Listening to your Body

Mumbo-jumbo or a natural solution to body aches, pains and pressures? Pauline Torode investigates the healing power of kinesiology.

FROM herbal remedies to acupuncture, alternative medicine is sometimes beyond explanation, yet it often seems to resolve a variety of problems. Health kinesiology is a case in point. It is so obscure and inexplicable that few people have even heard of it. And there are only two practitioners in Guernsey: Gina Zabukovec, a secretary with the Health Department who sees two or three clients in the evenings, and Dr Sue Hollwey, a GP with L'Aumone surgery who is acknowledged for her holistic approach to illness. She combines conventional medicine with, when appropriate, such alternative methods as homeopathy and health kinesiology (HK).

|It was pretty clear at the start of our discussions and a practical session for me to experience HK that Sue and Gina would be facing problems when it came to describing how this holistic healing form actually works. Sceptics could so easily dismiss it because it involved 'talking' to the patient's body and receiving responses through muscle integrity, rather than strength, in the lower arm. It seems incredible that simply relying on a relaxed muscle giving a negative response and a strong muscle indicating 'yes' to a list of questions could track down the cause of the almost limitless problems, emotional, spiritual and physical, that HK can assist. Yet the practitioners, thanks to some four years of experience, are confident that one or more sessions will restore a person to normality. Apart from their own successful case histories, they also tell of eliminating knee pain by muscle testing and correcting a golfer's swing through HK's rebalancing of 'body energy lines', with the help of acupressure points. In other cases, five separate clients who had a phobia about flying were treated successfully. But each had entirely different root causes for their tears. And the list goes on. People named in respected HK practitioner Jane Thurnell Read’s book. Health Kinesiology - the muscle testing system that talks to the body, have been helped with asthma and other allergies, irritable bowel syndrome, infertility and hormonal problems, arthritis, eczema and depression.

June pioneered HK in Britain, after its invention by Dr Jimmy Scott, an American who now lives in Canada.

But it isn't just a remedy for illness. HK has been used to help clients improve relationships and self-esteem, to become more focused and calmer, to develop abilities or simply to restore the body to perfect health and a state of well-being. 'Muscle testing isn't new,' said Dr Hollwey. 'We "hold" acupuncture points rather than use needles to re-tune the energy flow. It is intended to be a gentle and relaxing therapy, usually lasting about an hour.' A detailed questionnaire about health history starts the sessions. It includes any physical and emotional problems, family relationships, life goals and passions and, most importantly, concerns the client would like to be addressed. 'We ask many questions of the client, with the answers coming through the muscle response in the arm: a yes or a no. The responses are not always immediately obvious and may not always make sense, but eventually a pattern emerges from the client's mental library,' said Gina, who came to Guernsey already trained after an 18-month course and who was cured of hay fever through HK. Sue was also trained in the small HK organisation that holds courses in the UK. She appreciated that it was an incredibly difficult and unorthodox discipline to explain. 'I would include health kinesiology under the umbrella of energy medicine, much like homeopathy, reiki, reflexology, shiatsu and aromatherapy' she explained. 'Our energy, consciously or unconsciously are part of how we are and what we do. And while our bodies can and do regularly rebalance these levels, sometimes outside help, such as HK, is required when the automatic process is not adequate. As a consequence, the system comes, under stress and we become unwell find HK especially useful when I have less to offer through conventional medicine.' Gina agreed that explaining the impact of UK was difficult. 'It is becoming gradually more accepted and effective and I know that in years ahead treatments such as HK will have total acceptance,' she said. 'The treatment can be very simple or quite involved. It might require nothing more than a rebalancing by holding a series of acupuncture points while the client thinks about a specific subject, perhaps something that they find distressing. Otherwise, I might use homeopathic substances in phials placed on the navel or the chest to gain a reaction from the arm muscle about what harms or supports the body's system.'

My Own experience of Health Kinesiology

ALTHOUGH I was quite well, I had been suffering intermittent bouts of insomnia. It was decided that my personal concern - my treatment request - would be to fall asleep at night as soon as my head hit the pillow. Fully dressed, I lay on the couch with my right forearm at right angles to the bed. Gina experienced some initial difficulties in having permission from my body to start the treatment. There clearly was a problem and it turned out to be dehydration. I needed to be fully hydrated for the energy lines to flow, she said, and I was compelled to take in two mugs of warm water and to wait for it to be absorbed. This test involved a tug at the hair behind my ear, combined with muscle checks, and soon she was satisfied. I relaxed with my eyes closed as my arm and thigh muscles were gently pinched and then smoothed to determine that my muscle response presented a balanced system - it did. Encouraged, we continued with the lengthy series of questions, to which my arm made its own involuntary yes or no response. And hi case there is any suggestion that I could influence the responses, I should add that the questions were mumbled so quietly that I couldn't hear them. It was the practitioner and my energy levels on a one-to-one. 'It's not unusual for people to fall asleep during treatment,' said Gina, 'and they can feel better within a day, although it might take longer. The immediate concern might be resolved, but there could be underlying reasons that also need treating.'

It was decided that I needed a second session, in which Sue spent over an hour with me. She used phials called cosmic batteries on the centre of my chest as she urged me to mentally concentrate on various fears and affirmations she perceived from her list of questions guided by my muscle responses. It became quite involved, with details of my bedtime routine, preparation and times of turning out the light, whether there were any electronic gadgets hi the bedroom, whether windows were open or shut - each time gauging my involuntary responses. I was sent home with a chart illustrating daily exercises designed to enhance my energy flow through the 14 main meridians of the body. I was given particular advice regarding the positioning of radio alarms and told that it would probably be better if I removed my watch. And after a few days, I began to sleep more naturally. My verdict: although it might be explained in any number of ways, it could be that HK did the trick.

Other stories

A woman with cancer and undergoing chemotherapy was one of Sue's earlier patients and she was suffering with inflamed and badly swollen legs. She was weighed before and after each of several HK treatments. During the sessions, she repeatedly needed to use the lavatory and each tune had lost 31bs. By the end of four sessions, a total of 12lbs had gone as the fluid drained away from her legs.
'I don't know precisely how it worked, but after detailed questioning and muscle responses, I used acupressure and it brought relief,' said Sue. Gina treated a woman with troublesome scar tissue following a mastectomy and was able to improve the flow of energy so that the scar was less raised and inflamed. 'When surgery crosses a meridian, the energy flow is disturbed and this is where HK can help, like opening a door to let the energy flow again,' she explained. She also helped clients with eczema and psoriasis to relieve their unsightly and painful symptoms. This is not healer's work in the accepted sense, said Gina. 'All I’m doing is finding the points to hold to remove the stress on that meridian.

'There is some disturbance hi the body causing whatever problems are presented by the client and the reaction from the arm muscle to my questions tells me where the blockage is and which points to hold.'


Anyone can train as a health kinesologist. It involves spending five four-day sessions in the UK, as well as completing extensive clinical work and home correspondence. There are different kinds of kinesiology, including Touch for Health and educational, all working in different ways. For more information, visit the website,

(Reproduced courtesy Guernsey Press and Star)

Article dated 06 August 2004

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