Evaluating nutritional needs by muscle testing
Applied kinesiology testing of nutritional products, food, and chemicals has proven to be a valuable clinical procedure when used in the framework of complete applied kinesiology and standard diagnostic procedures.
Applied kinesiology nutritional testing appears to reflect the nervous system's efferent response to the stimulation of the gustatory and olfactory nerve receptors by various substances. The nerve pathways causing change in muscle function as observed by manual testing are unclear; however, there is considerable evidence in the literature of extensive efferent function throughout the body from stimulation of the gustatory and olfactory receptors. There is also evidence of afferent modification of gustatory sensitivity and central nervous system interpretation of gustatory impulses ultimately modifying functional change as a result of oral stimulation. Applied kinesiology nutritional testing enables a physician to give individual consideration to each patient's nutritional needs. To properly apply this method of testing, one should be thoroughly familiar with the nervous system's role in nutrition, and also be proficient in manual muscle testing.
As one begins a serious study of nutrition outside applied kinesiology, it is easy to become very confused. Consulting ten different authorities on specific questions about nutrition may provide seven, eight, or even ten diverse philosophies leading to different therapeutic approaches or perhaps to no treatment at all. Extremes go from the belief that if a person eats balanced meals no nutritional supplements are ever needed to recommendations of so many high-potency supplements that one would hardly need eat regular food, except for fiber. Philosophies about nutrition vary from mega-dosages of numerous supplements to low-potency products of natural origin only. Some recommend that specific nutritional products routinely be given with certain medications to offset any side effects; others recommend no medication, with nutrition taking its place; still others recommend minuscule dosage of homeopathic remedies for the treatment of disease.
The applied kinesiology method of evaluating changes in body function as the result of nutritional stimulation fills a specific void in the conundrum of nutritional diagnosis. The method consists of stimulating the gustatory nerve receptors by having the patient chew or inhale the substance to be evaluated, and then manually testing a muscle for change. The muscle may appear stronger or weaker, depending upon the type of evaluation being made and the muscle's neurologic association with the substance stimulating the gustatory or olfactory receptors. This system of testing is controversial. One reason for this is that there have been many modifications of Goodheart's original description. Some, rather than have the patient stimulate the gustatory receptors with the substance being tested, have the individual hand-hold the substance or lay it on the belly; some even have the patient hold a bottle containing the substance to be tested. These modified systems are frequently taught to lay people who often do not have the anatomical knowledge necessary for accurate muscle testing, nor do they have a nutritional background or general diagnostic ability.
The testing of nutrition as advocated by the International College of Applied Kinesiology is a discipline limited to the tested substance stimulating the gustatory or olfactory nerve receptors, combined with accurate and specific muscle testing. The information derived from these tests must then be correlated with a standard diagnostic work-up by a person licensed in the healing arts to be a primary health care provider. The approach here and used at the Chiropractic Health Center, PC, is designed to be an adjunct to standard nutritional evaluation, not to take the place of it. Those who have the expertise to properly test nutrition, as described by the ICAK, should not use this method as a sole approach in evaluating nutrition and/or substances harmful to the body.
It is unfortunate that some take this one phase of applied kinesiology (the applied kinesiology manual muscle test) and proceed to test for apparent nutritional needs and allergies without placing other important parts of a patient's health problem in perspective. Limited testing can introduce many errors into the conclusions developed.
Here are a few of them.
- The most common problem occurs when nutrition or chemicals are tested by someone who, in fact, is not using or does not know applied kinesiology and is simply using manual muscle testing for chemical evaluation. An excellent example is using manual muscle testing to show the "harmful effects" of refined sugar. This is the individual who finds that when refined sugar is chewed, or sometimes even held in the hand, it always causes the subject's latissimus dorsi or another muscle to weaken. This is simply not the case. Under some conditions, depending upon the physiological needs of the body at the time, sugar will cause a weak muscle to strengthen. Sugar by no means always causes weakening in all individuals. This inaccurate and poor quality muscle testing is the simplest form of obtaining improper information from manual muscle testing. It occurs when the examiner predetermines the results of the test with previously held concepts. Muscle testing should always be done without the results being preconceived.
- Another abuse of manual muscle testing to evaluate chemical factors is the simplistic approach of muscle testing for nutrition or allergies without combining information of the patient's dietary history, standard examination, and/or laboratory and other specialized tests as indicated. There are two problems with this limited approach.
Sometimes that which is believed to improve function is actually hiding the applied kinesiology indicators that would help correct the basic underlying cause. A case in point is an individual with digestive disturbances from an apparent lack of hydrochloric acid, indicated in applied kinesiology by bilateral pectoralis major (clavicular division) muscle weakness. Taking hydrochloric acid improves this bilateral weakness; if the hydrochloric acid is given supplementally, it hides the indicator for a temporal bulge or other cranial fault that is the cause of the under-production of hydrochloric acid by the stomach. The cranial fault may be causing entrapment of the vagus nerve, thus causing hypochlorhydria that is responsible for the digestive dysfunction in the first place. The proper approach is to correct the cranium and any other factor that is causing the hypochlorhydria. In some patients normal production of hydrochloric acid cannot be achieved and supplementation must be given. First try to get the patient’s system working without supplementation...as we always teach in applied kinesiology, treat causes, not effects; the applied kinesiology approach allows the physician to treat causes!
Glandular substances are used effectively as nutritional products in applied kinesiology. Before recommending their use, one should evaluate the total glandular system. When only one or two factors are evaluated, the nutritional product indicated may be for a secondary factor. Proper treatment may be to another glandular dysfunction that is primary and in turn causing the secondary problem. Testing only one gland and not recognizing the interaction within the endocrine system is using manual muscle testing in a limited, simplistic manner that does not incorporate the full scope of applied kinesiology.
- Another problem that may be encountered with chemical testing in the framework of applied kinesiology is prescribing nutritional complexes before other factors adversely influencing the body have been corrected. It is frequently noted that a new patient will respond to numerous nutritional tests evaluated by manual muscle testing. If, however, the physician will refrain from immediately prescribing nutrition and make structural corrections — such as spinal subluxations, fixations, cranial faults, foot disturbance, etc. — there will often no longer be a need for the supplementation. This is even true prior to changing the diet, which — if needed — should be primary to supplementation. The immediate use of nutrition as noted above may even cover up some of the structural corrections that need to be made.
There are many reasons that nutritional needs should be evaluated on an individual basis. Applied kinesiology adds to the physician's nutritional knowledge the ability to determine, to a certain extent, the effects of various nutritional products on the specific individual being considered. Furthermore, it enables one to evaluate the difference between nutritional products that may appear to be the same according to the product's description, but act differently from individual to individual. People are different. Everyone does not require the same nutritional program regarding the food eaten and possible supplementation taken.
- The proper use of applied kinesiology in evaluating nutrition is made within the total framework of applied kinesiology and includes standard diagnostic procedures that confirm the need for the nutrition.
The Keys to Your Nutritional Health:
Eat properly. Eliminate "junk" foods, preservatives, and refined foods as much as possible.
Think prevention. Use nutritional products as indicated by your doctor knowledgeable in natural procedures.
What is especially exciting about nutritional therapy is not just the possibility of prevention but the reversal of disease.
The most updated, evidence-based discussion of this subject is now available in two new AK textbooks!
|Chiropractic Health Center, PC|
Dr. Scott Cuthbert
Dr. Shaun Craig
255 West Abriendo Avenue
Pueblo, CO 81004