Muscle testing can tell us about the overall health and balance in our bodies, commonly used to correct spinal misalignments and other imbalances which is widely accepted. (2) The muscle monitoring technique is not a test of strength, but evaluates the tension in the muscle and the smoothness of the response, able to highlight stresses or imbalances in the body.(9)I was originally introduced to muscle testing as a Kinesiology patient, and later studied Touch for Health which is a form of Kinesiology that uses muscle monitoring to find energy and muscular imbalances. (3) Developed in the early 1970s by Dr John Thie, Touch For Health is internationally recognized as the fundamental training concept for Kinesiology.(1)
The balanced triangle of health sums up Touch for Health philosophy, representing the Mental/Emotional (Psychological), Biochemical (Physiological) and Structural (Anatomical). An imbalance on any side will impact the triangle and health.(3)
Emotional imbalance or stress is very common with todays lifestyle, negatively affecting biochemistry via the nervous and endocrine systems. A structural imbalance may then lead to tension on muscles and organs.(3)
Touch for Health adapted basic techniques from Applied Kinesiology, pioneered by Dr George Goodheart who received scientific attention in 1960’s having discovered that muscle testing could be used to gather information from the body.
He found that “beneficial” physical stimuli, like natural supplements, would increase the strength of certain indicator muscles that he tested. He also noted that “hostile” stimuli eg artificial sweetener would cause those muscles to go weak. This has been tested in double blind studies of large groups who universally tested weak to artificial sweetener in unmarked envelopes, and strong to identical placebo envelopes. This indicates that at a subconscious level, the body knows what is “good” for it and what is not. (4)
Later in the 1970’s Dr John Diamond developed Behavioural Kinesiology, where he found indicator muscles would test weak or strong with negative or positive emotional and intellectual stimuli, aswell as physical stimuli. A smile will have you test strong, and a statement of “I hate you”, would have you test weak. (4)
Muscle testing provides a real window into what is going on in the mindbody. Using muscle testing, we can literally gain access to our body’s internal computer system and find out where the imbalances are. (8)
The Basic Arm Test
- initially confirm the person you are testing has no shoulder pain or injury, and if they do use the other arm.
- Ask the person to lift their straight arm out in front of the body, and place the first two fingers of your hand lightly on their arm just above the wrist.
- Place your other arm on their opposite shoulder for support (The photo to the right is to show where to press on the arm only. The tester should be facing the person being tested).
- Explain to the person you are going to push down on their arm and they are to resist, and prevent you from pushing their arm down.
- Have the person say their name, “My name is Kate”
- Perform the muscle test using smooth steady pressure for no more than 2 seconds to see if the muscle locks. The shoulder should lock and not go down showing a strong muscle.
- Test again with a false statement like “My name is Joe”, and the muscle should test weak.
Muscle testing takes time and practice to master but anyone can do it. It’s important to remember muscle testing is not about overpowering the subject. Always use the minimum amount of force needed to see if the arm will lock or not.
The Sway Test
- Stand with your feet slightly apart.
- Drop your arms by your side and completely relax
- Think a happy thought
- Feel your body moving forward (YES/TRUTH)
- Now think of an unhappy thought or tragedy
- Your body will start to sway backwards (NO/FALSE)
The Sway test can be used for any questions that you want to ask your body like, “This food is beneficial for me?” Why not try it out in the supermarket. Which way will you sway? Remember it takes practices and you must be relaxed with a clear mind. Practice makes perfect!
Touch for Health training is available for anyone to learn, and was developed by Dr Thie to empower people to promote and maintain health in themselves and their families. (3) Visit the website to find an instructor near you.
2: Robert Frost Applied Kinesiology: A Training Manual and Reference Book of Basic Principles and Practice. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 2002.
3: Touch for Health. A practical guide to health improvement based on the book Touch for Health by John Thie D.C. Book 1. International Kinesiology College 1998. Toni Gralton Buderim Qld Australia.
8: The Emotion Code. How to release your trapped emotions for abundant health, love and happiness. Dr Bradley Nelson. Wellness Unmasked Publishing Mesquite, Nevada. 2007
9: Frost, Robert, Applied Kinesiology: A Training Manual and Reference Book of Basic Principles and Practices’, p. 4, North Atlantic Books, 2002.