Kinesiology is non-manipulative therapy which uses gentle, manual muscle testing (also known as muscle monitoring) to assess the body's energy flow (Chi) and identify any disruptions or imbalances. Kinesiologists believe that each of our muscles is connected to an organ, so if a muscle appears to be weak, they believe that this reflects a problem with the relevant organ. Kinesiology is a holistic treatment which looks at the body as a whole rather than at individual symptoms.
Muscle testing is the principal tool of kinesiology and a practitioner will apply gentle pressure to a contracted muscle to assess its responses – this should be neither painful nor uncomfortable. The way the muscle responds reveals any imbalances in the body’s energy pathways which the kinesiologist can then correct. These corrections take the form of a variety of simple yet effective techniques, including:
- gentle massage
- touching reflex or acupuncture
- specific body movements to release the flow of energy
- nutritional changes
- the use of magnets
- homeopathic remedies or flower essences
- the power of thought.
By detecting imbalances which can then be corrected, kinesiology can be helpful in improving general health by:
- increasing vitality and energy levels
- preventing illness
- improving posture and so reducing pain and joint problems
- reducing stress and tension and so alleviating problems such as headaches and digestive issues
- improving cognitive ability, alertness, co-ordination and brain function
- improving nutrition and sensitivity or allergies.
Kinesiology does not interfere with medications and does not have side effects so is generally considered to be a safe treatment.
There are various branches of kinesiology but all use muscle testing and a holistic approach that promotes a personal healing process.
How can it help people in Parkinson's?
Some studies have suggested that kinesiology may be a useful diagnostic tool, but there is no clinical research so far into its validity with Parkinson’s. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that some people with the condition have found kinesiology improves their health and vitality, whilst reducing tension and depression.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that kinesiology can also improve gait disturbances, postural changes and imbalance, as well as muscle rigidity – all of which are common symptoms of Parkinson’s. Kinesiology aims to encourage better control of movement, improve balance and motor function, and to develop general wellbeing.
Each person will respond differently to this therapy so you will need to set clear goals and monitor if you think kinesiology is helping you.
What should I expect at an appointment?
Kinesiology is not regulated in many countries. It is therefore a good idea to ask your doctor or other healthcare professional for recommendations. Friends, family, other people with Parkinson’s or your national Parkinson’s association may also be able to advise based on personal experience.
It is advisable to see a therapist who has experience of Parkinson’s so do ask about their experience of the condition as well as their qualifications.
Depending on the kinesiologist, you will meet in a clinic, your home or in his or her home. You will generally be asked questions about your condition, medical history, nutrition and lifestyle so that the kinesiologist can assess your physical, emotional and nutritional state. The treatment prescribed will vary depending according to the branch of kinesiology that the therapist follows.
Your therapist will probably advise you on nutritional or lifestyle changes, and he or she may give you specific exercises to do, or may recommend flower essences or nutritional supplements to maintain the positive effect of the session.
Your initial consultation might last between one and a half hours and two hours with follow-up sessions of between half to one hour. There is no standard course of treatment - most people will notice an improvement after just one session but two or three sessions are often required, depending on your needs. If further sessions are required, there is usually a break of three to five weeks between the sessions to allow the body time to correct itself before the next consultation.
How do I find a therapist?
The following sites will help identify kinesiologists in your area:
We would like to thank the following for their contribution:
- Joyce Couper, Kinesiology Federation of the UK