New hope for old pain
Story by Denise Sloan / Photos by Dan Thrift
Applied Kinesiology offers a manual treatment for pain using pressure points and manipulation to return the body to a neurologically healthy state. It increases the body’s flow of energy and circulation in muscles, joints, glands and the nervous system.
Our back has been hurting for years but taking pain killers doesn’t really fix the problem.
For those suffering chronic pain, whether it’s their back, shoulders, neck, head or limbs, there is an alternative treatment.
The system is called applied kinesiology. Not exactly a household word.
Here’s how it works:
Applied kinesiology is a manual treatment using pressure points to allow muscles to move normally.
Using both hands — the only tools of the trade — a kinesiologist can literally put his finger on the problem by simply feeling his way around the area of pain.
During the 1960s, this system of evaluating patients with pain was developed by George Goodheart, a Detroit chiropractor. When Goodheart discovered that the causes of abnormal body functions could be identified by testing muscles and their movement, the chiropractic world changed. Admittedly, that change has been gradual where applied kinesiology is concerned.
Kinesiology, according to Webster’s dictionary, is “the science or study of human muscular movements.” Pronounced kih-nee-see-awl-ogy, and referred to by its practitioners as A.K., the practice is relatively rare in California.
There are approximately 10,000 chiropractors in the state but barely 200 certified applied kinesiologists.
One of South Shore’s hometown boys happens to be among the elite who practice this manual style of pain relief.
He’s Stanley Jones, D.C. who graduated from South Tahoe High School in 1968. The 49-year-old discovered applied kinesiology after he became a chiropractor and decided to continue his education to include A.K. He has been practicing both for more than 20 years.
“The first time I saw the A.K. muscle testing and the powerful results right before my eyes, I couldn’t believe it,” Jones said.
As with professionals in any field, Jones continues to attend training seminars and workshops to stay abreast of the latest advances in A.K.
Today, his practice is a complex blend of chiropractic treatments with a heavy emphasis on using A.K. He also teaches sound nutrition and instills a keen awareness of the adverse reactions people have to toxic chemicals.
In his humble office next to Frank’s Restaurant on Emerald Bay Road, there are no perky nurses, no fancy furniture and no trendy tunes on the stereo.
“I’m obviously not in this for the money,” Jones laughed. “In fact, I wouldn’t recommend that someone get into A.K. if they want to get rich.”
But it is because of his intense conviction that A.K. helps the vast majority of his patients, Jones continues to practice this alternative form of healing.
That is his satisfaction.
“I am so amazed at how well it works,” Jones said. “Most people with chronic pain come to me after they have been everywhere else. By then they’re willing to try anything, and unfortunately a lot of problems could have been identified and corrected before they became major.”
Applied kinesiology is used to evaluate dysfunctional biomechanics of the body and dysfunctional neurological conditions. Once the culprit of a person’s pain is identified, appropriate manual treatment is applied. This process is vastly different than what a patient with back pain goes through when seeing a physician. Modern medicine tends to hand out prescriptions for pain relievers rather than finding the source of the pain, according to Jones.
While alternative treatments such as A.K., chiropractic and acupuncture are frequently frowned upon by America’s medical establishment, others have found pain relief when conventional methods have failed.
J.T. Ravizé has been receiving applied kinesiology evaluation and treatments along with chiropractic treatments from Jones for more than three years.
And according to Ravizé, “with great results.”
“I took a severe bounce off a tree while skiing,” Ravizé said, explaining the original reason he sought pain relief.
“And after trying several different medical disciplines, I’ve found Dr. Stan’s (Jones) treatment to be the most helpful.”
“The muscle testing is pretty amazing to me and it has helped,” Ravizé said.
While it sounds complicated, and it is, applied kinesiology can best be described as a manual treatment using pressure points and manipulation to return the body to a functional neurologically healthy state which allows muscles to move normally and pain to subside.
A.K. also increases the body’s flow of energy and circulation in muscles, joints, glands and the nervous system.
“Even though applied kinesiology is a Western discipline, it strikes me as more of an Eastern methodology,” Ravizé said.
“Either way, I know it’s be very, very helpful to me because I function a whole lot better,” he said.
How A.K. is applied to the human structure
Applied kinesiology research has proven that in a healthy body, the human frame is held in balance by antagonistic muscles that are equally pulling against each other.
When muscles are not functioning equally, stress develops at the joint and that joint becomes susceptible to injury.
It is that constant stress at the joint from imbalanced muscles that causes pain. Over the years it could cause osteoarthritis — the wear-and-tear type of arthritis — to develop.
When one particular muscle is weak or inhibited by injury, it causes a deviation of the human structure it supports. For example, if the muscles for arm rotation are inhibited, the arm will rotate away from the weakened area, and the lack of use naturally causes further dysfunction.
It is by identifying the inhibited antagonistic muscles, that applied kinesiology treatments can correct the imbalance and return the arm rotation to a healthy state. A.K. practitioners also study spinal imbalances and dysfunctions that can cause interference with normal nerve function, affecting any organ of the body. Because the various muscles of the body are on different nerve and energy patterns that correlate with various organ functions, applied kinesiology has been useful in locating many problems. These include spinal disc lesions, neurovascular and organ dysfunction, lymphatic system malfunctions and foot or hand reflex problems.
While the vast majority of applied kinesiologists are chiropractors, few medical doctors have gone through the training necessary to practice A.K.
“There were a few M.D.s and one psychiatrist in a training session with me, but they said they had to rethink their thinking about how the body works,” Stan Jones said.
Not only are muscles, the nervous system and glandular systems involved, A.K. recognizes a “triad of health.” This triad consists of structure, what chiropractic has always been involved with; chemical, an area dominated by the medical profession; and mental health, dominated by psychiatrists, psychologists and other counselors. Applied kinesiologists evaluate these three sides of the triad of each patient — with the ultimate goal of finding a healthy balance among all three.
The cost of A.K. treatment is slightly higher than chiropractic visits, but pain relief can frequently be achieved in less than half a dozen sessions.
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