Dr. George Goodheart: The Nature of A Genius

In this address, given to the annual meeting of the International College of Applied Kinesiology, Dr. Diamond pays heartfelt tribute to his late friend and colleague George Goodheart, D.C., (1918-2008), the developer of Applied Kinesiology.


Goodheart sml

Dr. George Goodheart

On the 100th anniversary of the birth of Freud, Ernest Jones, one of his earliest “children,” wrote a memorial to him published in the British Medical Journal in 1956. It was entitled “The Nature of Genius.”

Well, here we are at the 50th anniversary of the birth of Applied Kinesiology, “children” of George Goodheart. And as one of the elder “children” – now 41 years old – I offer this tribute to him and his genius.

For nearly 70 years I have been interested in the origins of our English words, etymology. Let’s start by considering the etymology of the word genius.

Like so many of our words, it is derived from an Indo-European root which has two basic and interconnected branches: KEN and GEN. From that origin we have today over 150 English words. All of them, in a sense, still related. Their origin and their subsequent interconnectedness gives us insight to the deeper meaning, so often buried in our unconscious, but still very operant.

The original meaning of KEN was to know, and of GEN, to beget. Some of the many words from KEN are: know, cognate, recognize, gnosis, diagnosis, kin, kindle, and kind. And from GEN – just a few of the large number: generation, generative, generous, congenial, gentle, genesis, progeny, genus—and genius.[1]

Genius is defined as “extraordinary intellect and creative power.” Intellect he certainly had (that’s the KEN branch) and creative power (the GEN branch).

All these words are subsumed
in the word genius
– in George Goodheart.

One meaning of the word genius is the spirit that enters us at conception. In which case, George Goodheart was especially endowed—and this genius he devoted to sharing with all humanity. For he was a humanitarian—a rarity in today’s therapeutic professions.

Humane and humanitarian are from the same root source as humble—from the root for earth, as is humus.

George Goodheart was always humble, knowing that all the work was not by him, what the Japanese call jiriki, self-power, but by Tariki, Other Power. It was of his genius to so know.A humble genius—as is every true genius.

This well may be his greatest knowledge to give to his progeny, we of a kindred spirit.Many of his techniques will be changed, adapted, fall into disuse, but his genius ever will Be.

I used to often say to George that the 1972 manual “would have sufficed.” (I didn’t say the word genius but that’s what I meant.) And there were 23 more to come!


George Goodheart was a progenitor, a founding father. And we are his kin of a later generation—his progeny.And genius is said to be the spirit, or the guardian spirit, of the progeny.

Two friends: Dr. George Goodheart (right) and John Diamond, M.D.

Our word generous is also from GEN. And certainly George was generous—giving all his knowledge, his wisdom and, even more, giving his self, to his colleagues, students, patients and all—his total progeny.

And the word Generic: “relating to an entire group.” George always hoped that his genius (my word—never his) would become generic in healing practice.

George’s gift was what he was Given. Most of the verbs in our language are active, few are passive. And that may be one of our biggest problems. We say—and believe—(I certainly do), that rather than something is done through me, that it is what we are Given to do.

George was wise enough to Know this, and so be humble and grateful.

George Goodheart, his Soul so aspiring,
did glance from earth to Heaven,
from Heaven to earth;
and as his imagination brought forth
the forms of things unknown, his genius
turned them into healing, and gave to Inspiration
a focal realization and a name.

(greatly adapted from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act 5, Sc. 1)


Consider some words that begin with SP—spirit, spurt, sperm, spark, spit, spew, and spray, etc. They have in common a sense of something active, vital, being projected from one site to another: A spark travelling to the kindling which may or may not receive it and respond. The Latin sperare, to hope, is a good example. When we hope we imagine our wish traveling to the other who will hopefully respond as we desire.

Respiration—the breathing in and out of the spirit. And aspiration: “breathing” up to the Spirit. Always Knowing there is Something More—up There. And ever hoping to be One with It.

We don’t know what It is—but we sense It’s There. Our lives dedicated to It. There is this extra: A Higher Purpose to life. George was ever Aspirational. It wasn’t his genius to aspire—but the Inspiration into him creating his genius.

Every genius is enthusiastic, imbued with “great excitement in a subject.” This enthusiasm being bestowed on him.

Our word enthusiasm is from the root DHERS, of the gods, hence theos, theism, theology, and en, within. So enthusiasm is literally filled with the spirit of the god within: Inspired.

No wonder George was so active, so filled with great excitement and dedication for what he had Received. And so desirous to enthuse the world of Healing, as he Knew he, too, had been enthused.


It is said of the healer that he would receive healing advice in dreams. And, as George has said, that was a constant inspiration for him over many years. And furthermore that many, but not all healers would dance when healing.

George dancing, you ask? Think of when you saw him working privately, not on stage. I saw him many times in his little room—and when I see him there now, he certainly did seem to be dancing.

I also see him now staring at the virtually nude patient in the framing device he used to examine every patient every time. I’m sure he was silently asking what to do.

He always asked—and obeyed. And that, I believe, is the very essence of his philosophy: Always ask—and always obey.

And he taught us to so ask—and to obey. That was his Message. Truly ask— and truly obey. As he always did. And George worshipped Truth.


I remember George telling me that the only patients whose Essence he could not really feel were prostitutes. Because, he said, they seemed to have so many men around them that he could not get to their real selves.

That was George—always seeking the inner Essence of every sufferer and helping to release It.


Back in 1973 in a hotel room after a seminar, George demonstrated to me, on me—the Lake maneuver involving the post-nasal space. Where had he picked it up? Dr. Thomas T. Lake, N.D., D.C., was long dead. That was George, seemingly so guided to so many forgotten techniques.

The effect on me was extraordinary. For about a month it was as if I had no face impeding the free flow of air into me—as if a window had been opened wide.

George told me he had used it to help a relative finally conceive. Thankfully, it didn’t do that to me! But many years later, I did use it with success.

Dr. Lake lives on a hundred years later through George, his relative’s son and the little girl I still see—and whose parents still thank Dr. Lake—and George.


I recall many years ago now when Alan Beardall told George of the yogic practice of alternate nostril breathing. Almost immediately George went one step further—testing for which nostril in and the other out. (He later read—as you know he was a very wide reader—that each nostril differently ionized the incoming air.)

A little while later he employed this technique with a virtually blind woman, having her correctly breathe—as he tested—three hundred times. With profound improvement!

Who told him to do it?
And to do it 300 times!

Such was his genius. He was inspired, literally “breathed into” by Spirit – by Heaven’s Breath, by Chi. And he Knew this and always gave thanks—to here, and to There.

To give thanks is Gratitude, a thymus attribute that so actuates our Life Energy. In so many ways, his life was one of grateful Cantillation—as a song of love for the Love.

And an aspect of Gratitude is what Confucius called Filial Piety: not only to George’s parents—his father was a guiding force in his life, as George readily acknowledged—but also to his elders, of which he was their progeny.

The very essence of Confucian philosophy is Filial Piety—the devoted Love to the parents.

We can surely Know of his love for his mother, for that is the basis of all true healing: altruism, love to the other (Latin alter, other)—as if one’s own mother.

Of his father, also a healer, George often spoke, at times almost reverentially. For instance, he would describe how his father always himself gave a supplement to the patient. His act of so giving he regarded as vital, as therapeutic. And George himself would do this, emulating him.

Freud’s genius revealed itself after his father’s death. As did George’s.

In both cases, I believe, not at all that now they felt freed, but they felt in a way guided by them. George, in fact, told that an image of his father would often appear to him in dreams showing him what to do with a clinical problem—that “he” helped to develop the whole rubric of George’s lifetime opus.

And George, never envious, was always grateful. An instance of this is that most men labeled “Junior” yearn to throw it off. But George was proud of it—a symbol of his Filial Piety.


No Nobel –
Freud neither.


George had a deep belief in the Beyond, reinforced by every dream of instruction he received—so many dreams, over so many years.

Let’s consider that word beyond. It is derived from yonder, meaning within sight, that over there. And the be meant thoroughly, completely. So beyond implies not within sight, not for us to know or understand. But to believe It—Whatever we may imagine—is There, Beyond.

That was his wonderment: What’s Beyond?

Remembering George telling of how he would dream the answer to clinical problems, I think of the word aerial, which I used to use for what today is called an antenna. As if when he went to bed he would tune in his aerial to receive.

Where did his dreams come from? What was he tuning it to? Perhaps the clue is, as is so often the case, contained in the word’s origin. From the root UE, vapor, spirit. Via the Greek aeirein, to lift, to raise. Raising his aerial for information. And, as we know, he received so much!

The word Genie: “a supernatural creature who does one’s bidding when called.” As, in The Tempest, Prospero would summon Ariel to do his bidding.

As George, seemingly like Prospero, would ask for aerial guidance for healing. And more so, as I believe, he was himself Bidden.


Being no etymologist, and certainly, certainly, no French etymologist, nonetheless I venture to suggest rather, to hope—that the French rever, to dream, hence our reverie, may be related to our revere, to regard with devotion.

The Basic Dream: to return to the Mother of Love Whom we revere.

And our daydreaming, our reverie, “is not a mind vacuum. It is rather the gift … which knows the plenitude of the soul.” (Gaston Bachelard)

To denigrate dreams as unreal, mere playthings, games of the mind, is to insult the Inspirer. There’s reality—and Reality.I imagine—in my reverie—George in his as he contemplated before him the totality of the sufferer, including his Soul.


There are many famous scientific “discoveries” given to the “discoverer” in a dream. The usual example is Kekulé who so saw the benzene ring.

I’ll mention just one more. The entire melody of Paul McCartney’s greatest song “Yesterday” came into him in a dream.[2]

Dreams are not “airy nothings”
– they are the gifts of Inspiration.


The difference George gave me! I became the only psychiatrist who could determine—almost instantly—what the sufferer was really thinking and feeling, awake and dreaming.

The exact emotion,
the very essence of his distress,
the precise acupuncture point,
the herbal remedy,
the appropriate supplement,
the muscle correlation
and correction
and body procedures,
and the positive affirmation.
And more.

Thank You, George,
Thank You!


When awake, most Inspiration enters through the head chakras, of which—in this context—there are three: Sahasrara around GV20, Ajna around GV24.5 and Jeeva around GV17. The Inspiration travels down through the body to exit around kidney 1, the only acupuncture point on the sole, through the Gambhira chakra.

But what happens during sleep—“perchance to dream”—when kidney 1 is unsupported? It would seem that in dreaming—and perhaps in deep meditation in the cross-legged or lotus position, with kidney 1 unsupported—the Gambhira chakra is switched off, and the Ajna perhaps even more actuated. The dream has different work to do—as if keeping the Inspiration inside, in the head.

I imagine Walt Whitman lying on a beach—daydreaming with his feet unsupported, kidney 1 not actuated by the incoming Inspiration to his head chakras. (If Kidney 1 and its associated chakra were grounded then his poetry would have been differently Inspired—closer to ordinary prose.)

Dreaming is also Inspiration but there is this difference to waking Inspiration. The particular chakra involved there that seems to receive the incoming communication is Ajna, between the eyebrows. And it may be significant in this context that dreams are predominantly visual—visions—exemplified by the rapid eye movements. It is also relevant that dreaming can be enhanced by vitamin B6 which also seems to have a positive effect on Ajna.

I do not believe that dreams require interpretation, in the psychoanalytic sense. But rather that they are experiences which, remembered or not, will each have a particular effect, similar—but not identical—to waking Inspiration. And George had so many dreams—and so many remembered and Used—as Intended.

I have deeply studied a psychic medium who enters into his Inspired channeling state by concentrating on his Ajna (his “third eye”), and very often by touching it as well. He could be said to be in a sort of trance – as if waking dreaming.

And that, to me, sums up so much of George: sleeping as well as waking, he was seemingly almost constantly Inspired to render the Service that he did—and through his progeny will continue to do—for suffering mankind.


Was George a magician? Well not, of course, in the usual sense—he was, as he always protested—and proved—a scientist. But consider that our word magician originally came from the Persian magus,[3] one of whose functions was the interpretation of dreams.

And George on countless nights would dream of being shown the answer to his latest clinical problem. And the end result of all his waking and dreaming—and so often the waking merely superimposed on the dreaming—he has passed on to his progeny.

My friend, the gifted psychiatrist Clancy McKenzie, for so many years has advised dreaming to receive the answer to problems. This process can be aided by vitamin B6. And George must certainly not have been deficient!


When awake, we live in a constant world of projection and introjection, basically of our emotional state at any moment. A feeling to the mother—a feeling from the mother, a feeling from the mother—a feeling to the mother. The waves back and forth, forth and back.

However, when dreaming it is all introjection: Inspiration from the Other.

George knew that when he was dreaming the Inspiration would come. I imagine him going to sleep in a confident, grateful state of intromission, welcoming the Inspiration.

His dreaming
and meditating,
his extuition
as inspiration
made him as a Hermes,
a messenger to us.


Let’s consider the word Dreamtime as applied to Australian Aboriginal spirituality. The word was an attempt to translate a phrase of the Arrernte tribe of Alice Springs. It basically meant ‘eternal’ so that the verb ‘to dream’ draws from the idea of seeing eternal things, originating from eternity – from the Beyond.

Every time we dream we too are receiving Inspiration from the Beyond, including, of course, the spirits of the deceased. As George Goodheart was given. And some of them he recognized and, recognizing or not, he gratefully accepted and used their teaching. As perhaps now we may receive his spirit’s guidance and, of course, others’—in our own Dreamtime.

Most of what I have given here about George was given to me at first light: the interface of sleeping and awaking. I do wonder whether it was the spirit of George who so inspired me.


By George I was delivered from psychiatry. I am increasingly grateful being so alienated from what psychiatry has increasingly become. So may I be permitted after some sixty years around psychiatry and psychoanalysis—greatly enhanced by George Goodheart’s “discoveries”—to say this about the very basis of his “discovery process.”

The great psychoanalyst-anthropologist Geza Roheim stated that the deep meaning of every dream was a return to the mother’s womb.[4] This he called the basic dream, and whenever he analyzed a dream in depth this is what he always found. Every dream we have is, at the deepest level, in our unconscious, a return to the mother’s womb.

And virtually all of George’s major “discoveries” were given to him in his dreams. And the dream was always him re-entering a dome, a womb. He was constantly going back, back into his mother—the mother that he loved, and the mother to whom he was ever grateful. As we should be to her.

A healer,
a true healer
– not a mere purporter –
is always also
a cradle of comfort.

However masculine
– and George certainly was –
he can allow himself
to also be maternal.

That was George,
father and mother
– or preferably,
mother and father,
for the first comforter,
the first healer,
is always the mother.

How to crystallize the very Essence of George Goodheart?

An inspired holistic healer,
a humanitarian genius.


Our Inner Flame is our Life Energy, our Healing Power Within. This George assessed with every patient and, in his own ways, always actuated with every treatment. It was, in a very real sense, the very essence of his work—his healing work.

When I saw him in the hospital, weak and tired as he was, his Inner Flame was still high. I thought of Blake:

“I have been very near the Gates of Death & have returned very weak & an Old Man feeble and tottering, but not in Spirit & Life not in The Real Man The Imagination which Liveth for Ever. In that I am stronger & stronger as this Foolish Body decays.”

That was George.

I think of the Inner Flame thus:

I enthusiastically,
and gratefully
embrace all of my life.

That was George. And That he actuated in the sufferers that came to him.

Furthermore, it is only when we can accept our life, all of it, that we can accept its inevitable cessation: the Embracing of Life overcomes the fear of death which so haunts all sufferers.

In this, too, for his patients as well as for himself, he was Inspired.

No coward soul is mine,
No trembler in the world’s storm-troubled sphere;
I see Heaven’s glories shine,
And faith shines equal, arming me from fear.

Emily Jane Brontë (dead at 30)


As a personal statement of Gratitude, I would like to say Thank you, George, for introducing me to the body which I had always feared and ignored. And then for suggesting, encouraging, and inspiring me to develop what you referred to as “the Third Side of the Triangle,”—to add the psychological dimension to your work – the mind and its effect on overall health—which led to the whole concept of the Acupuncture Emotional System. Especially as I believe, in accord with Paracelsus, that most disease starts in the mind.

My very favorite photograph I took of George was my last. I had managed to get him out of the hospital—what an incongruity—George in a hospital! As he got out of the car back at his house on Beaupre, so weak, exhausted, he smiled broadly and widely extended his arms to all.

That was George—ever altruistic!

On a further personal note, I am so honored and so proud to say that when I visited George in the hospital he had by his bedside just two books: One was Mary Austin’s book on acupuncture, which is the book I think we probably all started with (and then Felix Mann). And the other book was my Holism and Beyond: The Essence of Holistic Medicine.[5]

And although he didn’t mean it as such—he had no idea that I would be visiting him at the hospital—it was, of all he ever did for me, including all the great, great health benefits I received from him, it was to me his greatest act of love.


Our word heal is from the same root as whole: to heal is to help the sufferer to at last be whole—one with his total self, body and Soul. And this deep Intention underlay all George’s work. He was so much more than a mere treater—he was a healer. It is said that “his body is the healer’s, but his Soul is the Spirit’s.”

“You Will Be Better,” he wrote.
And he meant more than the body
– the entire You.

He has been physically from us for some years now but I, and others, Feel the Soul that was him even more now. Thank you George!



[1] Also hydrogen – water begetter, and oxygen – acid begetter.

[2] Incidentally, “Yesterday” is the most popular Beatles song – and that’s saying something! It has the most cover versions of any song ever written – 2,300! And furthermore, MTV and Rolling Stone magazine voted it the No. 1 pop song of all time! And Paul was given it in a dream.

[3] Recall the three magi, the wise men.

[4] Hence insomnia is a fear to re-enter one’s mother, and the nightmare is re-entering the mother of fear.

[5] Bloomingdale, IL: Enhancement Books, 2001.