|By: Dr. John Ankerberg, Dr. John Weldon; ©2000|
|Drs. Ankerberg and Weldon conclude this series on muscle testing (applied kinesiology, behavioral kinesiology and touch for health) by explaining the potential occult influence of these new age practices.|
Chiropractic can be safe and effective for a number of muscular and related conditions when used responsibly by adequately trained chiropractors. Unfortunately, there is another side to chiropractic, as we documented in Can You Trust Your Doctor?. Not unexpectedly, the chiropractic profession is almost single-handedly responsible for the introduction and promotion of muscle testing in America. John Thie, the developer of “Touch for Health,” states that “most of these [Touch for Health] methods and techniques have been exclusively the province of the chiropractic profession.” A text on applied kinesiology confesses, “Most applied kinesiologists are chiropractors.”
Muscle testing was developed by chiropractors and is often taught at chiropractic schools. We have mentioned that George Goodheart was the chiropractor who may have used psychic methods to develop his system of applied kinesiology, that New Age chiropractor John Thie popularized it (with Goodheart’s help), and that John Diamond, an understudy of Goodheart, took applied kinesiology and extended its principles into his strange system of behavioral kinesiology.
It is important to understand the logical connection between chiropractic, the potential for dabbling in the psychic world, and muscle testing. Classic chiropractic theory easily lends itself to the acceptance of a psychic realm as related to health. (We documented this in Can You Trust Your Doctor?.) That Goodheart might have used psychic means to develop his system of applied kinesiology would not be surprising. Furthermore, although elements of the chiropractic profession are scientifically oriented and practiced responsibly, chiropractic itself often rejects the safeguards of the scientific method; historically, it has opposed medical science and rejected any findings disproving its theories. Chiropractic, for example, was founded upon a false theory of subluxations being the cause of all disease, and its early concept of the “Innate” is difficult to distinguish from psychic energy in general.
Thus, the two characteristics that have strongly influenced chiropractic historically—the rejection of medical science and an openness to the psychic—help explain the unscientific and New Age orientation of much modern chiropractic practice. It is hardly surprising, then, that chiropractic would be the principal agent for advancing the practice of an unscientific and/or psychically based system of muscle testing in the United States.
The ease with which chiropractic and New Age muscle testing are blended can be seen in the many books advocating a union of the two, such as the Valentines’ Applied Kinesiology, chiropractor David S. Walther’s Applied Kinesiology: The Advanced Approach in Chiropractic (Pueblo, CO: privately published, 1976), and Chiropractor Fred Stoner’s The Eclectic Approach to Chiropractic (Las Vegas: privately published, 1976). Walthers is author of the “definitive textbook” on AK, Basic Procedures and Muscle Testing:
Each of these systems variously accepts the occult idea of a mystical “life energy” flowing through the body. Although promoters may attempt to explain it scientifically, they accept the unproven premise of ancient Chinese Taoism and of much occultism, which teaches that psychic or mystical energy (chi, prana, mana, and so on) flows along energy pathways in the body called meridians.
As a result, applied kinesiology, “Touch for Health,” and behavioral kinesiology are based upon an unfounded and unscientific concept, involving the same mystical life energies promoted in the occult and Eastern religion. Because these methods claim to manipulate invisible energies, some of the practices employed are indistinguishable from those used by psychic and spiritistic healers. This is why muscle testing may introduce people to psychic or spiritistic practices under another name, or influence them to seek out practitioners of these other forms of so-called “natural healing.”
We believe that any system which claims to regulate or manipulate “invisible energies” is, at least potentially, an introduction to occult energies and should be avoided. Since these methods are not based upon the findings of scientific medicine, they are unscientific, whether or not they introduce someone to the occult.
In New Age Medicine, Reisser, Reisser, and Weldon discuss why AK, BK, TH, and related methods should not be accepted uncritically, and why they should be avoided:
In conclusion, muscle-testing practices are scientifically unestablished or discredited and potentially occult. Therefore, they are not true healing methods. And due to their reliance on “mystical energies,” they are vehicles for introducing ancient pagan concepts or irrational approaches to medicine into modern health care.
NOTE: *Documentation for all quotations in this series may be found in the Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs.