Muscle testing or applied kinesiology (AK) has raised quite a controversy over the last couple of years due to its effectiveness. For those who are unaware, muscle testing is a type of alternative medicine that is based on the idea that fluctuations in muscle strength reveal a patient’s needs and sensitivities by reacting to questions or substances placed within the body’s energy field.
This unique form of diagnosis and prescription has been labeled as both bogus and beneficial. However, many chiropractors and naturopaths still use it to this day. But the question still remains — does it work?
What Is Muscle Testing?
Muscle testing is known as a procedure where a person uses a muscle and a tester or a practitioner presses against the muscle, testing it for strength. A stimulus can also be applied to this procedure and the tester will note whether that muscle has changed or stayed the same, which will help the tester determine what’s going on within the body.
There are two basic ideas behind the theory of muscle testing that an individual may or may not consider legitimate:
- The first idea is that we have a nonconscious mind, the body’s innate intelligence, or the “wisdom of the body,” that is aware of everything that is going on within the body.
- The second idea is that all substances have an energetic field, including you. And, placing the energetic field of a substance within the energetic field of your body can cause a temporary and measurable change in your body.
Depending on how your body responds to the substance or stimulus will determine if your body needs it or not. Some practitioners use muscle testing to help them select appropriate therapies for a person, others use muscle testing as a form of diagnosis.
How Is Muscle Testing Done?
Hypothetically, let’s say you go to a doctor’s office complaining about diarrhea. A muscle tester may run you through a series of questions like is it your stomach? Is it your small intestine? Is it your gallbladder, etc. Or they may select various acupressure points related to those organs. While pressing them and running you through various muscle tests, they may diagnose that you have parasites.
They may then take out their anti-parasite supplements and run through them with you, deciding if your body needs them or not. If your body tests strong on it, then the doctor may select those supplements and muscle test to find dosage by asking questions like do you want one capsule or two capsules to take once a day or twice a day.
Just like that, in a matter of minutes, by tapping into your nonconscious mind for the answers, the practitioner has diagnosed you and selected the appropriate treatment for you.
But the question still remains — is it really legitimate?
Muscle Testing: Beneficial or Bogus?
Many people have participated in muscle testing and have said this process works for them while others claim that muscle testing is just junk science. Research, however, concludes that there may be some legitimacy to this form of diagnosis as they conducted more than 100 studies related to muscle testing or the AK chiropractic technique. These studies examined the methodology and the clinical efficacy of muscle testing in the diagnosis of patients with certain symptoms.
The analysis concluded that there is evidence for good reliability and validity in the use of muscle testing for patients with neuromusculoskeletal dysfunction. They also concluded in another study that the observational cohort studies demonstrated good external and internal validity, and the 12 randomized controlled trials that were reviewed show that muscle testing findings were not dependent upon the practitioner’s bias.
So, for the many people who are still torn between determining if muscle testing will work for them, it really all depends on the practitioner because there are some skilled and conscientious practitioners who are getting good results for people. And science proves that under the right circumstances, muscle testing can be an effective way of accessing what’s wrong with a person and determining which treatment will work best for them.