The basic examination technique used in Applied Kinesiology (AK) is a manual muscle test [1]. Applied Kinesiology is a system of evaluating body reactions to different stimuli that interact with the nervous system [2]. Recent reviews highlight historical, practical and methodological aspects of manual muscle testing [3-5]. During the development of AK [1], Goodheart described an association between meridians and individual muscles. The sedation and tonification acupoints of the corresponding meridian were used in a similar way as in acupuncture. These effects are based on the relations defined by the Five Elements (wuxing): Water (shui), Wood (mu), Fire (huo), Earth (tu) and Metal (jin) (Table 1). Tonification is based on the generating or mother-child relation, i.e. the sheng cycle [6]. Sedation is based on the inverse or child-mother relation [6]. In clinical practice, the use of these acupoints induces changes in the strength of the muscle being examined which can be perceived by the examiner as well as by the patient. When sedation is applied, muscle tone will diminish; when tonification is applied, muscle tone will increase.


Mother-and-child Five Element acupoints of Chinese medicine and associated muscles according to Applied Kinesiology
Meridian
Element
Mother acupoint
~tonification
Child acupoint
~sedation
Associated muscles

Lung
Metal
LU9
LU5
Deltoids, Serratus anterior
Large intestine
Metal
LI11
LI2
Hamstrings, Tensor fascia lata
Stomach
Earth
ST41
ST45
Pectoralis major clavicular, Sternocleidomastoideus
Spleen
Earth
SP2
SP5
Latissimus dorsi
Heart
Fire
HT9
HT7
Subscapularis
Small intestine
Fire
SI3
SI8
Rectus abdominis, Rectus femoris
Urinary bladder
Water
UB67
UG65
Peroneus, Tibialis anterior
Kidney
Water
KI7
KI1
Iliopsoas
Pericardium
Fire
PC9
PC7
Gluteus medius, Gluteus maximus, Piriformis, Adductors
Triple heater
Fire
TH3
TH10
Teres Minor, Infraspinatus
Gall bladder
Wood
GB43
GB38
Popliteus
Liver
Wood
LV8
LV2
Pectoralis major sternal, Rhomboids
A further development of AK was made by Burtscher et al. [7] leading to a technique called AK meridian therapy (AKMT). While the name AKMT is similar to that of Goodheart [1] and Walther [2], Burtscher expands the regulatory possibilities of AK through the use of element acupoints of associated meridians according to the Five Elements [6] in order to achieve sedation or tonification (Table 2).

Psychostructural Pericardium
Psychostructural Triple Warmer
Psychostructural Gallbladder
Psychostructural Liver
Psychostructural Kidney
Psychostructural Bladder

Strategy for tonification or sedation based on Applied Kinesiology meridian therapy

Within the same meridian
Acupoints from related meridians

Tonification
Tonification acupoint = Sheng cycle
Support Grandchild-grandparent
Element acupoint of the generating meridian
Element acupoint of the grandchild meridian
Sedation
Sedation acupoint
Child-mother
Control acupoint grandparent-grandchild
Element acupoint of the son meridian
Element acupoint of the grandparent