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Frequently Asked Questions


What is the Maryland Kinesiology & Wellness Institute?

The Maryland Kinesiology & Wellness Institute is a unique healing and educational environment in Baltimore, Maryland. Classes are held at the institute to teach students about Touch For Health®, Brain Gym®, and other modalities that are provided as services to clients of the institute.  Karen regularly teaches on the use of herbs and therapeutic-grade essential oils as part of a daily health practice.  

What is Kinesiology?  What is Energy Kinesiology?
Kinesiology comes from the Greek word kinesis which means motion. In the medical sciences, kinesiology is the study of muscles and the movement of the body. The basis for energy kinesiology is the philosophy, science, and art of muscle testing, also known as muscle checking, to "read" the body's energetic imprint in order to tell what the body needs to achieve and maintain a state of balance.  

Muscle testing is a form of biofeedback. To perform muscle testing a particular muscle is held in its contracted state. Then slow, gentle, steady pressure is used to move the muscle towards its normal range of motion. If the muscle easily holds or “locks” it is considered to be giving a positive feedback response. In Energy Kinesiology we use muscle testing to determine the body’s response to many different types of stress that a person is dealing with, and which ones they are successfully handling. Muscle testing also allows us to identify ways to enhance or upgrade our response to stress. These can include stress responses to physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of our lives. 

The ICPKP—International College of Professional Kinesiology Practitioners—defines Kinesiology on their ICPKP website as follows: “Kinesiology is a communication tool that enables a person to assess and upgrade their performance in all areas. Kinesiology is the science of energy balancing and is grounded in the study of anatomy and physiology. Kinesiology uses muscles as monitors of stress and imbalance within the body. Kinesiology enables people to detect and correct various imbalances that may relate to stress, nutrition, learning problems, minor injuries and other issues they meet in their daily life.”

Energy kinesiology can help reduce stress and pain, improve performance at school, work and sports, enhance relationships and promote health and well-being.

Is Energy Kinesiology Safe?
The techniques are safe, and easy to learn.

Is Energy Kinesiology a Form of Medical Treatment?
No. These techniques are taught with the intention of balancing a person’s energies in relation to their goal. We do not diagnose, treat, or work with named diseases. Energy Kinesiology works with enhancing the body’s innate healing capabilities. For any potential medical problem we recommend seeing a licensed doctor.

What Does an Energy Kinesiology Session Entail?

Each session depends on the modality being used. All Energy sessions are performed fully clothed (excluding Raindrop Technique). Using muscle monitoring as a bio-feedback tool, Client and Practicioner work together to assess stress or imbalance in the body. A wide range of muscles may be used (these are all taught in the Touch For Health® Five Seminar Series here at the Maryland Kinesiology and Wellness Institute). Once the imbalance has been identified, a large variety of modalities may be used to bring about balance. 

Can I Self-Test?

Muscle testing is a science and an art. Doing it well on others takes training and practice. Doing it on yourself is even more demanding. Clear muscle testing requires a neutral and unbiased intention by the practitioner. This is not as easy when testing yourself. There are some people who do self-testing and claim to get useful results. TFH does not teach or encourage self-testing.

What Kinds of Health Challenges Can Energy Kinesiology Be Effective With?

Energy kinesiology has helped individuals with many types of conditions conditions, both chronic and acute.  This may include physical pain due to headaches, backaches, strains, sprains, menstrual cramps, nausea, TMJ, toothaches, and repetitive strain injuries. Individuals with other kinds of physical conditions such as insomnia and jet lag also respond quite well to the energy kinesiology approach. Cognitive performance can be dramatically improved as these techniques enhance neurological functioning. Individuals with reading difficulties have been helped through the use of energy kinesiology's reflex techniques. Energy Kinesiology is also highly effective in dealing with fears, phobias, and emotional trauma.

What is Balancing?
Balancing is the term used when a practitioner assesses a client's body’s energies and helps to release blockages in the energy pathways known as meridians (like acupuncture, but without the needles. Meridians are the specific pathways that carry the electromagnetic energy that surround and innervate the body. They are named after common organs as there is a relationship between meridians and specific organs functions.

Meridians were first discovered in the acupuncture system approximately 5,000 years ago by the Chinese and have been mapped thermographically, electronically, and radioactively by modern technological methods. In a balancing session we use touch and energy reflexes, not needles, while working with the acupuncture meridian system.  

The Theory of Balancing:

When a person is under stress (physically, mentally, emotionally, biochemically, electromagnetically, etc.) the body’s meridian system can go out of balance. What this means is that the normal fluid flow of energy between the various meridians develop areas of congestion (excess) and depletion (deficiency). This will show up immediately upon manual muscle testing due to the relationship of specific muscles to meridians. Over time the person will notice symptoms that may manifest in their energy level, posture, performance, physical and emotional states, with long term imbalances affecting the organ functions themselves. Eventually stress and subsequent imbalances in the meridian system can impede the body’s innate healing ability. The balancing work is done in the context of setting goals. We identify how the person wants to feel ‘different’ and put that into a positive goal. When a person is in a balancing session’the areas of imbalance are identified through specific muscle testing and corrected by any number of simple reflex techniques. These techniques may include light touch , gentle massage, tracing a meridian, specific movement, breathing techniques, the use of color or sound, or an affirmation as "corrective modalities". Once energy imbalances and the body’s reactive responses have been relieved, the person can function to their true potential—more fully on the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels.

What is Touch For Health®?

Touch For Health® (TFH) is an effective method used for the practice of Energy Kinesiology. Developed by Dr. John Thie, TFH was intended for lay people to have a simple, powerful tool to help themselves, their families and friends. The basis of Touch For Health® Kinesiology is balancing the acupuncture energy system. This is done without using needles or the traditional Chinese acupuncturist’s assessment called “reading the pulses”. TFH uses muscle testing to determine which meridians (or subtle energy pathways) are under-energized.

When a meridian is found to be ‘under-energized’ a number of different energy reflexes can be activated to restore the proper balance. These include:

  • Neurolymphatic points—(Chapman reflexes) small specific reflexes on the body that are briefly rubbed (this can be done either by the person on their own reflex points, or by someone else rubbing them).

  • Neurovascular points—(Bennett reflexes) specific places, mostly on the head, that are held very lightly without movement (this can also be done on oneself, or by having another person hold them).

  • Acupuncture holding points are specific acupuncture points which are gently held in combinations, without pressure or movement, to transfer energy.

  • Meridian stroking—the energy is 1-2 inches above the body and is “stroked” following the meridian pathways.

  • Bilateral reflexes (Thie reflexes)—specific spots on top of the spine that are rubbed slightly to stretch the skin.

  • Nutrition and other interventions can also restore balance to the meridians.

Touch For Health® also recognizes that each thought we hold impacts our energy system. In TFH we do ‘balances’ rather than treatments. When a balance is done with a goal in mind, it can reshape the energetic pattern we hold in relation to that goal. Balancing releases the “reactive” pattern associated with stress and allows our inner resources to deal more successfully with issues in our lives. 




Some of the FAQ answers above were reproduced with permission from

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