Kinesiology: When you need the right answer, ask . THE BODY!
The body is not just a set of legs, hooves, trunk, neck, head and tail; it is a whole, interacting, complex unit. It is made up of different parts, obviously, but each is interdependent on the others. This includes the physical structure, chemical and electrical makeup, and the emotions. If there is a problem with the body and only one area of it is addressed, the problem will not be totally resolved, and will consequently recur, if not immediately, then at a later time.
Dr. DeHaan demonstrating "surrogate testing" of the lung circuit. Note a completed circuit from horse through surrogate and Dr. DeHaan to the lung trigger point in this horse
When striving to maintain or achieve good health for our horses, there are always many questions. Does my horse get the nutrients he needs from his feed? Will a supplement help him? Why is he experiencing a health problem? What can be done to overcome the illness? One cannot always know what is best for his horse. Therefore, many things may be tried in the interest of improving things. We try, hit or miss, different supplements, feeds, equipment, or bedding that seem to be the answer. Then we wait to see what comes of our educated guesses. Sometimes we win; sometimes we lose. Wouldn't it be nice if we could just ask the horse what he needs, and get an honest answer?
With kinesiology, it's possible to do just that. Each body's needs are different, and each body holds all the answers to what it needs. Kinesiology is simple, non-invasive, and inexpensive. It is a relatively recent methodology that is becoming more widely utilized by veterinarians, chiropractors, medical doctors, dentists, sports trainers and natural health care practitioners. For more than forty years the use of kinesiology has been developing and it has branched out in many directions. New information is unfolding all the time for use in treatment and prevention. Kinesiology, which works with the body's own inner intelligence and ability to heal itself, can help determine the underlying cause of a problem and reveal what is needed to address it, by simply asking the body. But how is that done?
WHAT IS KINESIOLOGY?
Testing a homeopathic remedy on the specific lung circuit. This selection tests "strong" and therefore is a possible remedy
Kinesiology is often described as "muscle testing", a way to read the body by feeling a response from the muscles. Muscles are part of the body's communication system and they provide a method by which the body can be read. This diagnostic and therapeutic system is based upon muscular reactions to specific questions, situations, or objects. Kinesiology takes the guesswork out of what and how to treat by allowing the body to reveal precisely where the problem is and what it needs to heal itself. Through muscle testing, the therapist can access the body's communication system, gather information, act on the information received, and recheck to see if the treatment was effective.
Kinesiology traditionally refers to the study of muscles and movement in the body. Now it is described as a natural health system used by therapists based on manual muscle testing, often called applied kinesiology. It is a form of biofeedback and is more readily explained through the actual hands-on experience of muscle testing than through words. To feel what a muscle test is and experience the difference when a change occurs says it all.
In most instances, when working with people, the testing is done directly on the patient. When working with a baby, a person in a coma, or an animal, however, a surrogate is used to help with the testing. A surrogate is a substitute person used to access information from one who cannot be tested himself. The surrogate can transmit the information as long as he remains in physical contact with the test subject.
The surrogate keeps one hand on the horse and the other arm outstretched to the side at shoulder height. The tester asks for resistance while he pushes down on the arm. Then a supplement or other substance to be tested is placed against the horse while the tester retests the strength in the surrogate's resisting arm. If the resistance is stronger with the substance, it is considered a positive response and the substance is considered helpful. If the resistance is weaker, the substance is considered not helpful. Also, certain points on the horse's body may be touched such as organ, gland, or infection points, to determine the source of some problems.
Dr. Roger DeHaan, DVM, veterinarian and educator from Frazee, Minnesota, uses applied kinesiology along with several other complementary modalities in his veterinary practice.
"Kinesiology is utilized very successfully with animals," he says. "Since they can't respond to your command to resist with a muscle, you use a surrogate. I like to tell people it's like a jumper cable. It's just an electrical transfer. They're touching the horse, I test their arm, and I test a point, and we have just completed an electrical circuit."
He explains, "There are many different terminologies for testing, but all of them have to do with electromagnetic energy flow in the system. Every cell is like a microchip, with positive and negative energy flow. Cells have energy flow and glands have their unique energy flow; there's a very complex electrical circuit within the body. There are different connections, points, and switches in the body, which is what we are testing."
Not just anybody can be used as a surrogate, however. One's own system has to be in good electrical condition. Says Dr. DeHaan, "If somebody has had a lot of operations, is taking medication, or has metal pins or plates in his body, his own system might not be working well, and he might not be a good pair of jumper cables. There is a way to test him for suitability, and if he's not in good electrical condition, then you find somebody else.
Testing a thyroid glandular directly on the thyroid circuit. This technique checks the compatibility of the electromagnetics of the glandular product with the body's thyroid gland and its specific nutritional needs.
"Likewise, the person who does the testing also has to be in good polarity, and needs to be in reasonable health with good electrical circuits. The human brain, which is part of the circuit, must be in a neutral mode and in a healthy state to get the proper results back. It's like a computer. If you have some short circuits or bad information in it, then you don't get the right information back."
An art and a science
Dr. DeHaan explains, "With kinesiology, we're dealing with an art and a science. It's an art because even though anybody can learn it to some extent, not everybody will excel at it. Anybody can learn to play a piano but he may not become a concert pianist if it is not his talent. The same is true with kinesiology. Everybody could potentially learn to do a few things but there are some people who have more talent. If they have experience and education, their results can be very exceptional and very useful. Accuracy depends on actual knowledge, methodology, experience, and many other things. Those who have advanced training are far more accurate and get far more useful information than those who just do muscle testing or kinesiology in more subjective terms or with less learned methodologies. Kinesiology is trainable and teachable, and anybody can learn some but those who are gifted can be exceptional and often use more advanced forms.
"It's also a science, because this is real electrical flow, and these are real points. But we also have instrumentation with the human body and the human brain, as part of a whole circuit. If one part is off, under pressure, sick or emotionally affected, you might not get accurate information. It throws your own system out of kilter, and if it's not perfectly functioning, it could affect some of the results. So it's not one of these, 'Hey, we've found it, this is the perfect way to test everything from now on', but it actually is one of the better methodologies when it is properly done."
Many chiropractors use kinesiology for chiropractic subluxations, to tell them where there's a problem, and even in which direction vertebrae or muscles need to be moved. One can also test glands and hormones. Vitamins, minerals, and food products can be tested on a body as well.
"Many times I do what I call food testing, for allergy testing or compatibility," explains Dr. DeHaan. "For instance, if I'm testing a horse, I'll test corn, oats, the hay they eat, or alfalfa. If dust and mold is a problem, I want to find out where it is. I can test the barn and the bedding to find out what's compatible or not compatible. When something is not compatible on the body's electricity, it will test negative, which means there is something out of balance, basically. It could be major or minor, but it gives you information that, as you put everything together, gives you a picture. The answer may be to temporarily change the environment, change the diet, and add supplements or whatever, according to what you find. Then you make the changes and find out where you get with them," Dr. DeHaan says.
"What we test is the electrical magnetic compatibility of that substance with a horse's own energy flow. If it tests positive and tests strong, the assumption is that you have something that synergizes with his system. This is something that definitely could be helpful. If you test 40 different things and all 40 test positive, however, of course you don't go and give all 40 things. You look at various factors and make some choices, knowing the history and the disease and what you've found, and then you make a wise selection. You then give it and see where you get."
The autonomic nervous system
"I've found, in general, that when I use this methodology along with my regular veterinary training I tend to get excellent results over 90% of the time," says Dr. DeHaan. "One doesn't get that much success from trying to calculate things from the brain. With kinesiology, you're asking the animal's body, or his electromagnetic system, 'Here's what I think in my mind; what does your body think about that?' So your brain has entered his electromagnetic field, and when testing on those points, it may test strong, or positive. You're getting that information from his body, his 'innate intelligence', or autonomic nervous system (ANS), which is how I like to say it. It's his autonomic nervous system that's responding, not his conscious brain and not my conscious brain. It's all subconscious and subliminal as it goes through the autonomic nervous system. When the information is coming from there, it's much more accurate than taking an 'educated guess'. I will take my educated guess and ask, 'Now what does your body say about that?'"
Kinesiology vs. lab testing
Sometimes kinesiology can provide answers that other methods of testing cannot. Dr. DeHaan explains, "I have gotten some marvelous results from animals using this kind of testing where I don't have any other method to get some of these results. Or sometimes an owner may decline an expensive lab test, and we may be limited. For example, a horse may have a chronic immune problem. We get a blood test run and everything comes back normal. When I test through kinesiology, I may find a chemical sensitivity, or may find the liver under-functioning, and so on. How can the liver be under-functioning, and the blood test come back normal? Because one of the limitations of the blood test is that it does not show an imbalance until the liver is practically three-fourths compromised. God just made the body so that we have a reserve. We have four times more liver than we need. So it doesn't show up on the blood test until you're into that last fourth. When there's a compromise, or there is toxicity that the body can't handle anymore, now it shows on the blood test.
"Nevertheless, the horse isn't feeling well and is showing symptoms of illness, but it just doesn't show up by that methodology. Kinesiology, then, gives you another shot at the picture. It's taken from a different angle, and it will pick up things on a more subtle level that won't show up on a blood test. That's one of the valuable things about this. It's another methodology, another look at the picture so you can get some information that's valuable, and sometimes you get information that you can't get any other way because there's no valid testing."
Many reflex points
There are approximately 75 known reflex areas, or points, on the skin which represent various organs, glands and bone structures. Dr. DeHaan explains, "There are parasite points, chemical points, thyroid, bacteria, and other kinds of points on the body that can be tested. For instance, there is a parasite point located over a certain area of the colon. That point is valid primarily for gastrointestinal worms. It will not indicate if there are worms like heartworms, or worms in the muscle tissue. The parasite points are for the nematode-type worms that live in the gut. I find those points to be really quite accurate. I would say there is no method that is 100% accurate in detecting parasites, and that includes kinesiology. That is why I get a fecal test to confirm it, yet the fecal test, which is your scientific test, is itself anywhere between 20% to 70% accurate, depending on the type of worms and whether or not it's laying eggs at that time. So those tests are not 100% accurate either. I would say, though, that the parasite point test is more accurate than many of your traditional tests, but I like to use them both. If a fecal test doesn't show worms, but the animal is sick or not doing well and the point is reactive, there's a high probability there's a parasite. Then we want to find some kind of a medication that will test strong on him that will hopefully rid him of these parasites. You can test the dewormer on the system, or on that point also, to get an idea of what his system is calling for or what is compatible with it."
Where does the emotional aspect fit in? Dr. DeHaan explains, "I discovered some years ago that an animal has a body, a soul, and a spirit. Not the same as man's spirit, but they still have a spirit. And they certainly have a soul, and this is where the emotions are. Their emotions can be affected, just like with people, from experiences, foods, chemicals, toxins and other things. There is a general emotional point on the animal that we can test, and I use homeopathy and Bach flowers to remedy the problem.
"The liver, in the Chinese way of thinking, is the organ that stores anger," he continues. "The kidney stores fear. Horses that are fearful very often have stress on the kidneys, and/or they actually have a kidney problem. Whether a problem has been diagnosed or not, until you get that kidney freed up, you're going to have a hyper, fearful, jumpy horse. I realize that fear can come from other phobias and experiences too. Likewise, a horse that's angry and frustrated often has liver involvement. You give him liver cleansers, herbs, homeopathy and things that free up the liver, and the next thing you know, you have the horse mellowing out. A lot of emotions are stored up in muscles, too. Sometimes chiropractic and massage will relieve those muscles by reducing the muscle strain and muscle tension, and the next thing you know the horse is acting great. I may do a chiropractic treatment, and right before our eyes the horse will mellow and you see the tension just melting away. Many things can deal with emotion. There are many causes, and the solution depends on the cause," says Dr. DeHaan.
"Also, you have to realize that when you're testing, there are different layers within the body. From a holistic standpoint, they say the body is like an onion. There is disease, the obvious stuff, then there's the deeper cause behind it, and then there will be some deeper emotional factors. There may also be a vaccine issue, or something that's wrong in the system from way back. What you find when you do kinesiology or most other methods is what's on the first layer. There are methods to get under the peel, to get to at least the second and maybe the third layer, but that sometimes is limited. So where do you start? Obviously you start on what's showing on the top, and you treat that first. Most animals respond very nicely, but for some of these animals that are really sick, getting to a deep-rooted problem takes some time, follow-up exams, and further treatments. If I test today and put the animal on some remedies or supplements then test a month later, I will probably get different results because different things are showing up. We've dealt with some things on the surface and it's time to do the next layer."
Dr. DeHaan summarizes, "To me, kinesiology is a complementary medicine, meaning it complements other things. It is not something that stands alone all by itself. It's a useful diagnostic methodology, a methodology for acquiring information. It is not 100% accurate, but I would say it is probably 90% accurate for those who are properly trained in it."
Natural Horse Magazine thanks Roger DeHaan, DVM, MTS, for his valuable assistance in preparing this article.