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How it Can Work

How it is Often Misused

All Critiques Appreciated

Czech translation.

An Example

Kinesiology purports to measure reactions via the strengthening or weakening of muscular contractions. It is simple, safe, and can be done by the patients themselves.

In the typical scenario, the, um, victim has his or her arm extended, and the practitioner presses down on the arm. The patient is then handed a sealed container of (or less often, made to sniff) a substance which he or she should be allergic to, and the downward press of the arm is repeated. If the patient is allergic to the substance, and then he or she is usually less able to resist the downward pressure by the practitioner.

However, if the practitioner changes his pressure or point of contact on the arm, then the victim will experience similar changes in ability to resist. This is due to the simple physics of leverage. The further from the body the person presses, the harder it will be for the victim to resist.

I say purports and victim because, _TO_ME_, this does not always appear to be completely on the level. There _IS_ something to kinesiology; BUT there is also a lot of fraud and self deception in the field. My doctor spoke to a practitioner of kinesiology who told him to simply press harder when the patient, or should it be victim, was holding something containing sugar or other allergens he felt the patient should not eat. (As a result, Doc has rejected the whole concept of kinesiology as impractical. I think unfairly so, but he always seeks objective proof.)

I have both seen and experienced chiropractors employing this method of pressing harder or moving the contact point so as to vary the subject's ability to resist. In most cases, the practitioner was not consciously aware that he was pressing further out on the arm when he wanted the arm to go down, and closer when he wanted the arm to stay up. He was an excellent practitioner of chiropractic, and my guess was that he subconsciously knew what he wanted to do, using this only as a method of letting his subconscious talk to his conscious.

And then there was the female chiropractor / kinesiologist who seemed to be trying (subconsciously?) to manipulate my reactions by how much cleavage she bared in my face... I kid you not! The more she expected a reaction and didn't get it -- the more frustrated or puzzled she seemed -- the more she moved her chest area up towards my face! That kind of sexual energy manipulation may have worked well with some of the kind of people who seemed to be the bulk of her clients; but I tend to be a bit more objective about things. I did NOT go back! And not just because she tried to get me to buy a lot of "superior" (warning #2) _private_label_ (warning #3) products...

Whether these things are self deception on the part of the practitioner, or intentional fraud, is NOT as important TO US as the fact that this type of activity gives LESS ACCURATE readings. My personal bias is to go with the doctor who is open, willing to discuss things, and admits that he or she is not sure. The more insistent a doctor's pronouncements, the less I am inclined to trust. That is, unless he or she can explain working verifiable theories that make some kind of scientific sense to me. Confidence is not about being sure, it is about being able to accept ambiguity and being willing to try to reason around and through it. And being open to new ideas. Everything we know, was once a new idea. But then, so was everything we now believe to be false...

Test Yourself!

What all this suggests, is that you should find some non-personal means of measuring the resistance your arm or fingers can generate.

An aside here, there is another method used in kinesiology and homeopathy involving a meter gadget sometimes called a Vega machine. (It's only a Whetstone Bridge circuit, fed by an oscilator.) Once again, many practitioners place their _own_ body into the loop, allowing them to influence the readings. Even something as simple as changing the pressure they apply to the electrode can change the readings. It is FAR too easy to bias these things without the average person realizing it, and sometimes (often?) without the practitioner realizing that he is doing it. Some practitioners even get visibly frustrated when they get different results! Come on, folks, opinions do not reality make. If it did, we could holt the opinion that we didn't have allergies, and maybe could walk on (deep liquid) water.

Without objective protocols and the isolation/insulation in which only the patient is in the loop, all the fancy equipment in the world becomes little more than window dressing.

How I Test Myself

How can YOU test yourself? Here is what I do:

1. Place myself at a quiet rest -- no tv or radio, etc. And no thinking about musical tunes!

2. I set myself up. Extending my non-dominant arm (the left arm for most right handed people,) sideways away from myself with a clenched fist, I bring it up under the edge of a kitchen cabinet. The fist is thumb side up, so that it may slide relatively easily, yet the upward pressure will tend to keep it from sliding. I put my feet together, and lean away from the cabinet, relying on the upward pressure of my extended arm to keep from falling. You can find a kind of precarious balance this way, using the initial degree of lean as a means of adjusting for the baseline strength of your arm. Do make sure that you won't fall over when the extended hand stops holding you. (I would just bump in to my refrigerator if it let go completely.)

You could also use a bottle or pail of water, or a scale to measure the resistance or force of your muscles. Fill the bottle or pail till you find it difficult to hold it at arms length. It's the idea of detecting weakness WITHOUT resorting to another person. People just are not objective, and may add their own "electrical resonance" or some other factor to the equation. YOU have to do this ALONE.

3. I do a "body scan". Using the dominant hand, I pick up a container of whatever it is which I wish to test. I bring that hand to the center of my chest, near the thymus gland. Nothing? Next, I try it against one of my temples. Then I move it to the base of my skull in back of my head, and slowly bringing it up over my head and down my face, slowly down my front side, and then sideways and up a bit till it rests over to my non-dominant side kidney.

If, at any point, the item causes me to lose my strength, I will feel my fist sliding out from under the counter and myself leaning into a fall. I stop this by moving my feet apart, etc., and catching myself. If I have to do that, it probably means there could be something in the ingredients of the stuff in the container, that I might react to. I am more reluctant to try it.

4. If it's an edible, is to put a bit of it under my tongue. If my fist starts slipping...

If you do this often enough, you will come to the point where just picking up an object will give you a faint sense of whether it may be harmful to your. (A handy sense to have if someone ever tries to slip a potion into your drink...)

Aha! You say, but he knows if he is allergic to what he tests! Well... so what if my subconscious does know? It is telling my conscious. And there are times where it is rather clear to me that I should, or should not be allergic, yet the reading goes the other way. But it is also true that I am a stickler for finding out. I have never "spooked" and run without first seeing whether I would react. I also try to find out exactly to what I am reacting. I am a scientist first, an MCS/EI victim second. There is always a reason for things, and I try to read up and find our why.

And that's another thing I strongly suggest -- that YOU always try to figure out WHY and TO WHAT you reacted.

I once developed an allergy to what seemed to be blue cloth on several items of clothing. The hue was very similar. But an allergy to a color? Unlikely! Microscopic examination revealed those clothes were all of the same kind of fibers, with the dye ON, not IN the fibers. All of the cloths I was allergic to, were shedding microscopic dye particles. Those few blue cloths I was not allergic to, were not shedding dye particles. You have to investigate as best you can. If you look, you have a good chance of finding out precisely what to avoid. If you don't, you will seem more and more paranoid in your efforts to avoid everything which might cause allergies, becoming more and more stressed out from FEAR! You only need to avoid the specific chemicals that your body is allergic to. Always try to find out how and why -- your life, and your appearance of sanity, depends on it!

You can't avoid everything, you don't have that kind of energy. Learn what to avoid, don't waste your energy avoiding what you don't need to.

Sources of Inaccuracy

What are some of the causes of inaccuracies in my kind of kinesiology? Wet hands are the worst. Reactivity may from day to day, and even with the time of day. Some things that I may react to in the daytime, I may not react to late in the evening. And the arm can become fatigued during the procedure. All these can produce false indications of probable allergens. (Some have said this greater strength at night implies liver involvement. Other suggest late evening hunger raises adrenal levels, giving the appearance of resistance. Don't know.)

Then there is the matter of metabolites. As we digest and "burn up" foods, we generate lots of chemicals. I have had strong reaction to things which, although not reactive upon ingestion, have _I_BELIEVE_, produced metabolites to which I am allergic. These produce false readings of safety.

Also, many allergies are variable, not triggering reaction when we are stronger, only when we are below some threshold. Thus, you may find it ok to eat some things at one time, but not another. Note also that you should rotate your diet so that there is no build up of allergic response to commonly used foods.

And finally, there are the Herxhiemer reactions, caused when toxic bacteria and/or fungi die, bursting open and releasing all of their toxins at once. These too, can confuse one, making one think that one is allergic to some things to which one might not test positive to. A false false negative, so to speak. The way you may be able to tell a herxhiemer reaction, is that after it passes, you feel better than before the reaction occurred. If the herxhiemer involves the stomach, it may take place within an hour or three of ingestion. If it's in the lower bowel... days later.

As I said, kinesiology is not highly reliable. I only use it as a guideline, an indicator of potential trouble. But I do use it.

What is Measured

What is kinesiology really measuring? I think it is an indicator of how well ordered the brain's firing patterns are. A kind of test of the ability of the lower centers of the brain to concentrate on coordinating the muscles to handle the task at hand.

Even dead muscles will contract a few times in response to electrical stimulation. So it is unlikely that it is merely muscle strength itself. A muscle cell can not remain continuously contracted. The cells pulse, contracting and relaxing over and over again. Indeed, most repetitive stress research suggests that when a muscle contracts, it cuts off circulation to itself, resulting in fatigue, and soon damage.

So how do weight lifters hold such heavy weights? They concentrate, getting the brain to order the firing signals to that there is a continued and even pattern of muscle cell firing in their limbs. To work properly, muscles have to contract and relax in a harmonious overlapping manner. Contrast this to the shaking most people experience when trying to lift or hold heavy objects. They have not learned to order and pace the firing of their muscle fibers to match the load.

Therefore, I suspect that what kinesiology is measuring, is how much neural activity the brain can muster, and how well it can order it. This is also suggested by the change in resistance when one lets a melody play in the mind during the experiment. In most cases, calming melodies seem to steady and improve _my_ ability to apply force. The same calming melodies have helped me during other times as well.

How Kinesiology Works

Now comes the embarrassing question of HOW kinesiology works, how a person can sense what is in a sealed container. Quite frankly, I haven't a clue! Some talk about electron resonances, others talk about spatial fields or tachyon fields. Wessly Crusher would probably say is it s "distortion in the sub-space field". SCIENCE DOES NOT KNOW! Tacheyon fields do not exist. Sub-space does not exist. At least, not as we know it from science fiction.

But just because we can't explain it, does not mean that it does not work. It just means that you will have to be Extra Objective and Careful to avoid deception and self-deception.

(Just between you and me, I feel _a_LOT_ more comfortable using technology that I can Understand in terms of basic physical principles!!! I mean, to me, Kinesiology smacks of examining chicken entrails... Though I must admit that I do use kinesiology as an advanced early warning system. For me, it seems to have a strong, though not perfect, correlation with reality. I just wish I understood __HOW__ it worked!!)

(Oh yes, you have heard about science not being able to mathematically explain how a bumble bee can fly. When they added the viscosity of the air to that mathematical model, it all made sense. That's because to a tiny bumble bee wing, air atoms are huge when compared to the ratio of a bird's wing and the atoms it deals with. Thus to the bee, the air is many times more viscous, almost like water! That is why the fly's wings differ from a birds, and why a tiny humming bird's wings are not identical to a larger bird's wing.)

Are You Being Deceived?

On a more practical level, how can you tell if you are being deceived?

1. The practitioner discourages you from thinking for yourself, from trying things yourself. That "I am the Doctor" (and you are an idiot,) kind of attitude.

2. The practitioner moves his point of contact between trials.

3. The practitioner or his staff try to sell you something "better" and/or "not available in stores". (Then again, sometimes the stuff is better or is not available...)

Two out of three, and I would walk out. Though, one must admit that sometimes there are legitimate personality issues that make it seem that the doctor is acting like God. My doctor and I get along very well, and discuss a lot of things! (We've actually run way past closing, discussing research and computers till we are both starving!) But I have heard a few other people think he is, at times, pendantic and perhaps even a bit arrogant. Then again, He complains that some of his patients don't even TRY to cure themselves; but spend their session throwing up objections to treatments, claiming nothing will work, or that they can't try this or that. He (and others) say those kinds of patients don't want to be cured. I think it more likely that those patients don't BELIEVE that they CAN be cured! Probably because they have been run through the mill by a lot of other doctors without a clue.

If you don't believe a doctor can cure you, why bother going to that doctor? Find a doctor you can believe in! Even if his treatments end up not working, at least you TRIED! That's one heck of a lot better than simply rolling over and waiting to die!

Do you want to get well? Then YOU have to TRY! No one else can try for you. It's up to YOU! YOU are the one who has to try!

(And if, deep down inside, you don't want to get well... Somebody up there, or SOMEWHERE, loves you and wants you to get well. Know that _I_, and most of the rest of us on this list, WANT you to get well, and get well soon! You might try browsing the religion list at till you find a deity or deities whom you can believe do believe in you. You will know it when you feel the connection. It's ok.)

So in a nutshell, this is what I know about kinesiology. Some of it came from observing various kinesiological "stuff" tried on me, some from a videotaped lecture, and some from "Allergies and Candida with the 21st Century Solution" by Steven Rochlits, Ph.D.C. A curious book that I am not quite sure I want to list on on the bibliography... But then, I find that most of the books I read contain a lot of "inapplicable" stuff, and a few gems here and there. I try things cautiously. Sometimes the stuff I would swear is bunk, works; and sometimes the stuff I would swear is scientifically proven, turns out to be bunk. The really interesting thing for me, is to try to figure out WHY!

This document is not to be construed as medical advice.
This draft document may contain inaccuracies and errors.
(C) 1995, All rights reserved. Permission to distribute granted provided this document is not modified, is distributed in its entirety, with all links attached, and distributed without charge.

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