Muscle Testing for Food Allergies

Have you ever heard of Muscle Testing?

Muscle Testing is what we chose our daughter to have when we were trying to figure out what was causing her skin issues, which included eczema and contact dermatitis.  (See Managing Eczema the Natural Way for more information.)

What is it?

Muscle Testing, also known as Nutritional Response (when used as testing for food intolerances) is a type of applied kinesiology and is relatively new, and often, unknown way to test the body to show not only foods that the body reacts to (in other words, has an intolerance to), but is also used to see how well your body is detoxing, stress, gut issues and even your energy flow.

How it is performed.

                                                          Photo courtesy of

Muscle Testing is performed by having the patient hold one arm straight out or out to the side of the body.  The person performing the test will either ask you to hold a vial or will hold the vial where there are visible issues (such as eczema, rash, etc.).  He or she will the press down on the extended arm.  If the contents of the vial is something that doesn't react to the body, the arm cannot be pressed down.  However, if your body is reactant to the contents in the vial or is something that the body is nutritionally missing, then you will not be able to resist the pressure on your arm and your arm will fall.  

In the case of my daughter's eczema, the doctor would place a vial of food (starting with common reacting foods - wheat, dairy, corn, etc.) on her forehead, heart, lung, stomach, back and the areas that had eczema issues - arms and inner knees.  This was performed with many different vials of not only food, but common environmental issues such as mold, dust and pollen.  Since we were concerned about a possible allergen with our dog, he also tested her with a sample of dog hair from our dog.

Who can perform it?

 I have only known of one chiropractor and a natropathic physician that has used muscle testing as a way to pinpoint possible food allergies.  It is typically used by those who practice more of a non-traditional, Western medicine way, such as acupuncturists, some chiropractors and natropathic physicians.

Typically, chiropractors, who deal with not only keeping the body aligned, they also have a more in depth knowledge of how nutrition can help or hinder the body functioning properly.  This is why you know see more chiropractic offices not only offer spinal alignments, but also nutrition counseling and recommending specific vitamins, minerals and/or herbs to help the body heal.

However, there are also methods of self-testing that you can do on yourself, but in the case of my daughter, I preferred having a professional test her so that it was more "official" as to what she was possibly reacting to so that it would reaffirm what I thought we should have removed from her diet.

Why this method as opposed to blood work?

I originally thought of doing food allergy testing via blood work, but decided to do Muscle Testing for the following reasons:

First, as some of you may have already had this happen to you, it is very hard to get a pediatrician to order any type of food allergy testing without trying medicine to "cure" the issue at hand.  In the case of my daughter's eczema, I had two pediatricians both tell me that food was NOT a cause of eczema and to put a prescription steroid creme on her.

Secondly, food allergy testing can be very expensive as some health insurance programs do not cover this kind of test.  Some of the basic food allergy tests typically run anywhere from around $200 and up depending on what type of foods you want tested (the more foods tested, the more the cost).  In contrast, my daughter's muscle testing was only $100 (a cheaper and painless alternative to blood work).

Third, food intolerances will not show up on food allergy blood tests.  You can actually be intolerant to foods and not have a typical allergic reaction to them (rash, trouble breathing, etc.).  However, when you have food intolerances, your body can react to them in terms of causing digestive issues, stomach cramps, and even flu-like symptoms.

Not widely accepted in the medical field.

Because Muscle Testing, not only for purposes of food issues, but stress, detoxing, etc., the medical field is not very prone to accept this way of testing.  When Muscle Testing first became known in some medical communities, it was viewed as not being scientific and having concrete proof that the results were real.  Some even thought that is was a hoax and people were being duped into thinking that this would solve their problems.

In terms of my daughter's eczema issues, I was lucky that my husband was willing to try anything to get the answers we needed.  Yes, I showed him tons of articles on food allergies and intolerances that causes skin rashes and eczema prior to suggesting Muscle Testing, so when her results from the test were conclusive to what I had researched, he started to believe even more how food that her body couldn't handle could cause our daughter so much pain and discomfort.

What are your thoughts?

While I'm not an advocate for dismissing all Western medicine, I am an advocate for taking your own health into your own hands and making your own decision when it comes to things like eczema and finding out what kind of alternatives there are instead of putting on a prescription medication that, in my opinion, would only cover up the issue, not deal with the root cause of it.

So now that you know a little about Muscle Testing/Nutritional Response Testing in terms of food allergies/intolerances, what are your thoughts?  Do you think it is a hoax?  Or would you try this type of testing as part of your health journey?

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  1. Nope, can't say I've ever heard of it. Worked in the field of medicine for some 22 years; but things are different now, more has been learned. Sometimes it takes real persistence to get the bottom of things, and as long as what people try doesn't hurt them further, I think alternatives are often a good choice. Happy 1st day of the challenge.

  2. I've just discovered this due to some health issues I developed over the past year. I found a chiropractor/nutritionist who does muscle testing and she has been so helpful! She guided me in overhauling my diet and I'm feeling much better. I'm sold on this practice, and hope it becomes more available.


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