by Dr. Wally Schmitt

Unveiling the Power of Applied Kinesiology: A Success Story by Dr. George Goodheart

This post has been derived from a transcript of a lecture by Dr. George Goodheart. 

If you’d prefer to watch the video, check it out below.

In the realm of holistic health, one approach has gained significant attention for its unique methodology and impressive results – Applied Kinesiology. This groundbreaking technique goes beyond conventional practices, diving deep into the relationship between muscles, nutrition, health issues, and overall well-being. In this article, we share a story from the father of Applied Kinesiology: Dr. George Goodheart, where he delves into the fascinating journey of a young man struggling with hair loss and a messed up shoulder, and how Applied Kinesiology transformed his (and Dr. Goodheart’s) life.

A Puzzling Conundrum: Hair Loss and Job Struggles

I had a young man come to see me who was rapidly losing his hair. He had just gotten out of the service. He was in a pair of troopers, therefore he must have had a reasonably good physical exam. He had been retired from the service once the war was over, once his service time was over, and he was rapidly losing his hair. At that time, and as we still do, we were doing an Achilles tendon time test using a photomover or an electric beam of light that was focused on the heel. You tap the heel tendon and you get the knee-jerk response or ankle-jerk response. The normal time is 330 milliseconds. His was very fast. That meant he had an overactive thyroid.

The Mayo Clinic says the best non-invasive test thyroid function test is the Achilles tendon test. I had learned from a European author and also from standard process sources that vitamin A in the thymus was almost specific nutritionally for that particular problem. We gave him some of that and treated him according to his symptom patterns and his spine, and his hair loss stopped. He was very grateful. He said to me after his hair loss had stopped and was doing very well, he says,

“I have another problem.”

I said, “What is that?”

He says, “Well, I can't get a job anywhere in Detroit automotive factories.”

I said, “Well, that's not my problem, it's yours. Why can't you get the job?”

He says, “I can't pass the physical.”

I said, “Weren't you into paratroopers?”

He said, “Yes, but I can't pass the physical, if I go to do them, my shoulder blade pops out.”

I said, “How long have you had that?”

He says, “Well, as long as I can remember.”

I said, “We'll X-ray it and see. There might be some anomaly.”

We X-rayed both scapulae and they were normal. He kept coming in complaining he couldn't get a job. Finally, I got him a job with a company I did some business with in our building. It happened to be a center process company, and I used a lot of their products.

And each time he'd come in, in a crowded waiting room, he'd say, “When are you going to fix my shoulder?”

Muscle Testing: A Turning Point

Finally, I was so exasperated with that that I decided to take the bull by the horns. I had a good friend, Dr. Roman Coche who was a very fine chiropractor in Port Huron and had come to me with a knee problem that I was able to help.

In exchange for helping him, he gave me a book by Kendall & Kendall called Muscle Testing, which was the Bible of the muscle testing fraternity. It really was developed by two physiotherapists, Kendall and his wife, who graded the degree of disability that at that time, polio patients had. That's what it was originally designed for.

I had read the book and I thought, well, what a nice book, but what good is it to be able to test the muscle? And if it's weak, all you can do is exercise it. I thought, well, nice book, nice pictures, but what value? I looked up and I knew there was a muscle that related to the shoulder blade and what you don't use, you lose. I knew it was the anterior serratus. Since his history was such that he had it a long time, and since my training at the National College had been so good, I looked for the atrophy of disuse.

He hadn't been able to do it for about 15 years. When I palpated the anterolateral aspect of the anterior serratus, I couldn't see any difference in one side of the muscle to the other. No fleshiness difference. If you have your arm in a cast for a while, it withers a little bit. From disuse. But as I palpated the anterolateral aspect of the serratus, I felt these little nodules, which I couldn't feel on the other side. I had him put his hands on a panel of the wall, and I pushed on it, and naturally, the shoulder blade just popped out on this side. I said, I see, feeling quite proud, I said, you have an anterior serratus. That didn't seem to please him too much. But somehow I felt better to be able to call it something. I said, yes, you have a weak anterior serratus. I felt these little nodules, which I didn't feel over here, and like any good red blooded chiropractor, I rubbed on them hard and they seemed to disappear underneath my fingers. And then I retested the muscle. He about put his hand through a plywood panel.

"Why didn't you do that before?"

He said, why didn't you do that before? I said, well, you have to build up to a thing like this. You didn't get sick overnight, you had that for 15 years you know? He said, well, it's fine now. I said, I want you to come back tomorrow. I want to check your hair loss. He said, I haven't lost any hair in six months. It's been good. I said, well, we never can be too sure. I said, No charge. Come in, I want to just check your hair loss. He says, okay. So he came in the next day, I looked at his head. I said it looks fine. 

I said, 'by the way, I'd like to test that serratus'. I tested the serratus the same way. It was strong and has been strong ever since. I still see this young man from time to time for other reasons. But he was the first patient, a muscle-tested patient that responded to origin insertion technique. I had previously given him chiropractic treatment, the standard muscular approach, bony approach, Logan basic technique, the rest of it, without much success on that particular area, but it was the response to the origin insertion.

A Paradigm Shift in Chiropractic Care

That patient was Ronald Fultz in 1964. That was the beginning. We started doing muscle tests using the method of Kendall and Kendall, and all of a sudden, I saw why people looked like they did. I saw why they had a head tilt. I saw why the shoulder was high. I saw why the buttock was protruding on one side. All of a sudden, I saw why they looked like they did, because I could find a weak muscle. When the head was like that, the sternocleidomastoid was weak by testing. I've been brought up on the fact that muscle spasm was an entity. And prior to 1964, I saw hundreds of patients with muscle spasm. Following 1964, myself and my colleagues saw so few cases of muscle spasm we could count them on the fingers of two hands for a period of maybe 10 or 15 years.

Yet we've all been spoon-fed the fact that it exists. Therefore, we use the analogy of the mast to the sailboat, even tension on both sides, loosen this one, the mast goes over here. So that you see changes in Q angle, you see changes in the position of the talus bone in a relationship to the rest of the leg, you start seeing the effect of muscle imbalance, and that was the beginning. Now, there are postural muscles, there are phasic muscles, there are tonic muscles, and there are different types of muscles. There are all sorts of different ways of describing them.

Some muscles, when they become fatigued, become weak. Some muscles, when they become fatigued, become strong. But fundamentally, we decided, or we found, or we observed that muscle weakness was quite primary and muscle spasm was secondary. And that was the beginning, not only the actual physical case, the patient, but the conceptualization of a weakened muscle.

Want more from Dr. Goodheart?

We have an entire playlist of videos where Dr. Goodheart shares a variety of fascinating stories: from how he discovered Chapman's Reflexes for the first time, to how he become the first US Olympic Team Chiropractor. All for free on our Youtube Channel.

Check it out here.

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