Understanding Kinesiology— an introduction

The word kinesiology means ‘study of human muscular movement’. In holistic healthcare Kinesiology means ‘muscle testing’ such as the tests performed on arms and legs by a chiropractor.

My understanding of muscle testing is that we are really testing the nervous system. The muscle only contracts, or switches on, when the nerves send a signal to fire up the muscle. So it’s more accurately a form of neurological testing. By testing this switched on/switched off response we can ‘ask the body’ to reveal its inner wisdom about health and wellbeing.

Pathway Balancing Kinesiology applies these tests with verbal questions. The questions asked follow a specific protocol. There is a map used by the Practitioner, which checks a person’s basic energy flow, the health of the body, the level of awareness on the journey of life and the health of the soul, spirit and heart-field. The Pathway Balancing Journey material is unique and original and only available from fully trained, qualified and updated Pathway Balancing Kinesiology Practitioners.


The definitive guide to Kinesiology — the study of human muscular movement

The word kinesiology means ‘the study of human muscular movement’. So there might be a module of study called Kinesiology in a training course for fitness instructors or physiotherapists. Kinesiology, as a study in itself, looks at where the muscles attach to our bones and which direction the muscle fibres are running. This attachment, and direction of muscle position, will determine how our body will move.

Each muscle attaches to a bone with one non-moving end. This non-moving end of the muscle is called the origin. It is the root or base of the muscle. The other end of the muscle is the one which will move the bone that it’s attached to. This mobile end of any muscle is called the insertion. So each muscle has an origin and an insertion.

A muscle is just a piece of meat, with no ability to move by itself or of its own free will. Without a nerve attached to it, the muscle would remain lifeless and limp.

The muscle only moves when the nerve fires a signal. At the stimulus of a nerve impulse, the muscle contracts or shortens. This causes the insertion to move closer to the stable origin. This contraction pulls one bone closer to another and so the skeleton moves! The direction and strength of this muscle movement is observed in kinesiology.

When a muscle contracts to produce movement, another muscle has to relax to accommodate the movement. For example, if you contract your bicep, your tricep must also relax and allow the back of your arm to stretch. So the ability of a muscle to go weak, switch off or soften is also observed in kinesiology.

Positioning and testing muscles

Kinesiology is all about muscle-testing. A kinesiology practitioner will be trained in accurate muscle-testing and this use of muscle-testing is what defines a kinesiologist. 

From the study of kinesiology we can establish how each muscle, and muscle-group, works to move certain bones in particular ways, ensuring the smooth movement of the whole skeleton and the human body as a whole. By positioning the body in a certain posture, a kinesiologist can see which muscles are working effectively in achieving and holding a posture or limb position.

Once a kinesiologist has positioned the body in a specific way, they can further check the effectiveness of the muscular movement by adding manual pressure. For example, a kinesiologist might ask their client to raise their arm in front of themselves. The person’s arm would be raised from the shoulder, keeping the arm straight, and stopping with the arm at a 45 angle from the front of the client’s body. This movement would show the kinesiologist that the person was able to contract their anterior deltoid muscle — a rounded muscle at the top of the arm, in front of the shoulder.

However, to really test this muscle, and find out if it can hold up under pressure, the kinesiologist can gently press down on the client’s forearm, pressing towards the floor and back towards the client’s body. If the arm stays in position, without any wobble, sponginess or giving way, the muscle is shown to be strong, switched on and positive. If the person’s arm cannot hold up under this steady, gentle pressure, the muscle test will show as weak, switched off or negative.

This use of muscle-testing, in the study of human muscular movement, is called kinesiology. A kinesiology practitioner will not only be knowledgeable in the positioning and movement of muscles but also skilled and sensitive in the art of accurate muscle-testing.

What muscle-testing tells us

So when a kinesiologist positions and tests a muscle, with a specific direction and gentle pressure, the muscle response tells us something. If the muscle holds its position strongly, we can say that this firm muscle-response is a ‘switched on’ muscle-response. This is because the nerve has fired a signal, or switched the muscle on, in response to the stimulus of the practitioners applied pressure. So although it’s called muscle-testing, in kinesiology, it’s perhaps more accurate to say it’s the nerve or nervous system we are testing. The muscle shows the positive or negative response of the nervous system to a given stimulus.

The key to unlocking the body’s wisdom

Because muscle-testing shows us the response of the nervous system to a specific stimulus, position or pressure, we can begin to ‘ask the body’ to reveal its innate wisdom. If a person cannot hold up their arm when pressure is applied by the kinesiologist, their nervous system may be unable to hold up under pressure in other situations.

Physical pressure on the muscle is just one stimulus a kinesiologist can apply in a muscle-test. Another stimulus is the spoken word or verbal dialogue. One of the most amazing demonstrations of the value of kinesiology is the use of speaking about, or even having the client think about, a particular situation, then testing the muscle-response. A previously strong, switched-on muscle can test weak or switched off, simply by having the client think or speak about something they find stressful.

This muscle-response, nerve-impulse or neurological response, can be tested against a variety of stimuli. Clients can be tested for their automatic response to smelling a food, looking at a colour or holding a particular remedy. The electromagnetic field of a person can be tested by running the acupuncture meridians with light contact, or simply waving the practitioners hand in the aura surrounding a person’s body.

This ability to test the body’s physical, muscular, neurological response to pressure or stimuli can give the kinesiologist vital information. This can help the client unlock their inner wisdom and find out what weakens and switches them off, and most importantly, what strengthens and fires them up with flowing energy again.

History and origins of kinesiology

A system for testing and grading the functioning of muscles was carried out by an orthopaedic surgeon, R.W. Lovett, in the 1920’s. This work was further developed by Henry and Florence Kendall and published in their book, Muscle Testing and Function,  in 1949.

Kinesiology as a therapy began in the 1960’s when a US chiropractor, Dr George Goodheart, had a major insight into the relationship between back pain and weak muscles. At that time back pain was understood to be the result of muscle spasm, or over-tight muscles, and treatment focused on stretching or relaxing the tight muscles. However, Dr Goodheart discovered that strengthening the weak, over-relaxed or stretched muscle resulted in the tight, painful muscle being able to let go of its tension.

His next major insight occurred when he applied firm finger pressure to the muscle insertion of a man unable to move his shoulder, and therefore unable to work. This man was immediately able to move his shoulder in a way that had been impossible for fifteen years!

This concept of finger pressure was also understood from the work done by osteopath Frank Chapman in the 1930’s. He discovered, and then mapped, a whole series of reflex points on the body that stimulated and strengthened specific internal organs via the lymph system of drainage. Over time, a whole range of therapeutic techniques were linked to the testing, and then strengthening, of weak or switched off muscles.

In 1973 the book Touch for Health was published by US chiropractor John Thie. This simple-to-follow book clearly showed, through photos and diagrams, how to correctly position and test a range of 42 muscles of the body and then apply simple, safe techniques to strengthen any muscle that tested weak. This manual is the foundational text for basic energy balancing in Pathway Balancing Kinesiology.

Growth and development of kinesiology

The Touch for Health manual was designed as a safe system for lay people to use at home, helping those around them to have better health and more energy. In 1975 the Touch for Health Foundation was formed and began a training programme to go with the manual. Many people who trained in Touch for Health began to explore and discover more ways to strengthen muscles and improve energy flow and general wellbeing. In time, many of these discoveries became systematised into different forms of kinesiology. 

By the 1990’s it was recognised that these systems needed to be formalised into standardised professional methodologies. There are now many clearly defined branches of professional kinesiology in the UK. Pathway Balancing Kinesiology is among those which meet the UK National Occupational Standards in Healthcare. To find out more about kinesiology, and the various branches within the profession, read Jane Thurnell-Read’s book Kinesiology, published in 2011.

The power of kinesiology

The essence of kinesiology is to strengthen the body’s ability to hold energy, with a flowing and balanced posture. The muscle-responses are balanced to allow strength and natural tension to work in harmony with relaxation and flexibility.

The aim is to enable a person to hold up under pressure, because they have the natural resources to do so. When we lack energy, whether physically, emotionally or more subtly, it can feel like it’s an effort just to get through each day. We can feel tired, heavy, demotivated or even depressed. At this level of low, or out of balance energy, a person may have to force themselves to get out of bed, do their work or make contact with other people. So in this state we could say this person is living by force.

Kinesiology is about living in power. Having the energy to get up in the morning and go about your business can be taken for granted, until illness or distressing circumstances stop us in our tracks. The work of a kinesiologist is to restore natural functioning to the muscles, nervous system, emotions and much more, as far as the client is able to achieve.

Our energy levels, and the ability to exercise the power of choice, affects our individual life but also the lives of those around us. We begin to create, and move within, a field of energy and behaviours that produces waves and consequences. We start to associate with particular individuals and groups that reflect our own state of awareness. We are attracted to, and can contribute to, dynamics of behaviour that can heal and enliven us. Much more is being discovered about this energy potential, in the unmanifested realm, through the fascinating work of quantum physicists like Albert Einstein.

These fields of awareness and dynamics have been analysed and described in the excellent work by David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D., in his book ‘Power vs Force. The Hidden Determinants of Human Behaviour,’ first published in 1995. His thoroughly researched work is a key source used in Pathway Balancing Kinesiology. He has calibrated energy levels and human dynamics of behaviour that accurately chart a person’s capacity to live by force or live in power. This scale measures, from 0 to 1000, the level of awareness and energetic tone of any individual, with 0 to 200 being the level of force and 201 to 1000 being a state of power.

Kinesiology, at this deeper level, can begin to move a person’s life in a transformative direction. We have to live by force when we’re immersed in shame, apathy, grief, fear or anger. Kinesiology techniques can help to bring a person up into the power of willingness, acceptance, love, joy and peace.

Freedom through kinesiology

Going through life by forcing your way through the day, with low energy and troubled emotions, can take its toll on a person. Whether the difficulties are current or past, kinesiology can help you to move on and leave the past behind, heading towards a better, more empowered place and more balanced way of life.

Initially, kinesiology is about strengthening your muscles, releasing tension and soothing your nerves. However, the clearer and stronger you become, the more capacity you have for resolving old patterns that contributed to your pain and tiredness in the first place. If energy cannot flow and be expressed appropriately, it can get trapped or stuck in the body, almost indefinitely. Long-term benefits come from persevering with a programme of consultations to resolve the underlying energy imbalances, belief systems or behaviour patterns that are sabotaging your health or way of life.

It is such a relief to let go of, and resolve, old emotions still trapped in layers of the body structure. Once these trapped emotions are dissolved safely, with kinesiology balancing techniques, that energy can flow again, into a creative and sensitive awareness of being fully alive. For an excellent study in this area of kinesiology, read The Emotion Code by Dr, Bradley Nelson published in 2007.

The Pathway Balancing kinesiology journey

To stay on track with your journey through life, it is important to avoid falling too far into the ditches on either side of life’s pathway. Pathway Balancing Kinesiology, researched, created and developed by Corrina Kennedy since 1996, is unique in its mapping out of a metaphorical and metaphysical journey that spirals upwards towards healing and transformation.

The energy balancing techniques applied throughout a Pathway Balancing Kinesiology consultation are used to positive effect, for specific issues that are ready to be resolved. The unique system builds a person’s energy and health, as a good foundation for daily living. The Journey then leads upwards through the Levels of awareness for The Individual, The Community, The Nation, Heaven on Earth, Dreamweaver, Transformation and into Paradise on Earth. The higher Levels, where a person is experiencing a deeper healing of their soul, take us into Heart Consciousness, give us Pearls of Wisdom and enable us to find fulfilment and purpose in a Completion of the Journey that was laid down in the chromosomes and processes of our miraculous conception.

This amazing Journey, through the unique material of the Pathway Balancing Kinesiology system, gives incredibly accurate insights into the significance and meaning of our current life experiences. This journey can provide answers, and give you a clarity that allows you to move on with confidence about the best way forward.

Kinesiology can be a simple method for releasing muscular tension for relaxation or a system that provides unique guidance for a more fulfilling and purposeful way of life. The choice is yours.