Manual Muscle Testing (MMT), also referred to as Applied Kinesiology (AK), is a healthcare method to assess structural, muscular, chemical, and mental ailments.
This technique is a way to gain a glimpse into how the nervous system affects the systems of our body by creating compensation patterns.
Applied Kinesiology has the concept that any internal or bodily issues we are experience can be related to a muscle weakness or other dysfunctional states. An example of this could be a weak hamstring caused by a cranial bone suture dysfunction, calcaneofibular ligament issue, emotions or the Large Intestine Meridian.
While Muscle Testing is heavily utilized in the chiropractic community it is now beginning to be a therapeutic method for a variety of healthcare practitioners including: natural-paths, Physical Therapists, Massage Therapist, Osteopaths and more.
Is Muscle Testing Legitimate or Accurate?
While results can vary depending on the practitioner if proper testing is done then there have been studies show that muscle testing is a clinically useful tool that are not dependent upon examiner bias.
What are some of the things that can affect the outcome
Depending where you learn and study muscle testing the way in which you test muscles can vary widely which is why results can differ practitioner to practitioner which can reduce the validity of muscle testing as a whole.
Depending where you direct the pressure on the body can change the results. The Most common example of this is pressing on joints. Let's say your client has their shoulder flexion at 90 degrees and you apply a downward pressure on their forearm and receive a strong muscle response. However, if you were to apply the same downward pressure on the wrist there is a good chance the muscle will go weak due to the body's natural response to protect the joints.
The practitioner mindset can also influence the results of a test. If a examiner is mental, physically, or emotionally in a bad place and not able to ground prior to testing it may cause incorrect answers to appear.
The direction of the fibers and direction of the pressure makes a huge difference. Making sure to apply force in the proper direction of the muscles and ensuring the examinee is also applying an equal and opposite force is crucial for determining proper results.
The state of the examinee can highly adjust the answers that manual muscle testing yield. This can include their emotional and mental state such as being in a sympathetic mode (fight or flight) due to high stress or incident, as opposed to a parasympathetic state (feed and breed or rest and digest). Another great example could be a full bladder causing issues with the pelvic floor and other structures that use gut pressure to generate force. Making sure the examinee has their body is the most comfortable state possible can be key.
Body positions is another huge thing that can change the way a muscle responds. It should be noted this does not mean the muscles tests are inaccurate, rather the body may have issues depending on the position of the muscles. A good example of this could be a person with sciatica symptoms; perhaps when laying down the piriformis tests normal but when they assume a seated position like they may be in during work all of a sudden the muscle tests weak or too strong. Switching up the way you tests can lead to better results and assessments for the client.
What kind of Issues can Manual Muscle Testing assist with?
Soft tissue issues including pain relief, decreased range of motion, and tight/weak muscles.
Organ or Digestive Issues
Finding dysfunctional ligaments
Assessing Cranial Nerves
Locating hyper-sensitized receptors in the body
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