I’ve been to many events where Applied Kinesiology gets mentioned and a hush rolls over the crowd. The speaker may joke about a referral patient coming in with a bag of supplements, but it always ends there. No one ever says anything definitive or takes an actual stance.

I do not know enough of the other side to be any kind of authority figure on the subject. Also, my mind is very analytical and I was trained over and over again to think as a scientist. So my bias is likely immutable. I research everything, perhaps even to a fault, and I don’t use any supplement without robust data.

And if we look at things from the analytical scientific method side, Applied Kinesiology does not have much ground to stand on.

“The results of this study indicated that the use of applied kinesiology to evaluate nutrient status is no more useful than random guessing.”
-Kenney et al. 1988

“The results suggest that the use of Health Kinesiology as a diagnostic tool is not more useful than random guessing.”
-Ludtke et al. 2001

“Manual muscle testing was no better than chance at predicting fetal sex in this case series”
-Peterson et al. 2012

“The research published by the Applied Kinesiology field itself is not to be relied upon, and in the experimental studies that do meet accepted standards of science, Applied Kinesiology has not demonstrated that it is a useful or reliable diagnostic tool upon which health decisions can be based.”
-Schwartz et al. 2014

I could not find a single positive study or any study with even trending statistical significance listed on pubmed. A rebuttal may be publication bias, but if anything null findings are much harder to get published. If there was a positive well-performed trial out there I have to believe that there would be many journals that would publish this research.

Another rebuttal is always – it’s an art. I am not denying that there are those out there who have these abilities. I believe they exist and much like Wim Hof let’s use these amazing people as a model.

Does it work for simple diagnostics for which we can absolutely know for certain and can they teach this craft to others? Important questions. Acupuncture may also provide a good model. The research on it is mixed, but there are a lot of positive studies in relation to reducing pain when tested against sham protocols.

Because right now for Applied Kinesiology, everything seems to say no


Which is interesting because many people get mad that we put money into researching yoga, meditation, or forest bathing. They say, “duh, of course that stuff should work.” Yet, these practices show highly statistically significant merit again and again.”

And don’t think for second I’m not woo woo, I once wrote a 40 page research proposal and review on the potential impact of Yoga on Gamma Aminobutyric Acid.

If these new agey techniques laugh in the face of modern science. Why is Applied Kinesiology left to murmur in the shadows?

Here is my hypothesis…

This place is heaven on earth. All we need to do is look around and be present. But I am not confused. I am a modern human and my mind and body are forever changed by it.

I get very nervous when people try to go backwards without the pre-requisite life of backwards.

Shamans and medicine men and women didn’t have cell phones. They watched wolves and touched the earth and drank in the sky every minute of every day.

If you are not this human and you have not lived this life, what claim do you have to their craft?

Aborigines have been said to travel like flocks of birds, moving together without words. Yet, sometimes I can’t even hear another human because my own mind is so loud or so far removed from the present. Every day I wake up and sit and try again to be better, but we cannot go backward in time to lives not lived.

Can we try?

Yes! But, do I believe for a second that you can learn any of these techniques at a weekend seminar?

Absolutely not. You can’t really learn anything at a weekend seminar, let alone unlock your own personal conduit to the universe.

I am not saying these methods don’t work.

I am saying that at the current moment they do not hold up to the scientific method.

And if these practices ever seek to shed the shackles of quackwatch, they must stand up to some form of placebo controlled trial.

I know you don’t care about the research. You don’t care about quackwatch. You care about getting your clients results. But, you do not get to choose when you take this stance because that is dangerous, that is fanatical, that is confirmation and selection bias wrapped into a bundle of self-perpetuating belief structures.

Tread carefully.

This is not a declaration. It is an attempt at an open-ended discussion. Please comment, but if you comment with anecdotal evidence or personal opinions I will moderate it out.