By David Feinstein, Ph.D.
One of the challenges in developing Eden Energy Medicine was to teach people who – unlike Donna Eden – don’t “see” energy, how to work effectively with the body as an energy system. To do this, we rely on a method used widely by many health care providers – particularly chiropractors, kinesiologists, and Touch for Health practitioners – for assessing the flow of energy through the body.
Each of the body’s major energy pathways – the meridians – moves through a different muscle. By positioning the body and applying pressure in a manner that assesses the relative resistance of the muscle, a determination can be made about whether the meridian energy associated with that muscle is flowing through it optimally or is inhibited or blocked. Conventionally called “Muscle Testing,” Donna calls this “Energy Testing” because the strength of the muscle is not being tested. It doesn’t change from one moment to the next. What is being tested is the flow of energy.
Research on the reliability of Muscle Testing has been mixed and ultimately unpersuasive. This has long been of concern to us, but we have interpreted the inconsistent findings as being based on the fact that many of the variables involved in the process are difficult to control, contaminating research results. For instance, since the mind can demonstrably influence the flow of energy, if the practitioner is nervous about being evaluated in the research setting or believes a particular outcome will be correct, this in itself will influence the flow of energy through the meridians and thus the test. We teach our practitioners ways of keeping the mind from interfering with test outcomes, but these methods are not widely practiced.
So we have been particularly interested in new research on Muscle Testing that has come out of England’s exalted Oxford University and which is very encouraging about the accuracy of the method. I recently met the scientist who conducted this research, Anne Jensen, Ph.D., at a conference in Vancouver. I had already read the papers presenting her research, and I attended her lecture at the conference and then had the honor of having lunch with her.
What did I discover?
I learned that the Oxford team estimates that more than one million people use Muscle Testing as an evaluation tool. This includes approximately 40% of the chiropractors in the U.S., but also practitioners in dozens of other health care disciplines. Like Donna, Jensen makes a distinction between testing the strength of the muscle and the state of the muscle, for which she uses the term “neural control.”
In Jensen’s initial experiment, Muscle Tests yielded significantly greater accuracy than when the practitioners made an “intuitive guess” about the condition being tested. A replication of the study produced a similar finding.
While the experiments did not show Muscle Testing to be 100% accurate, they do suggest that the approach provides information that should be considered along with intuition, observation, and client reports. And some of the practitioners did achieve nearly perfect accuracy in their tests. We consider this an extraordinary finding since the research was being conducted outside of any treatment context, where the natural rapport between client and practitioner is likely to enhance the accuracy of the test. One other finding of great interest is that practitioners who were relatively new to Muscle Testing were as accurate with the method as those who had been using it for years, suggesting that if you are applying a method incorrectly, applying it incorrectly for a decade does not make you better at it.
Click here to learn more about Jensen’s online courses.