Muscle Testing for Personalized Action

I learned muscle testing twenty-eight years ago and consider it a life skill that everyone should have. It’s easiest taught face-to-face, but I’m going to do my best to share some basics here.

Muscle Response Testing

Muscle testing is a means of gaining insight into unconscious information that might otherwise elude me.  Once I know what’s there, I can figure out what to do about it (or not). Muscle testing helped me discover that my six-year-old’s determination to “get it right” was at the root of my stressed-out responses during doctor visits last fall.

What’s behind muscle testing?

Muscle testing is based on principles of energy medicine. You’ve experienced energy medicine if you’ve ever had acupuncture, learned about chakras in a yoga class, or gone to a chiropractor who pressed down on your outstretched arm to check if the adjustment was complete.

The first thing to know about muscle testing is that it isn’t about how strong you are. You have a physical body and an invisible energy field. What is being measured is the strength or disruption of the energy field. The muscle you are testing is simply the physical measuring device that makes the invisible visible.

In the following demonstration, a practitioner muscle tests a woman to determine what foods are best for her. The theory is that foods which are good for a person will strengthen the energy field, and foods that are not health-promoting will cause the field to weaken. Muscle testing is helpful when you’re making choices about what to eat, and can also be used for supplements.

In the video, the demonstrator also shows self-testing, which is really useful because you can do it almost anywhere. For example, suppose you’re in a store to buy some omega-3 oil. There are several brands lined up. How do you know which to choose?

You could read the list of ingredients, note the name of brands you think might be of interest, and go home to do some research. You could calculate the price per capsule or mg and choose the least expensive. Or you could ask your body what it needs and use muscle response testing to find out.

In the video, the test subject holds each item at her solar plexus. This isn’t practical when self-testing in a store, and really isn’t necessary. We know from quantum physics that everything is energy and we are immersed in a sea of it. You can connect through that sea to anything you want to test by getting centred and putting your attention on it.

When testing supplements, look at them one at a time and think: This is optimum for me at this time. Go down the row and test each brand. If more than one tests strong, do a final sort by focusing on each of those: Of these possibilities, this is the best choice today. Move along until you find the one that tests strong. Muscle testing is an efficient way to make the decision because it tells you which one is best for you.

Getting Clear Responses

How do you know you’re getting clear responses? In the video, the tester reversed the energy by running her hand down the subject’s energy field. This weakened the energy, which was shown by the weak response of her arm. Drawing her hand up the field strengthened it, resulting in the strong response we observed.

Sometimes we get unclear answers because there’s an imbalance in our system. A drink of water often helps. You can also try breathing and centring. Sometimes the imbalance corrects when you tap firmly on the thymus gland or K27 energy meridian as shown in the video.

In the next video, the demonstrator tests for clear answers by saying her name (which is a true statement and should test strong) and a different name (which is a false statement and will give a weak response). Test statements help you establish the difference between weak and strong responses before you start testing unknowns. Here are some more self-testing methods to play with.

The hand position I use is slightly different from any of those shown so far. I form a ring with two fingers of one hand, and use two straight fingers from the other to put pressure on the ring. These photos show how it looks when the ring stays strong and when it goes weak.


Testing with names is one way to check if you are getting clear responses. Muscle-testing expert Dr. Anne Jensen recommends using two additional statements.

  • My name is_______________
  • I live in __________________
  • Today is _________________

In each case, fill in the blank with what you know to be correct information, then compare it to the response when you insert incorrect information. The idea is to use something unambiguous. You can go back to these test statements at any time during muscle testing if you seem to be getting muddled answers. They provide a baseline for you.

Dr. Jensen is a chiropractor who did PhD research at Oxford to determine if muscle response testing is effective. She found that it is, and now teaches people how to use muscle response testing in several ways, including to explore symptoms, emotions, and behaviours. The protocol uses a straight-forward flow chart that everyone can learn to use.

Her 3-hour workshop is now offered online, with a free half-hour preview available on the preview tab at Course Rebel. Click “Muscle Response Testing Preview.”

things change

Test without moving a muscle

My favourite testing method is inner checking. I learned it from necessity. After three years of muscle testing, I suddenly could not get a clear answer no matter what I did. So I had to figure out another way.

What I use is best described as a felt sense. I put my attention on what I want to test, whether it’s an object or an idea. If it feels as if something drops through my crown and lands on the apex of my heart, that is true/strong. If the response is false/weak, it feels as if a ball of energy lands on the top of my heart and rolls off to the left.

It’s an individual thing, and I don’t know anyone else who tests exactly like that. But this kind of checking is an individual means of self-exploration, and the point is to find what helps you make an inner connection.

I know people who sit quietly, turn their attention inward, and connect with what they are exploring. This seems to work well for people who are accustomed to meditating. Already having a sense of their inner world, they find it more reliable and less distracting to make an inner connection rather than trying to read a physical response. There’s no reason you can’t experiment to see if this would work for you.

Another method, used in Access Consciousness, involves feeling an inner sense of light or heavy. What is true for you feels light; what is not true is heavy. It’s an adventure in self-awareness to find what works for you. Enjoy it!

Muscle response testing is about connecting with ourselves. It’s an art as well as a technique. More next week. And please, let me know if today’s post brought up any questions.

Nobody’s Holding Me Back But Me

Self Help visual

I’m a fan of self help. One of the things I like about energy psychology is that it empowers me to become self-aware and engaged in my personal growth. That being said, there are times I seek help from a practitioner because I’m stuck. When that happens, it’s usually because I’m getting close to something that my unconscious is guarding diligently. Continue reading

Energy Psychology

I took basic psychology courses at university but it wasn’t until much later that energy psychology made its way into my life. In 1988, I was looking for answers to one of my children’s learning issues. I heard that Rob Williams, a psychologist from Colorado, was offering a weekend workshop in Psychological Kinesiology (now called Psych-K).

A mother looking for answers will go outside her comfort zone, so I signed up. It was a combination of Edu-K, Brain Gym, and muscle testing, as I recall. This was all pretty new to me, but I dived in. Continue reading

Responsible…but not to blame

coping quote

Image via Daisy on Sizzle

I burst out laughing when this graphic appeared on my Facebook feed. Judging from the number of likes, I wasn’t the only one. I think it’s one of those things that makes us laugh because we recognize the truth of it in ourselves. Since I was working on this blogpost that day, it packed an extra punch for me.

The ending of the original quote, attributed to German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, is that it makes us stronger. While that can be true, it doesn’t magically happen. Using our difficulties to grow and become more resilient requires attention. It gives us the chance to release the energetic effects of trauma, so we can reconnect with ourselves to become ever-more whole. Continue reading

Know Yourself to Help Yourself

A couple weeks ago, I suggested that the ideal doctor-patient relationship would be a partnership. This isn’t going to appeal to everyone because it means we can’t just coast to the end of our lives. This model requires engagement of the patient on several levels—mental, physical and emotional.

triangle of patient engagement

Continue reading

Russell Jaffe, MD (#1 in a series: I Couldn’t Have Said It As Well)

Today is the first of a series of occasional posts featuring a video or article that says something I couldn’t say as well. This is Dr. Russell Jaffe, a conventionally trained medical doctor who came to practise functional and integrative medicine as a result of trying to debunk those very philosophies. Let him tell you about it in this 5-minute video…

One of my favourite spots was when he said the essence is to live in harmony with your nature. I’d be interested in hearing what struck a chord with you.

Who is the authority?

After recently catching up on reading my blogs, a friend commented that doctors must have found me intimidating. That got me thinking. Was I? Certainly not deliberately. But perhaps there’s an inherent element of intimidation when I arrive with notes in hand. It’s quite possible they feel I’m challenging their authority.

Who is the authority?

An authority is someone who’s an expert on a subject. Merriam-Webster defines being an expert as having special skill or knowledge because of what you’ve been taught or have experienced. We live in a culture where people gain the status of expert through years of specialized training. This is particularly obvious in medicine, where doctors have been through a dozen years of post-secondary education to qualify to practise.

Continue reading

I’m not a victim here

My weight was now perfectly normal, but blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar were all too high. I was sent on a round of tests. After a few months of tests and meetings with doctors, I felt as if I were unravelling.

stressed zebra cartoon

Image via

I found those months surprisingly stressful. A few days before each appointment, I felt my body seizing up. This intensified when a blood pressure cuff was put on during an appointment, and the readings were considerably higher than usual. And when I got home, my stress was 70 to 90% on the stress app I’d recently begun using. Continue reading


One thing I know for certain, we are vulnerable when we’re without resources. That’s why I continue to listen to on-line wellness interviews and research possible treatments for my own issues. And it’s why I include so many links in my blogs—to help increase your resource pool.

What are resources?

Important physical assets include money, housing, good food and clean water. But our personal attributes and capabilities are also assets. They are the qualities that enable us to function well and sustain ourselves in difficult circumstances. That’s what really interests me. Continue reading

A work in progress

Eventually, my quest to feel normal again led me to a functional medicine doctor. She reviewed my detailed history questionnaire, asked pointed questions, and listened carefully. The news wasn’t good. But she had ideas about how to turn things around.

My mitochondria were in trouble and carbohydrates were playing havoc with my blood sugar. The long and short of it—I was headed for neurologic distress (think Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s) and diabetes.

Mitochondria are small organelles located in most human cells. They are our source of energy, and serve to regulate cellular metabolism. Continue reading