Muscle Testing, also called Applied Kinesiology, is a useful hands-on diagnostic tool, like feeling a pulse, examining the tongue, eyes or throat, listening to the heartbeat or lungs, palpating the abdomen, etc. It was developed by Dr. George Goodheart, DC, in 1964. Since then it has been taught to millions of alternative health practitioners. I’ve used it for nearly thirty years, with positive results for several thousand patients.
Muscle testing is a form of natural biofeedback. The nervous system controls the relaxation and contraction of the muscles. By testing a particular muscle, a practitioner accesses information from the nervous system not accessible to the patient’s conscious mind. This information can help determine a diagnosis, guide a treatment, and track results over time.
I was certified in muscle testing in 1987 by Dr. John Thie, founder of Touch For Health Kinesiology Association (TFH) in Pasadena. (His graduates now teach muscle testing in 60 countries.) I also apprenticed and worked with Dr. Stephen Stiteler, LAc, OMD, HMD, NMD in Los Angeles, for 13 years.
I use muscle testing with other standard diagnostic tools, to get as much information about a patient as possible. I also interview new patients’, and review their current lab tests and medical histories. All this allows me to make an initial diagnosis. To confirm or clarify a particular diagnosis I may recommend specific lab tests – blood, stool, saliva, etc. If clinical tests are cost-prohibitive for a patient, my initial diagnosis will guide the next steps of treatment. And examinations at each visit will track the improvement.
There is a Western medical bias against non-technological, non-pharmaceutical alternative healing methods and modalities. One common critique of muscle testing is that it is subjective. Yet Western technological diagnostic and examination methods are also subjective since all data derived through these methods must be subjectively interpreted by fallible human beings.
No method or doctor is infallible. Human and technological errors do occur. X-rays, MRI’s, Cat Scans and Cardiograms can be misread. Clinical tests can also be misread, or produce false positives and negatives. A 1999 study by the Institute of Medicine found that doctors misdiagnose 12 million patients a year. In the end, the effectiveness of any method or treatment in any medical paradigm depends on the experience, knowledge, skill, and yes, the subjective intuition of the practitioner.
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