Muscle Response Testing is also known as Applied Kinesiology, muscle response testingis the term most commonly used to identify a pseudoscientific system of muscle-testing and therapy. It was initiated in 1964 by George J. Goodheart, Jr., D.C. (1918-2008) and has become quite elaborate. Its basic notion is that every organ dysfunction is accompanied by a specific muscle weakness, which enables diseases to be diagnosed through muscle-testing procedures.
Most practitioners are chiropractors, but naturopaths, medical doctors, dentists, nutritionists, physical therapists, massage therapists, nurse practitioners. Applied kinesiology should be distinguished from kinesiology (bio-mechanics), which is the scientific study of movement.” Unfortunately, some professionals and educators refer to science-based kinesiology as “applied kinesiology,” which increases the risk that people searching for information will confuse the two.
Using AK nutritional deficiencies, allergies, and other adverse reactions to foods or nutrients can be detected by having the patient chew or suck on these items or by placing them on the tongue so that the patient salivates.
Some practitioners advise that the test material merely be held in the patient’s hand or placed on another part of the body. A few even perform “surrogate testing” in which the arm strength of a parent is tested to determine problems in a child held by the parent.
According to a 1987 book for the general public written with help from two leading chiropractic AK practitioners: The practicing AK is a graduate chiropractor who can explain to you how your glands and organs appear to be functioning with specific muscle tests. He can suggest nutrition to help improve various conditions, and he can demonstrate with your muscles that you probably need particular nutrients.
He can correct problems in your spine and in joints, and can stretch or compress muscles to improve your structural condition. He may massage certain junctures of nerve, lymph, blood, and acupuncture meridians to stimulate glandular or systemic activity. He can advise you on how to stay healthy and he will pay particular attention to your posture and your feet.
He can offer an excellent second opinion if you are under a physician’s care, are seeing a chiropractor who is not an applied kinesiologist, or if you have been in an accident . Many muscle-testing proponents assert that nutrients tested in these various ways will have an immediate effect: “good” substances will make specific muscles stronger, whereas “bad” substances will cause weaknesses that “indicate trouble with the organ or other tissue on the same nerve, vascular, nutrition, etc., grouping”.
A leading AK text, for example, states: If a patient is diagnosed as having a liver disturbance and the associated pectoralis major [chest muscle] tests weak, have the patient chew a substance that may help the liver, such as vitamin A. If . . . the vitamin A is appropriate treatment, the muscle will test strong . Finding a “weak” muscle supposedly enables the practitioner to pinpoint illness in the corresponding internal organs in the body. For example, a weak muscle in the chest might indicate a liver problem, and a weak muscle near the groin might indicate “adrenal insufficiency.”
If a muscle tests “weaker” after a substance is placed in the patient’s mouth, it supposedly signifies disease in the organ associated with that muscle. If the muscle tests “stronger,” the substance supposedly can remedy problems in the corresponding body parts. Testing can indicate which nutrients are deficient.
If a weak muscle becomes stronger after a nutrient (or a food high in the nutrient) is chewed, that indicates “a deficiency normally associated with that muscle.” Muscle-testing can also help diagnose allergies and other adverse reactions to foods. According to this theory, when a muscle tests “weak,” the provocative substance is bad for the patient. AK “treatment” may include special diets, food supplements, acupressure (finger pressure on various parts of the body), and spinal manipulation .
AK techniques can also be used to evaluate nerve, vascular, and lymphatic systems; the body’s nutritional state; the flow of “energy” along “acupuncture meridians”; and “cerebro spinal fluid function.” The leading publisher/distributor of AK educational materials for chiropractors and their patients appears to be Systems DC, of Pueblo, Colorado. Its pamphlet on infections and child health states: When an infection develops, have your child examined by your doctor using applied kinesiology.
He can also evaluate the energy patterns and usually find the reason that the infection developed in the first place. By correcting the energy patterns within the body and paying specific attention to nutritional supplements and dietary management, the infection which your child (using natural health care) does develop will be adequately taken care of in most cases.