Updated: Jun 18
We use muscle testing or muscle monitoring to understand client presentations in clinic, especially in the case of injury or pain…
1️⃣ Muscle testing cops a lot of flack from the health and medical community due to the many variables it has, and that the reliability is entirely dependant on the practitioner’s skill level and neuroanatomical knowledge. That being said it can provide some very useful biofeedback about the current state of the human nervous system.
2️⃣ What we are testing, is the ability of the muscle to reflexively contract via the activation of what’s called the ‘myotatic stretch reflex’. This reflex is activated when a limb is put under load and muscles will reflexively act on that load by firing this reflex. The firing of this reflex should create momentary strength or more accurately ‘facilitation’. It locks because the reflex is firing normally and there are no other signals interrupting the function.
3️⃣ In some cases we can get dysfunction in the form of weakness (inhibition) or hypertonicity (over facilitation). Inhibition means that the muscle cannot fire and therefore will present as weakness, but it’s not really to do with strength, it’s the ‘firing rate’ of the signal between the receptor and the nervous system.
4️⃣ In other cases we have hypertonicity or hyper facilitation. The muscle is too connected to the nervous system. In other cases we can have muscles that appear to be firing normally but they are not, and are called functional/dysfunctional syndromes.
5️⃣ Both of these responses are normal but are signs of disruption in the signalling of the nervous system.
6️⃣ What causes this? It could be many things but we break it down into three areas. It could be STRUCTURAL/MECHANICAL, it could be PHYSIOLOGICAL, so issues with the organ, glands, meridians or lymphatic systems or it could be EMOTIONAL. Yes, emotions can have a huge impact on how muscles function.
🧠 Watch and listen to the video lecture for more detail...