Steve King

Applied Kinesiology

“ Whatever the mind dwells on, the body reveals.”

(Excerpted from the book ‘Rapid Recovery: Accelerated Information Processing & Healing’ by Stephen P. King)

The above statement has a direct connection to Thought Field Therapy, as it is through the use of Applied Kinesiology (AK) that one can ascertain whether or not a person is impacted by certain thoughts, images, beliefs, statements, learning difficulties, or even pollutants, smells, allergens, or other energy fields.

Like many others, Dr. Callahan credits Dr. George Goodheart as being the originator of AK and also believes that, without the discovery of AK, his own work on TFT would not have been possible.

AK had its beginnings in 1964 and is based on the premise that body language never lies. The ability to read the body language is provided by a method of testing muscles as indicators, and therefore it seems appropriate that it was a doctor of chiropractic who made this discovery.

   The “healer within” can be approached from without. Man possesses a potential for

   recovery through the innate intelligence or the physiological homeostasis of the
   human structure. This recovery potential with which he is endowed merely waits for
   the hand and the heart and the mind of a trained individual to bring it into manifestation,
   allowing health to come forth: this is man’s natural heritage.
                                                                              (Goodheart – Introduction, Walther, 1981)

For practitioners of AK the muscles have become monitors of stress and imbalance within the body. Other chiropractors and naturopaths such as John Thie (Touch for Health), Donald Lepore (the Lepore Technique), Paul Dennison (Brain Gym), and James Durlacher (ACU-Power) have systematized kinesiology and adapted it to complement their own techniques. Students of psychology such as Dr. Callahan, Dr. David R. Hawkins (author of Power vs. Force) and Dr. William Whisenant (author of Psychological Kinesiology) have recognized its importance in making healthy cognitive shifts possible for many people who otherwise may have remained `frozen` with unhealthy, self-sabotaging and oftentimes debilitating beliefs/fears etc.  A number of allopathic doctors have also integrated AK into their practice, including Dr. John Diamond, the creator of Behavioral Kinesiology/Life Energy techniques, who helps individuals cope with environmental and lifestyle factors that affect stamina. AK is used extensively for muscle balancing, brain integration, emotional stress release, food sensitivity and learning disorders. However, for the purpose of this exercise, the emphasis will be on its use in showing clients the mind/body correlation between what they think, feel, or have a negative reaction to – and also on how AK can provide information on reversals and neurological disorganization (which will be further explained in chapter 11).

For the purpose of introduction to TFT, Dr. Callahan began his UBC workshop by using AK on volunteers, and then getting the other attendees to break into dyads and practice what it felt like to test and be tested for resistance.
The testee was asked to place one hand, palm down on top of the head and extend the other arm straight out from the shoulder (See illustration below). The tester places his hand on the wrist of the testee’s extended arm, his other hand will rest on the shoulder/collarbone area for stabilization, and then asks the testee to resist as the tester applies gradually increased pressure. The intent is not to have a battle of strength, but to establish whether or not there is resistance to the pressure. The arm will either remain firm and resistance will be shown by the arm quivering, or it may collapse and have little or no resistance whatsoever. If the person is not in a state of “reversal” then they should have a strong resistance. The testee is then asked to place their hand palm up on the top of their head and do the same resistance check. This time if the person is not in reversal the arm should have little resistance (weaker).

Dr. Whisenant also uses the palm and back of the hand covering the fontanel procedure, and describes this same procedure in checking for possible reversals/switching. (p. 300)

Dr. S.W. Tromp, President of the International Society of Biometeorolgy suggests that electric static charges at skin surfaces may be important to human biology. In his book Physical Physics, Dr. Tromp observes that several experiments have established that some persons, more than others, are sensitive to electromagnetic currents. This phenomenon is, he says, related to the electrical existence of the skin, which varies with the individual, and varies for different parts of the body, the resistance being lowest in the center of the palm of the hand (`Electrobiodynamics`. Bretforton Medical Research Trust, p. 9)

Following this exercise the testee was then asked to hold out the designated (usually the strongest) arm and resistance check while saying “My name is ____(testee’s real christian name). Then another resistance check is made as the testee states “My name is ____(a false christian name). If the testee is not in a state of reversal, then resistance should be strong for the real name and weak on the false one. The next example was in checking the difference in resistance when bringing a pleasant image to mind (should have strong resistance) and then an unpleasant image is brought to mind, which should result in a weak resistance check. If the checks show the opposite, then the tester is aware that the client is in a state of reversal. When suggesting that someone think of something pleasant, it can be anything that has a positive connotation to the client, e.g. a person one loves, a hobby, place, or even a favorite food or color. An unpleasant or negative image could be a person, a chore, place, food, or color that one dislikes. This could also be something that one has an allergy to.

A further way of testing can be to do resistance checks (arm test) on someone as they make the statement “I can do that” (should be strong) and then again on the statement “I can’t do that” (should be weaker). From doing this you have helped a client understand how what they say, think, or image has an immediate impact on their body’s innate energy system. As well, you have shown that magnetism also has an impact, which was the purpose behind the one hand on the top of the head, palm down then palm up exercise. This is because, as just mentioned, there is a difference in the magnetism on the palm than on the back of the hand.

It also needs to be understood that the body cannot tell the difference between what is real and what is imagined – the conscious and the sub-conscious, Marilyn Ferguson (1980, p. 251) speaks of Kenneth Pelletier’s observations on this, and Michael Talbot (p. 88) makes similar observations. This also means that one could have a dream and the energy system has reacted as though the images/action were real. A negatively impacting dream could have the effect of setting the self  up to be in a waking state of reversal/self-sabotage without even having a memory of the dream!

Dr. Callahan also demonstrated the difference in resistance when one hand is placed over an electrical outlet while an arm resistance check is done, and then another one without touching anything. The resistance should test strong when not touching the outlet and weak when doing so – if the opposite is true then it suggests the person is in a state of reversal. Callahan then used a regular battery to demonstrate that, by placing one end against a person’s stomach and doing an arm resistance check, then turning the battery around so that the opposite polarity is facing the person’s stomach, it too resulted in a difference in ability to resist.

It was at a later time that a chiropractor friend of mind demonstrated how one can experience the state of reversal without having to do any of the aforementioned, and it has become something that I incorporate in any orientation to the subject of AK and TFT.

One can take the index and middle fingers of one hand and place them either side of the belly button, press into the stomach and draw the fingers upwards as far as the base of the neck. Once at the neck, move the hand a few inches away from the body and draw the fingers up again from the belly button to the bottom of the neck. Repeat these upward strokes about ten times and then do an arm resistance test – it should test strong. Then reverse this by starting with the two fingers pressed in to the bottom of the neck and drawing them down to the belly button, again taking them a few inches away from the body and then repeating the downward strokes about ten times, then doing an arm resist again. This time it should test weak. If the tests show weak on the upward stroke and strong on the downward then the person is in a state of reversal and possible neurological disorganization, corrections for which are both detailed in chapter eleven. 

I also demonstrate that a “state of reversal” can be easily induced by the tester, without the testeee being touched. This is done by having the tester place his hand, palm up and horizontal to the subject’s belly button (one or two inches away from the body), then moving the hand upwards to the base of the neck, drawing it away, then repeating these upward strokes about ten times. The arm should then test strong. Then do the reverse by starting at the base of the neck and drawing the hand, palm down, to the belly button, again repeat about ten times, without ever touching the body on either the up or down strokes. Re-test and it should show weak.  This can clearly demonstrate the subtle manner in which our system can be impacted without our conscious awareness, such as by other persons, pollutants, poisons, and perfumes!

Scott J. Gregory author of Conquering AIDS Now, speaks of the benefits of this upward `adrenal massage` as stimulating proper adrenal function, providing strength and boosting the immune system. “If the adrenal glands are in a state of continuous overwork  (which most are, since most of us live in cities with daily stresses), adrenal energy must be built up” (p. 30) This not only validates the importance of the role of the adrenals, but also fits into Chinese medicine’s acupuncture theory regarding the chi energy and its upward movement via the conception vessel, from the perineum to the crown. A more detailed explanation of the various acupressure points and their roles in TFT is provided in chapter nine. 

Further testing on the ability of the adrenals to provide muscle strength can be demonstrated by having someone lay down and asking them which of their legs is the stronger. Then ask them to lift that leg a couple of feet off the ground and have a tester do a resistance check by placing their hand around the ankle of the raised leg and applying enough pressure to move the leg downward. Tell the subject to be aware of the level of strength they have. Then have the subject place the index and middle fingers of one hand either side of the belly button, pressing the fingers firmly in while the tester again tests the leg resistance, which should be a lot stronger.

The adrenal glands secrete several important hormones, including epinephrine (adrenaline), which is in response to stimulation of the “fight or flight” stress response, norepinephrine (noradrenaline), which has a role in maintaining normal blood circulation, aldosterone, which regulates the body’s water and salt balance, cortisone and hydrocortisone, which regulate fat, carbohydrate and protein metabolism, and ketosteroids (sex hormones) including the now popular dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). The adrenals release these hormones for stress when the body is being exercised, fasted, infected, drugged, or is experiencing temperature changes.
Beta endorphin (enkaphaline) creates the feelings of euphoria, mood stability, decreased pain and reduced stress by having the molecules go back to the brain via the bloodstream which then effects one’s feelings.

We refer to the pleasure of endorphin release, but bearing in mind that release can be induced by exercise, acupuncture, laughter, pain, starvation, or childbirth, we can then understand why some means are far more attractive than others!

It is important however, to recognize the antecedents and roles of the “fight or flight” response in our individual systems as well as the means by which healthy shift, i.e. endorphins, can be achieved. This knowledge fits into the model of genesis for many clients` problems, as well as being part of the TFT means to resolution or dissipation.

It is recognized by the Beverly Hall Corporation Healing Research Center that hypoadrenalism (adrenal insufficiency) appears to result in the paradoxical situation of making many people over-excited when they should rest/sleep, and tired and weak when they need to function. From the same research center have come books such as It’s Only Natural, Adrenal Syndrome and Chronic Fatigue Unmasked. Numerous magazine articles have also been written on stress and various supplements that can be used to boost the immune system. (`Dealing with stress – Living in the 90`s`. Health Counsellor Magazine. Vol. 8, No.4 pps. 16-19)

In Oriental medicine, the kidneys are responsible for storing a vital essence. This essence is described as our `spark`. An individual can never have too much kidney energy. The kidney energy is responsible for the production of marrow that strengthens the bones, enriches the blood and feeds the brain, (Gregory/Leonardo p. 125) and it should be remembered that the adrenals are located just above the kidneys.

The chiropractic profession believes there are three basic causes of health problems and has labeled them as the “Triad of Health” (Walther p. 17). These three causes are considered to be structural, chemical and mental. They believe that all problems, functional or pathological, are involved in at least one part of the triad. It has certainly not surprised me to note that other problems have seemingly disappeared for clients when TFT has been successfully used to dissipate a fear, phobia, anxiety, trauma response, or physical pain.

The Triad of Health therefore could be seen as: 
1) Anatomical/mechanical – the restoration of movement and function.
2) Neurological/reflective – manipulations to change neural network signalling, neurochemical release and physiological function.
3) Mental/emotional – the human role and one-on-one contact which positively effects the mind
      of a client and often provides commitment and motivation for positive change.

AK’s neuroreflective techniques can help pinpoint and address numerous medical issues such as ileocecal valve spasm, which can cause the system to have a major toxic reaction (Gottschalk Olsen p. 124) and also trapped blood plasma protein, which can cause degenerative diseases, pain and other disorders.
Chiropractor Dr. Samuel West has written of this problem in his book Seven Golden Discoveries plus one (`Cymatics in relation to the meridian system`. Bretforton Medical Research Trust, p. 3) in which he discusses ways of untrapping the protein, which includes the use of Cymatic energy, an issue that will be addressed in chapter ten.   

Applied Kinesiology is also known by other terms such as Muscle Response Testing (MRT) and Contact Reflex Analysis (CRA). Dr. Donald Lepore’s technique (The Ultimate Healing System) utilizes MRT in order to; pinpoint the ‘metabolic antagonist”, measure the needed nutritional antidote, i.e. a vitamin, mineral, amino acid, herb, cell salt or homeopathic remedy, and to measure the needed support nutrients. (Lepore p. 1)

In his chapter on `Glandular Therapy` (p. 239) Dr. Lepore uses AK/MRT to pinpoint the dormant or non-functioning gland and then to determine the correct amount of corrective nutrient needed for normalization. This can be with glandular concentrate, herbs, vitamins, minerals and amino acids. He also does likewise for the body’s various organs. Dr. Lepore also describes how he is able to test infants, invalids, and even pets by using a surrogate (ibid. pps. 380-383) It is becoming more common to hear of horses and other animals being treated by acupuncture and acupressure.

Donna Eden suggests that energy testing (AK) could significantly reduce the incidence of iatrogenic (induced by medical treatment) illness and should also be used to determine what foods, vitamins and supplements you should or should not take. (p. 45)

CRA is practiced by naturopaths and chiropractors, as well as clinical nutritionists, optometrists, dentists, veterinarians and medical doctors and, “provides a convenient and accurate method of targeting these causes (of illness) and to periodically monitor your progress.” (Eugene Pontius. Alive Magazine. No. 161, p. 35)
It is only necessary to be able to do the initial AK testing and to become comfortable in checking for reversals and resistance in order for you to be able to use TFT in a counseling situation such as my own. For those in the professions mentioned in the previous paragraph, it would be very worthwhile to attend AK workshops that could broaden one’s diagnostic abilities and to learn the correct treatment locations, which are detailed in books by Goodheart, Walther, Durlacher, Lepore, and Whisenant.

Therapy Localization, i.e. on a thought, belief, image etc., is also applicable to the body’s organs, and AK on the correct testing points will show where the weaknesses are, and these can be corrected by knowing the correct treatment points for them. (For further reading Durlacher and Whisenant are recommended, though they are detailed and illustrated in Chapter 12 of Rapid Recovery)

I would recommend testing AK on family and friends in order to feel how easy it is to note the difference between someone testing weak or strong, remembering it is not a battle of strength. You should not have a vested interest in pulling someone’s arm down! It is only a diagnostic tool, and it is a tool that can be of immense help in clearing hindrances to good health.

There are also ways in which you can self-test and these are detailed in Durlacher’s Freedom From Fear Forever.  Your own comfort level in using AK will likely change your practice or direction forever, as it did with Dr. Callahan, the others that I have mentioned, and of course as it did for myself.
Daniel Goleman has made the term “Emotional Intelligence” popular and understandable. Likewise we can understand and relate to the concept of  “Physiological Intelligence” meaning that the body knows what it needs and what it doesn’t. AK can test this concept by having any substance, e.g. water/coffee, held against the stomach with one hand, and then having the other arm tested.

There is an interesting added feature to AK in that the testing can be done on the present mindset and say, how someone was feeling about the issue 20 minutes earlier. This can be tested by just asking the pertinent questions.

One can also test on statements such as, “Is there anything that (testee’s name) needs to know, understand, or work through from conception to birth? from birth to 5 years of age?, 5 – 10 years of age?”, etc. up to the person’s present age. If in any of the five-year age spans the arm goes weak, then ask specifically which age the issue arose, i.e. “is it at 5 years of age?” “Is it at 6 years of age?” etc. until it weakens, and then usually a client can relate to what it might be. Occasionally one may feel the need to pose the question, “Is there anything that —- needs to know, understand or work through that originated prior to conception.”

If there is a positive response to this question, or one that indicates the origin was at a time which was pre-verbal or pre-conscious to the client’s memory (up to two or three years of age), then for healing purposes, one could utilize the “Inner Guide” work described in chapter 13 of ‘Rapid Recovery’.  

It is in some cases necessary to locate and unfreeze the position the eyes were locked in (ocular lock) at the time of any given trauma. That locked position can be identified by having the client “resist” while being AK tested and focusing on the trauma. Ask the client to follow your fingers as you slowly weave a horizontal figure eight in front of their eyes. If at any point, where their eyes are following the figure eight, their arm loses its resistance, then the client should relax their arm. Keep your finger(s) in that position of the figure eight where the client’s arm weakened, with the client continuing to stare at it for 20-30 seconds. Re-test the arm while they again stare at the fingers in that same position, and you should find that the arm should be much more able to resist. This may be of great use when someone was traumatized or shocked by something or someone from just within the client’s peripheral vision. 

Note – a reminder that AK is purely for diagnostic purposes, and is not a battle of strength. If one senses that is happening then it may be prudent to ask the client to “hold” or “be strong” instead of “resist”.

Further information on Applied Kinesiology is available from

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