Courses, Postgraduate Courses and Short Courses in a range of natural therapies, visit www.naturopathy-uk.com
With many thanks to Alison for this article. If you have any questions regarding the health topics raised then please contact me (Amanda) via phone or e-mail.