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What is Muscle Testing? And How to Do it.

Muscle testing, also known as applied kinesiology, is a practice that allows one to tap into the subconscious mind to retrieve information about the body. It can be practiced on another or on oneself. The idea is that the subconscious mind knows everything there is to know about the body at all times, this includes the history of the body. As such, it can be accessed and asked questions to get a glimpse into the body, helping us see what might be contributing to conditions or symptoms. It can also help us get an idea about supportive foods, supplements, and contributing factors for symptoms. It can even help us uncover trapped emotions which can lead to physical symptoms.

Muscle Testing for Food Intolerances

Years ago when I struggled with chronic illness, I used muscle testing daily with the help of my husband. We would mostly test supplements and foods. This sort of muscle testing for food intolerances was one of the most valuable ways I applied it. I used it to figure out which foods I could eat that wouldn’t cause some sort of negative reaction. With muscle testing, I was able to discover when eating specific foods would cause me discomfort. When we have food sensitivities, meal time can become quite overwhelming. Thankfully, the testing helped tremendously to relieve some of that stress. Now that I know more about food sensitivities, and I see why I was reacting to so many foods. Below is an example of how I would use muscle testing.

How to Muscle Test

There are numerous muscle testing methods. Test on yourself or learn a two-person method. The most common one involves two people – a subject and a tester. The subject holds out his/her arm straight in front of them. The tester, gently, but firmly pushes down on the arm after making a statement or asking a question. In the presence of truth or something that is life-giving, the arm muscles stay strong. So, the arm barely moves. When a statement is false or an answer to a question is no, the arm muscles go weak and the arm is easily pushed down with the same force.

It would go something like this. I’d hold out my arm straight in front of me and my husband would face my arm. I would say “my name is Melina”. My husband would say, “resist” then I would literally resist my arm being pushed down. My arm would stay strong when I said my name because that is, in fact, my name. Then, I’d say “my name is Chuck”, and my arm should go weak, or be easy to push down. Testing with known true and false statements is a common way to calibrate, making sure nothing is interfering with testing. If you don’t get a yes to your name or something is clearly off when you calibrate, there could be various things interfering. Read further to discover the most common ones issues encountered.

After calibrating, you can begin testing. While testing foods, I would hold the food (or alternately, just state the food by name)  and ask “would eating some of this right now cause me to feel discomfort?” Then my husband would say “resist”, and push down on my arm. If it stayed strong, then the answer was yes, the food would cause discomfort. If my arm went weak, the answer was no, it would not. I know it could be a little confusing because my arm could be strong when asked about a food I would hold something that wouldn’t be great for me. Remember, “yes” and “true” are always when the muscles stay strong and vice versa. 

Muscle Testing Steps

I suggest starting with a partner. I found this easiest to learn and trust the method.

  1. The subject stands with one arm out horizontal to the floor. While the tester faces the subjects arm.

  2. The tester places a couple fingers (light pressure) on the subjects wrist, just above the knobby bone.

  3. The tester tells the subject they’re going to make a statement and to gently resist when they say “resist”. The subject then tries to prevent the tester from pushing his/her arm down – extending the arm straight ahead.

  4. The subject states their real name, e.g. “My name is Melina.”

  5. The tester says “resist” and the subject resists as the tester gently pushes down. Within a few seconds, gently apply pressure until firm. Remember, this is not about who is strongest, so be gentle… but firm!

  6. When the subject states their name, the shoulder joint should stay locked, and their arm should not give way.

  7. Then the subject states someone else’s name, e.g. “My name is Jim.”

  8. Perform the test again. The tester says resist and the subject resists. The shoulder join should go weak and the arm should give way even if just a little. The difference should be noticeable. For some people the difference will be slight, and others much more obvious.

Common Muscle Testing Problems and Tips

  1. The subject’s emotional state can impact the outcome. Only perform muscle testing when the subject is calm and grounded.

  2. A noisy background, even soft music, can interfere with accuracy.

  3. A cell phone or wifi router too close can cause issues. This can become clear when you calibrate.

  4. Results can be inaccurate when testing a subject who doesn’t believe muscle testing can work (consciously blocking subconscious access).

  5. Be careful not to test about the future. While there are likelihoods and possibilities, the subconscious usually doesn’t know what is going to happen in the future. I usually only test for that moment, that day, or the past.

  6. If you’re having an issue, try testing with the other arm.

  7. Be really clear and specific with your questions. Also make sure to state “right now” or “today” to provide time reference. 

Be patient. It takes practice to get the hang of it. We had practiced regularly for months before it became something I knew I could rely on.

As I mentioned above, I used to struggle with chronic illness. I had too many symptoms to name. Food intolerances were one piece. I ultimately learned that the foods I was eating were doing one of those things – especially when I’d experience problems after eating them. You see, when we eat, foods can cause discomfort because they are contributing to more toxicity in the body. This is usually the case when we experience food sensitivities around things like dairy, eggs and gluten. Other foods can cause discomfort because they are actually cleaning up toxicity in the body – and are causing us to feel detox reactions. This is usually the case when it’s something like an apple or leafy greens causing the discomfort. For more information about this, check out this blog and podcast.

It’s important for me to point others in the direction of answers so they can understand the true cause of illness and ultimately heal themselves. Muscle testing can be used as a really helpful piece in guiding us along the way to make choices that support good health on all levels – mentally, physically, emotionally, and even spiritually.

If you are interested in learning about the history of muscle testing and the science behind it, please check out the book Power vs. Force.

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