Written by Emily Whitton
Emily Whitton
Therapy Directory Content Team

Last updated 31st May 2023 | Next update due 30th May 2026

Kinesiology is a non-invasive holistic energy therapy. It combines the ancient principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) with modern muscle monitoring techniques.

What is kinesiology?

Kinesiology uses muscle-testing techniques to gain an insight into the areas of stress and imbalance within the energy system. It is based upon the premise that any issues within an energy system will eventually be reflected in the body.

Kinesiology uses a range of gentle, yet effective techniques. Depending on the client’s individual needs, the methods applied in the kinesiology session will vary according to your practitioner and their particular specialism. All modalities use muscle testing to find the main stressors and determine the appropriate corrections to make. These may be on a physical level, such as emotional issues, a chemical imbalance or dietary changes.

In kinesiology, the energy system is believed to be one complete unit. This unit is made up of different parts that all interconnect, react and affect one another. The theory is common among many complementary and alternative therapies - most of which have a holistic view. It is thought that everything we do has an impact on the system as a whole.

Holistic therapists who offer kinesiology

A holistic approach

This holistic approach considers the possibility that one problem may lead to another. Because of this, these therapies look at the complete person instead of focusing on identifying and treating symptoms.

While the approach, theory and techniques will differ between each practitioner, there are two theories that are central in many complementary and alternative therapies, particularly in the practice of kinesiology. These theories are energy meridians and the Triad of Health.

Energy meridians

In TCM, the body is represented as a balance of two forces - yin and yang. While in some cultures, yin and yang are perceived to be symbols of good and bad, they are also represented as an example of how opposites can only exist in relation to each other. According to Chinese medicine, when these two opposing forces become unbalanced, the effects can result in a blockage in the flow of our life energy or qi.

This energy is believed to circulate throughout the body, using pathways known as our ‘meridian system’. This is a system made up of various individual meridians (vital organs) that represent either yin or yang.

In this video, kinesiologist Rosemary Tarrant Dip KA, ITEC AP&M, ACMT, HbT explains more about what kinesiology is and what you can expect from a session.

What are the 12 primary paired meridians?

  • The stomach meridian (yang) flows to the spleen meridian (yin).
  • The heart meridian (yin) flows to the small intestine meridian (yang).
  • The bladder meridian (yang) flows to the kidney meridian (yin).
  • The pericardium meridian (yin) flows to the triple warmer meridian (yang).
  • The gallbladder meridian (yang) flows to the liver meridian (yin).
  • The lung meridian (yin) flows to the large intestine meridian (yang).

In TCM, symptoms of various illnesses and ailments are believed to be the result of a disrupted or unbalanced energy movement.

What is the Triad of Health?

Depending on the branch of kinesiology used, some practitioners will approach health and wellness using a system known as the Triad of Health. The triad is represented by an equilateral triangle with physical and structural health forming the base. Chemical and diet represent one side and mental and emotional health represents the other.

When a person begins to experience a health problem, it is believed to be caused by an imbalance in these factors. All of these need to be considered to identify the cause of the problem. The techniques involved in kinesiology allow practitioners to evaluate the balance of the triad. They can then trace the problem back to the cause and help the energy system repair itself.

Muscle testing

There are various branches of kinesiology, but the key tool used within all practices of kinesiology is muscle testing or muscle monitoring. Muscle testing is used to gain a response from the muscle, which the kinesiologist hopes will provide them with an insight into the meridian system.

The muscle testing aspect of kinesiology is relatively transferable. It is common for it to be applied, expanded upon and incorporated into other therapy forms.

Generally, your kinesiologist will position a limb so that one of the muscles is in a contracted position. Gentle pressure is then applied, which you will be asked to match. The muscle will either remain contracted or it may unlock. This muscle response will lead your kinesiologist to determine what the priority stressors or imbalances are, before deciding how to address them.

The aim of the exercise is not to test strength, but instead to see how responsive the muscle is to additional pressure. At no stage should muscle testing cause any kind of pain or discomfort.

As with any kind of alternative or complementary therapy, kinesiology is not a substitute for seeing a medical professional. If you have a concern or injury, it is important to consult your GP before seeking holistic treatment.

Kinesiology modalities explained

Since it was developed in the 1960s, kinesiology has evolved and developed into a much bigger practice. The term now covers not just the original form, but various other healing modalities.

Kinesiology practitioners can also choose to learn and specialise in more than one form of kinesiology. The differing forms generally all involve muscle testing but will vary in technique.

Some of the branches recognised by the Kinesiology Federation include:

  • classical kinesiology
  • creative kinesiology
  • educational kinesiology
  • health kinesiology
  • progressive kinesiology
  • wellness kinesiology

What can kinesiology treat? 

Kinesiology can be used to aid the treatment of a variety of problems and concerns. These can be physical, mental, or spiritual and fall under the various branches of kinesiology. Some examples of what kinesiology can be used for are:

  • improve energy
  • target areas of pain or discomfort
  • relieve symptoms of IBS and other food allergies/sensitivities
  • a nutritional aid
  • increasing self-esteem
  • help in overcoming fears, phobias, and anxieties
  • relieve symptoms of stress

What are the benefits of kinesiology?

Kinesiology aims to restore balance to the whole person by promoting the self-healing process. Each of the kinesiology modalities will have its own health benefits and how you are affected will depend on your situation, your practitioner and the treatment you receive.

For example:

  • Educational kinesiology is said to help improve sports performance and self-development.
  • Health kinesiology has been reported to help boost self-confidence and improve a person’s ability to focus and stay motivated.
  • Creative kinesiology works with energy to help people overcome aches, pains, lack of confidence, fatigue, life frustration and lack of fulfilment or purpose.
  • Wellness kinesiology works to combine emotional issues with nutritional and structural elements. It is thought that combining these factors helps to bring the mind and body into a state of wellness.

What does a kinesiologist do?

During your first session, your kinesiologist will ask you a series of questions. This is so they can understand why you have come for treatment and what you hope to gain from the therapy. Next, they will take some time to compile a comprehensive case history. This includes details of any current or previous injuries you may have, your lifestyle, diet and current emotional state.

What to expect from a kinesiology session

The first session will often also involve a demonstration of muscle testing, during which your kinesiologist will explain to you what they are doing, why they are doing it and the effect it should have.

At the end of the session, your kinesiologist may recommend some lifestyle changes and self-care tips, such as managing stress. They may also suggest specific exercises for you to practise at home before your next session. These suggestions are intended to help maintain any positive changes that may have occurred during the session.

The number of sessions you will need will depend on the issue you want to overcome and how long you have been experiencing the problem. The first session will often last between one to two hours, though this may vary.

How can I find a qualified kinesiologist?

Currently, there are no laws in place to stipulate the level of training a person must have in order to practice kinesiology. For this reason, it is important to ensure they have received the necessary training and experience.

Here at Therapy Directory, we created a proof policy. This is to ensure all practitioners listed with us have provided proof of training or membership with a recognised body. We believe in the importance of finding a practitioner that you feel comfortable with. To help you on your journey, we encourage our members to fill their profiles with as much information as possible. This way you can learn more about them and the way they work.

If you feel you would benefit from seeing a kinesiologist, you can use our advanced search tool to find a qualified therapist near you. This will also ensure you find a professional who is best matched to you and your needs. 

Thank you to the Kinesiology Federation for their help compiling this fact-sheet.

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