Dr. E. A. Von Bergen, D.C., D.A.C.B.N.

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The Amazing Muscle Test

What is muscle testing and how in the world does it work? Many times new people to our office are in disbelief as to how the muscle test works. Some might even think it is a trick.

Muscle testing is actually a science and an art. The science part is the understanding of how a person's electrical system responds to a stimulus by changing it's output, whereas the art aspect is the muscle memory learning how to be an unbiased operator when testing another person's muscle response.

Anyone can learn to muscle test and the more you practice the more accurate you will become. Truth is you and I can both fake a muscle test, however, like any information gathering tool it should be understood, respected, and utilized at the proper time and in the scientifically proven way.

It has become in fact a bio-feedback tool, sometimes called the neuromuscular response test, which can be used to determine imbalances of the body's bioelectrical energy system which is being affected by something within the body.

Where did muscle testing come from? Researchers in the physical therapy field in 1949 named Kendall and Kendall, published a book on specific muscle testing to evaluate strength. Then, in 1964, Dr. George Goodheart discovered that the muscle test could also be used to show how different aspects of our nervous system control muscle function, thus muscle testing is now considered functional neurology.

When a tested muscle goes weak, we are not testing for strength but the interaction of the muscle and it's relationships to various systems of the body, e.g., it's organ or gland association, the structural connections it has, proper circulatory influences to it, or it's nutritional correlations. Or we can use an indicator muscle as a test for many different types of imbalances.

What contributes to these abnormal physiological imbalances that one can test for? Emotional stress, malnutrition, pollutants, infections, and musculoskeletal trauma. With muscle testing we can test to evaluate what is necessary to return the body back to balance, then allow the nervous system and the muscle to return to normal function.

Keys to consistent muscle testing for optimal results are: unbiased testing by the doctor, understanding that the test is not a challenge of strength, utilizing good body mechanics and isolation of the tested muscle, and no cheating by letting other muscles recruit in the test.

Muscle testing can be a very sensitive and accurate procedure to help in determining the structural, emotional, or physiological status of the body. Many times, it will detect imbalances before blood tests or even symptoms occur.

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