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The Chiropractic Journal

A publication of the World Chiropractic Alliance


This Issue

April 2008

AK founder Goodheart mourned

George J. Goodheart, DC, founder of Applied Kinesiology, died at his home in Grosse Point Farms, Mich., at the age of 89.

The 1939 National College of Chiropractic graduate's career was interrupted by World War II but resumed in 1946 following his discharge from the US Air Force, where -- at age 22 -- he became the youngest person to attain the rank of major.

A second generation chiropractor, Dr. Goodheart began his career working alongside his DC father. In his book "You'll Be Better: The Story of Applied Kinesiology," he recalled the first lesson he learned was that he had a lot more to learn.

"As is usually the case," he wrote, "the further along I got in practice the more intelligent my father seemed to become -- the obvious fact being that I became more aware of my inadequacies and his excellent qualities."

Goodheart had learned equally important lessons from his military service, and in practice he combined his father's diagnostic and clinical training with the "taste for innovative opportunities" he'd acquired in the Air Force.

Not long after his father's death, Goodheart began using muscle testing as a diagnostic tool and had significant success with several patients.

"By now I was becoming convinced of a relationship between muscles and particular organs or glands," he explained in his book. "A muscle moderately weak on testing often appeared to be associated with a weak viscera or organ. Evidence of a weak pancreas, stomach, liver, or kidney that could be measured by x-ray, biochemistry, or by some other accepted test, would correspond to a weakened muscle. This relationship, rather tenuous at first, became more and more evident as time went on. The use of muscle testing gave a diagnostic ability to determine the need to stimulate the reflex and whether the stimulation was effective as observed by the muscle strength immediately improving."

That was the beginning of what would become applied kinesiology, a technique practiced by thousands of chiropractors, medical doctors, osteopaths, podiatrists and dentists in the US and Canada and overseas.

Goodheart's reputation quickly spread, putting him increasingly in demand as a speaker and instructor. He was the first non-medical practitioner to become a member of the United States Sports Medicine Committee of the US Olympic team during the 1980 winter games in Lake Placid, New York. He was also nominated in April of 1988 by Members of the US Congress for the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award bestowed by the President on behalf of the nation. Goodheart was featured in an April 2001 Time Magazine article titled "A New Breed of Healers," in which he was dubbed "The Man with Magic Fingers."

The International College of Applied Kinesiology (ICAK) was founded in 1975 to provide instruction on Goodheart's research to interested health care professionals, and in addition to the ICAK-USA chapter, the organization has chapters representing Australasia, Canada, and Europe. Goodheart served as chairman of the Research Committee for the ICAK for 32 years.

In a tribute to Goodheart published in the June 2003 issue of The Chiropractic Journal, several of his admirers shared their thoughts on their colleague.

David Leaf, DC, then-chairman of the ICAK-USA, said, "Dr. George Goodheart is one of the great discoverers of the chiropractic profession. His work spans the bridge from the original pioneers to the present."

Robert J. Porzio, DC, noted: "Dr. Goodheart impacts my life every day. Every time I look at a patient's posture, locate an area of involvement, test a muscle, or make some analogy to help the patient identify with a common sense solution, I feel Dr. Goodheart."

Jerold I. Morantz, DC added: "Dr. Goodheart has been a mentor, father and friend for over 30 years. There is not a day that I don't find myself using the knowledge that he so graciously gives away, and reproducing his words of encouragement to my patients. We have all been so fortunate to be influenced by what he does so well, seeing with eyes that see, hearing with ears that hear and caring for our patients with our head, hands, and heart. Just as the man with a good heart!"



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