George J. Goodheart Jr., DC, founder of applied kinesiology, passed away March 5, 2008, at his home in Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich. He was 89 years old.
A 1939 graduate of National College of Chiropractic, Dr. Goodheart practiced for 68 years, making his initial discoveries in applied kinesiology and manual muscle testing in 1964. He chaired the International College of Applied Kinesiology-USA (ICAK-USA) research committee for 32 years.
"His dedication to functional chiropractic assessments of the human being culminated in his contribution of the AK concept to chiropractic and the wider healing professions - psychiatrists, dentists, medical doctors, nutritionists, physical therapists, massage therapists, and thousands of other self-described healers and millions of families are now using the methods developed by Dr. Goodheart," said ICAK-USA in a press release.
Dr. Goodheart's life was marked by achievement. A Davis Cup team finalist, his aspiring tennis career was interrupted by a call to duty in World War II, where he served in the U.S. Air Force, attaining the rank of Major at the young age of 22. Years later, he was nominated by members of the U.S. Congress for the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
In 1980, Dr. Goodheart served on the U.S. Sports Medicine Committee of the U.S. Olympic Team at the Winter Games in Lake Placid, N.Y. In doing so, he became the first doctor of chiropractic - and the first practitioner outside of the medical profession - to serve on the committee. And in 2001, he was dubbed "the man with the magic fingers" in a Time magazine article titled, "A New Breed of Healers."
"He was always ahead of his time," said Dr. Goodheart's daughter, Carroll Velie, in an article published in the Detroit Free Press.
"Since his first classes in AK and manual muscle testing in 1964, new generations of chiropractors have come to him as a source for understanding the chiropractic concept of health," said ICAK-USA. "Dr. Goodheart was a lifetime student, as all physicians who follow in his footsteps will find it necessary to be - to consent to be used by the same set of living laws in their service to patients. He took the challenge of applied kinesiology and the practice of the science of chiropractic and evaluated the body's function as a whole. His understanding of the coordination of its structure and function became a language of the nervous system expressed through the musculoskeletal system and the manual muscle test (MMT)."