Kinesiology is the study of the movement of muscles. Applied kinesiology is looking beyond at what caused any weakness and how to improve it.
Started in the 1960s by George Goodheart who is an American chiropractor. He noticed that once adjustments to the spine had been made, muscles relating to that spinal segment became stronger. This lead him to find 'reflex' points all over the body which, when massaged, strengthens the muscle. These were already called Chapman's reflexes, and are widely known by kinesiologists as neuro-lymphatic points.
Goodheart found that weak muscles (even if weak only in certain conditions) were often paired with one in spasm (all muscles are paired, and are antagonistic to each other - i.e. do the opposite when contracted). Goodheart in noticed that if he strengthened the weak, opposing muscle in the pair, using the neuro-lymphatic points, the tense muscle came back into normal alignment. The analogy to this is a swing door with two springs, where one goes slack, the other taught when the door moves. Massaging the tight spring will do no good in getting the door back to its original position - it is the weak spring which needs attention! Goodheart then wanted to find out, 1) why muscles tested weak he first place and 2) how to strengthen them.
1) Structural misalignment, nutrition andemotional disturbances cause muscles to test weak. He theorised that this meant a system beyond the muscle alone, so he started to look at acupuncture and testing muscles to show whether energy flow in the meridian lines were blocked or not i.e. muscle strength could give informationas to the overall picture of energy flows through the body. Since eachmeridian relates to a specific organ, he deduced muscles must have arelationship with the organs of the body and specific, persistent weaknesscould be an indication of organ disfuntions requiring further medicalinvestigations.
2) Strengthen muscle by massaging on the acupuncture meridians to free the flow of energy, by improving nutrition, alleviating emotional stress and correcting musculo-skeletal misalignments.
Bringing together these two strands, i.e. that which causes muscles to test weak, and how to strengthen them - soon became now as "Applied kinesiology".
In the early 70s, the International College of Applied Kinesiology was founded.