Muscle Testing And How I Use It In My Practice


Applied kinesiology or manual muscle testing for health has become popular in the past few years. I have used muscle testing with my patients for all of the 25 years I have been in practice. The first to correlate weak muscles regaining strength with chiropractic treatment, Dr. George Goodheart, coined the term applied kinesiology and taught the technique he defined starting in 1964. My cousin and mentor, Rob Radtke, worked with Dr. Goodheart and years later I worked with Rob.

What is manual muscle testing?

Manual muscle testing is when I have a patient use their muscles to resist against the pressure I put on that muscle. In my structural exam, I am isolating muscles to evaluate how they respond. Can they resist the pressure I put on them and stay in place? Or does the muscle succumb to the pressure and move? When you do all that you do (walk, sit, stand, run, reach…) you are using groups of muscles. So if one of those muscles is weak you may not notice it but it may lead to other imbalances and should be corrected. That is why I isolate the muscles. I want to know if each muscle is doing its job.

How I use it for structural misalignments

Once I find a weak muscle, I trace the nerve supply back to the spinal column and muscle test for rotations or compressions in the spine that may be causing the weakness. That information allows me to adjust that spinal segment in a very specific way that will allow the weak muscle to regain it’s strength almost instantaneously. It’s really quite remarkable. Then we know we did the job. If it is still weak I continue to investigate.

The magic of muscle testing

Chiropractic itself is pretty incredible since we can alleviate most pain within the time it takes to make the adjustment. Muscle testing takes it up a notch because, you do not have to take my word for it, you know there is a change when your muscle goes from weak and unable to resist pressure to strong and very much able to resist pressure.

Therapy Localization

We can use muscle testing in many ways. One way I use it is to therapy localize. That means I can use your fingertips like an antenna and place them over different areas of your body to check for inflammation, irritation, or stress in the tissues. I often do this when a patient will come into the clinic presenting with sinus symptoms. I will place their fingertips first above their eyes and then apply pressure to a muscle that we already determined was strong. If it goes weak we can test different supplements to determine which one will help that issue. In the presence of a supplement that will help, the previously weak muscle will now test strong.

Talking to the body

I also use a technique called NeuroModulation Technique. This technique allows me to ask the body questions to determine faulty pathways that may be contributing to imbalance, illness, and symptoms. Many patients ask, “Who are you talking to?” when I am using these inquiring and correcting statements. The answer is that the part of your body that knows when to send white blood cells to a cut that you get on your leg, how much to send, when to stop sending them, when and what is needed to send to that area to make a scab, and even to know when to drop that scab away…that is the intelligence of the body that I am addressing.

The whole picture

I love using muscle testing for many, many reasons but I don’t rely on it to treat my patients. I take a detailed history, ask questions that rule in or rule out different conditions, and I use all of the training that I received in chiropractic school and the multitude of continuing education and seminars that I have taken over the years. This combination allows me to get excellent results for my patients.

If you have never tried muscle testing but would like to give it a go without commitment, contact our office and I will make sure you get a quick demo.

Have a great day!

Dr. Stacey


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