What Is Muscle Testing and How Does It Work?

For those healthcare providers who have committed themselves to the successful treatment of patients that fall between the cracks of the conventional medical paradigm, there is an emerging consensus that chronic infection is a dominant force. As discussed above, this reality is largely a function of the inadequacy of modern diagnostic testing as a clinical tool for the detection of chronic infectious diseases. A thorough examination of this phenomenon would require volumes, but ample published literature shows that the host’s antibody response to sophisticated pathogens is highly variable. Chronic, low-grade but active and clinically significant bacterial and viral infections often cannot be distinguished from resolved infections on the basis of antibody testing. Unfortunately, most traditionally trained physicians are under the impression that antibody test kits available through Quest and LabCorp represent the last word on the clinical status of infectious diseases. All too often, even antibody testing is prohibitively expensive or not commercially available for emerging strains of important stealth pathogens.

Increasingly, healthcare providers dedicated to this field use some kind of “muscle testing” to help them devise a treatment plan that is likely to be both effective and well tolerated. Perhaps best described as an adjunct to more conventional medical information gathering strategies such a history taking, reviewing symptoms and performing a physical exam, muscle testing as a phenomena was first documented in the 50s by a chiropractor named George Goodheart Jr. Goodheart observed that simply touching a diseased/dysfunctional body part caused a decrease in the apparent strength of muscles throughout the body. In the years that followed, he incorporated acupuncture and clinical nutrition into a comprehensive system that he named ‘Applied Kinesiology.’ For more information consider going to the website for the International College of Applied Kinesiology, www.icak.com.

Advocates of Goodheart’s paradigm often say that if he had been a physician he would have been awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine. While this may or may not be true, there is no denying that it forms the foundation of a number of different but related schools of thought which are utilized daily by hundreds of respected practitioners of alternative and/or integrative medicine. Even the ‘electrodermal’ testing methods such as Vega/Voll and Biomeridian operate on the same principles (more on this later).

When faced with the prospect of using these modalities in their search for better health, patients invariably want to know how they work. Answers to that question can be hard to come by since a thorough understanding requires working knowledge of graduate-level physics and physiology. Some aspects remain theoretical. Within the time constraints of an office visit, patients are usually left with a few nonspecific buzzwords like ‘energy’ and ‘resonance.’ This is good enough for some but the paragraphs that follow endeavor to provide a more substantive explanation.

Molecules generate subtle electromagnetic fields when they are exposed to energy. Since every different molecule is comprised of a different combination of bonds, you might say that every substance sings a slightly different song. A growing body of scientific research shows that humans and probably all living things are able to perceive these frequencies – to hear the songs. The best way to dive deeper into this phenomenon is to read ‘The Field,’ by Lynne McTaggart. This well-researched and highly readable volume is sure to change the way you look at the world.

Examples of electromagnetic field perception abound in the biology literature: sharks can hunt in dark murky water; birds know cardinal directions and turtles navigate with an instinctive understanding of both latitude and longitude. The mechanism by which information in the Field is translated into a neurological response remains to be elucidated. Dr Klinghardt (see below) says that a subclass of nerves was discovered in the skin but its function was never determined. It’s possible that these nerves, assuming they exist, convey information about the biofield to the central nervous system.

The next principle that must be understood relates to the physiological changes that stress creates in the body. Stress begins in the central nervous system but its effects are most easily measured elsewhere in the body. The most familiar application is the polygraph, or lie-detector test. For most people, telling a lie is stressful. That stress causes changes in physiological parameters like blood pressure, heart-rate variability and skin conductivity. ‘Electrodermal’ practitioners also take advantage of the fact that exposing people to the computer-generated frequencies unique to certain, say, nutritional supplements causes temporary changes in ability of the skin to conduct electricity. These changes can be observed with a voltmeter that is connected to the same computer. Muscle testing is just a different way of observing the same phenomena.

Various different healthcare visionaries have contributed to the art and science of muscle testing over the years, but perhaps none more significantly than Dietrich Klinghardt, MD, PhD, developer of Autonomic Response Testing (ART). Klinghardt’s strong background in physics and autonomic physiology provided the foundation upon which he built a more powerful and practical application. Klinghardt realized that what others thought was simply a weakening of muscles was actually representative of a change in the amount of stress present in the patient’s autonomic nervous system (ANS). This branch of the nervous system is well known to manage both the rest and digest (a.k.a. parasympathetic) and fight or flight (a.k.a. sympathetic) responses. Acupuncturists have been familiar with the two branches of the ANS for thousands of years. They refer to them as Yin and Yang.

We’re all familiar with the muscle tension that stress can bring, especially to the neck and shoulders. This is driven by the effects of autonomic innervation of microscopic ‘Golgi tendon organs’ that determine the gain (like setting the volume) for information feeding back to the brain about the amount of tension in our muscles. When the patient is exposed to the unique electromagnetic frequency of a pathogen that it is actively fighting, it will go into a stress response or a state of relatively increased sympathetic tone. Presumably this is because the body assumes that its enemy has just gotten bigger. Similarly, exposure to a beneficial frequency causes the opposite response because it decreases the level of stress. For example, if a person is infected with a fungus, the frequency generated by that fungus may cause a stress response in a patient and a remedy such as Caprylic Acid (which has antifungal properties) decreases or counters this same stress response. Once the correct remedy is added to the biofield the pathogen no longer creates a stress response so the muscle goes back to being strong. If the stress response is still present, the pathogen might not be vulnerable to the remedy or two remedies may be required.

Because he understood the electromagnetic and autonomic natures of the phenomenon, Klinghardt was able to improve the practical application in various ways. The clear blocks he calls ‘signal enhancers’ amplify the frequency of herbs, homeopathic remedies, drugs, foods and pathogens that they are in contact with, allowing them to be tested with greater reliability. His explanation for this phenomenon draws an analogy to a tuning fork. A tuning fork will also make another fork of the same pitch start ringing if the two are brought in close proximity. The blocks seem to be capable of ringing at whatever electromagnetic frequency – or singing whatever song – they are exposed to. Like nearby tuning forks, other signal enhancers sharing the same ambient light source will sing the same pitch. The underlying physics, like most in the quantum realm, are complicated and often counterintuitive. But the blocks have interesting optical properties; unlike glass, they don’t refract (or bend) light. From there it’s not hard to imagine that supplying the blocks with electromagnetic energy in the form of ambient light and then placing them close to the source of a given frequency might allow that frequency to resonate throughout the block, thereby amplifying it.

Sometimes the biggest impediment to a person’s growth or recovery is his or her belief system. Preconceived notions are everywhere and can be insidious. Our subjective experience of the world tells us important things about how to better interact with it, but it doesn’t tell us the whole story. Oxygen gas, for example, is invisible, odorless and tasteless but we wouldn’t live long without it. Seemingly solid matter is 99% empty space. Even the act of observing something fundamentally changes it. In the end, we are all more deeply connected to the world around us than we initially think. Coming to this realization is a step that we must all eventually take on our own individual paths toward greater understanding.

Excerpt taken from:

Lyme Disease and General Information Packet written by Dr. Shawn Naylor, DO


Josh Krembs