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The Kinesthetic , the doctrine of the sensation of movement is the practical experience Sciences Act. Since its inception at the University of Wisconsin – Madison in the early 1970s, kinesthetics have found widespread use in health and nursing care . For this she provides u. a. a system (see concept system ) is available to describe exercise resources and to design adequate exercise offers (see exercise learning ). Findings from medicine , psychophysics , behavioral cybernetics and neurosciences form the scientific frame of reference for this interaction and learning system, in which the perception of one's own movement is viewed as the central path to holistic health promotion. The origins of the conceptual development of kinaesthetics go back to the Americans Frank White Hatch and Linda Sue ("Lenny") Maietta (1950–2018).

Frank White Hatch (2011)

Etymology and Definition

The English term kinaesthetics and its German translation kinesthetics were coined in the early 1970s by the American behavioral cyberneticist Frank White Hatch and denote the "doctrine of kinaesthesia", where kinaesthesis (English kinaesthesis, kinæsthesis, kinesthesis, kinesthesia ) means ' sensation of movement' and is defined as the "ability to unconsciously control and direct movements of the body parts". The word creation kinaesthesis - a combination of the two ancient Greek words κινέω ( kineō = 'move', 'to move') and αἴσθησις ( aisthēsis = 'perception', 'experience') - goes back to the British neurologist Henry Charlton Bastian , who around 1880 suggested using it to designate the sense of movement (Sense of MovementKinaesthesis) and a brain area responsible for processing sensations of movement (Sense of Movement CenterKinaesthetic Center) .

"Kinesthetics is the study of movement and perception, which in turn arises from movement - it is the study of the sensation of movement."

- Frank Hatch, Lenny Maietta (2003)

Use of terms and delimitation

In kinaesthetics - as well as in psychology , education and nursing science - terms such as kinaesthetic perception , kinaesthetic sense or kinaesthetic sensory system are mostly used as synonyms for proprioception or depth sensitivity , i.e. as collective terms for sense of position, force and movement. In sensory physiology , the term kinaesthesia is used to describe only the sense of movement. Kinesthesia is based on receptors of the musculoskeletal system in joints , muscles ( muscle spindles ) and tendons ( Golgi tendon organs ) and is largely unconscious.

Kinesthetics or kinaesthetics, on the other hand, refers to the imparting and / or application of the ability to achieve a more conscious sensation of movement through increased mindfulness and to use information from the kinesthetic sensory system via the receptors of the musculoskeletal system specifically for effective movement design and adaptation. The proprioceptors of the musculoskeletal system are used as an organ of success for effective movement execution.

The term kinaesthetics is to be distinguished from applied kinesiology , an alternative medical diagnosis and action concept that was developed by other people under different basic assumptions and which tries to use muscular reactions for holistic diagnostics (see kinesiological muscle test ).

History of the development of kinesthetics

The kinesthetic founders Lenny Maietta and Frank Hatch in 2011 at an event in Vienna

The origins of the conceptual development of kinesthetics go back to the Americans Frank White Hatch and Linda Sue ("Lenny") Maietta. In addition to behavioral cybernetics and dance , the founders also name movement therapy and humanistic psychology as essential sources of kinaesthetics. The founders were in dialogue and exchange with Moshé Feldenkrais , Gregory Bateson , Berta and Karel Bobath , Liliane Juchli and Nancy Roper .

Frank Hatch worked as a dancer, choreographer and producer, did research on the ethnology of dance and studied behavioral cybernetics with Karl U. Smith . After having been Assistant Professor at the Dance Department in Madison / Stevenspoint from 1967 to 1970, he received his doctorate in 1973 under Karl U. Smith with a behavioral cybernetic study of dance and dance culture. Hatch founded exercise and dance programs at three American universities. In 1972 he held courses at California State University Fullerton for the first time, which were entitled Kinaesthetics . Hatch turned to work with disabled children as well as the field of rehabilitation.

Lenny Maietta was a clinical psychologist and had been concerned with body-oriented processes of human development and personal development from her youth. She also studied behavioral cybernetics with Karl U. Smith and received her doctorate in 1986 with a dissertation on The Effects of Handling Training on Parent-Infant Interaction and Infant Development . Since 1974 Frank Hatch and his future wife Lenny Maietta worked together in the German-speaking area.

As a teenager, Hatch had already taken part in dance classes and workshops with the dancer and choreographer Anna Halprin , where he received initial suggestions that later became important for the conception of kinesthetics. Halprin's conviction that any movement could also be seen as a dance played a major role in this. Maietta & Hatch held gentle dance workshops with dancer John Graham, who had worked with Halprin . In the Ernest-Holmes-Fachklinik in Kempten im Allgäu between 1974 and 1977 gentle dance. and kinaesthetic seminars are also used as a therapy offer for the first time.

During this time he also worked with Moshé Feldenkrais , who accepted Hatch's invitation in 1974 and held several workshops in Kempten. Hatch and Feldenkrais already knew each other from the USA, where they u. a. had discussed cybernetics again and again. Feldenkrais supported Lenny Maietta's dissertation project as a mentor and invited her to Amherst / Massachusetts for several weeks, where she attended his classes. The exchange between Feldenkrais and the Kinaesthetics founders was mutual and lasting. He also clarified existing differences and encouraged Maietta and Hatch in their decision to develop a learning and communication system for movement that - through movement - also conveys the fundamental principles of movement. Feldenkrais encouraged the two to continue their work in this direction.

At the end of the 1970s, Frank Hatch was in a written exchange of ideas with Gregory Bateson , whose books had been of fundamental importance to him since his student days, as they helped him to accept and to know - u. a. in relation to movement - to be sorted: "Our assumptions determine our actions" is still a popular phrase in kinaesthetics that refers to this problem. In the course of this correspondence, Bateson confirmed that the repetitive laws of functional anatomy that Maietta and Hatch recognized and described form a so-called pattern that connects (literally metapattern ). Because of his concern with schizophrenia, Bateson showed great interest in Maietta's plan to help parents achieve handling skills that enable the child and family to develop healthily on the basis of movement processes.

In 1980 Maietta and Hatch began developing the Touch-in-Parenting program, later called Kinaesthetics Infant Handling . The collaboration with the qualified nurse Suzanne Schmidt-Bernard, who had trained in kinaesthetics with the founders from 1981 to 1984, finally led to the connection between kinaesthetics and nursing and formed the basis for the job-specific program kinaesthetics in nursing . In 1983 the first course on kinesthetics in nursing was held in the Neumünster Hospital, Zollikerberg (Switzerland) .

“Many committed participants in our kinaesthetics courses gave us suggestions on the subject through specific questions and ideas. The current state of development of the Kinesthetics in Nursing program has been enriched by practical experience and suggestions from nurses in Europe and the USA. This enabled us to bring the findings that we [...] would like to make available to all nursing staff up to date in a practical manner. "

- Frank Hatch, Lenny Maietta, Suzanne Schmidt (1992)

The further development history of kinaesthetics up to today's curricular educational content took place in changing organizational structures and can be divided into four sections:

  • 1980–1990: experience of movement and dance . In 1980 the Association for Kinesthetics was founded in Zurich . By 1985, gentle dance and kinesthetic courses were organized that addressed a wide audience. In the first phase of the Gentle Dance training at the time, the focus was on movement experience and dance. The Kinaesthetics Bulletin published by the Association for Kinesthetics served as a discussion forum . After the first courses for nurses had been successfully carried out in the mid-1980s, the working group "Kinesthetics in Nursing" was established, which organized and carried out the program development and trainer training.
  • 1990–2000: Development of the concept system . In 1990, the first concept description under the title Basic Principles of Kinesthetics took place in the Kinesthetic Bulletin No. 16 Special Edition . These basic principles were described by 15 members of the Association for Kinesthetics. This laid the basis for the concept system known today . The first book was published in 1992. In 1994 the Institute for Kinesthetics (IfK AG) was founded.
  • 2000–2005: Expansion of the kinaesthetics curriculum . In the European Institute for Human Development (EIHD), the systematic preparation and description of the intuitively grown kinaesthetics educational offer and the methodical-didactic peculiarities of movement learning began. A comprehensive curriculum emerged from this work, which serves as a basis for the current educational offers. In 2005 there were 1,000 Kinaesthetics trainers in the German-speaking area in the areas of nursing, care for the elderly and child and youth work. In 2005, Hatch and Maietta received the Antonie Zerwer Medal of Honor, named after the pediatric nurse Antonie Zerwer , “for the development of kinesthetics” .
  • Since 2006: Development of new offers . In recent years, programs for caregivers , workplace health and the elderly have particularly emerged. A quarterly journal for kinesthetics has been published since 2007 . In 2017, Swiss kinaesthetics practitioners were given the opportunity to obtain the professional title “Specialist for applied kinaesthetics with federal diploma” by means of a state professional examination. Fachausweis ”. There are currently four organizations on the market in which the further development of the kinaesthetic programs is carried out.

At the celebrations for the 40th anniversary of Kinaesthetics on April 4, 2014 in Berlin, the life's work of the founders was recognized in acceptance speeches. In her post Kinaesthetics - What's in the name? Hatch and Maietta reflected on the development of kinaesthetics since their beginnings and presented the paperback of the same name, which was published on the occasion of the 40th anniversary. Lenny Maietta died on January 31, 2018 in Santa Fe, USA with her family. Until recently, she was fully committed and actively involved in further education and training, in implementation processes or award processes. Frank Hatch continues to provide the basics of all MH-Kinaesthetics educational offers and supervises their further development.

Mediation and application

In the adult and (vocational) training Kinästhetik courses are offered on various topics. Patients are informed about the importance of their own movement for the health process (see health promotion in primary health care and in hospitals ). In the course of performing the activities of daily living (ATL), the patients receive adequate exercise and learning opportunities .

Kinesthetics in Healthcare and Nursing

Kinesthetics has been used since the mid-1980s, among other things, in health care and nursing , where patients need physical support in everyday activities and caregivers try to adequately dose both their support and their physical strain. The way in which people carry out their everyday movements (cf. everyday motor skills ) has long-term effects on their health development , so kinaesthetics are also of preventive importance. In many hospitals, kinaesthetics is part of the advanced training program for nurses.

“When people know how to keep discovering new ways to move around in everyday and work activities, immobilization in society will be reduced as health and quality of life will improve. Nurses and carers can be empowered to become a catalyst in this process. "

- Lenny Maietta (2008)

While a significant increase in kinesthetic training has been observed at nursing schools in recent years, comparable offers in occupational and physiotherapy training have so far been the exception. In 2012, as part of the nationwide ideas competition “Healthy Nursing Education” organized by the University of Bremen and the professional association for health services and welfare, awards were given to exemplary health promotion concepts. Out of more than 60 submissions, the entry Kinaesthetics - health promotion in everyday working life for trainees and old people , an "overall concept that reflects the integration of Kinaesthetics over 3 years of training", was awarded 1st prize.

VIDEO: Assistance with the transfer

German-language textbooks for health and nursing from 2006 to 2013 devote their own chapters to kinesthetics. In addition to the presentation of the method, they explain its application using examples of the mobilization of patients, for example from the supine position to the edge of the bed or from there into the chair. Instead of moving from lying to sitting en bloc with the help of a lot of physical strength, a sick person can, for example, be brought to sit on the side or get up on the detour via the prone position. The economy of movement, the use of the patient's resources, i.e. their activation, the communicative aspect and the avoidance of excessive stress on the nursing staff are emphasized. Thiemes Pflege also describes kinaesthetics as a “complementary care concept” for “movement-oriented treatment of patients” that goes beyond “helping with the correct movement”. The benefits for decubitus prophylaxis are also underlined: the necessary pressure relief is supported through regular movements, micro-movements, low-shear transfers and the encouragement of the patient's own movement. According to people care , physical activity skills are core nursing skills. Kinesthetics improve the practical skills of carers and thus the quality of their work. At the same time, the risk of occupational injuries and overload damage is reduced. Also care today indicates, through the application of Kinesthetic could back pain and disc problems of nurses be prevented. Any human activity can be analyzed using the concept of kinaesthetics.

The fundamentals that the Kinaesthetic Program teaches caregivers to accomplish the above are as follows:

  • Life is a constant process of change and adjustment. All people regulate this process through their own movement in daily activities. The way of movement in these activities influences all development processes. This influence can be both constructive and destructive, so it can have a positive or negative effect on human health.
  • Vital, unconscious processes such as breathing , digestion and circulation are also linked to movement and are regulated by movement in daily activities. This means that the efficiency of the internal processes is directly due to the quality of the movements in daily life.
  • People develop their own movement skills by following the movement of other people.
  • People in need of care need support to control their body weight against gravity . Assistance should promote their active ability to move and not make the patient a passive object of care.
  • The help of caregivers, especially the way they support the patient's movements, can have a constructive or destructive effect on the learning process.
  • The most important development offer for patients is competent support for caregivers. The more capable the caregivers are, the more targeted they can support the patient's health and learning processes.
  • The necessary movement skills of the caregivers are not innate. It must be learned like other specialist knowledge.

There are special kinaesthetics programs for family carers with basic and advanced courses as well as individual training in domesticity, which are geared towards the care needs of the family member. The costs for this can be covered by the long-term care insurance funds within the framework of the provisions of Section 45 of the SGB ​​XI . If you have a specific need, you can get advice from the care insurance companies.

Infant handling and early intervention

Kinaesthetics Infant Handling is aimed at parents and professional caregivers of premature babies, infants and children. The program deals with the question of supporting children in their development . The focus is on the movement aspects of human development: How does a child learn to move the weight of its body parts in gravity, to turn from back to stomach, how does it learn to sit, how does it learn to move in and out of different positions?

Kinesthetics assumes that children do not learn their movement skills, their movement patterns and their body image alone, but that the way they are taught by their parents or professional carers, e.g. B. wrapped, fed, carried, has a significant influence on this learning. In addition, the quality of touch and movement in the first few years of life is an important basis for the development of a child's communication skills. Adults could also find simple solutions for everyday situations through reflection. For example, an infant does not have to lie on a changing table if this involves both a risk of accidents for the child and tension and back pain for the mother. The environment can be easily adjusted by swaddling the child on the floor.

“Children learn the movement for specific activities in so-called social tracking processes ('social follow-up processes') by performing everyday activities alone and together with their carers. The meaning is clear: when developing movement skills, adults have important tasks to perform as carers for children of all age groups. [...] From birth to kindergarten age, the main medium of exchange between adults and children is contact-guided movement. [...] Only then can children understand the meaning of their movement on a cognitive level. "

- Lenny Maietta (2012)

In Kinaesthetics Infant Handling you learn to move with children in such a way that the special characteristics of the child's anatomy are taken into account. By sensitizing them to interaction through touch and movement, parents and carers learn to support the children in such a way that they are involved in what is happening with their reactions and they can understand the activities with their movement perception. In this way, children acquire the ability to shape their own movement in a health-promoting manner.

The integration of early kinaesthetic support into the existing education system of kindergartens and elementary schools takes place via a training program for educators .

Creative learning

This program is aimed at all people who would like to get to know their movement and movement patterns and to discover and expand their own movement possibilities. The aim of the program is a more conscious and creative way of life, based on the motto "Every action is knowing and every knowing is doing."

Everyday exercise at any age

Movement learning is possible for a lifetime. With programs like Kinaesthetics 50+ , quality of life in old age or daily physical activity at any age (Abia) the concept of is lifelong learning (life-span development) into account - elderly or physically impaired people get help to help themselves to, despite signs of wear or chronic diseases their To shape everyday movements according to your needs and possibilities.

Health promotion in the workplace

Kinaesthetic programs are now also aimed at working people outside of the care and social professions. In addition to health at work and courses for older employees of all professions , training courses for exercise in the office or housekeeping and cleaning are offered. Courses on the subject of leadership and movement are intended to make kinesthetics usable for the management level.

The kinaesthetic concept system


The kinaesthetic concept system provides a tool to observe and describe everyday activities from an experiential perspective. “With the help of 6 subject areas, the basics of physiological movement and processes of human movement relationships are taught. The learning areas are described individually for the analysis of movements. During the actual movement, all areas are closely networked. [...] Understanding and using the 6 learning areas supports the recognition of movement resources of the patient, the self-perception in movement, the effective design of movement activities during mobilization as well as the self-control of the people involved in the movement ":

  1. The concept of interaction offers points of view to observe the basic experience of interaction both between individual parts of the body and between people. “Acting people are able to exchange information through their sensory systems. All senses perceive changes due to differences in stimuli. [...] Body-related care activities primarily use the tactile-kinesthetic sense . It represents the most important sensory system for the patient's learning to move, as it directly conveys information about the movement possibilities, the movement partner and the environment. [...] The greater the participation of the exercise partners, the easier it is for the people involved to learn. [...] The chosen form of interaction should pursue the goal of self-controlled movement. ”The concept is subdivided into the topics senses / movement elements / forms of interaction .
  2. The concept of functional anatomy represents tangible aspects (e.g. hard structures, soft structures) of the human body structure in order to make clear the necessary interaction of different properties and parts of the body, which are necessary when dealing with weight versus gravity. The sub-topics of the concept are called bones and muscles / masses and spaces / posture and transport movement levels / orientation .
  3. The concept of human movement describes the possibilities of human movement that can be experienced with regard to stable and unstable aspects. This results in points of view in order to describe movement patterns in various activities. “The establishment of articulated connections in the human skeleton takes place in a constant pattern of changing directions of movement. A joint for performing flexion and extension movements is followed by one that allows flexion, extension and rotation movements. On the one hand, this pattern ensures stability in movement, on the other hand, it opens up a wide range of possibilities for movement. A stable postural movement maintains the relationship between the body parts. Rotating transport movement changes the body parts in many directions. ”The sub-themes are divided into posture and transport movement / parallel and spiral movement patterns .
  4. The concept of exertion focuses on the complex interplay of the forms of exertion, pulling and pushing, in the human body in order to build up an adapted tension pattern for the respective activity. “If the exertion is small, the sensitivity to perceptible changes increases. Depending on the ability of the people involved, this creates an effective exchange in which the partners orientate themselves towards the other's possibilities of movement. "
  5. The concept of human function represents an order system for understanding and classifying human activities. The basic patterns of the individual activities are described using the first four concepts. “If the movement control is successful, the two types of movement - posture and transport movement - are connected to one another by coordinated pull and pressure. This creates intentional and purposeful activities. These functions are divided into simple functions and complex functions . "
  6. The concept of environment describes the relationship between human activities and the physical environment. People can adapt themselves to the environment or actively change the environment to make activities more productive. "The caregiver can contribute to transfer situations as a so-called moving environment, in order to set learning processes of self-controlled movement in motion".


The final report of the German network for quality development in nursing on the expert standard maintenance and promotion of mobility in nursing from June 13, 2014 states:

“Kinesthetics is a movement concept that is increasingly being used in long-term care in Germany to support patients in movement. […] In the context of the literature analysis, however, no systematic reviews or primary studies could be identified that met the previously defined inclusion criteria. [...] An assessment of the effectiveness of kinaesthetics in promoting mobility or maintaining mobility in outpatient and inpatient long-term care can therefore currently not be made. "

- German network for quality development in nursing (2014)

Despite insufficient studies, the expert commission responsible for the expert standard pressure ulcer prophylaxis in nursing decided to recommend kinesthetics as a movement, positioning and transfer technique that is gentle on the skin and tissue and that nursing staff should learn theoretically and practice in practice. For the musculoskeletal relief of caregivers, too, due to the lack of evidence-based research literature, only a weak recommendation regarding the health-promoting effect of kinaesthetics can so far be given.

Evidence-based nursing requires valid methods to assess the effectiveness of kinaesthetics . Especially with regard to positioning, mobilization , maintaining and promoting mobility, recovery processes and health development , the effects of physical activity competence should be measurable and its contribution to primary , secondary , tertiary and district prevention should be shown. The development and testing of such evaluation instruments is a nursing science necessity and challenge due to the progressive establishment of kinaesthetics in the context of professional health care and nursing. Cooperation with university institutions is therefore concerned with the project of developing evidence-based evidence of the effects of kinaesthetics. Neuroscientific methods and models are playing a growing role for the verification of movement-related learning processes: "The knowledge of neurobiology is equally suitable for describing kinesthetics and for checking the assumptions of behavioral cybernetics."

“Mobility restrictions affect people in their physical, psychological and social aspects of life. Caregivers need skills to care for these people in such a way that their mobility is promoted and that no negative consequences arise. Kinesthetics is an approach that takes these aspects into account. However, it is unclear how competency in kinesthetics is defined. There are no suitable instruments to record this competence and there is no data on the competence level in nursing. "

- Heidrun Gattinger (2017)

With the aim of “determining the skills and further training needs of nurses”, efforts are therefore made to develop observation instruments “to measure the interaction, movement and action skills of nurses in the sense of kinesthetics”. Two assessment instruments developed by Heidrun Gattinger as part of her PhD thesis were presented in 2017: the kinaesthetic competence observation instrument ( KCO , score of 4-16) and the kinaesthetic competence self-assessment instrument ( KSCE , score of 4-16).

Epistemology and Related Sciences

The Spanish doctor Antonio Alonso Cortés brought his thoughts on the sensation of movement in 1866 a. a. in a paraphrase of René Descartes' famous " cogito ergo sum " :

"Moveo, ergo sum [I move, therefore I am]"

- Antonio Alonso Cortés (1866)

This statement plays a role in kinaesthetics because it expresses the importance of one's own movement for perception and self-perception .

“The mission statement [...] is based on the understanding 'I move, therefore I am'. We support people in consciously shaping and adapting the various aspects of their life from within, through their own movement, and in developing movement skills so that they can positively influence their life, learning, health and productivity throughout their lives. "

- Lenny Maietta, Frank Hatch

The psychophysics - a branch of experimental psychology - became established in the 1860s in Germany. Founded by Gustav Theodor Fechner and based on the preparatory work of the physiologist and anatomist Ernst Heinrich Weber , psychophysics investigates the regular interrelationships between subjective psychological (mental) experience and quantitatively measurable, i.e. objective physical stimuli as the triggering processes. In 1834 Weber had described, in addition to other sensory modalities, a sensus musculorum , a muscular sense, and examined the accuracy with which test subjects perceive differences in weight when lifting. In later publications, however, he went on to use the term power sense . Weber and Fechner's studies on weight perception are important for kinesthetics in that they u. a. are suitable for empirically proving a relationship between increasing body tension and a decrease in sensitivity to stress.

"The common feeling of the muscles, by means of which we feel the degree of exertion which is necessary to overcome the resistance offered to us, is so fine that it serves us like a sense that we could call the sense of strength."

- Ernst Heinrich Weber (1851)

The representatives of kinaesthetics emphasize the importance of Norbert Wiener's feedback control theory for the conceptual development of kinaesthetics.

“By its very nature, learning is a form of feedback in which the behavior pattern is modified by previous experience. [...] In its simplest form, the feedback principle means that the behavior is tested for its result and that the success or failure of this result influences future behavior. "

- Norbert Wiener (1952)

The psychologist Karl Ulrich Smith , who had also been the supervisor of the dissertations of Hatch and Maietta, headed a psychological research laboratory, the Behavioral Cybernetics Laboratory at the University of Madison, Wisconsin , founded in the early 1960s . Karl U. Smith is the founder and main exponent of behavioral cybernetics - a specialty of experimental psychology . According to the founders of kinaesthetics, the basic research of his institute is an important scientific source for the development of kinaesthetics.

“The science of behavioral cybernetics has extensively researched the subject of“ learning to move ”[...]. Between 1945 and 1980, Professor KU Smith at the University of Madison, Wisconin, devoted himself to this topic. He researched the relationship between movement and the absorption of sensory stimuli, between one's own movement and self-controlled learning, and between one's own movement and the regulation of vital processes. His results show that one's own movement plays a central role in learning and health at all levels. "

- Lenny Maietta (2012)

Regarding the understanding of man as an information processing system, the rationalist paradigm had long been dominant in the western world. Since the middle of the 20th century, stimulus-response models , such as those represented by classical behaviorism , have gradually been replaced by the circular explanatory models ( circular causality ) of cybernetics (cf. homeostasis , biofeedback , feedback ) and radical constructivism (cf. autopoiesis ) , and replaced by a systems- theoretical understanding of the human being as an operationally closed non-trivial system.

“In a critical analysis of the then en vogue concept of behavior, which dealt exclusively with the relationship of an 'output' to an 'input', they noted that this narrow definition of the acting organism, its specific structure and its internal organization this relationship is achieved, completely ignored. "

- Heinz von Foerster (2001)

Ludwig von Bertalanffy published a general system theory in 1968 which attempts to find and formalize common laws in physical, biological and social systems on the basis of methodical holism . Principles found in one class of systems should also be applicable to other systems. These principles are for example: complexity , balance , feedback and self-organization . In 1985 Heinz von Foerster published a cybernetic epistemology, d. H. a theory of knowledge acquisition based on cybernetics.

"Kinesthetics is applied cybernetics."

- Frank Hatch (1984)
Behavioral Cybernetics: Feedback Control

The cybernetic understanding of living systems met with resonance in a wide variety of scientific fields. In addition to behavioral cybernetics and kinaesthetics, it also found a. in the learning and communication theory of Gregory Bateson , the sociological systems theory of Niklas Luhmann , in the area of human factors , which deals with the safe and humane or health-friendly design of products, work equipment and work systems, and in neurobiology by Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela a specific one Shaping.

“Whatever we do in any area, be it something concrete like walking or something abstract like philosophical reflection, involves our entire body. Every action takes place through our structural dynamics and through our structural interactions. Everything we do is a structural dance in the choreography of coexistence. "

- Humberto R. Maturana; Francesco J. Varela (1984)

Growing importance is ascribed to self-control as an adequate subject activity to control lifelong learning processes. As a rule, the importance of active movement for perceptual processes is emphasized (see proper movement ). According to Niklas Luhmann, recognition means differentiating and designating: through the recursive process of operating, the difference between system and environment is always generated in the operating system itself. Everything that is perceptible is the own contribution (= construction) of the operating system. This 'acknowledgment' of operational autonomy is a pivotal point of kinaesthetics.

The structural coupling of movement systems through body contact enables the immediate, continuous and reciprocal exchange of movement information between the movement partners - for example when moving together between patient and carer:

  • The perception of deviations in the build-up of tension: Increased muscle tone is e.g. B. perceived as resistance. The causes can be physical (functional limitations, stiffness, neuromuscular disorders) and / or psychological (fear of falling, pain, excessive demands) - the caregiver adjusts the movement support accordingly
  • Learning to move: Conversely, moving together with the caregiver at the same time (with regard to shifting weight, building tension and coordination) is a source of information for patients that can help improve movement sequences.

The corresponding awareness of this fact makes it possible, for example, nurses in patients also minimal resources "aufzu feel " and to make a joint action, in which the patient bring these resources, and can experience themselves as effective themselves.

"Information about the world is generated in an organism through its interactions with the world."

- Heinz von Foerster (1999)

In movement and sports science , the so-called kinaesthetic analyzer is assigned particular importance for sensory information and feedback due to its particularly high line speed , transmission capacity and high differentiation capacity.



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  • S. Marty-Teuber; S. Knobel: Cybernetics and Kinesthetics . Publishing quality of life, Siebnen 2018, ISBN 978-3-903180-22-2 .
  • T. Ostermann: MH Kinaesthetics® and Salutogenesis: A contribution to holistic health promotion . 1st edition. AV Akademikerverlag, Saarbrücken 2016, ISBN 978-3-639-88828-7 .
  • U. Resch-Kröll: Development through movement (=  movement - learning - health development ). 1st edition. new scientific publisher, Vienna 2015, ISBN 978-3-7083-1014-5 .
  • U. Resch-Kroell; B. Hojdelewicz: Kinaesthetics in Nursing: Effective Movement for Health Development . 1st edition. facultas, Vienna 2018, ISBN 978-3-7089-1592-0 .
  • P. Zwyssig: Association for Kinesthetics. The story 1980–1998. Publishing House Quality of Life, Siebnen 2010, ISBN 978-3-9523887-1-6 .


Web links

Wiktionary: Kinaesthetics  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations


  1. The importance of vestibular perception for depth sensitivity is also pointed out in the specialist literature . z. B .: "The vestibular organ makes an important contribution to proprioception" R. Schmidt, H.-G. Schaible: Neuro- and sensory physiology. Springer Medizin Verlag, Heidelberg 2006, ISBN 3-540-25700-4 , p. 215, limited preview in the Google book search
  2. The neurophysiologist Arthur Prochazka from the University of Alberta makes an interactive receptor model available online , which represents the frequencies of the action potentials of muscle spindles and Golgi tendon organs at rest and during movement. The enormous capacity of the kinaesthetic sense organs becomes clear.
  3. The English word kinaesthetics is equally common in the German-speaking area, which is mainly explained by the fact that the founders of kinaesthetics come from the English-speaking area.
  4. “A difficulty that can hardly be resolved is that many terms contain a certain program that cannot be derived from the meaning of the word alone, e.g. B. in »Kinesiology«. Nuances in the distinction of terms are often reflected in spellings such as B. "Edu-Kinestetik" as therapy of a certain institute in contrast to the general term "Kinesthetics". This in turn marks the demarcation lines between certain therapy directions and their theoretical reference system. ”In: Marianne Wiedenmann: Handbook Language Promotion: Basic Knowledge - Integrative Approaches - Practical Aids - Game and Exercise Sheets for Lessons . Beltz Verlag, Weinheim 2007, ISBN 978-3-407-83157-6 , pp. 314 .
  5. ^ In the fall of 1980 Maietta and Hatch organized the First International Humanistic Psychology conference in Saragossa.
  6. ^ " My central thesis can now be approached in words: The pattern which connects is a metapattern. It is a pattern of patterns. It is that metapattern which defines the vast generalization that, indeed, it is patterns which connect. ”In: G. Bateson: Mind and Nature. E. P. Dutton & Co, 1979, p. 11.
  7. Maietta mentions Gregory Bateson as a mentor for her dissertation alongside KU Smith and Moshé Feldenkrais, although Feldenkrais and Bateson died before it was completed. In the acknowledgment of her dissertation she writes: This study is founded upon cybernetic systems theory. I am grateful to Dr. KU Smith, and the late Drs. Gregory Bateson and Moshé Feldenkrais for their personal and professional assistance in establishing the project's theoretical background in cybernetics. In: L. Maietta: The effects of handling training on parent-infant interaction and infant development. Diss. The fielding institute, Santa Barbara 1986 p.
  8. a b Since 1980 the Association for Kinesthetics has had a specialist journal with the Kinesthetics Bulletin . In the 16 years of the association, 24 bulletins were published. The Kinesthetic Bulletin is a reissue of quality of life at the Foundation that manages the archive of the Association for Kinesthetic and processed available. The special edition No. 16 with the first description of the kinaesthetic concepts can also be obtained there individually.
  9. Selection of organizations / carriers that implement and further develop Kinaesthetics. Accessed November 22, 2011
    Examples of implementation:
  10. Since their first description (in: Verein für Kinästhetik (Ed.): Grundprinzipien. Kinästhetik - Bulletin. No. 16, 1990, pp. 12–34.), The kinesthetic concepts have been used largely unchanged, although individual aspects are always easy Adjustments and changes were and are subject to. A comparison of older (see bibliography: F. Hatch, L. Maietta, S. Schmidt, 1992) and more recent kinesthetic publications (see bibliography: F. Hatch, L. Maietta: 2003, 2011) shows this clearly.
  11. Lenny Maietta and Frank Hatch express themselves in more detail in section “'Moveo, ergo sum' versus 'Cogito, ergo sum'” of their book on infant handling: F. Hatch, L. Maietta: Kinaesthetics. Infant handling. 2., through Edition. Huber, Bern 2011, ISBN 978-3-456-84987-4 , p. 51.
  12. After we described several of our courses as 'Gentle Dance Workshops', the name stuck and persisted. The 'gentle' part of the dance reflects the actual principles of our work, which is based on the Weber-Fechner law (1851). The law describes the inverse relationship between sensitivity and effort. (Source: F. Hatch, L. Maietta: MH Kinaesthetics - What's in a Name? On the occasion of 40 years of Kinaesthetics (1974–2014). 1st edition. Kinaesthetics Movement-Learning-Health GmbH, Starzach 2014, p. 6)
  13. "The kinaesthetic sensory system, however, has by far not got the attention in psychology like z. B. The visual sensory system is acquired and is not nearly as well studied. However, the lack of attractiveness as a research subject cannot be justified. Only with the ability to move and implement goal-oriented and purposeful actions does the perception of the outside world gain meaning for the organism. A prerequisite for learning and successfully performing these movements is to be aware of your own limb movements. The kinaesthetic perceptibility of one's own limb movement […] is hardly considered, far underestimated, or questioned on the psychophysical side until today. ”In: S. Müller: Psychophysics of arbitrary movements. Kinesthesia of speed. A new method for the first collection of thresholds of difference in the kinesthetic perception of the speed of arbitrarily executed arm movements. Dissertation. University of Düsseldorf, 2001, p. 2. (Accessed: August 14, 2012)
  14. Norbert Wiener's feedback control theory “states that the reactions triggered by movement are used again and again by acting organisms to initiate new movements in a continuous and repetitive process of sensory-motor exchange. […] This behavior theory regards all living systems as systems of movement. They communicate and learn by following and adapting to the movements of other living systems in their environment. This new idea makes it possible to look at the nature of living systems and their healthy development from a completely different perspective. This can also lay a solid foundation for a health development approach within health care ”F. Hatch, L. Maietta: Kinästhetik. Health development and human activities. 2nd Edition. Urban & Fischer, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-437-26840-6 , p. 19.
  15. "Smith's Behavioral Cybernetics Laboratory operating at the University of Wisconsin throughout the 1960s and the first half of the 1970s produced the largest body of data, to date, on self-regulatory control processes in biobehavioral systems." D. J. Delprato: External Control to Self-Control. In: WA Hershberger: Volational Action. Conation and Control. Amsterdam, North Holland 1989, ISBN 0-444-88318-5 , p. 454.
  16. "Since 1945, scientists who dealt with cybernetics have examined the motor-sensory framework of human behavior [...]. The results of this research form the basis of the kinesthetic programs. They represent the foundation for a care program in which, on the one hand, effective ergonomics and, on the other hand, handling and movement skills have been designed for professional caregivers who are supposed to support both their own health and that of their patients. ”F. Hatch , L. Maietta: Kinesthetics. Health development and human functions. 2nd Edition. Urban & Fischer in Elsevier, Munich 2003, p. 197.
  17. “The kinaesthetics in nursing programs have not always been understood and taken into account as a contribution to promoting the health development of both patients and health care professionals. When the kinaesthetic courses were adapted for the first time in the mid-1980s for in-service training for carers in Switzerland and Germany, the main interest seemed to be the hoped-for effect which these courses would contribute to reducing work-related back injuries in carers. […] This attention in the kinesthetic nursing courses, which was focused only on the aspects of injury prevention, came as a surprise to us. From the outset, we intended to teach practical skills that we believe can prevent caregivers from being injured. In fact, our primary intention was to introduce a program that would help improve patient health development skills. It has taken a little longer for kinesthetic programs to be recognized as an effective way of helping patients develop their health. ”F. Hatch, L. Maietta: Kinesthetics. Health Development and Human Activities. 2nd Edition. Urban & Fischer, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-437-26840-6 , p. XV.
  18. In sports and exercise science, analyzers are those subsystems of sensor technology that receive, recode, forward and process information on the basis of signals [...]. see: K. Meinel, G. Schnabel: Movement theory sports motor skills: Outline of a theory of sports motor skills from an educational aspect. 1st edition. Meyer & Meyer Sport, Aachen 2007, ISBN 978-3-89899-245-9 , p. 44f.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b c d Theresia Ostermann: MH Kinaesthetics ® and salutogenesis a contribution to holistic health promotion. Medical University of Graz, 2010, university course in public health, master's thesis. (Accessed November 11, 2011; PDF file; 1.53 MB)
  2. a b Maren Asmussen: Practice book Kinaesthetics. Experience in individual movement support based on kinesthetics. Elsevier, Munich 2006, ISBN 3-437-27570-4 limited preview in the Google book search
  3. a b Duden: The foreign dictionary. Leipzig / Mannheim 2005, ISBN 3-411-04058-0 , p. 928.
  4. ^ Henry Charlton Bastian: The brain as an organ of mind. Keagan Paul, London 1880, p. 543. (Accessed November 11, 2011)
  5. ^ F. Hatch, L. Maietta: Kinesthetics. Health development and human activities. 2nd Edition. Urban & Fischer, Munich 2003, p. 5.
  6. a b c d e f F. Hatch, L. Maietta: Kinästhetik. Health development and human activities. 2nd Edition. Urban & Fischer, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-437-26840-6 .
  7. a b c d F. Hatch, L. Maietta, S. Schmidt: Kinästhetik. Interaction through touch and movement in care. 4th, revised. Edition. DBfK Verlag, Eschborn 1996, ISBN 3-927944-02-5 .
  8. ^ FW Hatch: A behavioral cybernetic interpretation of dance and dance culture. Diss. University of Wisconsin, Madison 1973. (Accessed November 28, 2011)
  9. ^ L. Maietta: The effects of handling training on parent-infant interaction and infant development. Santa Barbara, The fielding institute, 1986 Diss. (Accessed November 28, 2011)
  10. ^ Association for Kinesthetics (ed.): Kinesthetic teaching model. In: Kinesthetic Bulletin. 16, 1990, pp. 8-10.
  11. Cf. A. Müller: The pattern that connects. In: B. Pörksen (Ed.): Key works of constructivism. 1st edition. Springer VS - Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, Wiesbaden 2011, ISBN 978-3-531-17148-7 , pp. 124-142.
  12. F. Hatch, L. Maietta, S. Schmidt: Kinästhetik. Interaction through touch and movement in care. 4th, revised. Edition. DBfK Verlag, Eschborn 1996, p. 191
  13. a b c 30 years of Kinaesthetics - 3 phases of an 'eventful' history. (Accessed August 18, 2012)
  14. P. Zwyssing: Association for Kinesthetic. The story 1980–1998. Quality of Life Foundation, Siebnen 2010.
  15. F. Hatch, L. Maietta, S. Schmidt: Kinästhetik. Interaction through touch and movement in care. DBfK Verlag, Eschborn 1992, ISBN 3-927944-02-5 .
  16. ^ Antonie Zerwer Medal of Honor
  17. Quality of Life Foundation (ed.): Quality of Life. The specialist magazine for kinaesthetics and quality of life. ( Memento of the original from January 28, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Publishing house quality of life, Siebnen, ISSN 1663-8700 . (Accessed: July 23, 2012) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / 
  18. State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation SERI (accessed: September 26, 2017)
  19. Swiss Service Center for Vocational Training | Vocational, academic and career advice SDBB (Access: September 26, 2017)
  20. Kinesthetics / Kinaesthetics - Organizations / Providers (Access: December 24, 2013)
  21. (accessed April 17, 2014)
  22. (accessed February 20, 2018)
  23. R. Widmoser: Kinesthetics - Health Development in Home Nursing. 2004 (accessed: July 12, 2012; PDF file; 195 kB)
  24. M. Schmidbauer: Health Promotion with Kinaesthetics. In: Austrian care magazine. 2006/11, pp. 34-36.
  25. L. Maietta: The Effect of Immobilization: Traditional Prevention and the Contribution of Maietta-Hatch- (MH-) Kinaesthetics. In: Intensive. Professional journal for intensive care and anesthesia. Volume 16, No. 1, Georg Thieme Verlag, Stuttgart 2008, ISSN  0942-6035 , pp. 24-30.
  26. Joint kinesthetic training for occupational and physiotherapy students. ( Memento from March 4, 2016 in the Internet Archive )
  27. June 21, 2012: Award ceremony for the nationwide ideas competition “Healthy Nursing Education”. (Accessed June 21, 2012)
  28. "1st prize in the 'Healthy School' ideas competition !!!" ( Memento from January 10, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  29. a b c Susanne Schewior-Popp (ed.): Thieme care: the textbook for nurses in training . 11., completely revised. and exp. Edition. Thieme Verlag, Stuttgart 2009, ISBN 978-3-13-147551-0 .
  30. a b c d Annette Heuwinkel-Otter (Ed.): People care . tape 1 : Nursing principles, departments, occupation and career . Springer Verlag, Heidelberg, Berlin 2006, ISBN 978-3-540-23507-1 .
  31. ^ A b c Nicole Menche, Arne Schäffler (ed.): Care today . 5th, completely revised. Edition. Elsevier, Urban & Fischer Verlag, Munich 2011, ISBN 978-3-437-26773-4 .
  32. Andreas Bartling: Functional behavior pattern "Activity and movement" - Kinaesthetics. In: U. Haas (Hrsg.): Care of people with paraplegia. Problems, needs, resources and interventions. Verlag Hans Huber, Bern 2012, ISBN 978-3-456-85032-0 , pp. 231-239.
  33. Karolina Clauss: Kinesthetics - Promotion of Movement. In: Ch. Fiedler (Ed.): Pflegewissen Stroke Unit. For training and practice. Springer-Verlag, Berlin / Heidelberg 2013, ISBN 978-3-642-29994-0 , pp. 159–166.
  34. U. Wagner: Positioning: Storage and change of position. A practical book for nursing. Urban & Fischer-Verlag, Munich 2012, ISBN 978-3-437-25071-2 , pp. 6-16.
  35. a b Simone Schmidt (Ed.): Expert standards in care - instructions for use . 2nd Edition. Springer Verlag, Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-642-29993-3 .
  36. ^ F. Hatch, L. Maietta: The role of kinesthesia in pre- and perinatal bonding. In: Journal of Prenatal & Perinatal Psychology & Health. Volume 5, Number 3, 1991, pp. 253-270.
  37. a b L. Maietta: Short but competent. In: JuKiP - your specialist magazine for health and child care. Volume 1, number 2, Georg Thieme Verlag, Stuttgart, ISSN  1439-2569 , pp. 80-84.
  38. ^ F. Hatch, L. Maietta: Kinaesthetics Infant Handling. 2., through Edition. Huber, Bern 2011, ISBN 978-3-437-26840-3 .
  39. HR Maturana, FJ Varela: The tree of knowledge. 3. Edition. Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2011, ISBN 978-3-596-17855-1 .
  40. z. B. Badische Zeitung on December 17, 2008: Social station offers course. Enjoy movement into old age. Retrieved November 26, 2011 .
  41. Kinaesthetics Occupational Health. (Accessed July 1, 2012)
  42. Kinaesthetics - In Application. (Accessed July 1, 2012)
  43. Lothar Ullrich, Dietmar Stolecki, Matthias Grünewald (eds.): Intensive care and anesthesia . Thieme Verlag, Stuttgart 2005, ISBN 978-3-13-130911-2 , p. 205 .
  44. a b c d e f T. Buchholz: Kinesthetics. In: S. Wied, A. Warmbrunn (Ed.): Pschyrembel Pflege. de Gruyter, Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-11-025855-4 .
  45. German Network for Quality Development in Nursing (DNQP): Expert standard according to § 113a SGB XI preservation and promotion of mobility in nursing. June 13, 2014, p. 97. (Accessed: February 4, 2015; PDF file; 5.5 MB)
  46. German Network for Quality Development in Nursing (DNQP; Ed.): Expert standard decubitus prophylaxis in nursing. 1st update (December 2010), ISBN 978-3-00-009033-2 .
  47. ^ A. Freiberg, M. Girbig, U. Euler, J. Scharfe, A. Nienhaus, S. Freitag and Andreas Seidler: Influence of the Kinaesthetics care conception during patient handling on the development of musculoskeletal complaints and diseases - A scoping review. In: Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology. 2016, 11th year, No. 1, p. 24. doi : 10.1186 / s12995-016-0113-x
  48. G. Steinwidder: The movement support according to kinesthetics for adult patients with movement restrictions by caregivers. In: Austrian care magazine. Journal of the Austrian Health and Nursing Association. 05/2008, pp. 10-14
  49. V. Hantikainen: Kinaesthetics as a complex intervention. A challenge for nursing research. ( Memento of the original from June 30, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. 3-country conference nursing & science, Constance, September 20, 2011. (Accessed: September 16, 2012) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  50. M. Kaufmann: How Kinaesthetics works. A neurobiological and cybernetic approach. Dissertation. University of Salzburg, 2007, p. 204; see. M. Kaufmann: The sense of movement and its importance for learning processes. Part 1 | Part 2 In: Foundation Quality of Life (Ed.): Quality of life. Trade journal for kinaesthetics and quality of life. Publishing quality of life, Siebnen 2007 (2 + 3), ISSN  1663-8700
  51. ^ H. Gattinger: Development and evaluation of two instruments to assess nursing staff's competence in mobility care based on kinaesthetics. PhD Thesis University of Turku, Turku 2017, p. 5 (accessed November 22, 2017)
  52. Evaluation of the Kinaesthetics competence of nurses - development of an observation instrument (Kinaesthetics Performance Assessment - KPA). (Accessed April 21, 2014)
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  55. AA Cortés: ¿Pueden la sensibilidad y movilidad servir por sí solas de caracteres distintivos entre el reino animal y el vejetal? Dissertation. Universidad Central, Facultad de medicina, Madrid 1866, p. 13. (Accessed: November 24, 2011; PDF file; 1.24 MB)
  56. ^ Lenny Maietta, Frank Hatch: Kinaesthetics education system. Part 1: Concept System. 2nd Edition. Verlag Kinaesthetics Bildungsinstitut, Bern 2009, ISBN 978-0-9823433-4-0 , p. 7.)
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  59. cf. EH Weber: The doctrine of the sense of touch and community feelings based on experiments. Vieweg, Braunschweig 1851. The following edition is available online as a full text: EH Weber: Tastsinn und Gemeingefühl. Wilhelm Engelmann, Leipzig 1905. (Accessed: August 14, 2012)
  60. M. Huth, S. Knobel: Measurement of feelings. Scientific foundation for our modern movement theory. In: Quality of Life - The magazine for Kinaesthetics. 4/2008, pp. 29-31.
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  62. ^ N. Wiener: Mensch und Menschmaschine. Cybernetics and Society. Athenäum Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1964, p. 63 f.
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  67. H. von Foerster, B. Poerksen: Truth is the invention of a liar. Conversations for skeptics. 4th edition. Carl Auer-Systeme Verlag, Heidelberg 2001, ISBN 3-89670-096-0 , p. 108.
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  70. ^ H. von Foerster: view and insight: attempts to an operative epistemology. Vieweg Verlag, Braunschweig 1985.
  71. ^ Association for Kinesthetics (ed.): Kinesthetic teaching model. Kinesthetics - Bulletin, Volume 7, 1984, p. 37.
  72. HR Maturana, FJ Varela: The tree of knowledge. The biological roots of human knowledge. 3. Edition. Scherz Verlag, Bern 2010, ISBN 978-3-596-17855-1 , p. 267.
  73. M. Walber: Self-control in the learning process and knowledge construction: an empirical study in further education. Waxmann Verlag, Münster 2007, ISBN 978-3-8309-1888-2 , p. 11.
  74. cf. N. Luhmann: Knowledge as Construction. Benteli Verlag, Bern 1988, ISBN 3-7165-0657-5 , p. 14.
  75. ^ H. von Foerster: Sight and insight. Attempts at an operational epistemology. Carl Auer-Systeme Verlag, Heidelberg 1999, ISBN 3-89670-094-4 , p. 47.
  76. K. Meinel, G. Schnabel: Movement theory sports motor skills: Outline of a theory of sports motor skills from an educational aspect. 1st edition. Meyer & Meyer Sport, Aachen 2007, ISBN 978-3-89899-245-9 , p. 44f.
  77. J. Birklbauer: Models of motor skills. A comparative analysis of modern control, management and learning concepts (= spectrum of movement science. Volume 5). Meyer & Meyer Verlag, Aachen 2006, ISBN 3-89899-106-7 , p. 32ff.