Muscle Testing

access inner wisdom and 
highest good for you 
and your kids!

First, a family story...

Unexpectedly, an experience with muscle testing brought insight, emotional healing, deeper connection in our family...

Grassy meadow, Attribution:

My nine-year-old just crumpled and began to sob when her dad told her the sad news. We live in a remote area and share our living space with a lot of wildlife and he had discovered her cat, Whisky, had apparently lost in a skirmish with a critter larger than he was.

Her little cat had been so full of life just the day before. He had been pestering me as I worked on the computer...his relentless insistence on sitting on the keyboard, me picking him up, placing him on the floor, within seconds him returning with cat-like grace, and depositing himself again. (I have noticed that most of our pets have made sure to gift us with a significant and endearing memory before they leave us.)

My daughter asked if she could see Whisky. Her dad and I had already discussed this eventuality and decided that we didn't feel good about giving permission to this. We didn't want our daughter's lasting impression of her cat to be of his demise. As she cried, she begged, please let me see him.

Consoling Hug

We were so torn, really conflicted by, on the one hand, wanting to say yes to her request, and on the other hand, wanting to protect her from what we thought would wound her. I had no clear idea which way to go. My daughter's insistence wasn't being mollified with all the persuading I could muster. I'm sure all parents can relate to this: wanting to do what they think is the correct course of action and facing extreme opposition from their child.

Well, where to go from here? Finally, I had a flash of inspiration. I would try muscle testing. The question I asked as I muscle tested was, 'is this for highest good, to allow my daughter to view the remains of her pet cat Whisky?' Pretty graphic, I know, but I wanted to be clear. My muscle tested strong. I tried a couple more times, to make doubly, triply sure.

Back to Nature, Attribution:

Still getting a 'yes', my daughter's dad and I went out before she did and decided to partially cover the body with a plastic bag in an attempt to lessen the impact, revealing only what was intact. With trepidation, my daughter was escorted outside. Again, we tried to lessen the blow by having her stand quite a distance back. She kept edging her way closer and closer until the three of us stood directly over Whisky.

My daughter softly spoke, 'It's not as bad as I thought it would be.' I became quite emotional at that point as it struck home that this was the little guy who had been pestering me the day before. His head and shoulders were positioned with his forelegs crossed over each other in front of his face in a very prayerful pose, at peace.


My daughter didn't say much; she was quietly teary-eyed. She had already had her gut-wrenching sob session - those emotions seemed spent. She spoke very little if at all. But her one clear statement was, 'I wish you had let me see Grandma.'

Whoa...! I had thought I was doing the right thing to spare her then, as well, when my mom was in her last few hours the year before. With my daughter's quiet assertion, it was as if she was letting me know that she could have handled seeing her grandma. She was also discovering that her imagination may have given her a picture that was worse than what was actual. Perhaps Grandma hadn't looked as bad as my daughter had imagined.

Since then my daughter has continued to talk off and on about her regret at not seeing the grandmother with whom she had had quite an unprecedented bond (my mother was pretty self-absorbed). But the energy has shifted away from the grief and unresolved disappointment she had had with my decision to 'protect' her.

But the story continues..., my youngest son had initially refused to come out to say good-bye to Whisky. At that point in his life, he had been very fragile emotionally until just recently. He initially claimed, 'oh no, I am going to have nightmares'. He changed his mind, though, and joined us. He found out also about feeling emotions and discovering strength.

Pet remembrance,

My eldest son then came out. When he learned of our plan, he vocalized his resistance to burying Whisky in a shoe box with packing tape on it. I wrenched off the tape.

We all then made our way out to our designated pet cemetery. My husband started digging a hole. It soon proved unlikely that in the rocky soil it would become large enough to take the shoe box. With somber respect, Whisky was removed from the shoe box and gently deposited in the hole. Words of gratitude were spoken by each member of the family, and Whisky was sent back to Nature.

Just as Whisky had persisted the day before, my daughter's persistence commanded my attention. And I was grateful that I had learned this tool of muscle testing for accessing higher guidance. The result was healing on many levels and a rich bonding experience for the whole family. It was also a reminder that checking with 'The Field' for highest good would be a valuable first step to take in making future decisions.

Kinesiology, the study of muscles

Behavioral Kinesiology, Attribution:

Muscle testing, kinesiology, can be used in many different ways. For example, answering simple questions, is it best for me to buy this outfit? Is it in my highest good to go to this event? And especially, when looking for higher guidance with respect to your kids, it can be an invaluable technique in your parenting toolbox.

From the Foreword to David Hawkin's book Power vs. Force, we get the following definition for kinesiology: --n. The study of muscles and their movements, esp. as applied to physical conditioning. George Goodheart was a chiropractor who originated applied kinesiology in 1964 when he found certain helpful physical stimuli would increase target muscle strength and undesirable stimuli would cause those same muscles to become weak. E. Whalen, Editor of Power vs. Force, says in the Foreward 'The implication was that at a level far below conceptual consciousness, the body "knew," and through muscle testing was able to signal, what was good and bad for it.'

Dr. John Diamond expanded the application to include emotional and intellectual stimuli and coined the term behavioral kinesiology to describe this refinement.

The 'how-to' of muscle testing

The way I first learned muscle testing, you need a partner to muscle test. You stand facing each other, one partner holds an arm out to the side, level with the floor, the other arm at ease to the side. The other partner places their hand on the shoulder opposite of the outstretched arm. The questioner poses their statement, says 'resist' and presses down on the outstretched with a brisk, steady, and smooth movement. If the statement is true the muscle will hold strong. If the statement is false, the muscle will go weak and offer little or no resistance.

My kids are quite proficient at being my tester. If I walk up to them with my left arm outstretched and my right hand over my heart or solar plexus, they are immediately ready (sometimes with a sigh of resignation!) to press down with their fingers as soon as I tell my arm to resist. I may make my statement audibly or silently.

Rephrasing the statement to the opposite and obtaining an opposite result, i.e., weak vs. strong helps to confirm the results. So, for example, if I state, 'it is highest good for my daughter to go to the dance' and test strong, then I would rephrase the statement to, 'it is highest good for my daughter to not go to the dance' and get confirmation if I test weak.

Muscle testing yes answer,

I have taught the kids to use two or three fingers when pressing down so that it doesn't feel so much like an arm-wrestling contest. Also, having them push down rapidly ensures that they are not putting their whole weight behind their efforts and having the 'resisting' arm go weak just because of sheer exhaustion. They have gotten used to using this technique, at times quite frequently, for answering their own questions. It is very helpful for kids to use to check-in with their 'vibes' or intuition. Many times they have walked up to me with arm outstretched, saying, 'come on, Mom, let's do this!'

With practice, if you lack a partner, an alternative is to form an oval or circle with the thumb and forefinger of one hand, phrase your statement, say 'resist' and then attempt to separate the thumb and forefinger with the forefinger of the opposite hand. Practice helps you learn to interpret the results which initially may seem ambiguous. For some reason at first it sometimes seems easier to separate the fingers from what you are expecting and/or more difficult from what you are expecting. With practice, you learn to interpret when you are getting a 'yes' or a 'no'; 'truth' or 'false' result.

Start practicing by saying something like, 'my name is Herkimer'. If your name is not Herkimer, you will get a weak response. Another way to practice is to put your statement in writing, both pro and con, then without looking at the statement you are testing hold it over your heart and state, 'resist'. This way you are not imposing your personal opinion on the outcome.

Another muscle testing story 

Muscle testing in public place, Attribution:

One more story that a friend of mine shared with me about a little incident that occurred showed how helpful and ACCURATE this technique can be. When her daughter was about 10 years old, my friend's daughter was walking away from her in a public place. While her daughter was still well within hearing distance, my friend called out her daughter's name. Her daughter kept walking... My friend followed her daughter into the public restroom and said to her, 'when I call you, I don't get why you ignore me.' Her daughter feigned innocence, ' called me? I didn't hear you...' My friend responded 'I don't think there is any way that you didn't hear me. Please tell me what really happened.' Her daughter looked at her and insisted that she had not heard. Really? Okay, now they were in deadlock.

For the upbringing of all of her kids, my friend had adamantly refused to entertain the label 'liar' or the suggestion that her kids told a lie. But she was now stuck. She would not accuse her daughter of lying. She could let it drop, but it felt like that would leave a splinter in their connection and that didn't feel right.

My friend had her moment of inspiration, and holding her arm out stated, 'My daughter heard me, resist.' Her daughter pressed down, strong. 'My daughter didn't hear me, resist.' Her daughter pressed down again, weak. Her daughter petulantly said, 'fine, you trust that more than me.' My friend thought 'oh, crud, have I made a huge mistake? Am I putting my daughter in an untenable position? Now she and I will distrust this muscle testing technique and it will seem I am using it to dismiss her truth.' My friend replied, 'ok, you try it!' Her daughter didn't make her statements audible and so my friend didn't know what her results were. Until...the look in her daughter's eyes told of her capitulation to owning up to her defiance and mis-speaking...My friend reached out, hugged her daughter and told her 'that doesn't need to happen again, does it?'

Using muscle testing consciously with integrity

I was a little reluctant to tell this story, because it might suggest an inappropriate use of this tool. Notice that the intent was not to prove her daughter wrong, cause her to feel shame, or give justification for imposing consequences. Rather the intent was to restore connection between my friend and her daughter. It would seriously impair connection between my friend and her daughter if she were to use this tool to make it so her daughter felt called on the carpet and unsafe. I think I can safely say, we all have had moments where a little fabrication has slipped out. Also, it would be tremendously risky to depend solely on this tool. It was only helpful in that it led my friend and her daughter to the next step in reconnecting.

Muscle testing parenting toolkit,

It is helpful for muscle testing to support consulting and trusting inner wisdom gained from experience, and just plain good common sense. But I have used this muscle testing technique abundantly and my kids have learned to use it frequently. We all have found it to be quite trustworthy. A great way to get feedback from your vibes--intuition, and connect with inner knowing.

If muscle testing gives results that might be disappointing to your kids, read this on handling disappointment.


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Site updated  January 20, 2021

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