written by Lauren Felts
Muscle testing is a form of applied kinesiology that is utilized by holistic practitioners as a method to evaluate the body’s imbalances and assess its needs. At the Chalkboard, we’re always fascinated to learn more about these types of testing techniques – and love that our readers are too. Although muscle testing may seem like an esoteric form of nutrition testing, we have had positive experiences with it, and are always open to learning more about this popular technique, especially when it is directly from an experienced expert.
Rachel Lazenby is a holistic nutritionist that has taken the world of muscle testing and made it her own. Running a successful clinic in Santa Monica called The Premier Center, she is the go-to woman for uncovering client’s nutritional needs by focusing on the root cause of their issues rather than merely addressing symptoms. Whether it is through the ancient practice of mud therapy or by delving into emotional blockages, she utilizes the skill of muscle testing to unravel the most stubborn of issues. She is as much of a gentle force in her personal relationships as she is in her professional ones, which is why she has such a dedicated following of clients, all of whom firmly believe in her abilities. With her bright and sunny disposition, she turns this technique into an art form, and helps us uncover this elusive form of kinesiology.
The Chalkboard Magazine: For those out there who aren’t familiar, what is muscle testing?
Rachel Lazenby: Muscle testing is a kinesiologic Western medicine principle. It is the science of how the nerves transmit impulses across the muscle tissue. There are different forms of muscle testing. The particular form that I use is called the bi-digital o-ring test. It was developed in 1980 by an M.D. named Yoshikai O’Mura. It is considered the most accurate form because it involves the least amount of muscle groups. It is making an “o” out of the thumb and another finger, typically the 4th. The grip strength is then tested by the practitioner. If the person is weak, it becomes impossible to keep the “o” made by the two fingers together, and if the person is strong, the “o” ring will remain strong. It is from here that we determine what is needed by the body.
TCM: How does it work?
RL: Since it is not a strength test, but neurological one, when you are weak on a point, it is physically impossible to remain strong. Concurrently, if you are strong on a point, your body will remain strong. Strong refers to the body’s cells, whether an organ or gland system or a tissue itself, having an affinity for a substance or concept; weak on the other hand shows an aversion. Whether the body has an affinity for or an aversion to a substance or concept, all depends on two factors – the energetic strength of a substance and the body’s need for that substance or concept. The substance can be anything from a food, to a supplement to a personal care item, while the concept can be anything from asking if the body needs to perform a cleanse (like a Pressed Juicery cleanse), or if it needs to clear an emotional blockage.
TCM: It sounds a lot like “magic” – how do you find that it is validated?
RL: Kinesiology is a validated scientific principle in Western medicine. So the science of it, in and of itself, is undisputed. Whether or not a person decides to buy into the fact that our body is made up of a system of electrical pathways has no bearing on whether or not the tests work. I think the largest problem with muscle testing is that the practitioner really has to know what they are doing clinically, and also has to know how to test the client’s strength correctly. There are subtleties to it, and I find that is the area where people (meaning the practitioner) can be off-base. It is all about mastering the fundamentals of the testing and having some clinical knowledge as well. It is interesting to put it to the test, such as having a very “strong” person hold an object that would make them weak (something knowingly toxic such as aspartame), and watch them not be able to maintain their strength.
When testing a client, I will uncover things that I would have no way of knowing. Things that they may have forgotten to tell me, or things that they are not even aware of themselves. Muscle testing will often back up what a client already knows or suspect about themselves as well, which is important for the practitioner client relationship. Muscle testing will also show weaknesses in the body that we would have a very hard time determining otherwise. These weakness can be generated by nutritional deficiency, toxicity, infection, or trauma and we then have ways to determine what is causing the weakness as well. This is essential to the full resolution of health problems, because we get to the root of the root, rather than continuing to chase symptoms.
TCM: What type of practitioners use it?
RL: All types of practitioners in the field of medicine and healing are integrating it into their practice. Medical doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors, acupuncturists, nutritionists, herbalists, massage therapists, nurses, etc.
TCM: How does it compare to Western testing techniques such as blood, hair and stool testing?
Muscle testing can support results found in traditional testing methods, but it can also point out deficiencies or toxicities that may not have shown up in traditional testing. Since Western techniques are testing for disease-states, it often misses pre-pathological conditions. This is important because it is in these pre-pathological states where we have the best chance of preventing disease from setting in. For example, if the pancreas tests weak, we can support it with digestive enzymes, oftentimes preventing the onset of hypoglycemia. This is vital because blood work or other type of analysis might not show anything outside of normal parameters, which does not draw attention to an underlying, slow developing condition.
TCM:Why do you find it the most effective technique for working with clients?
RL: It is effective because it shows us problem areas and deficiencies we wouldn’t otherwise know about. It also allows us to pinpoint the exact dosages of nutritional and herbal supplements, taking all of the guesswork out of it. As a result, the programs are highly effective, and we get results fairly quickly.
TCM:Who can benefit from muscle testing?
RL: Anyone and everyone. Anyone dealing with a chronic issue that they are unable to solve, or perhaps people that want to get off medication for high blood pressure or other concerns – these are common cases we see. For example, we see a lot of clients dealing with chronic sleep issues, infertility, liver/gallbladder issues, thyroid concerns, digestive problems, lack of energy, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, the list goes on and on. Of course it is also very helpful for folks who just want to optimize their health.
TCM: Muscle Testing is not mainstream. You must enjoy seeing a first-time client really experience a healthy change for the first time! Tell us about that.
RL: This is true. I love it when a skeptical person comes in, and I am able to tell them something about themselves that they may not have shared with me, or because of the testing, put them on a nutritional program that is very effective, allowing them to feel results within just a couple of days.
People who come to see me are usually dealing with chronic issues that they have not been able to solve yet, which is where the really fun part happens. For example, if a person has not slept well their entire life, I can get them to the point where they are sleeping really well with just one or two supplements and that is really rewarding. Each person comes in with a different set of symptoms, health history, body type, and life experiences, so it is like solving a puzzle. The muscle testing really helps get to the bottom of issues that have been unresolved otherwise.
TCM: What is something new that a client may take away from a session of muscle testing that they may not have experienced before?
RL: One unique aspect of our testing method is that we test trauma sites on the body. Trauma sites are any areas that have been injured, scarred or have undergone a surgical procedure. Trauma sites affect the biofield (the energy field making up and surrounding the body) in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. They can inhibit natural energy flow, therefore affecting the lymphatic and circulatory systems, and they can even cause an increase in toxicity at a cellular level. Therefore, through muscle testing we are able to see if an area (such as an organ or gland) is affected by a trauma site, which is often a root cause for dysfunction. For example: If a patient was delivered with the use of forceps, the forceps may have caused a trauma to their temples. As a result, this trauma may be affecting their vision and their brain chemistry such as pituitary gland, so muscle testing will reveal this connection. The next step would be to reconnect the interruption in energy flow through the trauma site with ancient mud therapies, therefore allowing the affected area to restore health. This is probably one of the most unique but effective things we can do with muscle testing.
TCM: In what other ways do you use muscle testing?
RL: Muscle testing can be used to test your environment, for instance, to see if the level of EMF (electromagnetic fields) you are being exposed to (TV, cell phones, wireless internet) is affecting your health. Muscle testing can also be used to test any substance that you would want to ingest or put on your body, to see if it is good for you. For instance, if you are having an immune reaction to dairy, or even your favorite skin care product.
Another interesting thing we do with muscle testing is using it to identify emotional blockages. We test for concepts, perhaps an affirmation, such as, “It is okay for me to do everything in my power to be healthy,” to uncover latent emotional issues. Often times people have psychological blockages to concepts, say for instance, not loving themselves because of a relationship with a parent, which is actually the root of their health issues. So in many cases, a physical health problem is due to an emotional issue, not a physical one, and through muscle testing we can uncover that and then resolve it.
So as you can see, you can literally test anything and everything, from the physical to the ethereal. Seeing is believing though, so you have to experience it firsthand to really grasp its power. It proves that we are all highly sensitive energetic beings, and that is really amazing to see and FEEL!