The Point-Based Techniques
The energetic techniques in chiropractic draw upon two of the earlier methods of energetic therapies, acupuncture and homeopathy. These methods, when filtered through the grid of chiropractic perspective, resulted in what may be termed "point based" techniques, "vial based" techniques, and techniques that utilized both approaches. One of the earliest of "point based” techniques that involved the use of particular points on the body surface that were thought to be correlated to visceral function was known as the Bennett reflexes. Various other systems of “point based” therapy protocols developed within the chiropractic profession such as Touch for Health, the Versendaal method, and a number of types of reflexology. The Versendaal method utilizes a vast system of points representing various tissues, organs, nutrients, and processes. Other methods such as Clinical Kinesiology from Allan G. Beardall, D.C. utilize enormous numbers of hand positions known as mudras, or hand modes.
The inherent weakness of the "point based" techniques is that they require predetermination of the meaning of each point that is chosen as a metaphorical representation of some body process, or structure. This severely limits corrective communications with the ACS of the patient as compared to the precisely crafted semantic structure of Neuromodulation Technique.
NMT asserts that there's nothing inherent in any of these hand positions, or body points that makes them of any therapeutic value. The concepts of body points, mudras, and gestures have meaning only to the extent that these things represent metaphorical mental placeholders for the practitioner to establish intent.
Establishing intent in energetic/informational medicine is essential, and anything that helps the doctor do this may be considered beneficial.
There is some danger in forgetting that this is the case and simply assuming that such metaphors are literally real. Such metaphors are constituted from the presumptions of the people who developed the techniques that utilize these concepts and are not inherent in the anatomy of human beings. These presumptions get transferred to the practitioners who use the method in their training, often just that way – as presumptions that are not even acknowledged, and are generally assimilated without question, and used clinically without awareness.
George Goodheart, D.C. and Muscle Response Testing
George Goodheart, D.C., a second-generation chiropractor from Michigan, was the subject of an April 16, 2001 Time magazine article featuring Time’s 100 great innovators in medicine. Forty years previously, in 1964, Dr. Goodheart published an article describing how inhibited muscles could be restored to normal function through certain procedures designed to stimulate particular sensory end organs in an effort to correct neurological control features within the muscle and to provoke a more appropriate motor output from the central nervous system. Dr. Goodheart found that muscles could be monitored and that the response of test muscles to particular clinical procedures could reveal information about a broad range of body function. In effect, he found that these specialized clinical applications that grew out of knowledge of classical kinesiology – the study of body motion – could serve as a real time window into broad categories of body function. Goodheart went on to train many chiropractors and other health professionals in what he called Applied Kinesiology (AK). Among the select group of people who became “charter diplomates” in AK were chiropractors like Victor Frank, D.C., John Thie, D.C., and others who took muscle response testing in new directions. Therapies based on their work are now practiced by health care professionals of virtually every type and by many lay people interested in improving the function of the body. There are almost no energetic techniques that do not owe some measure of thanks to Dr. Goodheart for his ingenuity and creativity. My own exposure to AK was at the hands of L.E. “Jack” Rarey who was a longtime family friend, and had been my chiropractor when I was in the early grades of primary school. Jack nourished my interest in chiropractic and I had the privilege of practicing with him for several years before beginning my own practice.