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Muscle Testing and Applied Kinesiology

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Applied Kinesiology (AK) is a way of getting information from a person’s body by assessing the individual’s posture, his way of walking, his range of motion, and his muscle condition, and via motion analysis. Muscle testing is also part of these non-invasive assessments.

These assessments are also used in conjunction with conventional methods of diagnosis that include clinical histories, physical exams, and others. At some universities, there is a branch of study called kinesiology, which is a part of physiology regarding the mechanics and anatomy of movement. Muscle testing is not a part of that study; however, it is an integral part of Applied Kinesiology.

In 1964, a chiropractor by the name of George J. Goodheart, Jr. made some observations of weak muscles and discovered that he could help strengthen them; he gradually developed Applied Kinesiology. The original intent was for AK to be used along with other diagnostic tools and therapy employed by healthcare professionals. However, one report stated that now there are over 80 different forms of therapy utilizing the term “kinesiology.” It is understandable if there is confusion about the terminology.

Data that is gained through muscle testing comes from a search for information on how well the body is working, how it is reacting to foods or other substances, and its emotional state. Some practitioners use muscle testing to determine possible allergies, effective treatments for injuries, or even weaknesses in the body.

Skilled practitioners, or even individuals doing self-testing, can get fairly accurate information; however, it is not just a matter of trying to move a muscle getting a yes or no to a question. Some practitioners have studied Applied Kinesiology and the various muscle testing techniques for 300+ hours in order to get certified. There is a lot of skill involved in being an effective practitioner using muscle testing and getting correct results. Muscle testing has its proponents, and its opponents, and this could be because some tests have indicated that results were not as accurate as expected. Practitioners lacking all the necessary skills might have contributed to these poor results.

Trained practitioners are a must when it comes to muscle testing because there are a number of potential problems that need to be avoided. For instance, a tester with a strong personality, who has determined in his mind that the body has a certain problem or allergy, could affect the results of the test. This may apply to the client, as well. It is significant because the results could be entirely different from what the body is trying to indicate. Both tester and client need to be neutral and totally open to what the body is going to tell them.

There could also be occasions when the muscles’ reactions are subtle rather than 100% positive or negative. It takes a skilled tester to recognize the difference and know how to use the information. Are we saying that the average individual cannot utilize muscle testing? No, but we are saying that not everyone who does muscle testing will get accurate results.

How does one do muscle testing?

There are three basic techniques of muscle testing that can be utilized.

  1. Using a raised arm – This technique is one that most people have seen. If the client is right-handed, he will raise his left arm (the weaker arm) to shoulder height while pointing away from his side or pointing in front of his body. The tester will then take steps to get information by pressing down on the arm. The tester obtains information when the muscles prove strong or weak.
  2. Using the fingers – With this technique, the client will use his fingers instead of raising his arm. He will hold his thumb and the third finger of the weaker hand in a looped position tip to tip. The tester then endeavors to separate the loop. If the connection is strong, the tester will not be able to undo the looped fingers. An individual may also use this technique when self-testing.
  3. Self-testing – A client can self-test by using the natural sway movement the body has when he stands still with his eyes closed. This could be the most effective of the three because the individual is getting information directly from his own body. If he keeps his questions simple, he can easily understand what his body is telling him. Also, the client can trust the information because his body will never lie.

This is just a quick look at muscle testing. In the hands of a skilled tester or an informed individual self-testing, it can be an effective tool for getting information. If one has minor health problems and would like to improve one’s health, learning more about muscle testing may prove beneficial.

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About Jill Magso

  • The above is a good development of muscle testing. I would add to this several items. i.e.

    o Yoga and relaxation techniques help with muscle toning.

    o Blood tests like the tests for Myasthenia Gravis provide a pointer to musculo-skeletal health.

    A nerve conduction study may test for specific muscle fatigue by repetitive nerve stimulation. This test records weakening muscle responses when the nerves are repetitively stimulated, and helps to differentiate nerve disorders from muscle disorders. Repetitive stimulation of a nerve during a nerve conduction study may demonstrate decrements of the muscle action potential due to impaired nerve-to-muscle transmission. Low-rate repetitive nerve stimulation also is used to demonstrate problems with neuromuscular transmission. A decremental pattern (>10% difference in compound muscle action potential amplitude between the first and fourth or fifth stimulus) is the usual finding. Single-fiber electromyography produces the most sensitive data to support the diagnosis. Findings are abnormal in more than 90% of patients. This test shows abnormality in neuromuscular transmission as increased jitter and blocking.