The Correct Use of Muscle Testing in Nutritional Evaluation in Applied Kinesiology

When I’m meeting new people at a social or a networking event, I introduce myself as a Doctor of Chiropractic and an Applied Kinesiologist. Sometimes they have no idea what AK is and I fill them in. But most of the time, they will say something like “I had someone touch a spot on me and then pull down on my outstretched arm. It was weak. Then I held a bottle of pills and was told I needed them. Is that Applied Kinesiology?”

This is one of the big abuses of muscle testing.

In Applied Kinesiology, muscles are related to themselves and the joints they cross, their spinal innervation, their neuro-lymphathic & neuro-vascular points, the Chinese acupuncture meridian associated with them and the organs/glands via the meridian system.

So how does nutritional muscle testing work? First it is muscle specific, pulling down on an outstretched arm is not specific as it involves a number of muscles. And holding a bottle in hand stimulates nothing in your brain except maybe a placebo effect.

Here’s an example: a patient comes in with a shoulder problem and upon examination I find that one of the patient’s internal rotators – the Pectoralis Clavicular Major is weak.

The Pectoralis Clavicular is innervated by the lateral pectoral nerve that comes from the 5th & 6th cervical spinal nerves, it is associated w/ the Stomach meridian and in Chinese five-element theory is associated with worry.

Does the patient have a weak Pectoralis on one or do both sides tested together come up weak – a possible sign of cranial faults that need to be fixed? Does the patient have a history of digestive problems, heartburn, bloating, blenching, constipation? Is the patient experiencing emotional worries?

If no, then I proceed w/ either stretching or toning the muscle, rubbing out the neuro-lymphatic and neuro-vascular points for the muscles and seeing if the meridian is involved and seeing if the C5-6 spinal segments, the shoulder joints, clavicle or the sternum (breastbone ) or the ribs need to be adjusted. I then re-test the muscle to see if the problem is now fixed.

IMG_9084Retouched & crop

If yes, I proceed with the above as correcting the structural first sometime will help the digestive problems. A case in point is a patient with a lack of hydrochloric acid, indicated by bilateral pectoralis major weakness. Taking hydrochloric acid may clear the weakness.

But if the HCl is given, it hides the indicator for a temporal bulge or other cranial fault. A cranial fault may be causing entrapment of the Vagus nerve, thus causing hypochlorhydria that is responsible for the digestive problem in the first place. The proper approach is to correct the cranium and any other structural factor that is causing the hypochlorhydria.

I then talk to the patient about their diet, what foods or food combinations may be problematic for them and what supplements and medications – over the counter & prescription that they may be taking and to keep a food diary in which the patient also notes any digestive problems.

For example, the patient may have been advised to take Tums in order to get calcium; unfortunately the calcium carbonate in Tums is acting as an antacid and is adversely affecting the patient’s ability to digest and absorb food (including calcium) Take the patient off the Tums and the HCL problem resolves

I also talk to the patient about any emotional problems or stresses that may be affected them and we work w/ emotional meridian releasing techniques that the patient can also do at home.

On the next visit if the structural and emotional interactions have cleared then I test for nutritional factors such as HCL, or food allergies/sensitivities The patient is tested by placing sample of either the supplement or food in their mouth and having them chew in order to stimulate gustatory receptors in the brain and then the Pectoralis is then re-tested to see if there is a change in the muscle strength. The patient is then advised take whatever strengthened the indicator muscle and asked to note any changes in their food diary.

If nutritional testing doesn’t resolve the muscle weakness, then the patient may be advised to have some standard testing done such as testing for H. Pylori or anemia which can be affecting digestion such as iron, folic acid or B12 deficiencies.

On the following visit, the patient will continue to be evaluated to see if the digestive problems have resolved, if the structural and emotional indicators have resolved and when the patient no longer needs to take the supplementation.

As you see, the proper use of applied kinesiology in evaluating nutrition is made within the total framework of the triad of health – structural, emotional, chemical and includes both standard and kinesiologicial diagnostic procedures that confirm the need for the nutrition.

Correlation of applied kinesiology muscle testing findings with serum immunoglobulin levels for food allergies

©  2010-Dr. Vittoria Repetto

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The Beginning of My Journey as a Healer

It would seem that I have been heading this way for quite awhile. My journey to become a healer started with a journey of healing myself. I started this journey as a constipated child who had a cold at least once a month and whose ragweed allergy was getting worse every year.

At 18, I was in the Italian Alps; a cousin introduced to a whole grain product called muesli. It was my first un-constipated summer. Back in New York City I was having a hard time finding this product until I found this hole-in the-wall health food store. I had my first taste of carrot juice and left with the muesli, some brown rice and a resolution not to overcook my vegetables.

In the next seven years, my journey included changes in my diet, martial arts and studies of nutrition, herbs and homeopathics. During this time I was seriously thinking about what to do for the rest of my life. People around me were always asking me for back rubs; saying what good hands I had So in 1976, I started studying massage.

Also at this time, I had intensified my martial arts studies and was having muscle strains and spasms that no amount of stretching or massage seemed to help. A fellow student suggested that I go see “old Doc Christie” – a 75 yr old chiropractor whose mind was as clear as her body was strong. I would sit for hours watching her adjust her patients and listening to her talk about subluxations, nerve energy flow, spinal manipulations, extremity manipulations, enemas and liver detox. My ragweed allergy was improving.

My martial arts teacher told me about applied kinesiology; it was a technique that incorporated chiropractic with muscle balancing, organ neurovascular & neuro-lymphatic points, cranial-sacral work, nutritional consultation and acupressure therapy. In order to do this work, you couldn’t do assembly line chiropractic. You had to spend time: do a complete exam and really get to the different factors involved in the patient’s complaint.

In chiropractic college and in my practice, I have polished this idea like a diamond. I have incorporated studies on intestinal wall integrity, IgG food allergies and the interconnections between these and the immune system, the respiratory system, low back pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and degenerative disc problems.

And by the way my ragweed allergy is long gone.

The above appeared in Free Spirit magazine; Feb-March 1998

Want more information on Dr. Vittoria Repetto and her NYC Applied Kinesiology/Chiropractic/ NKT practice at 230 W 13th St., NYC 10011; please go to

And please check out the Patient Testimonials page on my web site.

 Want to be in the know on holistic information and postings?

Or join me at Twitter:

Cross-Hypersensitivity between Food and Pollen Allergies

If you have allergies to the below, avoid the following foods/herbs:

 Birch &  Alder Hazel – No nuts, apple, plum, peach, cherry, almond, lichee, kiwi, avocado.

 Baywort  – No dandelion, chamomile, sunflower seeds, peppercorns, chili, tomato, bell pepper, carrot, fennel, anise, cilantro, cumin, parsley, dill, basil, oregano, thyme, kiwi, mango.

 Grass/weed pollen and cereal pollen – No tomato, peppermint, peanut, soybean, uncooked grain.

Comment: Artificial Sweeteners: 3 Reasons To Rethink That Diet Coke

Click here: Hemi Weingarten: Artificial Sweeteners: 3 Reasons To Rethink That Diet Coke

Thirty years ago I grabbed my friend’s coffee container by mistake; the wave of a sickly chemical sweet taste filled my mouth and I said, “how many packets of sweetener do you use”. “One,” she said and added “it’s not too sweet.”

Over the years and talking to patients, friends and friends of friends, I too have noted the

“infantilizing” effect that Hemi Weingarten talks about in this article. Advise someone who drinks diet soda to eat fruit as a snack instead of cake or change their sugar laden processed cereal for an organic whole grain cereal and you will hear “but it not sweet enough!” These people have trained their taste buds and their brains to want more and more sweets resulting in less insulin sensitivity

In fact, check out the new ads for Stevia on the television, and you will see a visual of pouring it on a bowl of berries. “What.” my un-infantilizing brain shouts”, berries are sweet already.”

© 2010-Dr. Vittoria Repetto