Who We Are
ICAK-Canada is a one of 15 global chapters of the International College of Applied Kinesiology (ICAK), supporting applied kinesiology (AK) practitioners across Canada with the latest news and developments in AK, a valuable diagnostic tool for healthcare professionals who are licensed to diagnose (MD, DC, DO, ND, DMD – depending on provincial regulatory bodies).
A member-run organization, ICAK-Canada is committed to continual education and thought leadership for AK practitioners. ICAK is responsible for the standards in practice and accreditation as well as ongoing applied kinesiology research.
What Is Applied Kinesiology?
Applied Kinesiology (AK) is an integrated system of healthcare which emphasizes muscle function believed to reflect functional neurological responses. AK is a system that evaluates the dynamic relationships between the structural, chemical and mental aspects of health using manual muscle testing combined with other standard methods of diagnosis.
The combined terms “applied” and “kinesiology” describe the basis of this system, which is the use of manual muscle testing to evaluate body function through the dynamics of the musculoskeletal system. Treatments may involve specific joint manipulation or mobilization, various myofascial therapies, cranial techniques, meridian and acupuncture skills, clinical nutrition, dietary management, counselling skills, evaluating environmental irritants and various reflex procedures.
The term “professional” preceding applied kinesiology (PAK) represents the practice of applied kinesiology as taught and validated by the International College of Applied Kinesiology (ICAK), and its use is granted only to doctors licensed to diagnose. PAK methods are taught around the world by Diplomates certified by the ICAK.(1)
1- Rosner, A. L. and S. C. Cuthbert (2012). “Applied kinesiology: Distinctions in its definition and interpretation.” Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies 16(4): 464-487.
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 courses offered are for health professionals who are licensed for patient diagnosis, most commonly chiropractors and naturopathic doctors, as well as students in these disciplines – depending on healthcare regulations, which vary from one province to another.
Applied Kinesiology courses are taught by ICAK members who have attained the highest level of certification, DIBAK diplomate. Some of the seminars offered here are for complementary techniques which fall outside the scope of ICAK but complement Applied Kinesiology methods.
Find A Practitioner
Practitioners listed are current members of ICAK Canada. To become a member, click here.
Board of Directors
Chairman: Dr. Sébastien Houle, chiropractor, DC, MSc, DIBAK
Treasurer: Dr. John Millett, chiropractor, DC
Secretary: Dr. Mathieu Joyal, chiropractor, DC, DIBAK
Quebec Representative: Dr. Justin Jefferson-Falardeau, chiropractor, DC, MSc, DIBAK
Past Chair: Dr. Jay Grossman, chiropractor, DC, MSc, DIBAK
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.
Are there courses that you can take to perform AK even if you don’t have the above designations?
No there aren’t. The training is limited to licensed professionals because the extensive physiology knowledge required to practice only comes from formal education and each regulated body has rules for patient care. This keeps patients safe.
Is Applied Kinesiology safe?
Yes. Applied Kinesiology is a remarkable diagnostic tool; it’s accessible (no expensive tests), quick (performed in place in the doctor’s office with immediate insights) and non-invasive. When done by certified professionals, there is nothing involved that can cause harm to a patient.
The trainer I work out with says he can do muscle testing on me. Is that ok?
Muscle testing is the core tool used by healthcare professionals practicing Applied Kinesiology. It’s only safe and accurate with the proper education, which a physical trainer wouldn’t have access to, unless they were an osteopath or one of the other regulated areas of healthcare. At best, it’s likely testing will be inaccurate without a formal physiology education. At worst, misdiagnosis can result, or injury. Use our directory to find a certified Applied Kinesiology practitioner near you.