Who’s in charge of Muscle testing?

In classical kinesiology or muscle-testing an engaged strong slow engagement of a particular muscle challenges the reflex mechanism at the level of our instinctual defense-driven mammalian brain. A change of inherent strength (to weakness) illustrates a guarded and protective reflexive response to injury, or to protect a delicate muscle, damage to insertion or origin of that muscle, or a survival-mediated response, a submission to a greater force, or conscious defeat through decision or choice.

This paper examines why we may consider muscle testing as inherently fraught with discrepancies, inaccuracies, and strategic mechanisms for survival.

In ontological kinesiology and other kinesiology which use the human rather than the mammalian response mechanism for answers through the given response, a change of muscle integrity can be viewed as the local answer to a specific, general, systemic, or existential question.  When we employ this muscle test, as against classical kinesiology per se, we purposefully engage the mammalian brain (muscle strength) but also seek the cooperation of the neocortex for a measured cognitive response. However, unless we understand our neurological complexity, a change of muscle integrity, does not tell us who (which part of us) replies.

We need to take several diversions to start this clarification. We make the assumption that the neurocomplex individual is just one of the inhabitants of the body and that we exist at the same time with different elements that we are made up of, each of which may give voice. We have our first entity–the body which is given life through the animating principle of our physiological self, a capacity to act, do, move, and survive successfully through our ambulatory self, and lastly, are able to formulate culture, language, arts, create and produce the complexity, in all its wonders, that is our modern life; our thinking self. Within this multifaceted body is the essence of the human being–which may or may not be given a voice.

To be more precise, the body is multi-dimensional, for it contains:

  1. The body appears to function as a structure that governs the function

  2. and has a psyche that influences our soma (and vice versa)

  3. and has a content (essence) whose influence may or may not influence our form (1 and 2).


Our neurological system is hierarchical, not unlike the Chinese model of the meridian or Mai system, although the latter is seen as circular. Our neurology illustrates evolutionary characteristics, borrowed, adapted, and developed from lower forms of life. Within our human selves, we echo the material, vegetative, and animal kingdoms.

Life force and associated nature

Material self [ The local computer ]

We possess basic switches – seen in the simple use of K27 as a display for 0 or 1 as binary code. When challenged this acupuncture point will elicit a muscle response to indicate a state or switch on display. No change indicates a void challenge. K27 is the last visible or surface point of the kidney meridian before deep channels feed the Qi into the brain. In clinical kinesiology [ CK] Alan Beardall saw this as an indicator of a local reflex arc at the muscle spindle level, which was switched. It can be easily verified by tasting the lateral flexors of the head when the head is positioned in side bending rotation through the sternocleidomastoid muscles.

We can view this switch through differing models, for this display is used in countless ways, and with varying understandings; but all are based on the idea of a switching mechanism. We can see it at a very basic cellular level and make an analogy in the light of this paper. The response physiology is contained at the reflex arc level. It has no higher neurological input or response for it has automatically made its mind up locally. It is a primitive cellular response to danger, and is binary:

0 – Off … Gateway closed: lights off, stop, go backward, danger …
1 – On … Gateway open: lights are on, moving, going forwards, everything’s OK …

It is a left-over response from the first one-celled organisms like the amoeba. A process of polarization to avoid a hostile environment. It was basically the ability to change direction and reverse, to get out of the way. From that simple feat, evolutionary processes kept that simple trick and coded it into the base DNA so that every other species now contains that successful instruction set.

Our muscles switch when we make local and hidden decisions based on either local trauma, the threat of trauma, or survival-mediated response. Our higher neurological mechanism can also input down and place commands into the local reflex arc and thus alter the display. Fortunately, K27’s link to the brain gives us feedback on this strategy.

We need to see local responses to be primitive, survival-based, brain stem-mediated processes. It places our basement – using the analogy as if our body was a 4 storied house – with the lights out. It means what we store in the basement; our records – held in both our genes as DNA, and enclosed in this our memes or inherited cultural instructions and memories. Thus the ability to enter into a meaningful dialogue with our forebears and to access our resources from within is interfered with. The capacity to find the force to activate our code – the genie as described in the story of Alla’din – is then missing. Indeed the capacity to recall the information is lost.

Local reflex arc – On / off – monad moving into binary – switching – Can be challenged through K27 and the TL on aberrant segments – coded memory (DNA) – ancestral code -reticular activating system – brain stem – environment – material – soil – blueprint – archetype – Prana or material

Servant or resource of this level – Gardener, janitor, librarian, keeper of records.

Vegetal or sensory self [ The spinal computer ]

This system is based on the spinal cord and the ability for it to access the digestive and other service systems. This is through the paravertebral plexi of the autonomic system. Its main relay station is in the midbrain. Its job is to keep us in balance, mediating through internal and external environmental needs, and protecting the organism for survival. It is an extension of the multi-cellular organism that developed the capacity to ‘listen’ to each component’s needs. This vegetative autonomic nervous system has two divisions; the parasympathetic and sympathetic plexi and nerves. Their job is to both do the housework and help repair and prepare the musculature or our capacity for action, for the 3 F’s. Feeding, fighting, and fu….. This system can be viewed as primarily vegetal as its main purpose is to receive input from the internal service systems and also from the skin, and make local decisions or to confer by passing it up through the cord. The skin too, is an organ. Both share a common origin in their embryologic derivation; the skin develops from the surface ectoderm and the ANS from neural ectoderm, developing from the neural crest – it too being a large neurological organ. [Hence the ability for the skin to read things placed upon it.]

Modern research has noted that many of the larger plexus, and in particular the solar plexus appear to act autonomously from higher neurological control, making decisions on behalf of the whole organism. Thus the dynamic of stored data held in these plexi can then subvert the higher centres through what is known as the facilitated segment. The accumulative force of data pushes the excitatory threshold of the SNS and sends aberrant signals into another area of the peripheral nervous system and up into the midbrain and other neural routes.

The chakras, a term borrowed from Eastern philosophies, are part of this system. The sympathetic nervous system envelopes the organs or tissues associated with these areas. The accumulated energetics created through the movement of axonal traffic creates the ‘field’. Thus each area is associated with a plexus. The brow chakra is possibly the field created by the accumulated effect of all the lobes, particularly the frontals that integrate and allow us to ‘see’ or reflect. The crown is the neuronal noise created by an integrated corpus callosum.

Each of these fields has a receptive and motor component. Thus each area receives and processes data. We store these energies initially and process them by letting them go. These areas become stagnant with these energies when we are unable to process sensory data. We hold onto it, and this data then feedbacks up the system to the brain. This then can alter our muscle response when testing, as the force of data, is not supportive but detrimental to decision and clarity. This is mostly hidden from view as it is part of our ‘autonomic’ system.

If we use the metaphor of the body being a house. This system is on the first floor. The job is performed by a resource or servant) that look after our service industries within the overall economies of a household full of servants. Thus our servant pays attention to needs; nutrition, wastes, menses, temperature, and other sensory signals from both internal and external environments. Much of the time this servant usurps the headman or managing director – our human brain – by dictating surreptitiously a local agenda. We see this in behaviours that are dictated by vegetal means – drinking, eating, drugs and anything that increases sensory input as a source of ‘nourishment’ can overthrow the best-laid plans.

Spinal reflex arc – on / off – binary moving into tertiary response, sensory, ‘field’ dictated or dependant, autonomous, – Can be challenged through the hyoid, feelings or sensations within the body – chakras – vegetative – midbrain – Tao – chi or Qi as a vegetative or animating Life force.

Servant or resource of this level – Chef, cook, housekeeper – the part that allows us to be maintained at a nourished and clean level.

Animal or instinctual self [ The endocrine computer ]

Alan Beardall DC saw this as the ANS whereas we see it as more connected to the limbic and mammalian brain which includes the peripheral motor and sensory system. This part of neurology is normally supported by the systems below it. It includes all the specialized organs that give us our senses: eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and touch (skin). Its modus operandi, similar to the systems that have developed proceeding this, is for the whole organism to survive.

This is our power center, and where we manifest our thoughts, stratagems, and instincts, all of which are served by information arising from the other lower centers. It is where we lay down pathways, and route data down paths that become rutted and habitual. The mammalian brain is where we adapt, become wily, and act our lives through. It is the same neuromusculoskeletal system seen as the main player in our lives in Osteopathic medicine, and which is served by the service industries below it – the organs of digestion, respiration, and excretion. This brain is not fully human but because it is older and rests under our human brain could be termed animal-human.

This part of us dictates behaviours through instinct and habit. If strong enough it changes our neocortical demands. Thus instincts become a ‘human’ manifestation rather than a sub-server piece of data that tells us that some lower part of us wants a piece of the action, or that this is how we did it last time. It easily influences muscle testing giving us errant information, letting go, and giving us an affirmative change or holding on steadily with holding change. It can become on guard and stay strong giving us apparent affirmatives when verbally challenging, or give up and create change when confronted. It is the animal that becomes wounded and hurt. These wounds are housed in both soma and the matrix of the brain, and are also held in the records down in the basement of ourselves within the DNA and thus building blocks of our house – the cells. These hidden forces can dictate our lives unless we know how to listen to the call from our forefathers. These blueprints held in our cells cause aberrant prostaglandin production and dissident control; creating allergic reactions which are put down as food or external irritants. If we were to see grains and pollens differently, as seeds within our soil or material matrix, not unlike a grain of sand in an oyster, then by understanding the ancestral ‘seed’ that lies within us, we can change allergies at a much deeper level.

At this level of the house, this servant runs the second floor, located in our thoracic or upper jiao or container. These servants act for us, and do all the hard work of life. They carry, open, dig, cook, do. They become playful, swim, joke, manipulate, take power, become our bodyguards, defend our territory, slam doors, and violate. They are the brute strength, the power behind the arm, the force of the mind, the will, and the power of knowledge. They easily influence our consciousness; for as we empower ourselves, this quality is the animal brain at work.

Limbic or mammalian reflex arc – On / off – tertiary (on–off – ‘ish ) response moving into a larger 4th dimension. Can be challenged through the TMJ, jaw, posture, or gait – cerebellum and central nuclei – learned and habitual responses – all action based on survival – the use of force or power – healing – application of and the manipulation of human models and constructs. Wounded states.

Servant or resource at this level – Bodyguard, worker.

Human self [The Primary computer]

Our neocortex which wraps around the more primitive mammalian cortex, allows us humans to reason and to think. All our higher cognitive processes operate from the cortex enwrapping the various lobes of the brain. This part of the brain evaluates, compares, and integrates data. Each lobe has specific functions relating to our functional intelligence. As we hold memory as a force in the brain, we can bypass areas, shut them down, and re-route data assemblage, missing essential information, Even at this level we can alter muscle testing as this part of us, through any of the passions that humans develop – pride, greed, ambition, knowledge or spiritual knowledge, can subvert clarity. These passions magnify our material state with pride, alter our feelings through greed, empower the animals via ambition, trick the humans with knowledge, and darken the inner with spiritual knowledge.

Neocortical reflex – On / off, reversed defiant, submissive, ‘ish, and no change at all. Higher cognitive strategies are based on all information from all sources, including those subsystems below. Homolateral brain function, interference of reasoning through habitual, autonomic, and shut down defence strategies. Can be challenged through the placement of eyes, tongue positions, and internal dialogues at challenges statements, beliefs, ideas, and memories. Choice making. These are material sensory-animal response-engendered mechanisms that fire off response through their force. A force generates change.

Servants of this level – Managing Director.

Integrated self [ The Master computer ]

This is an integrated state where we are able to use all neurological functions in a hierarchal order. That is the human – the ordinary us – is able to bring all data together from the basement, from the feelings, from the instincts. It is able to fully integrate into both brains through the corpus callosum, and route it through all circuits including the temporal lobes. In cranial fluid dynamics – a form of cranial osteopathy using modes – we have correlated a distinct pattern. The temporal lobes house the important amygdala nuclei within their structure. These allow for ‘normal’ ingestive appetites, cognitive vision, and heterosexual relationships. The temporal cortex houses the primary auditory cortex, and specific areas for attention, high-frequency tones, and auditory perception with some connections being polysensory and associated with auditory, somatosensory, and visual cortical association pathways.

Empirical observation, specific hand modes, and cranial palpatory experience have led us to see a correlation between inner consciousness and the temporal lobes. It would appear that subclinical impairment of the lobes, where they are pulled in by a self-induced compression presages a lack of connection and awareness of the ‘bigger’ self or our inner territories. If this is not seen or corrected then consciousness is relegated down to the primary computer or ordinary self – the managing director – and the data is not fully integrated for the inner self does not contribute to the overall strategy.

Integrated reflex arc – On / off – clean system – all resources/servants working in concert, all available data received and accessible, option made to open to Higher authority for other options – new neural pathways made.

Servants at this level – Owner

Using this model we could introduce the idea that for truth to occur and to be offered we need to know who is talking. We could then challenge, during the process of accessing data through verbal response, which servant is doing the talking. Our society has moved from the old world downstairs – upstairs into a more egalitarian model of self-autonomy. With that move, we have lost sight of our own roots and the status or station that we once occupied. So too, we lost connection with our internal world. In all societies the landowners, unless present and of noble in spirit, soon lose the respect, and homogenous support of their servants. These lower orders dependent on their instructions being sifted down to them through the hierarchy of the patriarchal systems, soon took every opportunity to usurp their master.

So too our subsystems, for the content of us, whether archetypical or real can usurp our true human autonomy and begin to run the show. Dealing with the verbal response mechanism solely as human-mediated underlies a misunderstanding of what we truly contain.

LOS Basement Record keeper – K27 / Material Ancestral patterns ‘Clean the code’
SOS Ground Service Hyoid – chakras / Vegetal, Emotional ‘Developed Inner feelings’
EOS 2nd floor Action Jaw – nose / Animal, Instinctual action ‘Impeccable behaviour’
POS 3rd floor Manager –Tongue / Human, Cognitive ‘Knowing the choices’
MOS Top floor Owner –soft palate /Integrated human,  Self Knowing ‘Thy Will be done.

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