The General Adaptation Syndrome and Muscle Testing


The General Adaptation Syndrome was first described by Hans Selye as the three distinct stages that any organism goes through when experiencing stress. Selye explained his choice of terminology as follows: “I call this syndrome general because it is produced only by agents which have a general effect upon large portions of the body. I call it adaptive because it stimulates defense…. I call it a syndrome because its individual manifestations are coordinated and even partly dependent upon each other.” He defined these as the alarm, resistance and exhaustion phases. We can see the way that this works with muscle testing by examining the way that a muscle responds to a specific stress.

Often in a Touch for Health class, we have someone think about a stressful situation while checking an indicator muscle as a way of determining whether or not the body will respond to an emotional stress. When we do this as a precheck, we expect that the previously balanced muscle will immediately go into under-facilitation, becoming weak. This coorelates with Selye’s first stage of stress – an ‘alarm’ response. In the alarm stage, we immediately go into a dip as our body grapples with the new stressor. Soon however, our body adapts and begins to compensate for the new stress and we enter the second phase which is ‘resistance’ and can also be referred to as a balanced-imbalance. The individual is managing to cope, but it is taking more energy to do so than is optimal as they have to go into a compensation pattern. In muscle testing, we often see this as a stressed, over-facilitated muscle – something that is incapable of relaxing properly. It can look like it is fine when we simply run through basic muscle-testing protocols, because it is compensating, but looking a little deeper tells a different story. When the compensation has gone on over a long period of time, eventually the body can no longer keep it up. At this point, it goes into the third stage ‘exhaustion’. Here we see the muscle go back into an under-facilitated state, but it is more dangerous this time. The body no longer has back up reserves that it can draw from and is falling apart.

The best example I have for this is what happens when a family member is in the hospital for an extended period of time. At first, everyone panics and runs to their side in a typical alarm reaction. Very quickly though, the hospital becomes the ‘new normal’. It exists in a state of balanced/imbalance as the family takes turns bringing things, dealing with doctors, exchanging news, etc. This compensation can go on for quite a long time, until eventually, the strain of the situation becomes too much, the ‘exhaustion’ phase.

“Every stress leaves an indelible scar, and the organism pays for its survival after a stressful situation by becoming a little older.”

Hans Selye (1907-1982)

The GAS is one of the reasons why, in a Touch for Health Wheel or 5-Element balance where you are charting a pattern of over and under-energies, if a muscle both unlocks and shows an indicator change when you touch the alarm points, it is counted as a stress. It means that the stress in that particular area is so great that compensation patterns are beginning to become difficult to maintain and it is slipping towards the third stage of stress.

The real problem here of course is that we do not experience stress in our lives in one area at a time. It’s not like we get to recover from one before the next stress comes along – instead, we are often in all three stages, dealing with many different stressors, from the physical to the mental and emotional. If you have several systems that have been in the resistance phase and heavily compensated for a long period of time, it doesn’t take much more to push them into the final stage. We sometimes call this, “the straw that broke the camel’s back”. You hear people say, “He was never sick a day in his life!” describing someone who has suddenly died of a heart attack, but what is more likely true is that he had many systems highly compensated and the heart was not able to take the last bit of stress.

Knowledge of the GAS allows us to take our muscle testing a little deeper. When you find stress in a specific meridian/organ/tissue, etc. you can challenge further to see what stage the stress is in. This could be as simple as offering a verbal challenge, or if you use a modality like SIPS (Stress Indicator Point System), you could use light and deep touch on the point to see which gives you an indicator change. If you are familiar with Powers of Stress from Applied Physiology, this is another way of gauging just how much stress the system is under. All of these are ways of making sure that we get to the root of the matter and help to reestablish balance in the body on the deepest level.

Create your Marketing Avatar

What is an Avatar? Basically, what you are doing here is helping yourself define very clearly the ideal client – the person that you want to reach out to and work with. Spending a little time on this allows you to be precise in the way that you are marketing and invest your time and money in the best way possible. Does this feel silly for some people? Maybe a little. After all, in some ways this is basically the adult equivalent of creating an imaginary friend. A couple things that it might be helpful to remember:
1) There are no wrong answers. This is about who you want to work with, so don’t worry if it sounds a little odd when you write it all out. We’re not trying to please everyone – maybe the oddballs are your ideal clients and that is totally ok. In fact, when putting this together you may want to actually focus on some of the ways that your avatar is different from the people around them. Knowing how they are quirky and what sets them apart from the crowd is what allows you to connect with them on a deeper level.
2) This can be fluid and can change. You are not stuck with this indefinitely. You can add things, and take them away as you grow. You can add more avatars in the future to represent the various aspects of your business. You my friend, have options, so don’t be afraid to jump in and have fun with this.

Download the free PDF and begin!  GEMS avatar creation WS

KinesioGeek Magazine: Updated Media Kit!

We are entering year three for KinesioGeek Magazine! The magazine serves several different purposes; it connects us as practitioners in a small industry, brings new information and research to our attention, and showcases products and events that are of interest. If you’ve never considered advertising your products, classes, conferences, etc. before, this might be the time! Get your message out in front of people who are as passionate and invested in Specialized Kinesiology as you.

We are building a strong presence in the world and we’re all in this together!

Click here to download: KinesioGeek Magazine Media Kit

Rhythmic Movement Training

Rhythmic Movement Training Offers a 2ndOpportunity to Integrate Childhood Reflexes and Overcome Developmental Delays and Learning Difficulties

First, a note of thanks to Alexis for inviting me, as a Rhythmic Movement Training International instructor/consultant, to write this article on by childhood reflexes, developmental delays and learning difficulties (L/D), as integrating childhood reflexes is my passion.  For the purposes of the article I’ll concentrate on four Primitive reflexes which various studies have shown to be closely connected to learning and attention challenges – the ATNR, STNR, TLR, and Moro Reflexes.  If you would like a hand-out of the research on reflexes, please email me at: and I will be delighted to send you one.  I’ll also have a fuller version of the article on my blog at www.IntegratingChildhoodReflexes.comwithin a few days.

What are the childhood / infant reflexes?  And how are they important for learning?

Simply put, a reflex is an automatic, stereotypical reaction to a specific stimulus – either a reaction to sensory input or to a change in position.  As the word “automatic” implies, this reaction occurs without conscious will or awareness, as it is controlled from the level of the brainstem and spinal cord.

The reflexes are mainly divided into Primitive and Postural reflexes, which have job descriptions and a specific timeline for their emergence, development, and integration.  The Primitivereflexes develop in utero or during birthand should be integrated within the first 6-12 months after birth.

Each reflex has a movement pattern, which the baby practices over and over again until the movement becomes automatic, through myelination of the involved nerve nets. When taken in total, these movement patterns allow us to stand up and move in gravity.  The Primitive reflexes are eventually inhibited by the Basal Gangliaand integrated into the Posturalreflexes, which remain with us life-long.

The reflexes are inter-related, in that each reflex helps to turn onthe next reflex on the timeline – then that subsequent reflex helps to inhibitthe previous reflex.  In other words, Reflex A turns onReflex B and Reflex B, as it develops, causes Reflex A to go dormantor become inhibited. Reflex B also turns onReflex C.

Preceding the Primitive reflexes, the Intrauterine(Withdrawal) reflexes emerge around 5 weeks in utero, during the embryonic stage of development.  These reflexes include the Smokeand Divereflexes, as well as the Fear/Paralysisreflex. In the presence of danger, the reflexive response is for the “whole body” to withdrawand/or freeze.

ThePosturalreflexes, which emerge after birth, are assisted in their development by the Primitive reflexes having laid down the fundamentals of movement.  The Postural reflexes may not develop fully if the Primitive reflexes have not developed fully and then become inhibitedat the appropriate time.  The Posturalreflexes include:

– the Righting Reflexes(maintaining an upright position of our head and eyes when we lean in different directions; coordinating a child’s gross motor movementfrom rolling through creeping / crawling to walking; as well as maintaining eye focusacross lines of text)

– the Equilibrium Reactions(providing an automatic “protective” response when we fall or lean too far – such as putting a hand out to catch ourselves as we fall)

Grouping Reflexes– (allowing groups of muscles to work together– such as when babies reach out to grasp things in order to put them in their mouth; helping to develop a child’s fine motor controland child’s near vision.)

Transitional (bridging) reflexes are neither present at birth, nor are they lifelong reflexes.  These reflexes assist an infant in making the transition from one stage of development to another– for example, the Symmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex (STNR) assists in preparing the infant to creep / crawland to develop far vision.

When a reflex ceases to be triggered by its stimulus, it is said to be inhibited, completed, inactive, or dormant.

Integrated reflexes are always available to assist us in times of illness, trauma, or old age and will re-emerge in an attempt to keep us safe.  This process is called disinhibition.


Why would Primitive Reflexes fail to integrate?
It is important that the main part of the integration and inhibition of the primitive reflexes happens while the baby is still on the floor.  So, the following are possible causes of lack of full integration/ inhibition:
– Standing up and walking too early – insufficient “belly time” on the floor
– Movement being restricted by baby carriers, car seats, propping devices, sitting in jumpers and baby walkers
– Microwaves / Electro Magnetic Fields from cordless / wireless technology
– Heavy metal toxicity (environmental/vaccines)
– Stress of mother during pregnancy – breech birth, Caesarean birth, exposure to sonograms
– Trauma, illness, injury, chronic stress


What happens when reflexes fail to integrate?
A Primitive reflex which fails to become inhibited is said to be retainedor lockedin the nervous system…as if in a state of limbo…where it is constantly triggered, yet without integrating fully.  Fatigue, muscle tension, weak muscle tone and difficulties finishing tasks are manifestations of retained reflexes.  We learn to compensatefor these conditions by using continuous conscious effort to perform taskssuch as reading and writing…skills which are meant to be done automatically.

Retained Hand-Mouth-Foot reflexes can contribute to challenges with walking, thinking and speaking/expressing thoughts.  Drooling, swallowing and TMJ problems can be present, as can manual dexterity challenges.  Bonding can also be an issue when Hand-Mouth reflexes are retained.


Developmental Movement Patterns and their Relationship to Reflexes & the Senses

Primitive reflexes are part of an inner programmewhich assists the infant in practicing, over and over again, the exact motor movement patterns which allow us to stand up and move in gravity.  Movements that are important for a baby to achieve are head control, rolling, sitting, crawling, standing, and walking.

Infant motor development follows a time schedule and includes the following patterns:
– Breathing
– Mouthing (hand/mouth connectivity & tactile sense)
– Navel Radiation (core/distal connectivity)
– Spinal Movement (head/tail connectivity) {in Kinesiology: Front/Back Integration*}

– Homologous (upper/lower body connectivity) {in Kinesiology: Top/Bottom Integration*}
– Homolateral (body half connectivity) {in Kinesiology: Left/Right Integration*}
– Contra-lateral (cross-lateral connectivity) { in Kinesiology: walking gait}

* denotes each of the 3 planes in the body (Coronal, Transverse and Saggital).  Math challenges have been linked to children who do not have these 3 planes well established in their bodies.

(List taken from Movements That Healby Dr. Harald Blomberg & Moira Dempsey, available on Amazon and Book Depository)


It’s important to note that in order for Contra-lateral movement to occur naturally, all of the other developmental movement patterns must be well established.  Rhythmic Movement Training (RMT) activities and balances can fill in any gaps in these developmental movement / reflex patterns.


Brain & Sensory Processing Development
Reflexes also develop the infant’s sensory processes and the linking upof the brain…
– from the neural chassis / brainstem (survival area)
– through the limbic (emotional area)
– to the cerebral hemispheres (CEO of the brain).

At birth, only the brainstem is fully developed; other areas of the brain must be “linked up.”  This is accomplished by the branching out of nerve netsas each new movement pattern is initiated.  Then, with each repetition of the new motor movement, the involved nerve net is coated with a fatty substance called myelin.  The more an activity is repeated, the more myelinationoccurs, and the more automaticthe activity becomes.


However, without sufficient movement, the senses may fail to develop fully, leading to inefficient processing and causing challenges with focus, attention, comprehension, reading, writing and even behaviour.


The Primitive reflexes must complete their developmental programme in order for brain development and postural stability to occur.  If the Primitive reflexes do not integrate, the Postural reflexes may remain under-developed, and

a child’s level of functioning can be challenged in terms of:

– maintaining postural control when standing, sitting or moving

– balance

– ability to sit still

– coordination and motor skills

– eye movement control (reading)

– hand-eye coordination (writing)

– spatial skills

– organization

– concentration & the ability to focus

– emotional stability

– impulse control

(list taken from RMT for School Readinessby Moira Dempsey)


Even when Primitivereflexes have become inhibited, the Posturalreflexes may not develop fully. This is more often found in older children who have been able to compensate well enough that they’ve not been identified as having developmental or learning problems until their teens or later.  These students typically experience problems with:

– adaptation

– applying known concepts (problem solving)

– linking

– multi-processing

– sequencing

– coping with large volumes of information (information overload)

– fine motor skills

– low energy levels (mimicking depression but which do not respond to medication)

– lack of torso flexibility (trunkal integration)

– difficulty carrying out complex movement patterns…needing to “think through” each movement sequence and
– difficulty adapting to rapid changes in routine

(list taken from Reflexes, Learning & Behaviourby Sally Goddard)


Reflexes and Learning…

Communication & Academic Skills are dependent on Motor Skills
Speechis dependent upon the ability of the larynx, pharynx, tongue and lips to move.
Readingis dependent upon oculo-motor skills.
Writingis dependent upon hand-eye coordination, with support from the postural system.


Research has shown the following 4 Primitive Reflexes have been linked to learning & attention challenges:

(ATNR)Asymmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex (linked to poor reading, writing, spelling & math)

– (STNR) Symmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex(75% of children with L/Ds had a retained STNR. Also linked to ADHD)

– (TLR) Tonic Labyrinthine Reflex(linked to L/D)

– (MR) Moro Reflex(linked to specific math challenges)

These same reflexes also affect different aspects of our vision…tracking, accommodation, convergence, divergence, and fixation.

How would lack of reflex integration affect a child’s ability to learn?

The reflexes assist us in terms of attention / concentration / focus, balance / equilibrium, coordination, learning, muscle tone, postural control when standing and moving, the ability to sit still, impulse control / self-regulation, emotional stability, social skills, and sensory processing…all the skills required for learning and social interaction.

When the STNR, ATNR and TLR are retained, the upper and lower limbs are said to be “tied” to the movement of the head – until those reflexes are integrated (that is, when they become inhibitedor go dormant.  This causes movement below the level of consciousness, resulting in unconscious confusion in our sensory-motor and nervous systems.  This confusion negatively affects our ability to think, read, write and communicate with ease.

Compensation vs. Integration
Retained reflexes have consequences, for which we learn to compensate in the classroom, on the sports field, at work, and in relationships with our family and friends.  These compensations appear to be “normal” to us; yet, as these reflexes are integrated, compensations gently and unconsciously drop away.  We feel calmer, more relaxed; and are able to move, think, and learn more easily.

How do we integrate the Primitive and Postural Reflexes?
Reflexes can be integrated…

– by repeating, over and over, the movement pattern associated with a specific reflex (not our usual way in RMTi),
– by doing 2-15 minutes of gentle Rhythmic Movements daily,
– by adding isometric activities, which can speed up the efficacy of the Rhythmic Movements, and
– by adding a few special movement activities
– by using games, toys and equipment in specific ways to add variety within the movement programme

…in Private sessions, including an assessment & reflex stimulation / inhibition movement programmetailored to the specific needs of the individual client – child or adult.  Sessions are spaced 2-8 weeks apart.  Home support requires only 2-15 minutes per day for 6-18 months, depending on the number of reflexes retained.  And, as children begin to feel the benefits of the Rhythmic Movements, they will often ask to receive the movements if their parents have forgotten to do them. The movements can be done passivelyby the parent or activelyby the child, and even while a child is asleep, so compliance is easily achieved.  Some results show rapidly (often speech), others take time and repetition of movements for development to occur.

…and/or inRhythmic Movement Training International courses.  (

Courses are open to parents, caregivers, educators, kinesiologists, and professionals, such as PTs, OTs, Speech Pathologists, Developmental Optometrists, Chiropractors, Massage Therapists, and is a wonderful adjunct to other modalities.


“The role the primitive reflexes play in allowing the vestibular and other near senses to develop well, and therefore form our sensory understanding of the world around us, cannot be emphasized strongly enough.  The integration of the infant reflexes and the establishment of our life-long postural reflexes are fundamental in providing us with the means to live effectively and resourcefully in the world.  The more opportunities we are given as an infant to learn to master and control our movements the more complete a basis we have as we mature to build upon our understanding and experience of the world. The more resources we have as we grow, the more easily we are able to learn to survive, feel and be safe to mature fully in the world.”

(Quote from RMT for School Readinessby Moira Dempsey)


Rhythmic Movement Training offers us a second opportunity to integrate our Primitive reflexes and to fully develop our Postural reflexes.   We quite simply and naturally blossom, and become more of who we really are.And, as I say to my clients, “Inner calm is now an option.”


So, what is Rhythmic Movement Training (RMT) and how did it develop?

RMTi is a practice dedicated to bringing integration and balance to children and adults with specific learning and behavioural challenges, including ADD/ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, poor Balance/Co-ordination/Stamina, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia, Sensory Processing and Developmental Delays.

The practice, begun in the 1970s, evolved from studying the role of the movements and reflex patterns that babies naturally make from conception to walking.  Kerstin Linde (the originator), and Dr. Harald Blomberg and Moira Dempsey (the developers) of Rhythmic Movement Training, modified these natural movements to help establish, strengthen or retrain the foundations of posture, CNS maturity, sensory processing, memory, learning, emotions and behaviour.

Parents and specialists who use Rhythmic Movement Training report greatly improved functioning in the following areas:
–        Sensory Processing
–        Focus
–        Mental Health and Emotional Balance
–        Social ability/Self esteem
–        Speech Development
–        Learning, Reading, Math, and Thinking
–        Posture and Stamina
–        Release of Anxiety
–        Motivation

Practitioners have said of RMT:

Maxine Hoffman, a pediatric Physiotherapistfrom Ohio, USA says:
“RMT is the most valuable thing I’ve learned in 45 years of doing Physical Therapy. We are getting wonderful results from working with your reflex exercises. I am amazed at the immediate changes in severely involved autistic children.”

Evelyn Gianopoulos, Physiotherapist, Montreal, Canada
“Learning RMT has been an invaluable experience.  It was easily integrated and complementary to my P.T. practice in the treatment of various conditions, including post-operative, post-traumatic, chronic pain and neurological disorders.  RMT has given me a way to support patients that are in survival mode in a safe, gentle, positive and effective way.”

Wendy Humphreys Tebbutt, ARMCM

Instructor: RMTi, Brain Gym, TFH, SIPS / Consultant: LEAP-BI/Applied Physiology




Brain Issue : Fall 2017

KinesioGeek Merch – for People Like You

Smart SWAG for people like you.

This is something I have been working on for awhile and I’m ready to share with you now. I have designed and purchased Kinesiology-celebrating gear for myself in the past and people at conferences always ask me where I manage to find it. I began to think it would be great to have a few items that people could order: shirts that start conversations about who we are and what we do, or that actually help to balance you as you wear them. Colours that support elemental flow within the body and cuts that are flattering (read: not huge boxy white shirts with a logo in the center that you would never consider wearing out in public).

NeuroLymphatic Shirt

This is a preliminary catalog with a few items included in order to see whether or not this is in the best interests of my tribe. In the future, this is going to have it’s own website so that it is easy to select the items you can’t live without, pay for them securely and have them delivered. Consider this a trial run as I determine interest! And if you live in the Okanagan or are attending the Touch for Health Kinesiology Association (TFHKA) conference in Malibu in July, I’ll deliver your stuff personally with a hug.

So let me know what you think. What you like, what you don’t and what you wish was included. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

KinesioGeek catalog

We’re all in this together,


Transforming DNA Memories with Sylvia Marina

June 23-26, 2018, Kelowna BC

Investment is $800 CAD, contact to register – Special bonus: readers of SK Magazine will receive their Workbook, Flower Essence and CD, FREE ($75 value)!

This four-day training includes Kinesiology Techniques, Real Live Case Studies, a usable take home protocol – add these skills to your current practice or for the beginner commencing a new career – your own knowledge & personal development.

Course creator, Sylvia Marina has a unique approach to connecting people with their highest potentials transforming their lives for the better .
Learn how to stop the cycle of habit, anger, judgments, self-dislike… Understand your emotions that play a role in relationships and illness. Stop repeating negative behaviours, reconnect to what you really, want

in life. Heal your hurts, become a better healer.

Attend TRANSFORMING DNA MEMORIES experience with Sylvia and you will gain a better understanding of what triggers are in your memory bank. Activate your constructive intelligence. Understand not all behaviours are learned, many are genetic ancestral behaviours that can be changed.

Transforming DNA Memories gives you the skills to understand yourself more deeply, how to make better change, feel inspired & confident to embrace challenges in a

positive way.

Here is your opportunity to learn with the MASTER. With more than 30 years experience in the healing arts, Sylvia Marina specializes in the passions and emotions that influence habits and oppression, illness and disease… self-healing, love and happiness.

People attend for personal self- development – no pre-requirements.

Health Practitioners at the completion of this four day workshop you will be equip to offer Transforming DNA Memories sessions to your clients.

Course Accreditation – CE Points: 32
IKC International Kinesiology College
AIK Australian Institute Kinesiology
AKA Australian Kinesiology Association Inc. ATMS Australian Traditional-Medicine Society

TRANS GENERATIONAL TRAUMA – your ancestors hold the key.

Unlike most people, I was not searching for my purpose! I knew what my life was about…my difficulty was how to explain the feeling that confirmed to me that my life was planned before I emerge into this lifetime.

More than thirty years ago, when studying Human Behaviour I became intensely aware that people were looking for their purpose! It was the birth of the New Age. I remember pondering – what possible bewilderment perhaps parental or community pressure and control has happened in lives that such confusion has occurred?

When choice is stripped from people’s lives as in unplanned pregnancy, career variation, business breakdown, redundancy, heartbreak, shattered dreams, death of partner, lifestyle change, divorce…

It is the people who lack clarity of purpose that suffer the deepest regret, grief and depression. Depression often reveals it-self in depressed immune system.

When people have lingering ill health there is more happening in the body. When repetitive illness, unresolved anger, regretful relationship and reoccurring patterns of behaviour continues to happen, my work in Trans Generational Trauma, also known as Epigenetics is active.

This means, the current problem is not just ‘a current problem’. The pattern has been carried in the DNA to this current generation and unless resolved now, will be further carried to future generations.

The initials, DNA, stand for Deoxyribonucleic acid, a self-replicating material, which is the main constituent of our chromosomes, and contains the instructions we need to ‘develop, live and reproduce’.

DNA carries our genetic information throughout our lives, and passes it on to the children we bring into the world. Through generations carrying the essence of ‘us’. So at this point in time, your ancestors are with you in the form of your DNA, your genetics.

Just as features and mannerisms are passed from one generation to another, so are illness, disorders and behaviour patterns. All is not dreary in terms of your DNA, your multiple intelligences; creativity, logic and reason are all positively amped in your DNA too. People who are still looking for a connection to their life purpose, has a trans generational trauma, like a grudge rock in the way.

My role and experience is to work with you to clear Trans Generational Trauma so that you can connect to your own DNA entelechy. Your entelechy holds the key to your life purpose.

Author of Transforming DNA Memories, Sylvia works with the novice and the experienced practitioner. At the end of the four-day training you will have gained new experience and understanding and have learnt the skills and know-how to immediately actualize and transform your life.

Inherited family trauma and addiction didn’t start with you but it can certainly finish with you.

Connect to your ancestors, spirit wisdom, access the keys to unlock your hidden knowledge, wisdom, purpose and understanding. Awaken the dreams your ancestors dreamed for you. Continue their dream of making this world a better place for all our future generations.

Author, Sylvia Marina ND., is a remarkable humanitarian, her commitment to equality, justice and authentic leadership defines and sets her apart. People love her wisdom and generous teaching.

A wife, mother, treasured grandmother, author, professional speaker, teacher, kinesiology practitioner and emotional-mastery educator, her interests reside in the effect of emotions that influence life choices, relationships, health and wellness.

She is more than a coach, more than a mentor…Sylvia inspires. Being with her LIVE in person is an experience you won’t forget.

Sylvia Marina 0412 198 612


Transforming DNA Memories. | MASTERCLASS – Get The Love You Want. | Return To Love | Breaking The Grip Of Past Loves.

A Vision for the Future of Specialized Kinesiology

Guest post by Ludovico Feletto, also published on

When people ask me to explain what will look like when it is fully developed, it usually takes me a long time to explain the concept of what we are building.

Let’s compare how things are in the Kinesiology world now, to how things could be with Knowlative.

Let’s say that I am a student that already knows how to perform a Muscle Response Test, and I have completed one of the “core” specialized or applied kinesiology courses available. My goals are:

  1. To constantly upgrade my skills with the most effective procedures available;
  2. To store my client’s records in a safe and usable way and to access them easily in my work;
  3. To keep an eye on how my activity is evolving by tracking the number of sessions I give and the procedures I use most;
  4. To write a scientific paper.

Before Knowlative

  1. To upgrade my skills, I have to look for new courses available but that isn’t always a simple task. Sometimes what seems to be a very promising course is actually a waste of time and money. Sometimes a very useful procedure is impossible to learn in my country or in my geographic region or it is not advertised at all in my area so I do not even know it exists. So, I have to settle for what is available in my region; and sometimes this is not sufficient to progress in my profession.
  2. Storing my client’s records can be another time consuming and quite frustrating task. If I write down the results of what I am testing this process slows down my work. And then, if I keep confidential and sensitive data the time (and money) required to keep them safe and to adhere to Data Protection Laws can be significant. If I do not track anything to avoid these problems I will never be able to see the evolution of my practice and notice which techniques I tent to skip or ignore. Furthermore, I will never be able to write a scientific paper on the effectiveness (or not) of my balances (See point 4).
  3. What happens if I want to see how I am progressing over time: how many procedures I use in a session with my clients, how long it takes to perform a given procedure, which month do I work most (and least), what is the age group of my clients, what are the most common complaints or goals, and much more? This data, which would be very useful to improve my practice, target my advertisements, see what areas I need to strengthen, is nearly impossible to get if I do not invest a huge amount of time in tracking and calculating it.
  4. To write a scientific paper I have to expect to spend a huge amount of time (and money) planning the study carefully, collecting all the data (and for my study to be relevant I have to collect huge amounts of data), analyzing all the data and writing it. All these tasks are very specific and the majority of us do not have any idea how to achieve even the most basic skills needed to go through all the process. So, basically, I cannot do any scientific study… and as a result, Specialized Kinesiology will never be taken seriously.

In short, without Knowlative I am still traveling with a steam engine while my competitors are testing a Hyperloop trip.

With Knowlative

  1. Logging in, I have a showcase of Kinesiology Courses available from all over the world with the option to directly contact the author for more details. The basic procedure of every course is available inside my “Wikipedia-style” learning pages just a few clicks away and I can try it immediately with a test client to see if I like it or not and if I’m interested in the “real” content of the course. I can see how often the procedure is utilized in their practice by users that already took that class and the feedback they give of the lessons. If I decide to take that course I can (only for selected courses) attend online in the Knowlative platform or be redirected to a webinar of the author or, if I prefer to meet the creator of the procedure in person, I have all the dates and locations of his/her next classes.
  2. While I am working, I can browse for the appropriate technique for my client in Knowlative. The “manual” is adaptive (it shows me step-by-step what I need in real time) and I can easily record all the results of my testing. Without paper manuals, I do not waste time searching for the right page, and by recording all data in the “manual” Knowlative page directly I do not need to worry about storing data in a usable way. And if I do not remember a step of a certain procedure, with one click I can see its complete description.
  3. When I am finished working I can immediately access all the updated statistics of my practice with intuitive graphs and suggestions. I do not need to do anything for this; Knowlative does all the boring jobs for me.
  4. Experienced statistic experts analyze the collective data of Knowlative and build up observational studies. With the information gathered they design specific studies and I can decide to add an appropriate client with a few clicks. In fact, Knowlative matches my client’s parameters with the studies available in real time and, if appropriate, it asks me if I want to participate. This process will only add a few selected additional questions to my standard session and only 2 minutes of my (and my client’s) time. And my name will appear as a contributor in the scientific papers produced with my help. Without needing to spend of huge amount of money, we build strong evidence that Kinesiology is the essential tool for the medicine of the future.

And with Knowlative I have an additional bonus: if I add my findings, procedures and experience to Knowlative Database I am rewarded with a part of the project’s income in relation with how much my materials are used by other members of Knowlative and the advancement in manual response testing is much faster.

Without needing to spend of huge amount of money, we build strong evidence that Kinesiology is the essential tool for the medicine of the future.

How Knowlative will develop

To achieve the big picture, we have been working since December 2015. You can see the next phases of Knowlative in the picture. We are assembling the software and managing all the issues building a company brings up. Every one of us is working for free in evenings, weekends, vacations, …

Soon we will have to absorb more expenses to make this vision came true. The most problematic aspects are the legal issues involved in Knowlative. We have an estimation of expenses for 20000 Euros for this area alone.

We have done a lot of work so far, but now we need your help.

So, if you like what Knowlative will bring to your professional practice register to this site and visit our crowdfunding at

If you, as a client, see how Knowlative can improve the quality of your Kinesiologist, help us with the crowdfunding!

And do not forget to spread the message to your friends.


About The Author

Ludovico Feletto – Medical Doctor & Creator of Knowlative. Ludovico is a trauma and orthopedic surgeon and the creator of Knowlative. Since before his Specialization Degree in 2007, he developed a deep interest for an individualized approach to medicine, exploring many integrative methods of healing (acupuncture, Kinesiology, Neuraltherapy…). In his medical practice and in Knowlative he brings the certainty that the future of medicine is a system that assimilates the knowledge of the western medicine with the main eastern practices.

The Oxford Studies: Part II – Results and Implications

The Oxford Studies: Validating Muscle Response Testing

Part II – Results and Implications

Guest post by Dr. Anne Jensen

As mentioned in Part I of this article, I completed my DPhil (PhD) at Oxford University, where my research focused on assessing the validity of Muscle Response Testing (MRT) in a specific application: to distinguish true from false spoken statements. The rationale for the methods used was outlined previously, and in this part, I will discuss the specific methods of each study, report the results of this research and discuss its implications.

This series of studies consisted of 5 diagnostic test accuracy studies (see Table 1 below), and while the general methodologies of all studies remained consistent, specific elements were changed in an attempt to better understand how they influenced MRT accuracy.


Table 1 – An outline of this series of studies assessing the validity of MRT

Study 1 – Estimating the Accuracy of MRT

Study 2 – Replication of Study 1

Study 3 – Replacing the Practitioner with Grip Strength Dynamometry

Study 4 – Using Emotionally-arousing Stimuli

Study 5 – Estimating MRT Precision using a Round-robin Format


Summary of Testing Scenario

In all the studies, the patient viewed a computer screen on which was displayed pictures of everyday items (e.g. apple, basketball, tree, train, etc), and which instructed them (via an earpiece) what to say in relation to the picture. About half of the time, they were instructed to say true statements, and half of the time, false statements, and the order was randomly generated by the computer.

As mentioned in Part 1, the paradigm under investigation was that true statements result in a strong MRT outcomes, and false statements result in a weak MRT outcomes. Only the deltoid muscle was used for testing, however, how the participants were positioned was left up to the discretion of the practitioner, as long as they could not view each other’s computer screen. Also, practitioners could perform any pre-testing procedures, as they were encouraged to do what they would normally do in practice.

All participants gave informed consent and completed demographic questionnaires prior to beginning the actual testing. The questionnaires also asked participants about their MRT experience, their confidence in MRT, etc. During the testing, for each MRT or intuitive guess, the sequence proceeded in this manner:

Participants proceeded in this manner until they completed all MRTs / guesses, and then completed another short questionnaire, after which they were done.

Specific Study Methods

As mentioned above, while each study followed the same basic protocol, certain details were changed to investigate different factors. Now I will summarize the details of each study.

Study 1 (Main Study) – Estimating the Accuracy of MRT

In the first study, 48 pairs of participants were recruited: 48 practitioners who use MRT and 48 patients who had no previous MRT experience. During this study, the practitioner also viewed a computer screen on which was shown either the same picture as the patient or a blank black screen (see Figure 2 below). In the second case, the practitioner was blind to the statement’s truth, and it was only the blind tests that were used to calculate accuracy. Pairs performed 40 MRTs (broken up into blocks of 10), which alternated with blocks of 10 intuitive guesses.

Figure 2 – Study 1 testing scenario layout.

Study 2 – Replication of Study 1

The results of Study 1 (described below) were so impressive that my supervisors insisted I repeat it (i.e. replicate it). So, from the data collected in Study 1, another sample size calculation was performed and it was determined that only 20 pairs were needed to obtain similar results. Also, the practitioner’s computer was removed, making the practitioners blind in all repetitions. I found in the first study that the second computer added an unnecessary degree of complexity, and by removing it, made data collection flow much smoother. One other change that my supervisors asked me to implement was for me to leave the testing room while the pairs were testing. In Study 1, I was present – mainly to ensure the smooth running of things – but they thought that my presence may have had an influence on the results. So, in Study 2, I left the room. All other aspects of Study 2 were identical to Study 1.

Study 3 – Replacing the Practitioner with Grip Strength Dynamometry

One of the criticisms of MRT is that it is not objective, meaning that practitioners (and patients) could seemingly influence the outcome. With this in mind, we sought a way to standardize the assessment, and therefore, improve its objectivity. One of my supervisors suggested to run a study where muscle strength assessed by a practitioner was replaced by muscle strength assessed by a machine – with the view determine if a device could be useful in distinguishing false from true statements. So, in Study 3, MRT was replaced by grip strength testing via dynamometry, however aside from that, the same protocol was followed. Twenty patients were recruited to perform 20 grip strength tests (10 right hand, 10 left hand) following the speaking of true and false statements. In this study, the average grip strengths after true statements were compared to the average grip strength after false statements. A statistically significant difference would mean that the dynamometer could also be used to detect false statements.

Study 4 – Using Emotionally-arousing Stimuli

In Studies 1-3 & 5, the pictures that were shown to patients, were of ordinary, neutral items (e.g. an apple, a bucket, a fence, a basketball, etc). While the results obtained were very good, we thought perhaps they might even improve if the pictures were emotionally-arousing or stressful. So, in Study 4, the database of pictures presented included a combination of neutral and emotionally-arousing images, and we followed the same protocol as Study 2: 20 practitioner-patient pairs, 40 MRTs, 40 intuitive guesses, and I let the room during testing. All other elements also remained the same.

Study 5 – Estimating MRT Precision using a Round-robin Format

For a test to be considered valid, it must be both accurate and precise. So, it was also necessary to assess MRT’s precision, which would mean investigating if (under similar conditions) can MRT achieve the same results consistently. In other words, if a practitioner achieved 85% correct with one patient, did s/he achieve approximately 85% correct with other patients. One could also consider this the stability of MRT accuracy.

In order to assess this, we gathered 16 practitioners and 7 patients, in the same location. Each practitioner performed 20 MRTs and 20 intuitive guesses on each patient, following the same basic format as the previous 2 studies.


Summary of Results & their Implications

With over 400 participants evaluated in these studies, the data collected was extensive, and because of this, only some of the results can be reported here. However, the main findings are described below.

Table 2 – Summary of Accuracy Results

Result #1: MRT can accurately distinguish false from true statements.

In Table 2 (above), it can be seen that the average MRT accuracies in this series of studies ranged from 59.4% correct to 65.9% correct, and that in each study the MRT accuracy was significantly better than the average accuracies of intuitive guessing (i.e. each p-value was less than 0.05). While it is not shown in this table, it was also found that the MRT accuracies were significantly better than chance (i.e. 50-50). Therefore, it can be said that MRT is consistently more accurate than either guessing or chance at distinguishing false from true statements. This implies that MRT is not a chance occurrence, and that the success of MRT cannot be attributed to a practitioner’s ability to “read” people.

Result #2: Factors that influence degree of MRT accuracy remain unknown.

When examining the accuracy scores of all participating pairs, we found the range of MRT accuracies surprisingly wide: 25-100%. This means that some practitioners got every MRT correct, while other practitioners got a score of half as good as chance. This lead us to wonder what the 100%-practitioners were doing that the 25%-practitioners were not, and vice versa. Because previous research found that experienced practitioners were more accurate than less experienced practitioners, we wanted to know if we could replicate these results, and if there was any factors or participant characteristics that may be attributed to better or worse accuracy scores. Therefore, we tracked on those factors listed in Table 3 (below). Correlation analyses revealed that none of these tracked characteristics consistently had any influence on MRT accuracy, including practitioner experience. That is, there was no difference in MRT accuracies between novice and experienced practitioners. Moreover, the results of our correlation analyses mean we do not know why some practitioners perform better than others.

Result #3: Practitioners did not seem to influence (or bias) the MRT outcome.

Another criticism of MRT is that it may appear that practitioners can influence (or bias) the result of the MRT, so I believe that it was important to specifically address this concern. In Study 1, the practitioners were blind to the verity of the statement during approximately ½ of the repetitions (total number of repetitions was 40). It was hypothesized that when the practitioners were not blind (that is, when they were viewing the same picture as the patient), their accuracy would be close to 100%, or at least significantly more accurate than when they were blind. However, this was not the case. There was no difference in MRT accuracies when they were blind and not blind (p=0.52). This may suggest that practitioners did not consciously influence the outcome of the MRT, or in other words, they were doing honest MRT.

Table 3 – Participant characteristics tracked.

Result #4: Patients did not seem to influence (or bias) MRT accuracy.

A similar criticism to the one posed above is that it may also be possible for patients to influence (or bias) the result of MRT. During Study 1, all patients recruited had no previous experience with MRT (that is, they were MRT-naïve), and they were blind to the paradigm under investigation: they were not told that a strong MRT result indicated a true statement and a weak MRT result indicated a false statement. However, since it was not possible to blind them to the verity of the statements they were speaking, and since they may have been paying attention to each MRT outcome and deduced (i.e. guessed) the paradigm, and as a result, may have influenced the results. However, this also was not the case: those pairs whose patients reported guessing the paradigm (n=21) were no more accurate than those pairs whose patients did not report guessing the paradigm (n=27), reaching statistical significance (p=0.38)

In other studies in this series, a mixture of MRT-naïve and non-naïve patients were recruited, and it was hypothesized that those pairs with non-naïve patients may achieve higher accuracies than those with MRT-naïve patients. However, again this was consistently not the case. For example, in Study 2, when comparing the MRT accuracies of those pairs with MRT-naïve patients (n=11) and non-naïve patients (n=9), there was no significant difference in their average accuracies (0.634 and 0.544 respectively, p=0.07). It is also interesting to note that the naïve group had a higher accuracy, but the difference did not reach significance.

Result #5: MRT is not an ideomotor effect.

Psychologist/physiologist, William B. Carpenter, described the nonconscious modulation of muscular movement mediated by a heightened belief as the Ideomotor Effect, arguing that muscular movement can be nonconsciously initiated by the mind. It is common to attribute the Ideomotor Effect to any unproven, puzzling phenomena, such as dowsing, Ouija boards, automatic writing, the motion of a pendulum, Facilitated Communication and muscle testing. However, since the practitioners were blind to the verity of the spoken statement, it is unlikely that practitioners could be unwittingly responsible for an ideomotor action. Likewise, since there was no significant difference between the pairs whose patients reported guessing the paradigm, and those who did not, it is unlikely that patients caused an ideomotor response either. Furthermore, since ideomotor responses are said to be related to a heightened belief, and since no correlation was found between MRT accuracy and increase in any confidence rating, it is especially unlikely that MRT represents an Ideomotor Effect.

Result #6: Truths were easier to detect than lies.

There was one more interesting result that is directly useful to clinical practice, and that was that true statements were easier to detect than false. In other words, the average accuracy of all the true statements was consistently higher than that of all the false statements. The clinical implication of this finding is that practitioners should use more true statements than false statements when comparing spoken statements during MRT sessions.


This series of studies shows that MRT is consistently more accurate than either guessing or chance at distinguishing true from false statements. A strength of this series is that consistent results were achieved across multiple studies (see Figure 3 below). Other strengths of this series that contribute to their rigorousness include the use of a true “gold standard” as a reference standard, and a high degree of blinding. In addition, we used heterogenous samples; that is, a broad range of practitioners with varying levels of experience, and patients with different backgrounds as well. Finally, these studies used simple yet robust methodologies, which would make their replication straightforward. It is my hope that potential researchers reading this will be encouraged and carry out additional MRT research themselves.

There are also limitations of these studies, including the results are not generalizable to other applications of MRT and to other types of manual muscle testing (MMT). This means that just because MRT has been shown to accurately detect lies, it does not mean that MRT can accurately detect other conditions, such as organ dysfunction, vertebral subluxation or the need for a specific nutritional supplement. In order to make these claims, further specific research is required. Another limitation is that these studies may have been under-powered for subgroup analysis because no factors that influenced accuracy were identified.

Directions of future research

This series of studies offer encouraging first steps toward the validation of MRT, however further research is certainly required. For instance, it would be very useful to determine what factors influence MRT accuracy, and in order to achieve this, future research would require larger samples sizes. It would also be interesting to compare the results of MRT to detect lies with other lie detection tests (e.g. polygraph).

In addition, because these studies achieved MRT accuracies in the 60%-range, it is important to ascertain if this is “good enough” clinically. In order to accomplish this, MRT technique systems must be assessed for their effectiveness. This is accomplished through rigorous clinical trials (e.g. randomized

Figure 3 – Forrest Plots: (A) MRT Accuracy, and (B) Intuitive Guessing Accuracy

clinical trials, RCTs). This will not be accomplished through case studies – regardless of the number of case studies generated. In the world of evidence-based health care, case studies, while they may be interesting, they are considered poor evidence, similar to editorials and testimonials. They are largely ignored by those who make decisions about healthcare policies and funding. It is my suggestion that the effort and resources that are currently put in to generating case studies now be put toward running clinical trials. Only this will advance the evidence base.

Many practitioners who volunteered for these studies asked me how MRT worked. During my 10 years at Oxford I was only asked this question once – and that was at the very end, during my DPhil viva (PhD exam). My colleagues at Oxford were not interested in how or why an intervention or test works, but rather they were interested in learning if it works, how well it works, and if it causes harm. That’s all. Yet, after 3 hours of questioning, one of my examiners finally asked me, “So how does muscle testing work anyway?” My response to him was, “That wasn’t my research question.” He was happy with that and we moved on. The truth is: We do not know how MRT works. However, if an Oxford examiner does not care, an expert in the field of clinical research, then hopefully you readers will not care as well. We also spend a lot of time, money and other resources in an attempting to figure this out, whereas I believe that our limited resources can be better spent elsewhere. Yes, this series of studies may be a start in the validation process of MRT, but we have a long way to go.

Dr Anne Jensen, DC, PGCert, PGDip, MSc, MS, DPhil

Balancing Energy with Plant-Based Diet

Guest Post by Ben Stanford

Plants the true source of proteins and carbohydrates for energy

Plants can transform light energy from the sun into chemical energy, this stored light energy when eaten by animals or humans in the form of plants is used as fuel.

In addition to being a primary food source, plants are the true origin of proteins, carbohydrates and other complex molecules. You can consult your local naturopath for more information on what is suited for your body.

Long root foods for energy

Carrots, salsify and parsnips are just some of the root vegetables you can consume. These long root vegetables are effective energetically to the large and small intestines, bladder and the reproductive organs. These vegetables tend to gather energy in these organs especially when cooked.

When long roots are cooked, they tend to create warm and damp conditions in the lower body, their energetic properties generate downwards and inwards.

Round roots for energy

These include plants such as turnips, onions, radishes and beets as an example. They have properties of absorption and energetically effect the lower organs of the body. The more spicy varieties of ground roots such as onion when eaten raw have the ability to rapidly release tension and excess from the lower organs.

Irregular roots for energy

These would include plants such as horseradish, ginger, ginseng and echinacea. The spicy variety of these roots have a strong dispersing effect on the body and the bitter varieties have a drying purging effect.

Stems and Shoots for energy

Some plants are grown specifically for their young stems and leaf stalks, such as celery, bok choy, rhubarb, okra and asparagus. The energetic properties of these stems tends to have cooling effects on the body, especially the circulatory system

Leafy Greens

Leafy green vegetables affect the upper part of the body, especially the lungs, heart and throat. The encourage cosmic rhythm and the breath of life, they oxygenate the human body feeding out cells to produce hemoglobin.

Leafy vegetables energetically stimulate the mental processes of our imagination, openness, creativity and spiritual awareness. All leafy greens have a tendency to balance body density and heat.

Ground level vegetables

These include a wide variety of flowering plant such as broccoli, cucumber and zucchini. Being in between leafy and root vegetables then effect the middle organs of the body such as the liver, gallbladder and spleen. They have an energetic property of a stead circulating nature.

Vitamins, Minerals and Phytonutrients

Vitamins and minerals are key to every process that takes place in your body.


This helps your body produce energy in your cells, it also helps metabolize proteins, fats and carbohydrates.

The adequate intake is 30 micrograms daily. Biotin is found in a wide variety of foods such as eggs, liver, yeast breads and cereals. Here are some examples of biotin amounts in food:

  • 1 large egg – 11 micrograms of Biotin
  • Peanuts (½ cup) – 5 micrograms of Biotin
  • Whole grain bread (1 slice) – 2 micrograms of Biotin

Pantothenic Acid

This helps your bodies cells produce energy. It helps metabolize proteins, fats and carbohydrates from food.

The adequate intake of pantothenic acid is 5 milligrams daily.

Pantothenic acid is found in foods such as meat, poultry, fish, cereals, milk, vegetables and fruit. Here are some examples of biotin amounts in food:

  • Yogurt fat free (1 cup) – 1.5 micrograms of Pantothenic Acid
  • Milk fat free (1 cup) – 1 micrograms of Pantothenic Acid
  • Egg large (1) – 0.7 micrograms of Pantothenic Acid
  • Corn boiled (half cup) – 0.7 micrograms of Pantothenic Acid

You should ask yourself when you are ready for a plan for change. Divide your goals such as “I will eat better”, into smaller more specific goals such as “I will each more vegetables” or “I will eat more grains”. You can list practical steps to achieve your goals.

If one of your goals is to consume more whole grains, you can start to make french toast with wholegrain bread instead of white bread, while also eating oatmeal for breakfast. You can even try to make some tasty vegetable soup.

It is better to be patient with your goals once you know your preferred energy nutrient foods. Make gradual changes as it takes time and commitment.

Reward yourself with your encouragement towards recognition of your eating goals and patterns. Feeling good is the best reward!


Beginning his practice in 2003, Ben’s continuing studies at Physiotherapy Victoria as a chiropractor have expanded his scope to include yoga acupressure, acupuncture, naturopathic medicine and applied kinesiology.

The Oxford Studies: Validating Muscle Response Testing: Part I – Methods Used

By Anne Jensen

Feature image is from the Touch For Health muscle testing charts, available through CanASK

When I was practicing as a chiropractor in North Queensland, I avidly used a range of muscle-testing-based techniques with my patients – and we loved the results. However, I soon realized that muscle testing was one of the biggest strengths of my practice – but also one of the biggest weaknesses. It was a strength because we could clearly and quickly tune in to the body, ask it what it requires, and focus any therapy on that. It was a weakness because it lacked scientific validity. That is, insufficient (e.g. too little) robust clinical research has been carried out which supports its usefulness – as a result, it is largely thought of as unscientific, meaningless, and even dodgy.

On one hand, I did not necessarily need scientific “proof” that muscle testing “worked” – I saw proof of it in my practice every day. But on the other hand, I was curious. So, I undertook a number of small research projects in my clinic, and well, I did them poorly. I just didn’t have the knowledge I needed to make the results meaningful, and for that reason, I looked for where I could gain this knowledge. This is how I came across Oxford University’s programme in Evidence-based Health Care. It is a programme designed specifically for practitioners who want to learn how to do rigorous clinical research. It was also run alongside Oxford’s Centre for Evidence-based Medicine, giving students access to some of the top clinical researchers in the world. It seemed just what I was looking for – so I applied – and was accepted! So, off I went to England for further tertiary education.

For my research, I had originally planned to study the effectiveness of an emotional healing technique (e.g. HeartSpeak) on those with depression. However, this technique uses muscle response testing (MRT), and as can be imagined, it was met with extreme skepticism within my department (the Department of Primary Health Care Sciences). Before my supervisors would allow me to embark on a large randomized trial, they insisted I demonstrate the efficacy of MRT. This venture then took a life of its own, and the randomized trial on depression was deferred to another time.

The first step that needed to be taken to investigate the validity of MRT was to figure out how to begin. This was not as straight forward as one would think. So, I started by defining what I meant by MRT, and that was: testing one muscle repeatedly as the target condition changed. Having studied Applied Kinesiology (AK) myself, I knew that MRT was jokingly (or not) called “The Arm Push Down Test” – and was often regarded as unsound. However, I also understood that it was used within many different muscle testing technique systems – such as HeartSpeak, Psych-K, Total Body Modification, Contact Reflex Analysis, and dozens of others. So, aside from myself, I knew MRT was used widely around the world. I recognised that MRT was different from the type of muscle testing done in AK, and as such, needed to be considered as distinct.

Reiterating the distinction, in MRT, one muscle is tested repeatedly (usually the deltoid) as the target condition changes. That means, one MRT is performed for each target condition (and usually the result of one MRT influences the choice of target condition of the next MRT). A target condition is what one performs the test to detect, and examples in common use include: stress, lies, chiropractic subluxation, meridian imbalance, the need for a particular nutritional supplement, etc. Another important aspect of MRT is that it is a binary test – that is, it has only two possible outcomes, commonly referred to as “strong” and “weak.”

Then, I clearly delineated MRT as being distinct from other forms of manual muscle testing (MMT). For instance, MRT differs from orthopaedic/neurological MMT (ON-MMT) done by many physiotherapists, chiropractors, and osteopaths, in that the target condition for ON-MMT is limited to muscular strength, and the result is not binary, but usually rated on a 0-to-5 scale. As introduced above, MRT differs from Applied Kinesiology style of MMT (AK-MMT) – also a binary test – in that with AK-MMT, any muscle can be tested, and the outcome of the test will have different meanings, dependent upon which muscle was being assessed.

The next step was to determine just how widely used MRT actually is – also called the prevalence of use of MRT. As my advisors argued, if only a handful of people use MRT, then assessing its validity would be impractical. So, I set about this task – which, again, was not simple because those in many different lines of work use MRT – and also those in no particular employment (i.e mothers). For instance, many chiropractors use MRT, but not all, and kinesiologists use MRT but a kinesiologist does different things in different parts of the world. So, interviewing those in particular profession seemed inefficient. Therefore, it was decided that if the various organisations that teach MRT were polled and asked how many they have trained over the years, and if the totals were adjusted for things like attrition, inaccurate accounting, and incompleteness, then a reasonable estimation would be achieved. The results of this polling were interesting for a number of reasons. Firstly, in a painstaking search, only 86 techniques that used MRT were identified; however, undoubtedly the actual number of named techniques probably far exceeds this number. Nevertheless, all teaching organisations were contacted by either telephone or email, with unexpected mixed responses, ranging from extremely helpful to unresponsive to outright hostile. Nevertheless, from the data collected, it could be estimated that over 1 million people use MRT worldwide (for the full paper, click here). This widespread prevalence of use of MRT certainly warranted investigation of its validity.

Next, a thorough literature search had to be carried out, to determine if previous research has already demonstrated MRT to be valid, because PhD research must uncover some new information or insights. I was pleased to learn just how much research on MMT has been done, but did discover that most of it was not associated with MRT specifically. So, yes, my PhD would result in unique research.

The next question that had to be answered is how to assess the validity of MRT. There are numerous terms that are used to describe tests and measures, such as valid, accurate, precise, reliable, repeatable and so on. Because in colloquial English, the meanings of these words differ from their use in research settings, it became important for me to understand specifically what each term meant. and also, because earlier research studies used these terms. After months of reading, I determined that the place to start was to assess the accuracy of muscle testing, and to use the standard protocol for diagnostic test accuracy studies, called the STARD Statement.

At first, I was resistant to using the diagnostic test study protocol – since, after all, MRT is not used to diagnose, per se. Then I read that a diagnostic test: (1) gains information about a patient, and (2) is used to guide treatment. Since MRT is used for both of these tasks, then this was indeed an appropriate approach.

Since a diagnostic test is used to detect a target condition (e.g. manual blood pressure testing is used to detect hypertension, and a series of blood tests are used to detect diabetes), I had to consider carefully which condition to target in my studies. Since MRT is used to detect a large range of conditions, the pool was extensive – and I knew that this choice would be extremely important.

Furthermore, to assess a diagnostic test, the results of the test in question (called the index test, MRT in this case), must be compared to the results of a reference standard (a test already in use to detect the target condition and already found to be valid). Since the validity of MRT was questionable, I also knew how important it was to select an exceptionally sound reference test. It would be much more convincing if MRT was compared to an established standard rather than to another speculative test.

After much consideration, it was decided that we would use MRT to detect deceit (a lie), or put another way, to distinguish false from true spoken statements. Deceit was chosen for a number of specific reasons – primarily because the reference standard would then be the actual verity of the statement, which would be definitively known and could be controlled. Because of this, the reference standard would be a gold standard, which would add rigorousness to this series of studies. The paradigm we chose to implement is one very commonly used: the muscle stays strong when a statement is true, and goes weak when a statement is false. While this line of research did not involve explaining why or how this occurs, in the field, it is often explained that lying is a stress, and stress causes the muscle (the body?) to weaken – so it makes sense. Aside it being in common use, this explanation has good face validity and a sound theoretical framework.

Then, we defined accuracy of MRT, to be the percent correct, and it would be quite straightforward to make this calculation (i.e. the number of MRTs gotten “right” divided by the total number of MRTs performed). Using statistical methods, this number could then be compared to chance to determine if there was a difference. We compared MRT accuracy to chance because, theoretically, in a binary test, the two outcomes (strong and weak in the case of MRT) would be equally likely. However, in practice this may not be the case.

Therefore, we sought to implement a second index test which could be used to compare accuracies. Since it is the opinion of some MRT skeptics that it is not actually MRT making distinctions, but rather that the MRT practitioner is good at “reading” people. With this in mind, the secondary index test we implemented was intuitive guessing; that is, without using MRT, but only visual, auditory and kinesthetic clues, the practitioner was asked to guess whether a statement spoken by the patient was true or false. The accuracy, or percent correct, of intuitive guessing could be compared to MRT accuracy to see if there is any difference. If there is no difference, the skeptics’ hypothesis would be correct; however, if there was a difference, then there would be something to MRT after all. This addition of a secondary index test was an important and valuable piece of this research methodology.

The next aspect of the methods that had to be considered was the participant enrolment criteria – that is, defining who we were going to recruit to participate. I wanted to get a very well-rounded view of MRT accuracy, so I wanted a broad sampling of muscle testing practitioners, otherwise known as a heterogenous sample. We recruited practitioners from any profession, with any amount of experience and any amount of expertise. However, to be included, they had to have had some previous training in some kind of MRT. In contrast, the patients recruited for the first study (the largest one) had to have no previous experience with MRT, and also had to be unknown to the practitioner who was going to test them. For the first study, after doing a sample size calculation, we recruited 48 unique practitioner-patient pairs, meaning a pair could only participate once. For the 3 follow-up studies, 20 practitioner-patient pairs were used.

Blinding is another important aspect of clinical research. In this series of studies, MRT accuracy was calculated using the case when the practitioners were blind to the outcome of the MRT, meaning they did not know if the spoken statement was true or false. In addition, practitioners were not blind to the paradigm under investigation (i.e. true statements à strong MRT; false statements à weak MRT). Unfortunately, blinding patients was not as straight forward – as they were aware that they were saying true and false statements. To balance this, they were blind to the paradigm being tested – that is, they were not told that their muscle will weaken when they spoke false statements. So, in the end, I believe we attained a fair degree of blinding.

There were a good many factors that we had to consider when designing these studies, and this first part of this 2-part article describes the general methods used. In Part 2, particulars of each of the 5 studies (see Table 1) will be outlined, the results revealed, and their implications discussed.


Table 1 – An outline of this series of studies assessing the validity of MRT

Study 1 – Estimating the Accuracy of MRT

Study 2 – Replication of Study 1

Study 3 – Replacing the Practitioner with Grip Strength Dynamometry

Study 4 – Using Emotionally-arousing Stimuli

Study 5 – Estimating MRT Precision using a Round-robin Format


Parenting with Energy

Guest post from RochelleMcFarlane, published also on

Too often I hear things I wish I hadn’t especially when it comes to raising the future generation, particularly when in public, the interactions between parents and children.  I coax and remind myself that learning isn’t on everyone’s agenda.  I’m using moments like this to reflect upon myself and seeing where I can grow further to be better in my own life, knowing that we all serve a unique purpose.

I believe that our Children are life assets and I am very passionate about increasing this awareness.  For we as parents get one shot with our wee ones and the future depends on our effectiveness.
I take moments through out each week to make a point of seeing how I can get better for several reasons, first off I’m perfect just not yet complete.  What was perfect today will be obsolete tomorrow for today I learned more than what I thought I knew yesterday.  Everyday my better is increased from the previous day, just the way it works.  Keeping this mindset gifts me greatly and helps keep me motivated through the rough moments.
Until you don’t know what you don’t know, life ceases to be boring and mundanely redundant where one can experience insanity.
Experiencing life through the eyes of my children keeps life fresh and the learning moments frequent, the imagination alive and me feeling younger each day.
How does this relate to energy and how it works in the body?
Well let’s take a look at the laws of attraction first.  Research has shown that where we place our attention is where our energy flows, it’s the law of attraction.
Maybe it could also be called the law of attention since energy flows to the focal point.  This can be applied to parenting in so many ways.
Like for example, this is something I hear a lot from other parents.
“I don’t have time to workout, make food from scratch, play with my children, time for a hobby etc.  My children don’t listen to me, they are out of control, I don’t know what to do etc “
Complaining about not having enough time wires the brain to see only the lack of time instead of creative ways of using time, allowing and giving permission to observe from a narrow focal point of “not enough” creating a scarcity mind set.   The mutual effect with any of the other ideas as listed above too, the brain creates the energy wave lengths to suit the thoughts and justification of complaint.
Start seeing where you are spending your time, is it on things that bring you joy or is it on things that bring you down ?  Are your thoughts bringing you closer to your desired results ?
During my parenting journey I have been learning so much about how the  energy works within the body so I can keep up with the demands of the job at hand, raising the future generation to the best of my abilities.
Learning about energy in the body on a more in depth level has been one of the greatest gifts to myself and to my family.  It’s helped me see how it all makes sense now, creating that wholistic alignment of energy within the whole being.  It’s about bringing together the thoughts, emotions, actions, all the while the body’s electrical field being apart of this formulation to create all the good in life and this experience.  Too often I have witnessed a separation in these facets and results can still be obtained but not as efficiently when all systems are on the same page.
In parenting children can sense when we are off and they soak that up, reacting to it.  Also when we are low in energy we tend to live in the world of reaction instead of pro actions.
So how do I apply this to life without getting overwhelmed and short circuiting my “breaker box”
Just like eating a huge meal, one bite at time and making sure I soak up all the nutrients in manageable pieces by chewing slowly with purpose.
For starters I make time for the things that bring me joy, keeping myself active, enjoying deeply nourishing foods, and staying hydrated !  Drinking at the very minimum of 1 fluid ounce of pure water for every 3 pounds of my body’s mass.   When stress is added into our lives, our experience we require more water.   This is a great lessons learned from when I took my Touch for Health training, there’s a link here for more information.
Hydration alone seems like such a no brainer and yet many people this is the first step that can be a simple solution in generating increased health experience.  I believe because it’s so simple many of us discount it as a valid action and not bother following through with it.
Since paying attention to our hydration levels in our family and increasing pure water, the energy has changed and has increased with ease !  Now making the connection of how water assists the body with so many functions, drinking water is now thought of as consuming more life energy in our household.  With water being a conductor, it’s pure form allows for the electrical flow in the body with ease and least amount  resistance.
Living with the seasons, seeing how they affect our daily living and respecting the cycles of the elements has been a huge eye opener as well!
I used to think that one of my children was harder to parent because he was most like me, true still yet when discovering the element flows and cycles my world changed, my understanding deepened.  Here it goes in a nutshell… Fire feeds Earth, Earth creates Metal, Metal releases Water, Water hydrates Wood, Wood fuels Fire in one cycle.  Now the opposing cycle Water doses Fire, Fire melts Metal, Metal chops Wood, Wood roots Earth and Earth drinks Water.
One of my sons and I are in a reversed flow cycle, meaning his primary element energy controls mine !

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, selfie, child and closeup
Here’s Zander and I having some fun while out for a “date”… he’s my mini me, something I can embrace with deep joy

This has been such a game changer discovering this.  Now instead of the struggle, I accept that it’s a natural flow of energy and consciously choose to step back and observe instead of fueling the blaze.  What do I do instead?  Glad you asked…well I get creative, calm and centered which allows the space to exist where I am only in control of myself and my energy within me.  I listen to my self talk, like what my thoughts and take back control there by choosing thoughts that will drain the fuel and increase the calm from within me first.  This step helps to create a calmer and more collected me, then I am capable of empowering
myself to deal with the situation with my son.  Where as in the past I would allow this reversed flow of energy to instigate further chaos between us where I would justify my negative reactions to his
outbursts and be a dictator like mother.  This would then drive me into a state of angry, guilt and sadness filled cycle of rage…truly not bringing out my best nor his.  I am ever so grateful for having increased my self awareness and educating myself on the five elements to create a more effective style of parenting, he is too and he’s now more aware of how we can work together in harmony as a whole family.

Life is meant to be fun and enjoyable especially when you’re a parent cause these little life assets look up to you for answers and guidance, it’s an opportunity to self educate in the fast track of vitality.  Choosing to grasp onto concepts that nourish the spirit, that suit your soul, encourage  discovery what works for you and your flow is vitally important.  It’s like an investment for your personal energy system and will pay dividends for generations to come.
Our children will mirror examples they have acquired over time from the source.
Wanting different results ?Pour your efforts into making changes at your source, trying to augment the reflection is just a waste of time.

Curious what your thoughts are after reading this article and how it’s  brought value to your day, please add your comments below.

Don’t be pitchy. Tips for good presentations.

You are sitting in a room full of your peers, listening to a speaker present. They are funny and engaging and you are really enjoying the whole thing. And then… like a chill draft blowing through the room, the whole energy changes. The presenter is staring straight ahead, the smile is forced, they start rattling off numbers and you are told that the first 10 of you to sign up can bring a guest for free! Yes, they have launched The Pitch.

We are told that we need to pitch at the end of the presentation. It’s when you make your ‘ask’; for more clients, more sales, students for your next workshop, whatever. There are a ton of courses out there that are supposed to train you how to pitch effectively. But here’s what gets me – everyone is using these techniques now. The whole thing where the presenter writes some ludicrous number on a whiteboard, saying that her coaching sessions are normally $10,000 (or whatever number), then telling you there is a reduced price and then offering some number a small fraction of the original to the first group of people to sign up tonight. Yes, I know that, due to cognitive bias we tend to accept the first number we are shown as the true one and compare all the other numbers to it. But because we have all seen this particular trick so many times before, I’m not going to be impressed that you have reduced your price from $10,000 to $1500 if I sign up right now; personally I am much more likely to be vaguely annoyed that it took you 10 minutes to tell me that your rate is $1500.

So here’s the thing; unless you have some new technique that involves physical and mental gymnastics the likes of which we have never seen before, it is unlikely that many people are going to be sucked in to your pitch. If you want to try something revolutionary, why not simply leave the pitch out entirely?

I’m a big believer in the ‘soft sell’. If you’ve been speaking to a group of people for 30-40 minutes, they have a pretty good idea already of who you are, what you do and whether or not they want to do business with you. Do you really need to spend 5-10 minutes, the last bit of time you have with your audience, potentially alienating them? There is nothing wrong with an ‘ask’ – after all, that’s why you are there, but remember that the same rules that apply to good presentations apply here as well.

  • Keep it relevant. Remember who you are speaking to and what their particular needs are. Are these business people looking for stress management? Massage therapists looking for continuing education credits? Concerned parents with children struggling in school? What do you have to offer each of these groups?
  • Keep it short. Enough said.
  • Be genuine. Don’t turn into a smarmy salesperson, keep the same tone and integrity that you have displayed throughout your talk.

Sorry for the rant, but these are things we can all improve on to be more effective in getting the word out about Specialized Kinesiology and what it can do.

Do you have any tips for great presentations? Any pet peeves about ‘pitching’? Share them here.

We’re all in this together!


GEMS for Touch For Health practitioners

(The following post was written by GEMS Instructor Denise Cambiotti for the CanASK December Newsletter and is posted here with her permission.)

Hi CanASK students and practitioners. I just wanted to send a quick note into the office to rave a little bit about my newfound fascination about the GEMS program created by Alexis Costello.

This one day workshop is meant to help a serious student with a Touch for Health level 4 background figure out how to work best with what they know.

It can sometimes be quite daunting figuring out which TFH technique to perform when you’re starting out of the gate freshly minted. It can also be slightly boring sticking to the techniques you know best if you’ve been performing TFH for a while.
How do you give a really good Balance session that flows effortlessly and how do you choose which of the TFH techniques you have learned needs to be applied? Why, when you have muscle testing skills, you ‘ask the body’ of course!

What does the term GEMS represent?
G – Hopefully by TFH 4 you understand the remarkable capacity we have working with a client originated GOAL. In GEMS we can also allow the body to direct a priority goal quite effortlessly.
E – There is a wide collection of knowledge over several thousands of years based on the ELEMENTS of the acupuncture system. Alexis has collected stresses related to various elements and also organized TFH corrections categorized by element. The organization structure is easy to navigate and allows the body to reveal how many of these stresses to pull into a session, and then exactly which correction(s) to apply for that person to receive the best results.
M – Students are introduced to basic Finger MODES that hone in on whether to explore and work at a Structural, Chemistry, Emotional, or Electrical level. Working with just these four modes offers hundreds of possibilities.
S – When you’re working with modes, you have to have a way of asking the body to really pay attention to the information you are collecting. There is a term called “STACKing” which allows the practitioner to record all relevant information.

Even though I have taken nearly 2500 hours of training in numerous kinesiology modalities, I have been truly impressed every single time I have run a GEMS session. The program allows me to offer anything else I know but it also allows me to ‘keep things simple’. The client’s muscle responses tell me whether or not I need to explore wider, or dig in a little deeper every step of the way.
I have run numerous sessions with the intention to stay in “Touch-for-Health-Land” and keep to only the material offered in the slim manual that comes with the workshop. My experience doing this has shown that I can keep things flowing very organically and keep pulling up extremely relevant information for the client until no more details show, then we offer a Balancing technique chosen by the client’s body (via muscle testing and using the Modes).
In every GEMS session I’ve offered so far, there is something new I have learned or re-appreciated about the TFH system. That is really saying something because I’ve been teaching the modality for 16 years!

I invite you to find an instructor near you and take this class soon. It is sure to lend an ease and elegance for beginners and certainly helps bridge a learning gap related to finger modes and stacking if you would like to later explore other specialized kinesiology workshops such as SIPS or LEAP.
Please go to: for more information.

Denise is teaching the one day GEMS Flow class for graduates of TFH 4 on February 4th, 2017.
GEMS Business is another one day class to help new practitioners figure out how to set up a clinic and run a business. It follows on February 5th, 2017. Both workshops will run in Coquitlam, BC.   (604) 936-5463

Coming through clearly in a noisy world – Marketing and branding with Alexis Costello

(This is the Conference Journal paper for the International Association of Specialized Kinesiology conference in Bergamo, Italy, April 2017. For more information about the conference or to register, visit


Historically, health practitioners of all sorts have been keepers and sources of information. We go to school, study the body, read the books, learn through experience, and then, clients (patients) come to us with their questions. It has worked this way for many years. But in an information age – when anyone can Google anything and people are used to receiving unlimited quantities of information for free at the click of a button – how do we attract clients and students and set ourselves apart?

This is why we need to investigate the concepts of marketing and personal branding more closely. When you think of the word ‘marketing’ you may have an idea of television commercials, tacky billboards, or an irritating jingle that you can’t get out of your head, but this isn’t the approach that we are going for. Marketing can mean putting quality content out into the world that helps people who are aligned with our energy and goals find us.

It’s that simple.

People are no longer coming to practitioners in order to find out what vitamins will help their symptoms – they can do that online. They come to you to experience your personal energy and story. Who you are (not just which courses you have taken or schools you have attended), really matters.

This is a huge topic and many books have been written on the subject. Unfortunately, we only have a few minutes together in Bergamo, so we need to stay focused and I will keep this very short! We will discuss:

  • Why ‘Marketing’ is not distasteful for holistic practitioners, but a necessary part of our business world
  • How a personal brand is an easy and fun way to market your business with full integrity
  • Why it is important to understand your Core Values in business. We will do a little exercise together to help determine these values, which then form the base of your marketing strategy

In a world that has become increasingly noisy it is important to be clear in your message. An understanding of the points above means that your website, your articles, your social media, and your one-on-one interactions with people, all sing the same message so your clients and students know exactly who you are and what you stand for.

This is going to be fun!


To find out more about me or get in touch, visit or

Follow me @healthylexi

The formula for good Open Days or Demo Days in your Specialized Kinesiology clinic or school.

“I’m the kind of person who notices everything,” says Tania O’Neill McGowen, director of O’Neill Kinesiology Collage in Perth Australia. We are chatting on Skype, spanning a 14 hour time gap, in order to discus marketing, kinesiology and the future of our field.

Most of this interview can be found in the second issue of Specialized Kinesiology Magazine, which will be available January 2017, (how’s that for building anticipation of a product?), but today, I want to share Tania’s formula for successful Open or Demo days.

Many of us are taught that a kinesiology demonstration is the easiest way to attract new students and clients. After all, it’s hard to see what SK can do and not be impressed! Back to what Tania says about ‘noticing everything’; “I notice what works and what doesn’t work. We used to do Open Days at the school, as I think many do, but they were lacking the “Wow!” I wanted a better format. I sat with it for almost two years to come up with something better that really works.”

This format seems very simple, but has proven to be extremely effective for the Collage.


–       Start with a 15 minute talk discussing ‘What is Kinesiology?’ using overheads, showing that this is real science and featuring the integration of Eastern medicine.

–       45 minute Demo in front of the group, working with someone in the audience experiencing physical pain. A demo working with pain provides the most noticeable change for the audience and is most impressive.

–       30-45 minute discussion of their training program and what is involved.

–       Free 30 minute mini-session with one of the advanced students.


Why is this so effective? With this set up, the audience will listen to you explain what it is that you are doing, see how well it works on someone else, hear how they could learn this too and then experience it for themselves. Tania emphasizes that it is important the demo days be free. “Most people will not pay you for something they know nothing about. Having events where they can come along that don’t cost them anything is important. When they attend, most people will go ‘Oh wow!’”

For more of our conversation including the importance of advertising, how to work with a business coach, and why, “if you’re not using Facebook to promote your kinesiology, you’re crazy!” wait for the January issue of Specialized Kinesiology Magazine.

We’re all in this together!