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Hi, I'm Margie Chavasse and I've been a Kinesiologist since 2015. I'm often asked to explain what Kinesiology is, why it works, who it might help and what it might do for you. So I have put together this guide to do just that.

Kinesiology Explained

What is Kinesiology?

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There are two interpretations of the word, often used interchangeably, but there are important distinctions:


Kinesiology originated as the study of muscles and their movement and, based on that movement, the predictability of what that muscle is going to do or not do. The first interpretation of Kinesiology is limited to the boundaries of muscles and movement.

A Kinesiologist trained in this way may give exercises to strengthen muscles and improve their function as well as overall movement. This is the discipline taught in universities, particularly in America.


Other types of Kinesiology (which may be called Classic Kinesiology, Applied Kinesiology or Health Kinesiology for instance) still use the movement of muscles but this time to predict what is going on further within the body. The strength or weakness of a muscle can provide bioenergetic information to this kind of Kinesiologist.

These types are a method of looking at the body in the round, linking four top-level influencers on the health of an individual: muscle function and structure, biochemical balance, electromechanical influences and emotional, combining to give an overall health picture of the individual as all four are intimately interlinked.


This article expands on the “Other types of Kinesiology” rather than limited to the Kinesiology of only muscle and movement, emphasizing a holistic approach.

First a little History: Where did Kinesiology come from?

The word “Kinesiology” was first coined in the 1850s by Carl August Georgii. He was a Swedish professor studying the science of movement in Stockholm, the forerunner of today’s physiotherapy, and his English translation for this was “kinesiology”.


It is simply a combination of two words: the Greek word “kìnesis” meaning movement and “logos” meaning study or science.

Georgii helped establish Kinesiology as an accepted scientific field by combining physical training and gymnastic procedures with knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and pathology.

In a different field, and decades later in the 1920s, the orthopaedic surgeon R.W. Lovett invented a method for measuring muscle strength, specifically for those affected by polio, the then-prevalent and nasty virus that can cause paralysis.

In the 1930s American osteopath, Frank Chapman, began working with reflex points, now known as neurolymphatic massage points.

Moving on a further decade to the 1940s, physiotherapists Henry and Florence Kendall brought in Lovett’s muscle strength work to their own techniques and laid a strong foundation for muscle testing with their seminal book of 1949, “Muscle Testing and Function”.

In the 1960s an American chiropractor, Dr. George Goodheart adopted and adapted the work of Henry and Florence Kendall. He linked his chiropractic knowledge with the physiotherapy techniques they had developed.


George Goodheart pulled together several other threads and theories, developing Applied Kinesiology. He drew upon Chinese medical concepts of a body’s energetic pathways. included meridian energy flows and the fundamental concept in Chinese philosophy of a life force or “chi”.

George Goodheart theorised that muscles respond to related organ systems through the nervous system. He began using acupressure points and Chapman’s neurolymphatic massage points. He also introduced research-identified nutrients to address imbalances in the body. All these techniques became integrated in his foundation of Applied Kinesiology.

As a result, George Goodheart became known for his ability to solve health problems that no one else could and in so doing put Kinesiology on the map of alternative health systems.

Why Kinesiology Works

At the heart of Kinesiology are the following beliefs about the body:

  1. Capacity to Heal. The human body has an inherent, natural capacity for self-healing and restoration of balance (homoeostasis). It can heal itself - and indeed it strives to do so. If you have ever cut yourself, you will have seen how you heal with little or no conscious intervention.

  2. Inbuilt Intelligence. The human body is intelligent and knows exactly what is going on inside it, now and in the past, holding that complete history subconsciously. Think about how two people might react to the same situation: their reactions are influenced on past events which they may well have forgotten or even been unaware. This applies equally to psychological upset as well as reacting to a virus such as Covid.

  3. Communication with Subconscious. Kinesiology directly communicates with the subconscious mind, bypassing the subjective conscious mind. The massive database held by the subconscious can be accessed through muscle response testing, enabling the tester to identify imbalances, whether they are in organs, nutritional needs, body structure, emotions or energy.


Muscle response testing measures the motor response of the central nervous system to sensory challenges, helping to identify imbalances.


Muscle testing thus connects mind to body, facilitating homoeostasis, the balance that the body craves. The muscles provide bioenergetic information to the experienced Kinesiologist.


To correct an imbalance, the kinesiologist finds the remedy to re-create balance. Like Newton’s third Law of Motion - for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. That remedy may be, for instance, supplemental or rebalancing a muscle or energy field.


Kinesiology and muscle testing can be more than just a standalone technique. They can be integrated with standard diagnostic tests to formulate a more evidenced diagnosis. They can narrow the field of guesswork for causation of symptoms, helping conventional medical treatment to find its solution faster, and assisting the body to restore to optimal health.

Techniques for Accurate Muscle Testing in Muscle Testing

Muscle response testing is a method where a little pressure is applied to a muscle by the practitioner and the practitioner observes for a response. Can the client match the pressure? Is there balance? What restores the human body to balance? What does it need?

Each response provides valuable information about the body’s current state. Kinesiologists may use variants of muscle testing techniques but the principals are the same.

Accurate muscle testing is of utmost importance. Ensuring precision requires kinesiologists to control various factors that could potentially influence the test results, including sensory challenges. By maintaining a high degree of accuracy, muscle testing can be a powerful tool in the hands of a skilled kinesiologist.

Interpreting Accurate Muscle Testing

Interpretation of muscle response involves understanding the intricate connections between muscle responses and corresponding internal organs or systems. The feedback from muscles can reveal hidden imbalances in the body.

This understanding is at the core of Kinesiology. For instance, if a particular muscle shows weakness during testing, it may indicate a problem with the corresponding internal organ or system. This relationship means that accurate muscle testing may provide insight into broader health issues, offering a path to restoring balance and promoting well-being.

Kinesiology in Practice - Who it might help

Recognising the interconnectedness of the human body, mind, and spirit, Kinesiology practitioners strive to promote physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health by identifying and treating various problems using this holistic approach to address issues across these elements.

Each of these elements can be affected by a wide range of physical, chemical, emotional, or neurological imbalances, including emotional blockages, and they all interconnect each to the other.

The final manifested symptom can have many causes and these can layer one on another, interlinking and influencing each other.

With infinite combinations, the breadth of symptoms with which Kinesiology may help is very wide. An overview of the pillars is worth exploring here.

Four Modalities

There are four pillar modalities with which Kinesiologists work. An imbalance in any of these categories will adversely influence an individual.

Furthermore, an imbalance in one pillar is likely to affect another one or more pillars and then one or more elements.

For instance, emotional factors might manifest as physical symptoms. An example might be acute stomach ache happening when there is a stressful situation.

Addressing the emotional component may be key to resolving physical imbalances in many cases, yet conventional medical treatment tends to consider each area (psychologic and structural in this case) as discrete disciplines.

Or structural distortions may cause biochemical imbalances in the body, such as flatulence, irritable bowel syndrome symptoms, headaches, migraines to name a few.

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The broad range of techniques employed in the practice of Kinesiology reflects the field’s versatility and its capacity to address a wide array of health issues which may encompass any of the following:

  1. Those dealing with physical issues like joint pain, back pain, muscle discomfort, migraines, and other structural imbalances.

  2. Individuals with chemical imbalances, which may be caused by nutritional deficiencies, food sensitivities, metabolic issues, pathogen interference or hormonal imbalances.

  3. People experiencing emotional/mental health concerns like anxiety, depression, fears, phobias, trauma, and stress. Muscle testing helps identify emotional blockages that can be released to improve emotional health. Kinesiology employs many specific techniques, including Chapman’s neurolymphatic massage points and Bennett’s neurovascular holding points to target emotional imbalances.

  4. Patients with digestive problems like abdominal pain, IBS, constipation, and bloating, which may have structural, chemical or emotional components.

  5. Those with frequent infections or illnesses, allergies or immune system issues. Examples of cause include a structural distortion somewhere, sensitivity to a food, or an underlying pathogenic infection.

  6. Individuals dealing with chronic conditions like arthritis, asthma, menstrual issues, insomnia, fatigue, or general wellness concerns that have not responded well to conventional treatment alone. These will always be a cauldron of several issues. Causes may include well-hidden pathogenic infection, food intolerances, structural misalignment, toxic burden from heavy metals.

Conventional Medicine alongside Complementary Medicine

Many types of complementary medicine, including Kinesiology, hold great promise and can work safely alongside conventional medical treatment.

Alternative therapies, however, are not taught to formally trained medical doctors who are therefore generally unable to incorporate them in their practices.

Kinesiology methods and their results are often anecdotal rather than the ‘normal’ gold-standard of double-blind placebo-controlled trials. There can be two major reasons for this:

  1. There is nothing patentable in Kinesiology work and therefore no leverage to generating big profits from such a method.  Meaning no business would wish to pay for a significant trial.

  2. No two people have exactly the same cause for a health issue.  This means that, for a similar health symptom, there is likely to be a different Kinesiology correction. This makes it very difficult to run a controlled trial.


It may be that in the future, with the influx of artificial intelligence, data from a vast number of cases could be collated to show a distinct link between positive results and Kinesiology interventions.


It is worth noting that Kinesiology works with the client to explore how to bring the body systems back into balance, which is different from diagnosing and treating conditions.


Many complementary therapies exist on the fringes of mainstream and outside the control of central public body medical authorities. This has always been the case with innovation and new learning of any kind - resulting in a time delay before being absorbed into being accepted as best practice for health.

Types of Kinesiology you may come across, including Applied Kinesiology

Since its original inception, practitioners in various branches of Kinesiology have been developed, mostly based on the core concepts of Kinesiology formed by George Goodheart, which he called Applied Kinesiology.


Subsequent practitioners have developed their own unique aspects of Kinesiology, drawing on other techniques or developing their own methods, often focusing on energy pathways.


Fundamentally, the aim of all branches of Kinesiology is to work holistically with clients to address their imbalances and rebalance their system working towards optimal health and well-being.


Titles one might find include (and this list is not exhaustive!)

  • Classical Kinesiology

  • Applied Kinesiology

  • Health Kinesiology

  • Natural Bioenergetics

  • Systematic Kinesiology

  • Energy Kinesiology

  • Functional Kinesiology

  • Team Kinesiology

  • Kinesiological Therapy

  • Therapy Applied Kinesiology


In this journey through the intriguing world of Kinesiology, we’ve witnessed its evolution from ancient practices to modern applications.

We’ve seen how it blends the wisdom of past traditions with the insights of present-day science to enhance human health and performance and work holistically with the human body.


Despite facing scepticism, Kinesiology continues to innovate and evolve, offering new hope and possibilities for a holistic approach to health.

Frequently Asked Questions

How has Kinesiology evolved over time?

Kinesiology is ever evolving. It integrates modern-day knowledge of structure and muscles along with Chinese medical theory, nerves, lymphatics and different healing techniques. Combining these practices creates a comprehensive and holistic approach to health.

What is the role of muscle testing in Kinesiology?

Accurate muscle testing in Kinesiology is fundamental for the Kinesiologist wishing to detect imbalances in the body and provides guidance for restoring balance, complementing standard diagnostic tests.

How is Kinesiology used in practice?

Kinesiology is used in a variety of settings, including mixed clinics of other alternative medical practices as well as conventional medicine.

How Might Kinesiology Help YOU?

Kinesiology with Margie provides practical holistic health solutions to common health problems such as (but not only)

  • Bloating

  • Stomach issues

  • Severe fatigue

  • IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)


If you're looking to improve your health, then this is how you can work with Margie:

  • Book a Free 30 min Consult: start here

  • Still have questions?  Email your question here

  • Not Sure Where to Start? Have a more complex GI problem you need help with? Have seen several other doctors and still suffering? Let's talk first. We’re here to listen and help you through this frustrating and confusing time.

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