Muscle Testing

What is Muscle Testing?:
Muscle testing is a foundational technique used in a wide range of complimentary health protocols. It is often used as a diagnostic tool for determining whether a specific remedy will be beneficial. Usually this is done by monitoring whether a muscle that has been weak becomes stronger in the presence of the remedy. Many Chiropractors employ muscle testing as a means of checking the correct vector for a manipulation, and many nutritionist, homeopaths, acupuncturists etc uses it in a similar fashion for their remedies.

Muscle testing is often associated with Chiropractic medicine, where the techniques were refined over the last 50 years in a modality known as Applied Kinesiology, however the techniques originate from Physical Therapy in the 1940’s with the published work of Florence Kendall in the book: Muscles, Testing and Function (1). This book is now in it’s fifth printing and is the de facto standard for academic kinesiology courses teaching the correct procedures for testing any muscle. Dr. George Goodheart, a chiropractor, explored the use of muscle testing beyond the scope of Florence Kendall’s work and established protocols which have evolved into thousands of refinements.

The core discipline of muscle testing is to have no investment in the outcome. This is essential as the outcome of a test can be simply “rigged”, even unconsciously. When you see muscle testing beinng used to sell a product or service, it is immediately suspect, and you should exercise caution. This is not to say that a nutritionist in a health food store is going to rig your test. If she is primarily concerned with finding the correct supplements for you, the tests can give a clear indication of what supplements will be beneficial for you to add to your diet. (more on rigging muscle tests)

How muscle testing works:
The muscle being tested, usually the arm, is pressed with light force. A general rule is two fingers, two pounds of pressure for two seconds.(2) ¬†Muscle tone can be categorized as either normal, hypo or hypertonic. A hypotonic muscle is one that has insufficient tone to meet resistance. A hypertonic muscle is one that has excessive tone for the applied resistance. Both of these states are indicative of stress in the body, that the body is reacting with a defense response (fight / flight / freeze). If you test a muscle with normal tone, and then challenge it with a stressor, it’s response will be hyper or hypotonic. A person who is easily able to hold up their arm will now do so with great difficulty, or the arm will lock in position. How do you tell the difference between a locked muscle and one with normal tone? This is the reason that some tests have been know to give false results. The standard method is to pinch the muscle you are testing along the grain of the muscle fibers. In a muscle with normal tone, this will weaken it, but in a muscle that is locked on, will not.

Here are the steps for a normal muscle test:
1) Test the muscle in the clear. If it seems strong go to step 2, otherwise find another muscle that seems strong. If you have trouble finding a muscle you may want to do the ESR points for a few minutes to lower the overall stress in both your body and the person you are testing.
2) Pinch along the grain of the fibers of the muscle you are testing. If you are testing the arm, pinch along the top of the arm at the shoulder. Now retest. The muscle should now respond weak.
3) Stretch the fibers out and retest. The muscle should now respond strong. Now you know that you have a good muscle for testing.
4) Place the item to be tested on the belly button or provide some stimuli for testing.
5) Immediately retest the muscle. If there is a change of state, you know you have a defense response and the item is causing stress in the body. If there is no change of state, pinch the muscle fibers. If the muscle goes weak, it means the item did not cause any stress. If the muscle does not go weak, it means that it locked and that the body responded defensively.

Self Testing
In self testing you identify a muscle on yourself that has strong tone and then check whether it’s tone changes when challenged by some energetic source. A common method for doing this is to make interlocking circles with the thumb and index fingers of both hands. Find out how much force is needed to keep you from pulling your hands apart. Now touch or put on your cheek or in some other manner activate the potential stressor and pull with the same amount of force. Retest as quickly as possible. If the hands separate, this means there is stress on that item. Many people find they can easily self test using a pendulum. This uses a higher level of neurological function, but is still closely related to a standard test and can be very effective.

Rigging Muscle Tests:
Here are a couple of examples of how muscle tests are rigged. When our Adrenal glands are depleted, our tendons become hypersensitive. If a muscle is found to be weak by muscle testing and then is retested, but this time some tendon is contacted, the muscle may very well freeze, looking like a strong muscle test. If the person who is testing you is moving his hands around, stop the tests as the information is invalidated by this. A muscle can also be locked on or off by “jamming it”. Here the muscle is quickly shaken in the direction of the test one time, up to strengthen, down to weaken. If your tester is doing this, ask why, it is not a valid protocol for remedy testing.

Higher Power:
As this phenomenon is entirely non-conscious, it is relatively easy to attribute it some some ethereal entity. I cannot state that these tests are not influenced by some higher power, but I can claim that they function just fine without any help. They are a means to talk to the basic sensory-motor energy systems in the body, using the mechanisms by which those systems normally function.

(1) Muscles, Testing and Function, Florence Kendall

(2) Touch for Heath, The Complete Edition John and Matthew Thie, Page 21