PAK: Professional Applied Kinesiology
A.K. is an interdisciplinary approach to health care which draws together the core elements of the complementary therapies, creating a more unified approach to the diagnosis and treatment of functional illness. A.K. uses functional assessment measures such as posture and gait analysis, manual muscle testing as functional neurologic evaluation, range of motion, static palpation, and motion analysis. These assessments are used in conjunction with standard methods of diagnosis, such as clinical history, physical examination findings, laboratory tests, and instrumentation to develop a clinical impression of the unique physiologic condition of each patient, including an impression of the patient’s functional physiologic status. When appropriate, this clinical impression is used as a guide to the application of conservative physiologic therapeutics.
Though muscle testing is an amazing art form, there are limitations to everything. As such, Applied Kinesiology is used an adjunt to traditional diagnostic methods. In doing so, many practitioners find it enhances their patient outcomes. As such, Applied Kinesiology training through certified PAK courses is only open to those individuals licensed to perform those diagnostic procedures.
The origin of contemporary applied kinesiology is traced to 1964 when George G. Goodheart Jr, DC, first observed that in the absence of congenital or pathologic anomaly, postural distortion is often associated with muscles that fail to meet the demands of muscle tests designed to maximally isolate specific muscles. He observed that tender nodules were frequently palpable within the origin and/or insertion of the tested muscle. Digital manipulation of these areas of apparent muscle dysfunction improved both postural balance and the outcome of manual muscle tests. Goodheart and others have since observed that many conservative treatment methods improve neuromuscular function as perceived by manual muscle testing. These treatment methods have become the fundamental applied Kinesiology approach to therapy. Included in the AK approach are specific joint manipulation or mobilization, various myofascial therapies, cranial techniques, meridian therapy, clinical nutrition, dietary management, and various reflex procedures. With expanding investigation there has been continued amplification and modification of the treatment procedures. Although many treatment techniques incorporated into applied kinesiology were pre-existing, many new methods have been developed within the discipline itself.