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Applied kinesiology question?

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  • Applied kinesiology question?

    Could someone explain to me why when I look up applied kinesiology the majority of the links describe it as being pseudoscience with as much accuracy as guessing.

    When I look up EQUINE applied kinesiology there is virtually nothing negative? Three pages of glowing recommendations and practicioners.

    I have a boarder who is jumping in with both feet. I cannot show her anything equine related that debunks it. I have to turn around and walk the other way when the arm strength tests start.

    The double blind studies on humans seem to show it is not science. Is it because horses cannot tell us what is wrong, so it is harder to disprove? Help me!

  • #2
    Glowing recommendations are not the same thing as measurable results. There is almost nothing negative on human sites devoted to testimonials about applied kinesiology, either. What purpose would that serve, as 99.999% of these sites are trying to sell the technique, a book, the practitioner or items and books related to the practice?

    It is when therapies are subjected to the cold, dispassionate eye of scientific inquiry that they sink or swim WRT producing evidence that is convincing to people who are interested in more than testimonials.

    Google will get you things that are talked about frequently, but not necessarily things that are factual. And anyone who would be inclined to accept applied kinesiology as a legitimate practice is probably not bright enough to discern the difference betweeen a site spewing crap disguised as "evidence" and an actual critical inquiry. Those are found on other places besides Google, but not many people avail themselves of PubMed, Scirus, or even Google Scholar which is better than its non-discriminating parent.

    It is human nature for us to forget things that do not make an impression or that embarrass us, so people who have had no response to this type of treatment (or observed it in their horses) virtually never bother to give feedback on the technique. It is also human nature to bring our prejudices to the table and to selectively choose to "accept" or register things that jive with what we're already thinking.

    At least it is more or less harmless, although it makes me cringe to think of treatments done (or NOT done) as a result of this sort of nonsensical method of evaluation.
    Click here before you buy.


    • #3
      I used kenesiology taping on myself (knee, IT band, hamstrings, etc.) via the help of my physical therapist. My PT, I might add, had several additional years of continued education and such to become certified. The other PTs wouldn't touch the kenesiology stuff. Just something to keep in mind.

      While it's been used on people for some time now, its use with horses is much newer. I would be extremely leery about letting one of these "experts" in equine kenesiology do any taping on my horse. As you said, there really hasn't been any real research done in terms of its use with horses. And as you also said, a horse isn't going to be able to tell you that it's making things worse, etc.

      So beyond it being unknown whether or not taping can be beneficial in horses, it's also unknown whether or not it's completely harmless.

      If your boarder is jumping on this with no sign of turning back, I would by far be the most concerned about any taping on their legs.
      Originally posted by RugBug
      Don't throw away opportunities because they aren't coming in exactly the form you want them to.


      • #4
        Applied kineseology is not an exact science, but it has to do with quantum physics and the electrical impulses and circuits in the body.

        My chiropractor uses it. No matter what, I feel better after I leave his office. And he finds a lot more on me than any other regular chiropractor ever has (and I continually feel better!)

        My horses chiropractor was a track vet for 30 years. She decided she didn't like what she did anymore and went to chiropractic school. She was introduced to AK and decided she liked it. It is what she currently uses and I am her surrogate for a lot of the horses we work on. She does check things with manual manipulation because now she helps teach chiro courses at the school she graduated from so it keeps her in practice.

        There is not a lot of research. But remember, 20 years ago, most folks thought chiropractic in general was a load of crap. :-) Just because it's not proven, doesn't mean there isn't validity to it.


        • #5
          Kinesiology tape is a bit different than applied kinesiology, I think.
          it has to do with quantum physics and the electrical impulses and circuits in the body
          Can you specify exactly what that means, please? In a concrete and tangible way? I can insist that staring at the wall involves quantum physics and the body's electrical circuits, too, with a completely straight face.
          But remember, 20 years ago, most folks thought chiropractic in general was a load of crap.
          Other than some very specific techniques for some very specific indications, not much has changed in 20 years.
          I continually feel better!
          So pretty soon you should feel better than 100% well and should no longer have to give him your money, yes? About how long does he predict this will take, considering every visit gets you closer to perfect?
          Click here before you buy.


          • #6
            I do find that you will never be perfect ;-) Because we as humans and they as horses aren't perfectly balanced and we do a lot of things that aren't natural for both of us, which causes things to go haywire.

            I broke my back this summer in a riding accident. I spent 3 months in a really super stellar body brace. I had to go to the chiropractor 2x/week at first to get any sort of pain relief. Then once a week. Then every other week. Right now I'm at about a month between visits. I am for the most part pain free between visits.

            I know it helps me. I can only imagine it helps my horses just as much. To me, it is money well spent.

            As for the quantum physics - I really haven't the slightest clue. I'm just the arm, not the vet.


            • #7
              I can only imagine it helps my horses
              Imagination is a powerful thing.
              Click here before you buy.


              • #8
                To each their own.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Felix76 View Post
                  To each their own.
                  Hang in there! Most of us that have experience with chiro on our horses know the difference and know the benefits. To say not much has changed in 20 years is lack of understanding or wanting to understand.


                  • #10
                    I am a die hard skeptic of human chiropractic, mention it in my presence and on a good day I may just roll my eyes. I'm an OT and the first place I would go to with back pain would a PT.

                    I started using the same chiro as Felix does because my previous horse was a total b*tch under saddle and it was my last resort. Nothing dramatically changed with her other than a bit more forward in the trot vs. being up and down. Meh.

                    Enter new horse, OTTB came home late May, that said chiro found for me and I used her again mainly as a thank you for finding this glorious beast for me . At the time I was letting him have some time off from work so no noticeable difference.

                    Since I work in the school system I have lots of time open during the summer so I began being the surrogate for the chiro also. As a surrogate, I can feel the difference between a weak and strong response without doubt. As a therapist, I can see that her adjustments are more comparative to a therapists' joint mobilizations than a chiropractic adjustment (at least that I've been familiar with). I also appreciate that she prescribes some exercises when asked and recommends her clients work with a competent trainer so that the exercise is supporting the adjustment (also comparable to a PT). My horse is now adjusted every 1-2 months depending on how he is performing. Previous adjustments he needed adjustments in his pelvis and lumbar spine (he has a slight roach back) and the second adjustment he was stuck in a gallop pattern. On his fourth adjustment, December 2012, she worked on him for a total of 15 minutes including the body check. His body is feeling good with the work that he is doing and she advised that she not come out until he was needing it.

                    So, yes, completely anecdotal but I'll be continuing to use her. I don't know if I would recommend every chiro that does AK BUT hands down with her.


                    • #11
                      Re: my statement that chiropractic has not evolved much in 20 years. I give you this excellent bit of reading.


                      If you can find them, the references listed in particular are enlightening. Note the dates. Little, in fact, has changed in 20 years. When more journals and publications are dedicated to "practice building" (meaning, how to get more money from your clients) than actual research and techniques, something is seriously awry.

                      I have no problem with straightforward manipulation and have availed myself of it a time or two with good relief of very specific problems. But the stuff that strays from the basics is just entirely to quacky and pseudoscientific, and I have to doubt the credibility and integrity of anyone who would look me in the eye and try to sell me this crap, no matter how good their manipulative skills might be. Maybe "manipulative skiills" has a double meaning, however . . .
                      Click here before you buy.


                      • #12
                        So deltawave (it's late, I apologize for my rambling/lack of coherency) basically what you're saying is that you support regular chiropractic but you do not support applied kinesiology. Correct?

                        I believe it's like any profession. There are some TRULY good people out there who are excellent at what they do. And then there are people who fudge their way through it and are in it for selfish or inappropriate reasons. How many trainers are there out there that you bang your head on a desk watching them "train" thinking what the heck? A lot.

                        There are always going to be people who lie and cheat and steal. But there are good, talented people out there who are making the world a better place one day at a time. I have ALWAYS felt a different in both of my horses after a chiro adjustment. As have majority of the folks who use this particular chiropractor. However, I will say that if she couldn't adjust my horse, I have another chiro who purely uses manual manipulation and who I think does great work. Two different methods - same result in my book. They're both good at what they do.


                        • #13
                          Here's one web article that does mention applied kinesiology in veterinary medicine, though they do not seem to have any equine studies in their footnotes. I suspect no veterinary researchers have bothered to devote their limited resources to debunking this obvious quackery, hence the lack of equine-specific AK skepticism on the web.


                          The saying about a fool and his money applies many times over to the horse world, since most of us are anything but shrewd when it comes to desire to improve the lives of our equine partners and there are plenty of brands of snake oil to choose from in the equine industry.
                          Evolutionary science by day; keeping a certain red mare from winning a Darwin award the rest of the time!


                          • #14
                            I "support" evidence-based decision making wherever possible. I wholeheartedly acknowledge that there are many areas where good evidence is lacking. Which is why trying things (like simple manipulation in some instances) with little down side in the hands of an experienced practitioner is fine, as long as the client/patient/owner understands what can and cannot be accomplished.

                            But I absolutely loathe the practice of quackery and pseudoscience, and AK is one of the best and, frankly, most wildly ridiculous examples out there. Sorry. Obviously it does no direct harm, especially to the "surrogate", but how anyone could take a practitioner of such nonsense seriously is frankly beyond me. And how anyone who would accept money for this kind of thing and still look themselves in the mirror--unfathomable. What these practitioners are good at is a form of cold reading and salesmanship. Mastery of the power of suggestion, which has no connection with medical knowledge rhat I'm aware of.

                            It belongs in the realm of animal communicators, tarot card readers, and spoon benders. Someone, somewhere, always has a story of how it "works". What is "working" is the fine art of self-delusion, facilitated by hucksters. If it's happening at the circus and everyone knows it's for fun that's one thing. As a replacement for health care? Appalling and totally unethical. Again, sorry if this is harsh and I'm used to being shot down for my views. But do yourself a favor and read about the history of the practice and ask yourself if it makes ANY sense at all.
                            Click here before you buy.


                            • #15
                              You're right. It doesn't make sense. Absolutely not. I don't get it, all the time I say "I'm just the arm." But I cannot deny the fact that my horses both go better after an adjustment.

                              I won't argue with you because frankly I have much better things to do with my time than trolling the internet looking for websites and research to debunk the theories of someone I've never met face to face.

                              I bid you good-night.


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                                It belongs in the realm of animal communicators, tarot card readers, and spoon benders. Someone, somewhere, always has a story of how it "works". What is "working" is the fine art of self-delusion, facilitated by hucksters.
                                HA. I had to resist comparing it to animal communicators, over-the-phone reiki, and craniosacral gobbledygook, all of which I've seen well-meaning horsepeople choose in lieu of actual veterinary care. Glad to know there are other science-minded equestrians who find these practices totally unethical.
                                Evolutionary science by day; keeping a certain red mare from winning a Darwin award the rest of the time!


                                • #17
                                  Ignorance is bliss for some of you.


                                  • #18
                                    Ignorant no?

                                    As I said this chiropractor is most related to a human physical therapist in her adjustments and thought process. Does she use AK? Yes. Is that what sold me on her? Absolutely not. I've observed both practices, equine/human chiro and PT, and am most comfortable with this practice for my horse's minimal needs. I have a medical background both equine and professionally so I do consult with a vet over a chiro just as I would for myself.
                                    I'm a minimalist when it comes to horse care-no supplements, hay access at all times, turnout as much as possible, and if he could go barefoot he would. I'm not into gimmicks or fads, save saddle pads I have a slight obsession, but I've read the research and seen real patient data that joint mobilizations are effective. The other chiro quackery and claims of curing EVERYTHING are not my thing.


                                    • Original Poster

                                      Well, I would question whether your horse feels better because he actually feels better or because you think he feels better and ride him that way so he really does feel better. The power of suggestion.
                                      Reading through the human double blind testing - where the AK practicioners, when faced with evidence that the testing proved that guessing was equally successful as muscle testing simply said ' THAT is why we don't do double blind studies - they don't work' LOL
                                      I wish I could post that link, but unfortunately it keeps disappearing. If you just google 'applied kenesiology, scam' it will come up.


                                      • #20
                                        I have much better things to do with my time than trolling the internet looking for websites and research to debunk the theories of someone I've never met face to face
                                        It isn't my theory! Why not go looking for evidence (a medical library is fine if you don't like the internet) to validate theories that you're paying someone to use on your own horse, if you don't (as you claim) understand them? The alternative to this, of course, is to just put one's trust in one's practitioner. Blindly, in this case.
                                        Click here before you buy.