Applied Physiology


Applied Physiology is the branch of Kinesiology developed in the mid-80s by Richard D. Utt. Because of a rare disease contracted in Thailand, during the Vietnam War, Richard found himself on the verge of death, but, thanks to the help of Sheldon Deal, one of the “dirty dozen”, that group of chiropractors who, under the guidance of George Goodheart, created and spread Applied Kinesiology, Richard managed to overcome that difficult moment.

Fascinated by this method, he decided to study it and immediately made his own personal contribution to its development. 

The Applied Kinesiology of George Goodheart and Sheldon Deal is reserved exclusively to all those professional figures who have the license to make diagnoses (doctors, dentists, and in the United States, since they are fully recognized, even chiropractors and osteopaths), but since he was an engineer of the American Air Force, he had to take the path of Touch for Health and Specialized Kinesiology, which instead opens to all professional figures.

Since he had already developed a personal approach, he preferred to distinguish his work from the existing forms of Kinesiology, calling it Applied Physiology.
The decision to use the word Physiology instead of Kinesiology arose from the fact that in Applied Physiology all the physiological, neurological and biochemical aspects of the body are evaluated in great depth, always with the help of the Muscle Test.

The main feature of Applied Physiology is to apply to Kinesiology the Holographic Theory; this theory, which has found great admirers in Dr. Karl Pribram, eminent American neurophysiologist and David Bohr, Nobel Prize winner in Physics, tries to give an answer to different paradoxes of science.

To simplify the explanation of this Theory, the characteristics of holograms are used; these are three-dimensional images obtained by laser beams, which are stored on a curved plate. This plate, if broken into several parts, has the ability to recreate the entire original image. No matter how many times the plate is broken and how small the parts are, (unlike a normal photograph) all the pieces will be able to reproduce the original image. Clearly, the definition of the image will change. 

This physical principle supports all that philosophical dialectic of the reciprocal Microcosm-Macrocosm relationship, already described by Greek philosophers; in the Microcosm we find the same aspects of the Macrocosm and vice versa: for example, the cell is the microscopic representation of Man and Man is the macroscopic representation of the cell.

Each small part is able to communicate the condition of the whole: plantar reflexology, palm reflexology or auricular reflexology, iridology, glossology (the study of the language used in Traditional Chinese Medicine), pulsology (the study of the arterial wrists of Traditional Chinese Medicine), morphopsychology, etc. are techniques based on this principle. Observing a small part of the body (foot, hand, ear, iris, tongue, wrist, face, etc.) it is possible to extrapolate information on the functioning of the whole body.

In Applied Physiology, the Holographic Theory applies to muscle testing: as we know, each muscle is able to communicate to us the state of the associated Meridian (this is the basis of Kinesiology). Applied Physiology has discovered, however, that a muscle (microcosm) is able to communicate the state of all the meridians (macrocosm) testing it along its entire range of motion.

Therefore, each muscle is tested in 14 positions, one for each of the 14 meridians. The muscle we test describes the Object Meridian, while the position in which we test it describes the Reference Meridian.

The Object Meridian and the Reference Meridian are like the X-axis and the Y-axis of the Cartesian plane, which precisely identifies, as a coordinate in space and time, the type of imbalance in the system of acupuncture meridians.

Applied Physiology has had great success in many countries, and it has received numerous institutional awards.

In Australia, after completing the Melbourne Applied Physiology College and after integrating the studies with other 6 exams, you can get a degree in Energetic Science.

in Germany you can become Heilpraktiker (a fully recognized figure and comparable to the American Natural Medical Doctor) completing the entire process of studies of Applied Physiology.

In Switzerland, all courses in Applied Physiology are recognized and the therapists’ services are reimbursed by the Sick Funds.

In the United States, courses in Applied Physiology are valid for obtaining ECM training credits for homeopaths.

Richard Utt was an absolutely prolific author and has developed numerous courses, covering all aspects of the Health Triangle (Structure-Biochemistry-Emotions). He was undoubtedly an important innovator, who has introduced many innovations in the world of Kinesiology. In fact, from Applied Physiology, many other forms of Kinesiology have been born. Currently, most of the most appreciated and prolific authors (the third generation of kinesiologists) in the world, directly or indirectly, draw their work from Applied Physiology.

On November 12, 2011 Richard D. Utt moved to another level of existence, leaving his body, peacefully, after a long illness. Richard has suffered phisically for more than thirty years, but this condition of discomfort has prompted him to seek new solutions to alleviate human suffering.


These are all the features  Richard first introduced into the world of Kinesiology:

  • Test the muscles in all their range of movement, both in contraction and in extension, thus monitoring each muscle in 14 positions.
  • Describe 7 different muscle response conditions, using the terms Facilitation and Inhibition.
  • Expanded the concept of 5 Elements to 7 Elements, dividing Sovereign Fire (Heart + Small Intestine) and Ministreal Fire (Master of the Heart + Triple Heater) into two distinct elements and adding the Air Element (Conception Vessel + Governor Vessel).
  • Apply to Kinesiology the Holographic Theory, introducing the concept of Coordinate.
  • First to use  the sound frequencies produced by tuning forks, as a means of rebalancing the Meridians, but also the whole Body-Mind system.
  • Create a link between the energy system of the Chakras and the energy system of the Meridians by means of the technique called “The 7 Keys of the Qi”. Thoroughly tested the anatomical, physiological, neurological and biochemical aspects.
  • As we have said, there are many innovations introduced by Richard D. Utt. Probably they  changed Kinesiology most, introducing it into the third millennium, is the concept of Format.
  • Since its inception, Kinesiology has used acupuncture points or other specific points as a means of asking questions to the body: if touching a point (Therapeutic Localization) you have a change of indicator, it is as if the body was telling us Yes or No to the question we asked it. Touching specific points and testing a muscle is the form of language that applies Kinesiology. Each point can have a specific meaning: for example, we use the point Governor Vase 20 to ask the body if it has a Cranial Dysfunction, the point Kidney 27 to ask if the person suffers a condition called Switching, etc.. This allows the kinesiologist a wide range of possibilities… but the acupuncture points are only 361! To ask even more specific questions you need more. Richard Utt has combined two concepts developed by Alan Beardall: Pause Lock and Digital Modes. 

The Pause Lock is a mode in which you can store information for a long time, so you do not have to keep the touch on the specific point for the entire duration of the treatment. 

Digital Modes are a way to ask specific questions: is the dysfunction at the Structural level? Biochemical? Emotional? Energetic?

Digital Modes also behave like the Musical Keys in a score. Changing the Key at the beginning of a score changes the sound of the note. In this way, changing the Digital Mode while touching the acupuncture point changes its meaning. This way you have an almost infinite range of possibilities.

In the Brain Physiology course, Richard Utt first devised the working mode that was later defined as Format. For this very reason, this course represents a real milestone in Kinesiology.

Using the Pause Lock you can keep in memory more than one point and more than one Digital Mode. In this way the body becomes like a keyboard and the Pause Lock is like a screen on which you can open real folders. 

For example in this course entering in Pause Lock the Digital Anatomy Mode + the Digital Gland Mode + the points Conception Vase 23 + Conception Vase 24, you open the folder “Limbic System”, at this point testing other points you can test one at a time all the brain nuclei: Optical Chiasma, Hippocampus, Unco, etc.. Once the area of the Limbic System under stress has been identified, the specific physiological functions can be tested: for example, if the Posterior Hypothalamus is the specific area that is under stress, we can test its physiological functions: Increased blood pressure, pupillary dilatation, release of Corticotropin, etc..

This system allows the kinesiologist to screen a large number of body structures and functions. It identifies the area or function that holds stress and can be rebalanced in many ways: emotional, biochemical, energetic, structural.

Richard Utt’s work has given rise to numerous methods and techniques:

  • Learning Enhancmen Acupressure Program (LEAP – Brain Integration) by Dr. Charles Krebs PhD, which started from the Brain Physiology course and focused on the various problems of memory and school difficulties, from a purely neurological point of view.
  • Energetic Kinesiology (Brain Formatting, Chakra Hologram, etc.) by Hugo Tobar who, like Charles Krebs, used the concept of Format to test all the neurological, anatomical, immune and enzymatic aspects of the body.
  • Stress Indicator Point System (SIPS), by Ian Stubbings, which elaborated and amplified the typical concept of Applied Physiology of Steering-Forces.
  • Kinergetics by Philip Rafferty; Philip also uses the mechanism of Format.
  • Stati Fuori della Norma, this technique by Maurizio Piva was born taking its cue fromfrom the concept of 7 Levels of Muscle Stress of Applied Physiology.
  • Frequential Kinesiology by Antonio Librale, was born by recording in digital format the 14 tuning forks developed by Richard Utt (one for each of the 14 meridians).Integrated Physiology and Spine Physiology, all the courses developed by Marco Rado have as their root and starting point the Applied Physiology.
  • Another concept introduced for the first time by Richard Utt is the 7 Levels of Muscle Stress: at the 1986 annual congress of the International College of Applied Kinesiology (ICAK) in St Louis, Richard Utt proposed an expanded version of the kinesiological language.

Kinesiology is a form of language based on the variation of the muscular response to external stimuli, that is, on the passage of the muscle we are monitoring from a condition of balance (normoreactive) to a state of imbalance. This is the way in which the body communicates information to us. It is a binary language: 0-1, on-off, si-no, “strong” – “weak”. But this key to understanding kinesiological language is interpreted differently in Applied Physiology. 

The binary response (strong-weak) becomes trinary (normo-reactive, hypo-reactive, hyper-reactive). A “strong” muscle is not said to be in equilibrium, but it could be hyper-reactive, and the passage from normo-reactive to hyper-reactive is however a change of indicator, a passage from homeostasis to an unbalanced state has taken place. The body is communicating information to us.

This approach leads to 7 Levels of Muscle Stress. That is, a muscle can be in 7 different functional conditions. The muscles always work in groups: the Agonist (the first motor and the muscle being monitored), and the Antagonist, who relaxes when the agonist contracts. A neurological feedback or feedback system with sensory receptors (spindle cells) and motion-neurons connect these muscles in a reflex circuit or arc that allows the agonist and antagonist to communicate with each other.
Research by Richard Utt indicates that each muscle in the body is in one of the 7 states or Stress Levels at any given time.

The nervous system can ask a muscle to perform one of two possible operations: contract or relax. When a muscle is given an order to contract, it is said that the muscle has been FACILITATED by the nervous system. When the muscle is relaxed to allow the agonist to contract, it is said that this muscle has been INHIBITED by the nervous system. For a muscle to contract, and make a movement, its antagonist must necessarily relax. 
But sometimes there are imbalances in this neurological circuit; the problem is not always borne by the agonist muscle, but by the antagonists. This is the reason why, in Applied Physiology a muscle is tested in 14 positions, 7 positions are from contraction to extension (and it is directly called the agonist), while the other 7 positions are from extension to contraction (in which the whole group of antagonists intervene). 

As we have seen before, there are two types of imbalance that a muscle can manifest: weak (hypo-reactive) or excessively strong (hyper-reactive). These two conditions can be found both by testing in

facilitation (agonist – from contraction to extension – from position 1 to 7) and

inhibition (antagonists – from extension to contraction – from position 8 to 14).

When the agonist is weak it will be defined HYPO-FACILITATED: the nervous system does not sufficiently facilitate the agonist’s task of contracting;
and when it is excessively strong it will be defined HYPER-FACILITATED: the Nervous System excessively facilitates the contraction of the agonist.

On the contrary, when the antagonist muscle is weak in the test, it will be defined as HYPER-INHIBITED: the Nervous System has excessively inhibited the muscle; and when the antagonist is excessively strong, it will be defined as HYPO-INHIBITED: the Nervous System has not sufficiently inhibited the muscle. 
However, when these states of facilitation and inhibition reach pathological levels, then we have SPASTIC PARALYSIS and FLACCID PARALYSIS. 

HypoFacilitation (Muscle agonist not sufficiently facilitated by the Nervous System) Strong

Hyper-facilitation (Muscle agonist excessively facilitated by the nervous system) Weak

Ipo-inhibition (Muscle antagonist not sufficiently inhibited by the Nervous System) Strong

Hyper-inhibition (antagonistic muscle excessively facilitated by the nervous system) Weak

Flaccid Paralysis (Pathologically Weak Muscle)

Spastic Paralysis ((Pathologically Strong Muscle)


The Applied Physiology, even if it is not so known in Italy, is one of the main branches of Kinesiology and from it many other practices were developed. For this reason Applied Physiology Italia and the Physis Association, now International Institute of Kinesiology have set themselves the goal of promoting, spreading and protecting in Italy the work and ideas of Richard D. Utt.