Muscle testing, also known as applied kinesiology (AK), is a method of testing questions against one’s nervous system via one's body to get answers. Explaining it on paper is far more difficult than demonstrating it in person, so bear with this blog post.
First of all, take everything you are certain you know about human anatomy, the human brain and how they work which you learned from Western medicine and American society. Throw it out. Now start over with a blank slate in your head. That’s really the best way to understand muscle testing. If you try to force it to fit within the framework of the understanding you probably already have, muscle testing just doesn’t make sense.
Applied kinesiology is a binary system. What the tester and testee are trying to achieve is a yes or no response from the body’s nervous system. This is an energy based practice. There is no invasive testing, no brainwashing, and nothing inherently dangerous about it. It’s just not logical by our mainstream society’s standards, and it initially may seem like hooey.
The first time I was exposed to applied kinesiology was after my youngest was born in 2003. I had thrown my lower back out pretty badly in delivering a 10+ pound baby which isn’t too surprising. My acupuncturist, whom I trust deeply, sent me to her chiropractor which was my first experience with chiropractic as well. The man I saw was a sweet, kooky, incredibly gifted older chiropractor who has since passed away. He was reviewing my information sheet which had a picture of the human body that asked for the patient to indicate all areas of previous injury. He then performed a physical exam on my body using applied kinesiology. As he got to my left hand, he stopped and referenced my information sheet again. He said pointedly, “You didn’t tell me that you had broken this finger.” I looked at him and said, “They told me it was probably just sprained but there was a slim chance of a hairline fracture.” He replied, “You broke it,” and then he went back to doing the rest of his exam. I was left flabbergasted and asking myself “How in the hell did he know that?” I hadn’t intentionally withheld that information, but it helped prove to me that muscle testing can be extremely accurate. The chiropractor had been able to find a 15 year old injury without any hints that it might be there.
So how does applied kinesiology look in practice? There are many different ways of muscle testing. With most of my practitioners, I am either lying on an exam table or standing, and they use my arm in a manner similar to a slot machine’s arm. I stiffen my arm, and they pull on it as they check muscles or substances against my nervous system’s response to them. If my arm stays strong, that is usually a sign that things are good. If my arm collapses, then that indicates a problem. The first few minutes of this video can help you get an idea of how it works. I promise the patient is not intentionally influencing results. When you try to hold your arm stiff in a case where your nervous system is not happy about something, you simply can’t do it. It seems implausible until you’ve experienced it. Believe me, if I could have kept my arm strong when my practitioners have tested chocolate on me, I would have!
Muscle testing can be done on one’s self once one learns how. It also can be done by proxy with infants and small children who can’t hold their arm rigid. In that case, the infant or child lies on the parent’s chest or sits in their lap. Regardless of how muscle testing is done, it requires a confident practitioner. One of my physicians strongly believes in muscle testing, but he can’t trust himself enough to do it. I’ve seen other practitioners who second guess themselves a lot as they learn how to use it. Those practitioners who are comfortable with applied kinesiology can use it almost without thinking as they carry on a separate conversation at the same time!
In some of its more useful applications, a practitioner tests a question or a substance against the patient or client’s body. This is incredibly helpful in figuring out reactions to foods without doing invasive and expensive testing. It also helps eliminate the need to take useless supplements or to figure out what doses of various supplements one’s body needs. Muscle testing can also help pinpoint the best antibiotics when fighting infections. Furthermore, applied kinesiology can be used for asking questions. I’ve had practitioners figure out that there was an emotional component to whatever pain I am experiencing, and then by asking questions, even silently in their heads, they’ve been able pinpoint the trauma that was triggering the pain. This can be incredibly useful in the healing process.
Applied kinesiology is a really helpful tool, though it’s not perfect. It can have false negatives and positives. This is partially due to the human element since there are two people involved in the testing. In another rarer situation, those who are metaphysically gifted may be able to subconsciously or consciously alter the results of muscle testing. This is a maligned defensive technique that I somehow learned along the way, and it’s one I don’t intentionally do anymore because it interferes with others helping me heal. Applied kinesiology also can give false results with substances that the nervous system has never experienced before. We always muscle test new supplements I’ve never taken before I try them, but occasionally I will still react to one. When I do, it almost always tests poorly in subsequent muscle testing trials. My nervous system just couldn’t register the substance until I had been exposed to it directly.
Applied kinesiology has been one of the most useful tools in my healing. I would never consider seeing a chiropractor who didn’t use it, and I prefer my physicians and naturopaths use it, too. I am able to do basic muscle testing for clients, and it’s a skill I plan to keep developing over the years.
© 2014 Green Heart Guidance