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Applied Kinesiology Muscle Testing for Allergies and Food Sensitivities

by Brian Butler B.A., D.O.(more info)

listed in allergy testing, originally published in issue 15 - October 1996

When the knowledge of how to use a muscle test to test foods was first made public in 1972, the approach was somewhat simplistic, however, this did not prevent people from achieving amazing results with this powerful new tool.

In those days, most learned to test for food sensitivities with the food in the mouth using just the Pectoralis Major Clavicular (PMC) muscle which is related to the Stomach Meridian. The position for the PMC test was with the arm stretched out in front of the subject with the thumb pointing down to the floor. Pressure was on the top of the wrist to press downwards and slightly away from the body.

This one muscle was used for testing all the different foods. Since it was related to the Stomach, it was a reasonably reliable indicator for some foods, but not others.

Later, some people, developing their own systems, started to test foods with the arm held out to the side, parallel to the ground. This position tests the Deltoid muscle which is related to the Lung Meridian. The Lung is not really related to the digestive system, so in general terms, this muscle is not a reliable indicator for food sensitivities unless many other factors are considered. As each year went by, and more research was done by Applied Kinesiologists, it became clear that there were many more factors at work in testing foods which would affect the results than had previously been realised.

The importance of testing many different muscles which are related to the organs of digestion is now understood. Certain foods are digested mainly by one organ, others by different organs. Some foods that affect us adversely, weaken the whole body. Others target specific organs, and specific muscles. Some foods strengthen a particular organ/muscle, other substances may affect their energy adversely.

For instance, Coffee affects the Liver and the Kidneys more than it does the Stomach and the Pancreas. Sugar on the other hand generally has the opposite effect.

For instance, The Psoas, on the Kidney circuit, seems to love parsley which is rich in vitamin A and E, and almost invariably tests stronger when parsley is chewed at the time of testing. On the other hand, however, coffee seems to have the opposite effect, and often a person's Psoas will test weak whilst some coffee is held in the mouth. Incidentally, neither of these foods would necessarily have any effect on the strength of the P.M.C.

Food "Allergy" or Food "Sensitivities"



For the sake of clarity, one might define a "sensitivity" as being a food or other substance that has a general weakening or debilitating effect on the body.

Most people become "sensitive" to foods they eat every day or most often. The harmful effects of tiredness, anxieties, "catching everything that is going around", and many other general symptoms of poor health are not usually associated with food by the complainant.

Such foods generally make a strong muscle weak or a weak muscle weaker still. But as will be explained, this is not always the case.


One definition of an "allergy" is when an immediate symptom is observed during or shortly after ingesting a food, or someone is exposed to a substance the body cannot handle.

For instance, having a headache immediately after drinking coffee, or mucous in the mouth after drinking pasteurised milk, sneezing when walking thorough a hayfield, breaking out in spots after eating strawberries, or being violently ill after shellfish, or having a migraine headache straight after eating chocolate. So it is usually possible to tell when one has an "allergy" by immediately recognisable symptoms. It is not usually possible to determine a food sensitivity as the adverse effects build up slowly, over a long period of time, and the person adjusts to them.

An important aspect of nutritional testing is to avoid alarming the subject. The use of the term "sensitive" to a given food or substance avoids the client going away and saying to someone else that they had been told that they were "allergic" to something, when they may not be. "Allergic" is really a medical term, best not used unless the definition is clearly understood.

It is best when doing food testing, that the practitioner avoids the word Allergic when sensitivities are detected. Some people who use muscle testing have been led into a trap of saying that someone is "allergic" to something whenever a muscle tests weak in connection with any food. This is not an accurate statement. Therefore this is a pronouncement which it is probably best to avoid.

Mental approach when testing

If the subject has strong opinions about something being tested, this can influence the outcome of the test. It can also affect the result if the practitioner allows their opinions to be a dominant thought. It is essential therefore for both the tester and the subject to maintain a neutral mindset at the actual moment of the test.

People will often say that their intuition tells them what is best for them. In this regard Applied Kinesiological testing shows that this is a most unreliable guide. The mind does not help in its expression of preferences to attain a correct diet for you. This can be shown when people say, I like this, I know it makes me strong, and they test weak. Or when they say, I hate that, and it does not suit me, and they test strong!

People are often quite nervous when visiting a practitioner. In times of acute stress, the immune system of the body sometimes breaks down temporarily. Food and other sensitivities which apply at the time of testing may well not apply at a later date when the person has avoided the food for some time, and maybe their life is generally more tranquil.

Three types of food

Not all foods nourish or affect our bodies equally. Some feed us better than others. Some actually do us harm. We can use muscle testing to evaluate each food, but let us first define the three main groups.

1 Biogenic foods

Biogenic foods give us energy. They benefit the body by providing the nutrients, vitamins and minerals in balance which the body utilises to grow healthy new tissue, and sustain our energy levels in a balanced way. Our diet should largely consist of these beneficial foods. Biogenic foods usually strengthen weak muscles.

2 Biostatic foods

These foods when consumed neither benefit the body, nor do they harm it. They merely take up space in our digestive tract. What little energy they yield, the body has to use up in the digestive and eliminative processes. Obviously, it would be helpful to know which foods, like bran, fall into this category. Biostatic foods neither strengthen weak muscles, nor do they weaken strong ones.

3 Biocidic foods

Biocidic foods actually deplete the body of energy, do it harm, and are the potential cause of many imbalances which can eventually lead to the onset of disease. It is important to know which foods are harmful for us. They should be eliminated from the diet. Occasional sprees on foods that are wrong for the body, it can adapt to and deal with. It is the day in and day out consumption of foods that are lifeless, and toxic to the system that eventually weaken the body, lower the immune response level, and allow disease processes to commence. Biocidic foods weaken strong muscles.

When someone's strong muscles remain strong on testing, and their weak muscles remain weak on testing all with the same food, then the food is probably BIOSTATIC.

If you eat a mono diet long enough, even foods that were previously BIOGENIC for you may become biostatic or biocidic and start to give you side effects.

Biochemic individuality

""One man's meat could be another man's poison" It is vital to understand that there is no such thing as a food that is "Biogenic" or "Biocidic" for everyone. Some people test strong on the most alarming rubbish "foods", they may have the constitution to eat it sometimes. Remember the basic rule is "biochemic individuality". A food that is Biogenic for one person, may well be Biocidic for another! How can that be?

For instance the greater public awareness for the need to eat brown wholemeal bread instead of white is causing a lot of people very real problems. They secure the very best organically grown, stone-ground, wholemeal bread, and eat away merrily in the belief that they are benefiting the body.

Yet there are many people who have a wheat sensitivity or produce allergic symptoms when they consume products containing ANY wheat. Even when the wheat is present in small quantities like a thickener in a sauce or a filler in a sausage, the effect on some people can be drastic.

Is there a connection between eating some basic foods and feeling unwell?

When someone eats something to which they are sensitive day after day, quite often there is no direct apparent connection with the food concerned and the adverse effect it is having on their health.

People sensitive to wheat for instance, can experience such diverse reactions as Migraine headaches, Bowel gas, Chronic tiredness, Irritability, Sudden inexplicable mood changes, Skin eruptions, and many other debilitating problems, never suspecting for a moment that the "good wholesome bread" they are eating could be the cause!

Food testing can be so valuable, it pays to do the tests carefully, and beware of making assumptions. Just because we "know" a certain food is generally nutritious for most people should not lead us to ASSUME anything.

So when testing for food sensitivities, it is wise to use an indicator muscle for each of the organs if we are to make absolutely certain that any particular food is not adversely affecting the energy flow of any of the organs of the body.

When the general principles of digestion are considered, it is not necessary to test fourteen muscles every time you do a test. For instance if you are testing a fatty substance, then the Liver related muscle, the Pectoralis Major Sternal is more likely to show up an intolerance from the liver or the gall bladder, than perhaps the small intestine.

If it is a complex carbohydrate like a grain which contains oils and proteins, then testing more muscles is advisable.

Causes of allergies and food sensitivities

Adverse reactions are usually due to the invasion of the body by incompatible proteins, either through breathing them in, through the skin, or through the Gastro-Intestinal-Tract. (G.I.T.)

The seeds of the causes of sensitivity problems are usually sown very early on in life. Either before birth, while in the womb, at birth and shortly afterwards, and at the crucial time of weaning.

Ante-Natal Trauma

Pregnant women under emotional, dietary, structural or energetic stress produce stressed babies. Smoking, alcohol, drugs, prescription items, gas and air, epidural injections, all have a deleterious effect on the baby and its immune system.

Weaning Traumas

As the baby grows, many are weaned off mother's breast milk far too soon. Their digestive system is just not up to coping with other foods.

Babies may be given cow's milk which is highly unsuitable for a human baby, or formulas which contain milk solids. Pasteurisation kills off bugs, but it also makes the milk difficult to digest, binds the calcium, and causes mucous production. (Colds, catarrh, sinus, and tonsil problems.) All these can give rise to dairy product allergies, which usually cause skin problems (eczema etc.) in later life.

Many very small children are given cereals, usually containing some wheat or wheat products too soon.

The result is that whatever they are fed is improperly digested and some of the partially digested food enters the body through the walls of the digestive tract. The body views these substances as enemies and immediately starts to manufacture anti-bodies. These antigens may cause immune system suppression later in life.

Allergic reactions may or may not follow. It is not unusual for the problem to lie dormant for many years, and to surface for instance as eczema at puberty when the body/mind is under the stresses of enormous changes, mentally, chemically and physically. Then people say, "Why did this suddenly happen now?".

The popular solution is avoidance of the substances thought to be the cause of the allergic reactions. However as will now be shown, this is rarely sufficient to solve the problems.

Lifestyle -Lowered Immune System

"Stress causes sensitivities to foods...and other substances." Excessive stress in the five realms reduces the efficiency of the Immune System. It has been proved that a negative mental attitude lowers the immune system.

Kinesiological Solution: Balance Energies, give immune system boosting supplements, teach AK stress release techniques. Suggest exercise, sweat regularly, get enough sleep, rest & relaxation.


Stress and eating foods which cause reactions often cause the Atlas, the vertebra the head rests on, to become out of position.

Kinesiological Solution: Balancing neck and shoulder muscles and an electrical non-force correction of the atlas.

"Hidden" and "Quantity" sensitivities

Some sensitivities can only be detected by specialised Kinesiological methods. Some foods "hide" from the usual methods of testing. Other foods do not seem to test adversely unless the subject is tested for "quantity" to see if regular consumption of that food would cause problems.

Dural torque

The Brain and the Spinal Cord are protected by a hard sheath called the Dura Mater. In almost all cases of people who suffer sensitivities, intolerances, and allergies, there is a torquing or twisting of the Dura Mater. Associated problems will not usually stay corrected unless this is corrected.

Kinesiological Solution: Check for and correct the twisting of the Dura Mater kinesiolgically.

Electrical "Switching"

Eating foods to which one is sensitive can cause serious neurological bio-energetic disturbances. This is sometime called "switching", of which there are several different forms.

Alarmingly this can cause muscles to become hypertonic when food to which the subject is reactive is placed in or near the mouth.

This means that muscles which were weak will test strong – inappropriately. Muscles which test "strong", may test even stronger. This is apparently due to their causing the body to go on "red alert". They exhibit a kind of muscle "fight or flight" reaction.

This can mask the fact that there is a problem, and invalidate all the testing done if the kinesiologist is not alert to this possibility, and does not know how to rectify it.

Blood chemistry

The delicate balance of all the components of the blood is controlled bio-electronically by the body. Improper ingestion can disturb this delicate balance.

Kinesiological Solution: Bio-electric correction of blood chemistry.

Inadequate water intake

Leads to poor digestion and bio-electric imbalance. Excessive Tea, Coffee, and Colas also dehydrate the body, which makes the matter worse.

Kinesiological Solution: To check each person by muscle testing for dehydration and recommend appropriate changes.

Attitude to food and eating

It is important to eat in a tranquil, joyful, appreciative setting. Most family arguments occur at mealtimes disrupting digestion and the function of the Ileo-Caecal Valve.

Kinesiological Solution: Use emotional stress release techniques and problem clearing techniques.

Vitamins & Minerals

Most people are deficient in both because of the use of insecticides and artificial fertilisers which have killed off the worm population which converted inorganic minerals into organic compounds which plants and humans could use to manufacture enzymes and vitamins.

Kinesiological Solution: Thoroughly test each client for nutritional deficiencies and recommend appropriate supplements.


Lack of a proper amount of hydrochloric acid in the stomach causes improper digestion, particularly of proteins. The symptoms of achlorhydria are virtually identical to hyperchlohydria – indigestion and pain.

Kinesiological Solution: Test and correct thoracic lesions, Stomach and digestive meridian imbalances. People buy ant-acids when they actually need more acid. Supplement Betaine Hydrochloride.


If the Liver is congested, not producing enough bile, or sticky bile, then the cationic/ anionic balance cannot be made in the small intestine, digestion cannot be complete.

Kinesiological Solution: Balance Liver circuits, offer supplements A, C, Lemon and carrot juice, Milk Thistle Herb, Liver herb cleansing.


Food sensitivities are almost synonymous with Hypoglycaemia which on its own causes many of the unpleasant effects of sensitivities.

Kinesiological Solution: Rectify by balancing Spleen circuits, and offer supplements, Licorice Root, Chromium, suggest five small meals of complex foods.

Small intestine – Digestive enzymes

Many people do not produce enough digestive enzymes properly to digest their food. The result is improperly broken down materials which can be absorbed through the villi in the Small Intestine giving rise to symptoms.

Kinesiological Solution: Check for wheat and other grain sensitivities. Balance the SI circuits, supplement with Minerals, Digestive Enzymes, check mid-thoracic vertebrae for lesions and correct.

Breathing – Diaphragm

Shallow breathing does not stimulate digestion as it does not massage the organs with every breath as does diaphragmatic breathing.

Kinesiological Solution: Balance the Diaphragm lymphatics and the Lung Meridian. Teach diaphragmatic breathing.

Sub-clinical Hiatal Hernia

Improper posture during and after eating and eating meals that are too large can force the Stomach up into the Diaphragm. This causes pain and indigestion sensations, and sometimes shortness of breath.

Kinesiological Solution: Hiatal tendency correction, mid-thoracic lesion corrections. Demonstrate with muscle testing how a slumped posture turns off muscles in the digestive circuits. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary.

Immune deficiency

If the immune system is lowered by over-stressing any or all of the realms, allergies and intolerances are made worse.

Kinesiological Solution: Particular attention is needed to the Spleen circuits. Also to check the need for anti-oxidants, and other supplements.

Hypoadrenia and endocrine imbalance

If the endocrine system, the Adrenals, Pituitary, Thyroid, Thymus, etc., are out of balance, the immune system is lowered.

Kinesiological Solution: Correct lesions in the lower thoracic vertebrae. Supplements are glandulars, Vitamin C, Pantothenic Acid, Nicotinamide, B Complex, and any other nutritional support dictated by the client response to muscle testing checks.

Ileo-Caecal Valve (ICV) malfunction

There is a valve at the junction between the Small (Ileum) and Large (Caecum) Intestine. This is affected by both emotional and nutritional disturbances. It causes the person to toxify themselves by leaking faecal matter into the Small Intestine, which causes a form of slight, slow poisoning of the whole system.

Kinesiological Solution: Regular kinesiological correction of the ICV until stabilised, specific dietary constraints for a month, and appropriate supplementation.

Elimination, Bowels

Most people are quite constipated. This encourages the absorption of toxic matter into the system through the Gastrointestinal Tract walls.

Kinesiological Solution: Balancing the Small and Large Intestine Circuits. ICV etc. In many cases, sensitivities and allergies will be hard to resolve until a thorough bowel cleanse has been achieved through the use of proprietary herbs.

Acid Biochemic pH

Consuming too much acid ash producing food makes the whole body acid which throws many systems out of balance, especially digestively.

Solution: Advice on balancing the diet.

Improper diet, food intake, chewing food

Most people do not chew adequately, food is therefore not properly digested.

Kinesiological Solution: Advice on balancing the diet, teach proper mastication, eating habits and supplement with food enzymes. One of the best ways to avoid reactions is avoid eating the same foods day after day. It's more fun, and better for your health.

Other causes

Eating or exposure to known allergies, sensitivities, intolerances

Kinesiological Solution: All of the above checks and corrections as needed, plus avoiding one or two main problem foods only to start with. It appears that most sensitivities and allergies to multiple foods resolve when foods which are the main cause of all the problems are excluded from the diet for a while, until the body is healed. This may take some time.

Continuing with regular sessions is important even when the client starts to feel better, if they are to avoid going back to square one, and waste the time and money they have spent. This does not mean many treatments, usually three to six are sufficient to get the matter under control. After that, maintenance from time to time is urged to avoid a reoccurrence or the development of new proems.


  1. Elena said..

    Dear Brian,
    could you please give me some useful links in Cheshire? Who you can recommend to me to do complete food allergy testing for my 19-y-o son?
    Having usual medical background, I am completely on the side of alternative medicine(have studied homeopathy). I am looking for a practitioner with good knowledge of kinesiology(which is urgent as allergy rash of unknown origin makes him really frustrated) - also with recommendation of good courses on applied kinesiology(for me in future!)
    Many thanks! Kind regards, Elena

  2. Admin said..

    Hello Elena, I think Brian went to Australia about 10 years ago but you can try the following Phone: 0845 020 0383 Email: We have many article on Allergies and you can contact somebody who is listed in the article credits for these articles.

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About Brian Butler B.A., D.O.

Brian H Butler was the first person (in 1976) to pioneer the new concept of Applied Kinesiology in Britain and Europe. He has been largely responsible for its rapid spread among therapists, and for the extent that the public is presently aware of its great value. Initially, he trained as a Touch for Health instructor. Then later in 1982, he became the Touch for Health Foundation's Faculty member for Britain, and trained many instructors in England, and also a large number in Europe. In 1988, with Stephanie Mills, he created the charitable, professional organisation called the Association for Systematic kinesiology. (A.S.K.) They also set up The Academy of Systematic Kinesiology (T.A.S.K.) which offers training to lay people, and also to those who wish to take courses to a professional standard. He can be reached at: The Association of Systematic Kinesiology, 39 Browns Road, Surbiton, Surrey, KT5 8ST. Tel: 020-8399 3215.

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