Sunday, March 27, 2011

Nutrition and Applied Kinesiology

Evaluating nutritional needs by muscle testing

Applied kinesiology testing of nutritional products, food, and chemicals has proven to be a valuable clinical procedure when used in the framework of complete applied kinesiology and standard diagnostic procedures.

Applied kinesiology nutritional testing appears to reflect the nervous system's efferent response to the stimulation of the gustatory and olfactory nerve receptors by various substances. The nerve pathways causing change in muscle function as observed by manual testing are unclear; however, there is considerable evidence in the literature of extensive efferent function throughout the body from stimulation of the gustatory and olfactory receptors. There is also evidence of afferent modification of gustatory sensitivity and central nervous system interpretation of gustatory impulses ultimately modifying functional change as a result of oral stimulation. Applied kinesiology nutritional testing enables a physician to give individual consideration to each patient's nutritional needs. To properly apply this method of testing, one should be thoroughly familiar with the nervous system's role in nutrition, and also be proficient in manual muscle testing.

As one begins a serious study of nutrition outside applied kinesiology, it is easy to become very confused. Consulting ten different authorities on specific questions about nutrition may provide seven, eight, or even ten diverse philosophies leading to different therapeutic approaches or perhaps to no treatment at all. Extremes go from the belief that if a person eats balanced meals no nutritional supplements are ever needed to recommendations of so many high-potency supplements that one would hardly need eat regular food, except for fiber. Philosophies about nutrition vary from mega-dosages of numerous supplements to low-potency products of natural origin only. Some recommend that specific nutritional products routinely be given with certain medications to offset any side effects; others recommend no medication, with nutrition taking its place; still others recommend minuscule dosage of homeopathic remedies for the treatment of disease.

The applied kinesiology method of evaluating changes in body function as the result of nutritional stimulation fills a specific void in the conundrum of nutritional diagnosis. The method consists of stimulating the gustatory nerve receptors by having the patient chew or inhale the substance to be evaluated, and then manually testing a muscle for change. The muscle may appear stronger or weaker, depending upon the type of evaluation being made and the muscle's neurologic association with the substance stimulating the gustatory or olfactory receptors. This system of testing is controversial. One reason for this is that there have been many modifications of Goodheart's original description. Some, rather than have the patient stimulate the gustatory receptors with the substance being tested, have the individual hand-hold the substance or lay it on the belly; some even have the patient hold a bottle containing the substance to be tested. These modified systems are frequently taught to lay people who often do not have the anatomical knowledge necessary for accurate muscle testing, nor do they have a nutritional background or general diagnostic ability.

The testing of nutrition as advocated by the International College of Applied Kinesiology is a discipline limited to the tested substance stimulating the gustatory or olfactory nerve receptors, combined with accurate and specific muscle testing. The information derived from these tests must then be correlated with a standard diagnostic work-up by a person licensed in the healing arts to be a primary health care provider. The approach here and used at the Chiropractic Health Center, PC,  is designed to be an adjunct to standard nutritional evaluation, not to take the place of it. Those who have the expertise to properly test nutrition, as described by the ICAK, should not use this method as a sole approach in evaluating nutrition and/or substances harmful to the body.

Good Nutrition

It is unfortunate that some take this one phase of applied kinesiology (the applied kinesiology manual muscle test) and proceed to test for apparent nutritional needs and allergies without placing other important parts of a patient's health problem in perspective. Limited testing can introduce many errors into the conclusions developed.

Here are a few of them.
  • The most common problem occurs when nutrition or chemicals are tested by someone who, in fact, is not using or does not know applied kinesiology and is simply using manual muscle testing for chemical evaluation. An excellent example is using manual muscle testing to show the "harmful effects" of refined sugar. This is the individual who finds that when refined sugar is chewed, or sometimes even held in the hand, it always causes the subject's latissimus dorsi or another muscle to weaken. This is simply not the case. Under some conditions, depending upon the physiological needs of the body at the time, sugar will cause a weak muscle to strengthen. Sugar by no means always causes weakening in all individuals. This inaccurate and poor quality muscle testing is the simplest form of obtaining improper information from manual muscle testing. It occurs when the examiner predetermines the results of the test with previously held concepts. Muscle testing should always be done without the results being preconceived.

  • Another abuse of manual muscle testing to evaluate chemical factors is the simplistic approach of muscle testing for nutrition or allergies without combining information of the patient's dietary history, standard examination, and/or laboratory and other specialized tests as indicated. There are two problems with this limited approach.
When a muscle is weak in the clear and it appears to strengthen when the patient chews a nutritional substance, it is only one indication that nutrition may be required. A complete examination should include an evaluation of the patient's digestive system, dietary intake, physical examination, laboratory, and other diagnostic procedures as indicated. It may very well be that the individual has a digestive deficiency that is causing multiple nutritional deficiencies. Adding multiple supplements when food is not adequately being absorbed is not treating the primary cause of the condition. You are not what you are what you absorb. Proper applied kinesiology treatment in this case should be toward the function of the small intestine, not toward the nutrients you are not absorbing due to small intestine dysfunctions!

Sometimes that which is believed to improve function is actually hiding the applied kinesiology indicators that would help correct the basic underlying cause. A case in point is an individual with digestive disturbances from an apparent lack of hydrochloric acid, indicated in applied kinesiology by bilateral pectoralis major (clavicular division) muscle weakness. Taking hydrochloric acid improves this bilateral weakness; if the hydrochloric acid is given supplementally, it hides the indicator for a temporal bulge or other cranial fault that is the cause of the under-production of hydrochloric acid by the stomach. The cranial fault may be causing entrapment of the vagus nerve, thus causing hypochlorhydria that is responsible for the digestive dysfunction in the first place. The proper approach is to correct the cranium and any other factor that is causing the hypochlorhydria. In some patients normal production of hydrochloric acid cannot be achieved and supplementation must be given. First try to get the patient’s system working without we always teach in applied kinesiology, treat causes, not effects; the applied kinesiology approach allows the physician to treat causes!

Glandular substances are used effectively as nutritional products in applied kinesiology. Before recommending their use, one should evaluate the total glandular system. When only one or two factors are evaluated, the nutritional product indicated may be for a secondary factor. Proper treatment may be to another glandular dysfunction that is primary and in turn causing the secondary problem. Testing only one gland and not recognizing the interaction within the endocrine system is using manual muscle testing in a limited, simplistic manner that does not incorporate the full scope of applied kinesiology.

  • Another problem that may be encountered with chemical testing in the framework of applied kinesiology is prescribing nutritional complexes before other factors adversely influencing the body have been corrected. It is frequently noted that a new patient will respond to numerous nutritional tests evaluated by manual muscle testing. If, however, the physician will refrain from immediately prescribing nutrition and make structural corrections — such as spinal subluxations, fixations, cranial faults, foot disturbance, etc. — there will often no longer be a need for the supplementation. This is even true prior to changing the diet, which — if needed — should be primary to supplementation. The immediate use of nutrition as noted above may even cover up some of the structural corrections that need to be made.
The optimal goal is to return the patient's body to normal function. Often the use of nutrition is an allopathic method of getting the body to do what the physician desires rather than releasing the body to control itself in a normal manner. This is especially true of megavitamin dosage. Long-term nutritional use, especially that of high dosage, may cause side effects.

There are many reasons that nutritional needs should be evaluated on an individual basis. Applied kinesiology adds to the physician's nutritional knowledge the ability to determine, to a certain extent, the effects of various nutritional products on the specific individual being considered. Furthermore, it enables one to evaluate the difference between nutritional products that may appear to be the same according to the product's description, but act differently from individual to individual. People are different. Everyone does not require the same nutritional program regarding the food eaten and possible supplementation taken.
  • The proper use of applied kinesiology in evaluating nutrition is made within the total framework of applied kinesiology and includes standard diagnostic procedures that confirm the need for the nutrition.

The Keys to Your Nutritional Health:

Eat properly. Eliminate "junk" foods, preservatives, and refined foods as much as possible.

Think prevention. Use nutritional products as indicated by your doctor knowledgeable in natural procedures.

What is especially exciting about nutritional therapy is not just the possibility of prevention but the reversal of disease.

The most updated, evidence-based discussion of this subject is now available in two new AK textbooks!

Order Today!

Chiropractic Health Center, PC
Dr. Scott Cuthbert
Dr. Shaun Craig
255 West Abriendo Avenue
Pueblo, CO   81004

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Diabetes and Diabetic Neuropathy...your options

Alpha-Lipoic Acid and Diabetes

            We have found that patients with complications of diabetes frequently need alpha-lipoic acid. The statistics for diabetes are now daunting in the U.S. One out of every three U.S. adults – that’s 73 million people – have diabetes or its precursor, impaired fasting glucose. Nearly 20 million Americans have full-blown diabetes and the other 50+ million have prediabetes. What is really amazing is that 1/3rd of these individuals do not even know they have the disease.1 Each year, some 82,000 people lose a limb to diabetes. It is the foremost cause of blindness, as it causes 24,000 people to go blind each year. Women have become especially prone to diabetes: 9.3 million females have been diagnosed with diabetes this year. In 2005, diabetic women’s risk of dying from a heart attack has gone up 27%, while non-diabetic women saw a 27% drop in their risk.
Alpha-lipoic acid has been proven to reduce the risk of hereditary diabetes (juvenile) by protecting the insulin-secreting cells in the pancreas from the free radical damage caused by autoimmune reactions (a mistaken response by the body in which it attacks one of its own cells, tissues or organs).
            And there is more exciting news for all diabetics: alpha-lipoic acid also improves glucose control in adults with either type-1 (insulin dependent) or type-2 (non-insulin dependent) diabetes.
            Since almost all the damaging effects associated with diabetes (heart attacks, strokes, blindness, kidney damage and neurological injury) are associated with free radicals and lipid peroxidation, we can see why alpha-lipoic acid is so effective. More and more studies demonstrate that alpha-lipoic acid dramatically improves the symptoms of diabetic nerve damage (polyneuropathy), which can include intense burning pain, muscle atrophy, weakness and aggravating numbness. The nervous system (that includes the peripheral nerves) is highly dependent also upon the B vitamins for proper function, and B vitamin deficiencies are very common among older Americans.

            One of the major complications of diabetes is blindness, which occurs when free radicals damage the eye’s retina. Other retinal diseases (such as macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa) are also linked to this same type of injury. Experimental studies have shown that alpha-lipoic acid can protect the retina against this danger, thereby preventing blindness.
            Alpha-lipoic acid also lowers blood sugar, removes mercury, arsenic and cadmium from the body (including the brain), increases the level of CoQ10 and glutathione in cells and controls the expression of some genes. Because of all these fantastic effects, alpha-lipoic acid – when combined with other nutrients and cell protectors that you may need as discovered during your applied kinesiology examinations – greatly increases your potential to recover from your health problems.

Alpha-Lipoic Acid and the Aging Brain

            When it comes to aging, the hot research topic right now is something called mitochondrial decay. This is the gradual decline in the ability of the mitochondria to produce energy for cells. It occurs in everyone over age 50 – though for some it happens faster than others.
            Chronic afflictions such as diabetes, autoimmune diseases, neurodegenerative disorders and arthritis accelerate this deterioration, and many researchers suspect that it is the cause of many diseases associated with aging.
            Research has found that aging is to blame for a decrease in one particular substance that is among the cell’s most important means of protection against free radical damage – glutathione. This is mainly because the enzyme needed to manufacture glutathione deteriorates as we get older. Alpha-lipoic acid has shown the ability to restore brain glutathione to youthful levels.
            Low brain glutathione is associated with all of the neurodegenerative ailments, including Alzheimer’s dementia and Parkinson’s disease. One other exciting finding is that alpha-lipoic acid reduces the damage caused by multiple sclerosis (MS).
            By removing mercury and other heavy metals from the brain’s neurons, alpha-lipoic acid protects the organ against a number of harmful effects. It also binds free-roaming iron and copper, effectively preventing them from generating harmful free radicals and lipid peroxidation products. Interestingly though, it does not interfere with the normal function of these essential trace minerals.
            Alpha-lipoic acid has no toxic side effects and is a natural compound found in the body. I have had quite a few type-2 diabetics who were able to get off or reduce their medications after taking alpha-lipoic acid. Using this substance, most insulin-dependent diabetics will be able to control their blood sugar with significantly lower insulin requirements. The best results come when you follow the diabetic-diet and correct all of your other physical and metabolic problems as well. For the type-2 diabetic, alpha-lipoic acid is even more effective.
            If a sufferer begins using alpha-lipoic acid as soon as the diabetes is diagnosed, nerve damage can be prevented altogether. The amount used in most studies was 600 mg. a day in divided doses, but it may take 3 months to produce full benefits. However in my own clinical use of alpha-lipoic acid, I frequently find that patients with neuropathy of the feet and hands get relief within just one week!

Applied Kinesiology significantly helps us to choose
the most appropriate nutrition for your needs

Applied kinesiology testing methods improves the selection and administration of nutritional adjuncts to our patients’ health care; they also give us a crucial tool to combat many chronic disorders in your eco-system. I think this alpha-lipoic acid support will help you.

Alpha-Lipoic Acid Benefits

q  Another powerful antioxidant
q  Lowers blood sugar
q  Removes a host of poisons from the body (i.e. mercury, arsenic)
q  Proven to reduce the risk of diabetes (by protecting insulin-secreting cells)
q  Improves glucose control for diabetics
q  Fights nerve damage symptoms (burning pain, muscle atrophy, numbness)
q  Speeds wound healing in diabetics especially
q  Guards against mitochondrial decay and other age-related problems
q  Also fights neurodegenerative disorders
q  Works against hypertension

1)     Cowie C, Rust KF, Byrd-Hoyt DD, et al, “Prevalence of Diabetes and Impaired Fasting Glucose in Adults in the U.S. Population,” National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2002, Diabetes Care 29 (June 2006):1263-1268.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ergonomics of sitting

The Nitty Gritty of Sitting

            Millions of people who earn their living while sitting needlessly endure excessive pain, stress and strain as they perform their daily tasks. Many people feel that pain, stress and strain are necessary evils in today’s “high-tech, space-age-a-go-go society. While these complaints are common, they are not normal or necessary!
            You need not suffer while you sit! Too few people realize that by making small adjustments to their office setting or by taking stress-reducing exercise breaks, many of the aches and pains associated with sedentary work can be cured.

Take a Micro Break

Before trying this Micro Break, be sure and check your chair for stability so that you never tip over!
Lean back in your chair and stretch your arms up and your legs out. Wiggle your fingers and toes. Close your eyes, smile, breathe in deeply and out slowly for one full refreshing minute. Cross your legs and lean forward, deeply, for 30 seconds or more on each side. Place your arms above your head and stretch for the roof and the wall in front of you...breathe deeply in these positions.


Do these stretches every hour or so throughout the day or whenever you begin to feel stiff.
In the minute it takes to perform this micro break, you released the lock of your visual and mental tasks, stretched away the muscle tension built up in your pelvis and lower spine, and refreshed your body with extra oxygen by expanding your rib cage. You also improved your posture as well as the circulation of blood through your legs and back to your heart. All this in 60 seconds! But wait…there’s more!
The real nitty gritty of sitting is in the environment you work in every day. Poor lighting, incorrectly adjusted chairs, computer keyboards are the cause of many worker complaints of eye strain, back and neck and shoulder and arm pain.

  • If you frequently use a keyboard, it is better to keep your elbows close to your body and your wrists parallel to the keyboard. By not bending forward, backward, inward or outward, you reduce the strain on the wrists, forearm muscles and ensure better positioning of your upper arms, shoulders and neck. Reduce wrist strain by avoiding extension of your wrists and by preventing your wrists from pointing outward while keying.
  • Your eyes need frequent vision breaks to minimize strain.
  • Neck pain can be reduced by adjusting the work station to fit your body so that your head is not unnecessarily tilted or rotated. Taking periodic micro breaks to move and exercise your neck, shoulders, arms and upper back are essential to counteract the effects of head tilting.
  • An answer to fatigue is exercise. Stretch and move during your scheduled breaks and take several micro breaks throughout your day.


Even in our high-tech society, human performance remains a key goal in life. Rising health care costs and high turnover jobs are forcing businesses to consider methods and programs designed to develop healthy workplaces and healthy workers.
There are many simple things outlined in this letter that can get you started toward a healthier, more productive you!

Common Sense

  • Neck pain results from prolonged forward head posture or one-sided head and neck turning.
  • Back pain caused by unsupported sitting increases strain and fatigue

Sitting Fit!
A better way to make a living while sitting.

Restore your strength after the Winter with

AK chiropractic care