My original purpose in writing this article in 2012 was to come to the aid of the controversial, yet highly compelling technique of applied kinesiology (AK). My goal was to set out to prove that AK, also known as muscle testing, was incontrovertibly supported by science, as I believed it was at that time.
What I have realized is that I cannot – at the present time – provide double-blind, placebo-controlled, scientific proof that applied kinesiology works. That is not to say, however, that it does not work – we merely do not have the tools to incontrovertibly prove or disprove its validity at the present time. However, calling the methodology pseudoscience or quackery reminds me of a moment in history when we were calling the world flat.
What I can do is provide a brief review of both web-based and published literature, and leave you to make your own decision. Some of this literature is scientific in nature; much of it is simply general discourse.
Ultimately, to make any informed decision, one must conduct one’s own research, check the validity of that information, and run checks on those checks, until a level of reasonable certainty is reached as to the veracity of the issue at hand. The level of proof to reach trust that each individual needs is very personal, and I have found that I cannot influence that variable. To many people, my story makes a specious argument. To my own mind, my experience is an ongoing application of the scientific method.
I became interested in learning applied kinesiology for the first time in 1997 when I first moved to New York City and began working as a personal trainer. I was entirely new to the area and did not come to the city with much money. I was bent on success and worked long hours – 12-14 hours on average – in a gym below ground.
I suffered – as so many personal trainers did at that time – from a lack of knowledge about how the body worked. I understood very little about insulin management, though I had, in the last year, read a curious book by a bodybuilding guru named Mauro Di Pasquale called The Anabolic Diet, whose thesis statement was that dietary fat – not carbohydrates – were the best way to manage energy and body fat levels. I thought that was absolute heresy at the time, as it went against every piece of dietary science that I had ever read or heard of, but I digress.
I suffered from chronic fatigue my first year in the city, and met a chiropractor who used muscle testing in his practice who was able to help me with my fatigue. This was the second time that I had been treated by a chiropractor who used muscle testing – the first time was when I was about 7 or 8 years old – and I was floored with the results and the power of the technique. It just spoke truth to me.
I would not begin to learn how to muscle test until several years later, mostly because it was something that I thought of as doctors doing, and I was a personal trainer. In 2003 or 2004, I took my first course in applied kinesiology from Dr. Gary Lasnesky through a seminar sponsored by a company called Biotics Research.
It was an excellent course. However, for a two day course, it was entirely too dense for a person with almost no prior experience in applied kinesiology. I came home from the seminar more interested, but not a great deal more skilled, than I was when before I took it.
Several years later, one of my long term mentors – Charles Poliquin – told me that AK was to become a regular part of instruction for his Biosignature Modulation courses. I was excited about this development, which I was unfortunately unable to take advantage of for several years, as he had challenges maintaining a doctor to teach the skill.
In the interim, in September 2008, I opened a business relationship with another Doctor of Chiropractic named Loren Marks. At the time, I was again experiencing chronic fatigue, which made sense to me, as I had worked the first 187 days of that year straight without a day off. An adrenal stress index test revealed that my cortisol curve was so flat, it was feared that I might have Addison’s disease, a disease of the adrenal glands that causes them to burn out and fail.
Continue reading for more details about my health crisis.
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