A common type of New Age practice which many people find themselves exposed to through chiropractors, nutritional counselors, and herb salespeople is “kinesiology” or muscle testing. There are several forms -- AK, Behavioral or Bio-Kinesiology, MRT, Contact Reflex Analysis, etc. These should not be confused with physiological kinesiology, the legitimate study and science of muscular motion.

Applied Kinesiology originated with George Goodheart, a chiropractor, in the 1960’s. He combined the chiropractic concept of “innate intelligence” with the Eastern religious concept of energy (ch’i) and the idea that muscles reflex (reflect back) the condition of each of the various body organs via the ch’i meridians. “Innate intelligence” is described as spiritual intelligence which runs the body and is connected to a universal intelligence specifically through the physical nervous system. His theory is that the status of all body organs and systems can be determined by checking the resistance of a specific muscle. (Joseph Donahue in “Transitions, “ John Thie, Touch for Health, and John Diamond, Your Body Doesn’t Lie.)

Variations of Goodheart’s kinesiology use the deltoid muscle or finger muscles as the testing muscles. Using the deltoid muscle to test, the arm is held out parallel to the floor and pushed down by the practitioner against the resistance of the client to check the body’s response to a variety of substances, objects, and or even thoughts. When the fingers are used the practitioner checks the client’s response by pulling apart a thumb and finger. The substance being tested is held in the other hand or placed under the tongue while the test is being done. Checking for organ or system weakness or vitamin or mineral deficiencies is done with the practitioner or the client (depending on which authority is being used) touching key “trigger” spots on the body when the test is being done. Perceived strength or weakness of muscle response is used to determine the prescription and dosage of herbs, natural vitamins and foods, as well as to diagnose allergies and to identify stress factors -- telephones, for instance.

In cases where the client is not fully able to cooperate -- a small child, an elderly client, a comatose client, or an animal, for examples -- kinesiologists advocate using proxies (“surrogate testing”). It is claimed that a “balanced” surrogate receives and transmits the client’s energy balance and corrections simply by contact with the client and practitioner simultaneously.

The explanations for these and associated practices may be garbed in scientific sounding words, but scratching the surface slightly reveals the origin and metaphysical theory beneath. In John Diamond’s Your Body Doesn’t Lie the explanation of kinesiology starts with a description of “Universal Life Energy,” crosses over to the undetectable Chinese energy meridians, moves into the “electrical depolarization” of ch’i traveling along the fibers of the autonomic nervous system to the muscles, and translates into “electromagnetic” energy, all without batting an eye, and with no explanations of the equations. This is the

Applied Kinesiology and Nutritional Muscle Response Testing: A Christian Perspective
Janice Lyons, R.N., MAEd





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