Applied Kinesiology is a complementary approach that uses muscle testing for the functional evaluation of the human body. This technique is used throughout the world by healthcare professionals from different disciplines: chiropractors, medical doctors, dentists and osteopaths. Applied Kinesiology is governed by the International College of Applied Kinesiology (ICAK). It is taught in some chiropractic colleges and some universities. It is important to know that although several studies demonstrate the effectiveness of Applied Kinesiology for different health conditions (i.ii.iii.iv), this approach is not yet used by the entire medical and scientific community.
The use of muscle testing as a functional assessment tool allows the practitioner to determine the source of the interference to your health. This can be of biomechanical, nutritional (biochemical) or emotional origin. By determining the origin of interference to the proper functioning of the human body, the practitioner can then determine the best therapeutic modality to help the patient.
The treatments Applied Kinesiology practitioners use can be biomechanical: Manual or vibratory muscle treatment, massage, joint corrections, stimulation of reflex zones and acupuncture points.
The assessment may include some biochemical or dietary recommendations: Dietary recommendations, diet by elimination, recommendation of dietary supplements for the maintenance of good health. To determine the food or foods to be removed or dietary supplements to recommend, practitioners use neuro-taste stimulation (food in the mouth) and evaluate the neurological response through the use of muscle testing, range of motion, sensitivity of reflex zones (Chapman reflexes) or change of certain signs and symptoms.
The assessment may include an emotionalcomponent: listening to the patient, breathing, visualization and referral to a specialized professional (example: psychologist).
Applied Kinesiology assessment does not replacemedical examinations such as laboratory tests, x-rays and/or other exams.
An Applied Kinesiology evaluation does not make it possibleto establish a diagnosis of visceral conditions or pathologies such as cancer, arthritis, autoimmune diseases, etc.
Applied Kinesiology does not treat visceral conditions.
The identification and elimination of nervous system interference by Applied Kinesiology aims to improve health, but in no way replaces conventional medical treatments.
[i] Cuthbert and Rosner. J Chiropr Med2012 [ii] Houle S. J Chiropr Med2012 [iii] Charles E. J Chiropr Med2011 [iv] Schmitt and Leisman. Int J Neurosci1998
Only healthcare professionals licensed for diagnosis, and students in those programs, can study to become Professional Applied Kinesiology practitioners. Healthcare professionals must take the 100-hour Basic Applied Kinesiology Certification course and pass the exam. All courses follow the guidelines of the International College of Applied Kinesiology, which governs standards, education and certification globally. In Canada, it’s mostly chiropractors, osteopaths and naturopathic doctors who integrate Applied Kinesiology into their healthcare practices. Dentists and MDs can study and practice AK as well – it's interesting that in Europe, most of the healthcare practitioners who become certified in Applied Kinesiology and integrate it into their patient practices are MDs. As healthcare licensing in Canada is provincially regulated, the kinds of healthcare practitioners allowed to use AK varies across the country; naturopathic doctors aren’t licensed in Québec, so we don’t have members from that province who are naturopathic doctors as we do in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.
The International College of Applied Kinesiology (ICAK) is the governing body overseeing education, research and standards for Applied Kinesiology globally, and for the organization’s 15 regional chapters. Members of the Canadian chapter of ICAK are certified to integrate Applied Kinesiology into their healthcare practices safely and responsibly.
Licensed healthcare practitioners or students enrolled in a program must take the 100-hour basic certification training and pass the exam to practice Applied Kinesiology. For those interested in Basic or Advanced training and certification, see our list of courses and seminars.
Advanced certification is demanding; only those with their DIBAK diplomate are part of an accomplished group of Applied Kinesiology professionals can teach.
AK Basic and diplomate certification are international, so the teaching follows the same program in every part of the world.
Note: College and university courses on kinesiology, the study of the body in movement, don’t have an equivalent to Applied Kinesiology training. While physical trainers might be educated in kinesiology, they cannot be certified in AK unless they are licensed in one of the healthcare professions required to take the 100-hour Basic Certification Course, have taken the training and passed the exam. The risks for patients of undergoing AK muscle testing techniques by people who aren’t certified include misdiagnosis, misinformation and worse – injury.
Find an Applied Kinesiology practitioner
Use our directory to find certified Applied Kinesiology professionals in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. This listing shows current members in good standing who have trained and passed the certification requirements to practice Applied Kinesiology (AK) in Canada. ICAK Diplomate (DIBAK) is the advanced level of certification; only practitioners at this level are allowed to teach AK. Practitioners listed are current members of ICAK Canada. To become a member, click here.
ICAK-Canada welcomes new members who have passed their Basic Applied Kinesiology certification and are working in Canada. Your clinic or practice will be listed in the directory and you will be first to be notified of news and updates. Your membership dues support the International College of Applied Kinesiology and its commitment to research and standards.
We welcome students in licensed healthcare programs who are also enrolled in a 100-hour Basic course.
Benefits of membership:
Develop lasting relationships: Canada’s Applied Kinesiology community spans from Québec to British Columbia. Many Canadian AK professionals are engaged internationally so networking extends beyond our borders to the global community.
Develop your practice: Be listed in the national directory so that patients and referring doctors can find your practice.
Attend and vote in our Annual General Meeting.
Advance notification of Applied Kinesiology news, events and courses.
Chairman: Dr Sébastien Houle MSc, DC, DIBAK Treasurer: Dr. John Millett DC Secretary: Dr Mathieu Joyal DC, DIBAK Past Chair: Dr. Jay Grossman MSc, DC, ND, DIBAK Québec Representative: Justin Jefferson-Falardeau DC, DIBAK Ontario Representative: (vacant)
In Canada, who can perform applied kinesiology legally? While it isn’t actually illegal for someone who isn’t certified to practice Applied Kinesiology to practice it, it’s certainly not safe. Chiropractors, osteopaths, naturopathic doctors, dentists, MDs and other healthcare professionals that are licensed to diagnose can use Applied Kinesiology in their patient practices, as long as they have taken and passed the exam for the Basic Applied Kinesiology certification course.
What should I look for in someone who says they will use applied kinesiology on me? Ask if they have received their certification. Watch out if they say they took a kinesiology course in university or learned it from someone else; they might not be certified. Be aware that using muscle testing techniques without the proper training can result in misdiagnosis or injury.
Do you need to be a naturopath or chiropractor? While a naturopathic doctor or chiropractor can indeed study and practice Applied Kinesiology, so could an osteopath, dentist, MD or any other doctor licensed by a regulatory body.