What is muscle testing?

green_2peopleAlso known as Applied Kinesiology or Autonomic Response Testing, it is a painless, non-invasive way to gauge what creates or alleviates stress in our body. Utilizing principles developed in the 1960’s by Dr. George Goodheart, a chiropractor, a contracted muscle, frequently the shoulder muscle, is used to magnify how the body responds to various kinds of challenges.

Our body is filled with electrical activity. Electrical activity is the way that information gets delivered to our brain, it is what keeps our heart beating, and it is the way our brain communicates with our muscles.

Small changes in our experience affect the patterns of our brainwaves (EEG) and the patterns of our heartbeat (EKG). It is no wonder that these kinds of changes also affect muscle function.

Muscles contain thousands of cells, and each of these must receive a signal from an individual nerve. Taken together the impulses from thousands of nerve fibers must reach thousands of muscle cells in just the right time sequence in order for a muscle to be strong.

Anything that even temporarily throws off our body’s electrical activity can keep a muscle from holding its strength…

Bad news can knock all the wind out of our sails.


While a compliment can give us a lift!



During a muscle test, a tester uses one hand to press down on an outstretched arm, testing the strength of the shoulder (indicator) muscle. The tester’s other hand can be used to focus attention on some part of the body. If that part is inflamed or degenerating, the indicator muscle will momentarily test weak.

We use muscle testing as a tool to help pinpoint dental trouble spots. We scan the jaws, joints, muscles and teeth, looking for any structure that weakens the indicator muscle.

green_2downYWe also use muscle testing as a tool to screen for sensitivity to various dental materials. In this way, we can plan to avoid those materials that your body tests weak for and use materials that your body tests strong for.

Muscle testing is a very sensitive test, and its results can be thrown off by things as simple as bad news, bad posture or lack of a sense of safety or trust between the tester and the person being tested. It can also be thrown off if the person doing the testing holds any expectation as to the outcome of any particular test. Therefore, it is important for a tester to be able to clear his or her mind before a test. Unfortunately, creating a sense of safety and clearing the mind are not yet on the curricula of dental or medical schools and for this reason, muscle testing is not taught in these institutions at this time. (However it is taught in schools of naturopathy, chiropractic, and physical therapy).

Muscle testing is never used as a stand-alone diagnostic tool but is part of our comprehensive dental examination. The information that we gain from it helps us to get a clearer picture of you as an individual.