Archive for December, 2014

Is Gym Movement Biofeedback Nonsense?

It sure looks like nonsense – and I didnt try it out yet. Its also definitely NOT Biofeedback – here is my rant…

Applied kinesiology
(AK) is a term used to describe the manual
muscle testing diagnostics primarily
developed by Goodheart (1964). Goodheart
took classic manual muscle testing and
moulded it into a precise diagnostic tool.
Prior to him, muscle testing was used
primarily to diagnose motor nerve
pathology and assess recovery during and
following therapy. He astutely observed
changes in muscle resistance patterns in
the absence of motor nerve pathology.
What he discovered was that disturbances
anywhere in the body would lead to
changes in normal muscle contraction
patterns. The main and most notable
change from the past was that the muscle
test became less an assessment of
contractile strength and more an
assessment of proprioception, spinal and
central nervous system regulation and
the effects they have on neuromuscular
Strengthening a weakened muscle by
exercise is only sensible and efficient if
neuromuscular, proprioceptive control of
the muscle is intact. Usually, it is not the
loss of strength in a muscle that is most
important, but a degrading of normal
neuromuscular function both within
and between individual muscles that is
responsible for the greatest number of
disturbances. AK is the only available
method that allows for a clinical diagnosis
of this type of dysfunction.

The Muscle Test Handbook- Functional Assessment, Myofascial Trigger Points and Meridian Relationships

Neuromuscular Functional Assessment (NFA)
series by this author (at this printing
available only in German) and in Walther’s
classical Applied Kinesiology, Synopsis
(Walther 2000) or the flow chart manual by
Leaf (1996)

OK this is NOT biofeedback – it is very crude applied kinesiology which is a very complicated methodology in proffessional practise

Is it a valid technique? possibly – Does it do the same thing as biofeedback? – no

Biofeedback & applied kinesiology can however compliment each other nicely –
also biofeedback devices & protocols could be adapted to measure the
Applied Kinesiology physiological parameters which would be far more efficient and technologically sound.

Biofeedback can be used to alter the underlying physiology and change the response to AK muscle testing –
hence enabling the practise of selected exercises that would have otherwise shown a pathological response.

I think used together the two are potential dynamite.

My issues with the Gym Movement book are…

1. He claims biofeedback has only been used in the past by athletes to detect over training.

This is nonsense. Biofeedback is primarily used to autoregulate. To alter relaxation, enhance meditation & visualization,
and as an adjunct to autogenics and hypnosis. Autogenics itself goes far deeper than mere relaxation as that is only the
preliminary stage. Read the original text books by shultz.

So the uses of biofeedback for athletes are many.

2. He claims his methods are advanced biofeedback – no his methods are Applied Kinesiology.

Probably something less advanced than biofeedback.

3. He says to follow your body signals and do not try and model yourself into something you are not.

This to my mind was the most pathetic thing in the book. Defeatism and he bases it upon the initial misnomer of
calling applied kinesiology biofeedback.

With biofeedback you can alter your physiology and hence the response to AK tests and genuinely perform better as a consequence.

You can indeed achieve greater goals or models. Much greater in fact.

Despite these misgivings the concept of using applied kinesiology testing to enhance training is sound and many appear to be
getting great results. I’m sure by integrating this with real biofeedback & psychological techniques like hypnosis & autogenics
even more incredible things can be achieved by athletes.

But please lets stop calling applied kinesiology biofeedback & lets stop discounting real high tech biofeedback techniques.

Questions that remain to be answered …

Just how do crude ROM tests or grip tests indicate a more optimal training approach?

How could real biofeedback & other modalities be used to alter the testing response to match a goal with reguard to exercise selection?

Can a strong result on a ROM test actaully indicate a weakness in antagonistic muscles which would actually signal not to train?

If the results from ROM testing are as good as claimed how can it be explained scientifically & improved?

Basically I am skeptical – but keen.

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