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The Art and Science of Acupoint Selection using Kinesiology (Part I)

Muscle monitoring (also referred to as muscle testing) is the defining feature of Kinesiology.

This procedure establishes a biofeedback mechanism between the nervous system and the skeletal muscles. This can help to identify where blockages to healing may exist, why they exist, and allow the body to indicate how to balance these pathways.

This technique is very similar to the intuitive pulse diagnosis of Chinese medicine.

A clear understanding of how to use this information in clinical practice is key to developing an appropriate treatment plan.

Working with the Qi and its flow has both an anatomical and energetic component and is an intrinsic part of the meridian network, which provides an exchange between the body’s interior and exterior.

The theories and treatment protocols for balancing the meridian system can be fairly technical, complex, and overwhelming for those seeking to utilise acupressure corrections as part of their clinical practice.

Both Kinesiology and Chinese medicine suggest that the muscles and organ tissues store information and energy, for example, about traumas. The systemic memory hypothesis suggests that all cells store information, and therefore this information can be potentially retrieved from muscles and organ systems.

Chinese philosophy and medicine are based on systems of correspondences (resonances). These resonances form a significant part of Five Element theory in that the Organs store patterns of information that are unique and can be added to information stored in the brain.

Every part of the musculoskeletal system is related to a main meridian and its associated sub-meridians.

Acupoints are functional sites along the meridian channels.

Acupoints have a unique vibration or ‘frequency signature’ through which an informational resonance passes through the meridians and internal organs to restore balance.

By stimulating an acupoint, the nervous system receives signals and responds by activating nerve or brain cells, releasing hormones, and influencing our immune system through chemical messengers.

This creates a transfer of energy throughout the body that also stimulates blood flow.

This is significant because everything the body needs to heal is in the blood, including oxygen, nutrients we absorb from food, immune substances, hormones, analgesics and anti-inflammatories.

Acupuncture is only one modality that has contributed to the therapeutic use of the meridian system.

There are many others including:

  • Meditation
  • Qi Gong
  • Martial Arts
  • Feng Shui
  • Astrology

The ancient Chinese observed nature by monitoring the activities of the stars, planets, oceans, animal kingdom, seasons, and human behavior. The idea that all of nature is governed by yin/yang and the Five Elements lies at the heart of Chinese medicine.

Chinese medicine’s physiological model can be difficult to accept and comprehend for people who have been brought up with a Western scientific view of the body.

Scientifically we know that specific points open different hemispheres of the brain when needled.

This has been demonstrated using fMRI to monitor the changes in brain activity.

These points alter consciousness as we know it, but what are they really?

In this multi-part series we will delve deeper into the art and science of acupoint selection and how evidence-based protocols can still form a functional part of the ‘best practice’ of a Kinesiologist through a ‘healing partnership’ that includes the art of healing (insight driven) and the science of medicine (evidence driven).

It provides a lens to explain the efficacy of treatment and advice, but can never replace the healing relationship.

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