ISEK: isek


The History of ISEK


The International Society of Electrophysiological Kinesiology (ISEK) is a multidisciplinary organization composed of members from health related fields as biomedical sciences as well as engineering, physical education, physical therapy and many other disciplines. These clinicians and basic scientists are bound together by a common desire to study human movement and the neuromuscular system. Every two years, these scientists gather at a Congress of ISEK to share advances and knowledge in the broad field of Electrophysiological Kinesiology. The participants with affiliated institutes and universities bring experience in the fields of Electromyography, Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES), Motor Unit Control, Neuromuscular Diseases, Rehabilitation, Muscle Fatigue, Kinesiology, Motion Analysis, Ergonomics and many other areas of study.

The Birth of ISEK

During the International Congress of Anatomy in the Rhein-Maine-Halle, Wiesbaden, Germany in the Summer of 1965, several anatomists gathered for a luncheon to discuss the organization of a small society in electrophysiological kinesiology. They were J.V. Basmajian of Canada, S. Carlsøø and B. Jonsson of Sweden, M.A. MacConaill of Ireland, and J. Pauly and L. Scheving of the USA. On that date, on August 13,1965, this group agreed to found ISEK, the International Society of Electrophysiological Kinesiology. There and then Dr. Scheving took a photograph of the birth of ISEK which appeared on the cover of the June 1973 Newsletter.

Dr. Basmajian volunteered to gather a list of persons to invite as charter members. With the help of the founding group, his list had, by November 1967, grown to 231 scientists in 21 countries.

The First Business Meeting

At the Biomechanics Symposium in Zurich, August 22, 1966, some 25 of the members were available for a business meeting. They decided on a more formal structure and authorized an interim executive board consisting of J. Basmajian (President), B. Jonsson (Secretary), and S. Carlsøø (Treasurer). The other members of the board included J.E. Pauly, M. Hebbelink (Belgium) and T. Tokizane (Japan). J. Basmajian, as interim president was asked to organize a first international meeting in Montreal, Canada, in 1968 and to prepare plans for a formal society. Later T. Simard was recruited to assist as local program organizer, and, having moved to Montreal, H. Ladd also began to work on the conference.

The First ISEK Conference

The 1 st International Meeting of ISEK took place in the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, August 24-25,1968. More than 70 members participated. During the two days, 30 scientific papers were presented. Most of them were published as Proceedings of the Meeting in a separate volume of the Journal of Electromyography and Clinical Neurophysiology.

On August 25, the first official Business Meeting of ISEK was held with about 50 members present. The following subjects were discussed during that meeting.

  1. Election of the council
  2. The "Constitution and Rules of ISEK" were adopted at the meeting
  3. It was suggested by W.D. Mcleod (Canada) that ISEK should organize a "Committee for Standards and Definitions". W. D. McLeod was asked to be the chairman of such a committee
  4. E. R. Tichauer (USA) suggested that ISEK would try to cooperate with other organizations relating to electromyography, biomechanics and kinesiology. The suggestion was unanimously adopted

The first regularly elected council of ISEK (for four years) was: J.V. Basmajian (President), J. Joseph (Vice President), B. Jonsson (Secretary), S. Carlsøø (Treasurer), F. Buchthal (Denmark), V. Janda (Czechoslovakia), J.E. Pauly (USA), N.E.J. Rosselle (Publications Secretary) (Belgium), T. Tokizane.

The First Newsletter

In 1968 the first ISEK Newsletter appeared. It was edited by B. Jonsson. The above mentioned committee on standards and definitions with W.D. McLeod as chairman was finally formed in 1970 and reported their suggestions in ISEK Newsletter No. 10, 1970. This prompted vigorous discussion in succeeding Newsletters.

In 1972 the second council was elected. It consisted of I. Petersen (President), O. Lippold (Vice President), H. Ladd (Secretary), T. Simard (Treasurer), J. Basmajian, S. Bouisset, J.E. Desmedt, A.L. O'Connell, and P. Pinelli. The 2nd International Meeting of ISEK organized by J. Basmajian and B. Jonsson was held in Barcelona, Spain, July 2-6, 1973, as part of the 6th International Congress of Physical Medicine.

The First Regional Meeting

The First Regional Meeting of ISEK was hold in Umea Sweden, June 15-16, 1973. It was organized by I. Petersen, B. Jonsson and H. Ladd. Scandinavian and British ISEK members were present. Full papers from the regional meeting of ISEK in Umea were published as a supplement to the Scandinavian Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine. Suppl. 3, 1974. In the same month another regional meeting of ISEK was held in Saskatoon, Canada. It was organized by T. Simard and B. Brandell and consisted of 15 participants from Canada, United States, and Italy. Abstracts of that regional meeting appeared in Newsletter No. 12, 1974.

The ISEK Logo

In 1974, ISEK held a competition among its members to design a symbol, insignia or logo. The council would decide and announce in the next newsletter. The logo was debated for several years.

ISEK Congresses and Regional Meetings

The 3rd International Meeting of ISEK was held in Pavia, Italy from August 30-September 9, 1976. The secretary general of the meeting was P. Pinelli of Italy. A third council of ISEK was elected to serve during the period of 1976-1980. It consisted of H.W. Ladd (President), J.R. Silver (Vice President), G. Andersson (Secretary), H. Braman (Treasurer), 1. Petersen, J. Desmedt, B. Jonsson, P. Pinelli, T. Simard, and D.A. Winter.

Regional meetings were held in 1978: one in Baltimore, USA, June 8-10, organized by D.J. Hobart, and one in Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia, September 1978, organized by F. Gracanin. Abstracts of the Baltimore meeting were published as a separate book and the Dubrovnik abstracts appeared in the June, 1978 ISEK Newsletter.

In the Summer of 1979 the members met again for the 4th International Congress of ISEK, this time in Boston (August 5-10, 1979). The secretary general of the meeting was C.J. De Luca. A book containing the proceedings of that meeting was published. The ISEK logo was improved and refined and appeared on all the Congress literature. It is the logo that appears on all of the ISEK literature now.

ISEK Report on EMG Standards

After many years of debate on EMG standards and units, in August of 1980, ISEK published a long needed report on "Units, Terms, and Standards in the Reporting of EMG Research". This publication is now being reviewed with an updated expected in the near future.

More Congresses and Meetings

In 1980 a regional meeting was held in Monza, Italy, organized by V. Alfieri. During 1980 a new council was also formed to serve during the period 1980-1984. It consisted of H.W. Ladd (President), G. Andersson (Vice President), C.J. De Luca (Secretary), H. Broman (Treasurer), F. Gracanin, K. Hayes, T. Ito, R.P. Lehr and P. Pinelli.

In 1981 a Far East Regional Meeting was organized in Tokyo, Japan, September 19-21, 1981. This was chaired by T. Ito. Abstracts of this meeting formed a separate book and were mailed with the February 1982 issue of the Newsletter.

The 5th International Congress of ISEK was held in Ljubljana, Yugoslavia, from June 21-24, 1982, with F. Gracanin as Secretary General.

A new ISEK Council was elected by mail ballot in October, 1984. The Council included: G. Andersson (President), C. de Luca (Vice President), D. Hobart (Secretary), K. Boon (Treasurer), H. Broman, R. Lehr, K. Robinson, Y Shirai.

The 6th International Congress of ISEK was held from August 26-29,1985 in Tokyo, Japan. Dr. Tadaatsu Ito, Professor Emeritus of the Nippon Medical School, was the Congress chairman. Fifty-five papers were presented by scientists from 22 nations.

A regional meeting of ISEK was held in Baltimore, Maryland, USA on September 25 and 26, 1987. Co-chairmen for this meeting were Drs. D. Hobart and P. Anderson.

The 7th International Congress of ISEK was held from June 20-23, 1988 in Enschede, The Netherlands and took place at the University of Twente. K.L. Boon was the Congress Chairman. Approximately 160 abstracts from the platform/posters were presented at the Congress and followed up by a Proceedings book. Two decisions were reached at this Congress that changed ISEK. The decisions were to have ISEK Congresses every two years and that Carlo De Luca was charged by President G. Andersson to investigate an ISEK journal and report at the next Congress.

A new ISEK council was elected. The members were Carlo J. De Luca (President), Gerald Zilvold (Vice President), Don Hobart (Secretary), Robert P. Lehr (Treasurer) and Lars Arendt-Nielsen, Bengt Jonsson, Yukio Mano, Moshe Solomonow and Willemien Wallinga.

The 8th International Congress of ISEK and the 25th Anniversary of ISEK took place in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, August 12-16, 1990. Donald J. Hobart was secretary general for the four day Congress. Approximately 135 papers were given followed by the Congress Proceedings. The work that began in 1988 by De Luca and Solomonow on a journal for ISEK became a reality for ISEK members during the 8th Congress, 1990 when the membership was offered subscription opportunities. It was called the Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology. The first editors of the Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology were Carlo J. de Luca, Moshe Solomonow and Willemien Wallinga. The first publisher was Raven Press. Another history making event for ISEK was a pledge of $5,000.00 by J. Basmajian if the membership matched the pledge. The membership exceeded J. Basmajian's challenge and put ISEK on a secure financial basis.

The 9th International Congress of ISEK took place in beautiful Florence (Pratolino), Italy. Antonio Pedotti was the secretary general for the Congress. The four day meeting was packed with 250 presentations and followed up with the Congress Proceedings. A new Constitution was adopted.

A new ISEK council was elected in Florence, Italy. They are Gerald Zilvold (President), Richard Shiavi (Vice President), Paul Anderson (Secretary), Lars Arendt-Nielsen (Treasurer) who took over from Jan Clarys, Yukio Mano, Antonio Pedotti, Günter Rau and Steve Wolf.

At least an annual newsletter is published by ISEK. Thus 33 issues can be found describing ISEK's colourful history. Some of the outstanding editors have been B. Jonsson, the first, B. Lehr, for many years, J. Vorro and currently, J. Clarys.

The Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology

At the beginning of 1993 the edition of Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology was entrusted to Butterworth-Heinemann. The editors were from that time on Toshio Moritani, Moshe Solomonow and Willemien Wallinga. The journal appeared regularly, 4 issues per year. ISEK encourages membership and its publications, newsletter and journal seek to provide a medium whereby the international community can exchange ideas and scientific information. The world wide distribution of members sharing the common bond of scientific advancement and teaching of electrophysiology, biomechanics and kinesiology provides a tremendous potential for the exchange of meaningful information.