Everything you ever wanted to know about kinesiology

In its most basic form, kinesiology can be described as ‘the science of movement’.

There are lots of different types – from Systematic and Touch for Health to Optimum Health Balance – but they all involve testing muscles to identify and address imbalances within the body that can affect health and wellbeing.

How can kinesiology help me?

Kinesiology is recommended for a wide range of symptoms, such as IBS, headaches, anxiety, constipation and even those associated with the menopause. It’s thought to work by restoring balance to the body.

What happens during a consultation?

The kinesiologist will first want to determine your medical and lifestyle history and most likely get you to fill out a questionnaire.

Then he or she will assess your muscle response by asking you to place your arms, legs or head into specific positions before applying some light pressure.

Based on his or her findings, he or she will work with you to devise a plan to restore balance.

This might include adding or eliminating certain foods from your diet, introducing nutritional supplements, lifestyle changes, relaxation techniques and much more.

Do I have to take my clothes off?

No, all consultations are carried out while you are fully clothed.

What is kinesiology taping?

Kinesiology taping is thought to have been developed by a Japanese chiropractor in the 1970s to help relieve pain and encourage soft tissue damage to heal. It has become an increasingly popular therapeutic tool within the sporting industries and has been used for a long time for the prevention and treatment of sporting injuries. Typically, kinesiology tape is applied over manually stretched skin above the injured muscle. 

Kinesiology tape


Applied or systematic kinesiology, as we know it today, was developed by Dr George Goodheart in the 1960s but its origins date back much further than that.

Orthopaedic surgeon R.W. Lovett developed a system for testing and grading the strength of muscles in the roaring 20s.

Brian Butler is thought to have simplified Goodheart’s work and coined the term ‘systematic kinesiology’ before founding the Association of Systematic Kinesiology (ASK) in 1988 and bringing the modality to the UK.

By testing the resistance of a muscle when a small amount of pressure is applied, the practitioner can identify imbalances in the body in the corresponding meridian.

This technique was developed and is often known as applied kinesiology and, historically, was most commonly used by practitioners such as dentists and chiropractors to relieve pain.

According to those in-the-know, this manual muscle test can help to identify whether an emotion is linked to that area of the body, whether specific nutrition would be helpful, whether hydration could be useful, or whether it’s linked to another area of the body.

The experts say most people can benefit from kinesiology in this way because most of us are stressed from time to time and that, when we are stressed, areas such as digestion, hormones, sleep, energy levels and mood tend to suffer.

Kinesiology is said to be able help with symptoms such as headaches, bloating, disrupted sleep, whirling thoughts, anxiety, diarrhoea, constipation, IBS, PMT, and those related with the menopause.

To find out more about applied or systematic kinesiology, visit systematic-kinesiology.co.uk


According to the International Kinesiology College (IKC), Touch for Health kinesiology is a system of balancing posture, attitude and life energy for greater comfort, vitality and enjoyment of your life.

It doesn’t treat or diagnose symptoms, but works with the energy and lifestyle aspirations of the client to enhance health and wellbeing. It’s thought to have been developed from the applied kinesiology techniques first developed by Dr Goodheart.

Actress Eva Longoria


Actress Eva Longoria has a degree in kinesiology

A health school with a difference

Introducing intensive kinesiology training

In 2018, Health School – a new kinesiology therapy training school – launched in Edinburgh.

Naturally, we wanted to find out more so we caught up with founder Rosemary Tarrant, a kinesiology practitioner and instructor of 17 years who led Scotland’s first intensive kinesiology training course and retreat in the Borders last year to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Association of Kinesiology (ASK).

Q: What does kinesiology mean to you?

A: Kinesiology is an amazing holistic therapy or modality. Kinesiologists test the resistance of a muscle by applying a small amount of pressure and, by determining the level of strength or weakness, be able to pinpoint a balance or imbalance in the corresponding meridian (or energy pathway).

Over the years, the technique has been developed into the system known as ‘applied kinesiology’ – the form most widely used by medical practitioners such as dentists and chiropractors.  

Kinesiology practitioner Rosemary Tarrant

Q: Who can benefit from kinesiology?

A: Most people can benefit from kinesiology since most of us experience stress. When we are stressed, digestion, hormones, sleep, energy levels, and mood can all be affected.  Then symptoms develop and life can get quite tough.

As a kinesiologist, I don’t treat individual conditions. If a new client came to see me with eczema, for example, I wouldn’t just focus on that.

I’d get a good insight to their lives, past and current illnesses and ailments, their diet, lifestyle, how they are feeling emotionally, past and present, and the health of their family. 

Then I let them know what my proposed treatment plan may be – which can be reviewed as I find out more about them.

Q: How long have you been practising?

A: I started my training in September 1998 by doing the Foundation Course in South London and thought it would be a hobby for the winter.  

After the third week of study I was hooked!  I finally realised in my 30’s that I had found what I wanted to do in life and felt totally passionate about it.  

I wasn’t sure how I was going to achieve it – I just knew I would. The year 2000 saw me enrol on the Diploma Course in Systematic Kinesiology and, during every weekend of the modules, I had huge ‘lightbulb’ moments. 

I went on to study Holistic Massage and herbal remedies known as Homeobotanicals and I still use both today. 

I later studied Nutrition in Glasgow and, more recently, Clinical Massage and Advanced Myofascial Techniques, so I have a lovely set of tools and techniques!

Q: What’s your background?

A: I had always had an interest in natural health. I was born with a liver condition so I was always a little bit different in that respect. 

The paediatrician encouraged my mum to keep my body as “clean” as possible and to let my body work on its own as much as possible. 

That meant, if I had a fever, I had to let my body go with it. I rarely had any painkillers, antibiotics or vaccinations – just lots of olive oil!

After that, practising kinesiology felt like home to me – and a natural extension of myself.  

Q: Can you tell us a bit about the new courses you are offering?

When I studied the Clinical Massage in 2014, I did it as a 24-day intensive (every day) and it was an incredible experience.  

I vowed then that I was going to do the Kinesiology Foundation Course as an Intensive and 2018 is the year it’s happening.  

2018 saw the 30th anniversary of ASK, of which I have been a member since 1999 and am also now a trustee. 

This seemed like the perfect time to do something special and what could be more special then to allow a small, select group of people to come together in the beautiful Scottish Borders countryside to learn and complete the Foundation Course.

In 2019 I will teach the Full Practitioner Diploma. I’m a firm believer that to be a professional kinesiologist, the full Diploma is required. When you complete it, you are then given permission to use Dip ASK after your name.

Q: Who should sign up? 

The Foundation Course is open to anyone over the age of 18.  

No former knowledge of the body or how it works is needed, so if you have an interest in boosting your own health or that of friends and family, this could be right up your street.

You might be thinking about a change of career, are newly-retired but not ready for full retirement, or might be a mum whose kids are now off at school or university and would like to run your own health business.

Alternatively, you might be a practitioner in another field and want to broaden your skill-set or offer your client base another way of looking at their health. 

Kinesiology can work beautifully with modalities such as aromatherapy, reflexology, chiropractic, physiotherapy, sports massage and many more.

If you want to become a professional kinesiologist, this is the full pre-requisite course. This means you could follow on by doing the full diploma.

To be a registered practitioner, you must first complete anatomy and physiology, and nutrition. The nutrition course can be done online and doesn’t have to be a full diploma course.

The Foundation course will be held over 15 consecutive days. As well as study and practical workshopping, there will also be plenty opportunity to be outdoors, go for walks, do some yoga, explore the local countryside, and have a picnic. So, it’s not all work and no play. Together, we will work hard and rest well.

The next intensive residential Kinesiology Foundation Course will take place in April/May 2020. Find out more here

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Lynda Hamilton Parker is a Scottish PR expert and independent publisher

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