The Blog


What is Therapy Localization?



If you're into human connection, open conversations, and geeking out about all the neuronerdy things? You've come to the right place. 



Embrace the weird

Favorite Things


Learn How

High impact treatments for your clients.

Learn to use the Nervous System to decrease pain and improve performance.

Therapy Localization or ‘TL’ is one of the most underutilized and effective diagnostic tools available to Therapists that use Manual Muscle Testing in practice. But what is therapy localization and how do we use it?

Origin Story.

TL was first used by George Goodheart as a diagnostic tool for Applied Kinesiology (AK). AK is one of those modalities where there is a line in the sand. Half believe it is incredibly useful and effective. The other half view it as pure #woodooscience.

There is no scientific evidence to support AK. Why? Simple really. Nearly every test is subjective to the practitioner’s evaluation of the tests performed. And this, my friends, is why manual muscle testing gets so much bad press.

Now that we know that we have no scientific proof to support any of the following claims, what is TL?

What is Therapy Localization?

TL is what I like to refer to as a ‘sensory enhancer’. It is performed by placing the fingertips over areas of previous injury or possible trauma on the body. It is most accurate when applied with the client’s own fingertips. The Practitioner can use their own fingertips in areas the client can’t comfortably reach, but must be done without bias or preconceived outcomes. It is always best to use the client’s fingertips whenever practical.

Why the fingertips? The fingertips are among the most sensitive parts of the body and are thoroughly packed with thousands of nerve endings. These nerve endings create complex patterns of neurostimulus that transfer information about size, shape and texture, among other things. Your ability to identify objects by shape or texture depend on these nerve endings.

TL uses these valuable information collecting nerve endings to send feedback to the Systems for processing. When ‘dysfunction’ or corrupted information or hypersensitive neurostimulus is present the brain is highly sensitive to the feedback being received through those nerve endings. It has critical awareness.

TL as a ‘diagnostic’ tool.

In practice we are able to utilize these nerve endings gathering and sending information as a direct line of communication with the brain to identify what is being touched.

Now, for obvious reasons, we can’t say definitively what is happening under that TL, all we know for certain is that we are touching skin. Skin that is full of nerve endings and various receptors sensitive to neurostimulus actively searching for input to #protectthehuman.

There’s this absolutely brilliant thing that happens when we use TL in our muscle testing practices. TL flips our muscle test results. Now, you can’t just place your fingers anywhere and expect a muscle test to change from weak to strong or strong to weak. The TL has to be directly related to the pattern you are assessing.

Depending on where you land with a TL it could make the pattern better or it could make the pattern worse.

Understanding the results: weak to strong.

Clients, you will, hopefully, appreciate this as well. Practitioners using muscle testing as a way to assess the neuroconnectivity of Motor Control will listen to your complaint, do various movement assessments, and then use manual muscle testing to map out muscles associated directly with your concern.

When these muscles are showing weakness the Practitioner will use your personal history and deductive reasoning to look for an area to apply therapy localization. An accurate TL will flip these weak muscle tests to strong muscle tests. This tells the Practitioner that there is a link to those particular muscle tests and where TL is being applied. It completes a circuit.

Now, it’s important to note that we are discussing neuroconnectivity, not the familiar understanding of weakness or strength. When we are up moving around going about our day to day activities those weak muscles are being stimulated through a compensation pattern to respond somewhat appropriately for the given task.

A muscle should be strong and should be able to weaken or lengthen as needed. A muscle involved with a compensation is unable to do so appropriately without assistance from that compensation pattern. When you are sitting on the treatment table getting assessed you are not stimulating this compensation pattern and we get this testable glitch in motor control.

When we apply TL it flips our pattern of weak muscles to strong, because the brain is recognizing the completion of the circuit. Or more simply, where the orders are coming from to make the muscles do their job.

What about a TL that makes a muscle go weak or weaker?

This is a fun experience and quite the mind scrambler for those new to muscle testing practices. Sometimes we can have a TL that makes a strong muscle go weak or a weak muscle test become even weaker. This can be alarming and have the Practitioner moving away from that area. BUT WAIT! Remember, TL is a sensory enhancer that will flip our muscle patterns.

The feedback from that particular area is so disruptive that it is worsening the entire pattern, turning up the signal of dysfunction or increasing the hypersensitive neurostimulus to too much muchness. A Nervvy Practitioner will go after this new information to discover what is happening in that area.

Bonus Neuronuggets and Ponderings.

TL gives us information to complete a circuit. It does not tell us what is happening with the pattern. Practitioners will use various methods to reestablish proper motor control.

I really can’t stress this point enough. If it has TL it has a problem. Therapy Localization is an awareness of hypersensitivity. If there is no response or dysfunction, TL will not be present. So, if you are testing anything at all and it has TL it is involved with some kind of pattern and you would do well by your client to suss it out.

TL will flip a muscle itself. This is a normal response of decreasing or increasing a signal. If a muscle is weak, but does not have TL, it is part of the pattern and useful in that you can look for a synergyst muscle and create a pattern from there.

If TL flips an entire mapped out compensation pattern; from weak to strong, from strong to weak, from locked to normal you most likely have the root cause. And if the root cause is the Primary, Priority, King, Facilitator, Grand Poobah….. is pairing necessary with this information? We know we need to desensitize the hypersenstivity and increase productivity in the affected pattern. Because in a neuronutshell there is either too little or too much muchness.

Read the Comments +

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Hi, I'm Marissa

When you get right to it, making connections is kind of my thing. Let's get your brain thinking differently.

READ          LATEST


The Blog Playlist

In The Mood For...





Case Studies



This Area Always Feels Tight. Why Won't it...

Is it Normal to Feel Emotional?

Do I Really Have to do the Homework?

Get an obsession and love your work again



Become the Targeted Treatment Therapist in your area by learning to use the Nervous System to assess movement patterns, decrease pain, and enhance performance.

follow @mmaciasmmt

If you're into human connection, open conversations, and geeking out about all the neuronerdy things? You've come to the right place. 

The Blog

Unusual Musings →

The Shop

Favorite Things →

Umm Yes Please →