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Doing Wholeness, Producing Subjects: Kinesiological Sensemaking and Energetic Kinship

This article is concerned with the ways in which bodies and subjects are enacted and negotiated in the encounter between client and practitioner within specialized kinesiology – a specific complementary and alternative medical practice. In the article we trace the ideas of connections and disconnections, which are conceptualized and practised within kinesiology. We attempt to come to grips with these specific notions of relatedness through the introduction of the concept ‘energetic kinship’ and to relate them to more general discussions about the nature of subjects, bodies and social identity in late modern society. We argue that through the particular approach to the body as a prime locus of knowledge on which kinesiological treatment practices are based, kinesiology offers clients an alternative understanding of being-in-the-world. The understanding of the body as the locus of knowledge might, on the one hand, potentially alleviate the individual from the weight of a late modern focus on self-responsible, rational and autonomous individuality, while, on the other hand, it simultaneously supports this understanding. Hence, we argue that kinesiology operates with a subject which is both inherently related and individual at the same time, and that these particular understandings may be appealing in a world in which health and illness are increasingly seen as a question of individual responsibility. The article was written on the basis of interviews and participant observation among kinesiological teachers and practitioners in Denmark.