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Techniques for Self Muscle Testing

author image Melissa Smith
Melissa Smith has been writing professionally since 1990. She began training in tai chi and chi kung meditation in 1995. She is an accredited Reiki practitioner and tai chi instructor and specializes in teaching seniors and people with disabilities. Her writing appears in "Literature and Medicine" and the "Encyclopedia of Pestilence, Pandemics and Plagues." She holds a doctorate in English literature from McMaster University.
Techniques for Self Muscle Testing
A woman is making a snapping motion with her fingers. Photo Credit Alliance/iStock/Getty Images


Muscle testing is an alternative healing diagnostic tool that allows you to ask your body yes or no questions. It works with the idea that a positive association or “yes” strengthens the muscles, while a negative association or “no” weakens them, according to the website Guided Self Healing. Bypassing conscious thought, muscle testing accesses your intuitive and energetic systems. It is not a replacement for conventional medical diagnostics. Do not rely on muscle testing alone to determine whether you have an illness, food sensitivity or other serious condition.

Interlocking “O”

This popular form of self muscle testing uses your finger strength to access information from your energy field, states Susan Courtney, psychotherapist and energy therapist practicing in London writing on The AMT Online. Press the forefinger and thumb of your non-dominant hand together. Make an interlocking ring using the forefinger and thumb of the other hand. Feel and imagine a person, activity or thing you love. Using a firm -- but not excessive -- pressure, try to pull the dominant hand “O” out through the weakest point of the non-dominant “O,” where the finger and thumb meet. Note how strong the “O” is. Switch to feeling and imagining a person, activity or thing that you strongly dislike or that has caused you harm. Pull again. It should take less force to pull the rings apart.

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Single Finger Press or Lift

Resting the palm of one hand on a table or desktop, firmly press the fingers and thumb down. Focus on something or someone you love and try to lift one finger or the thumb. It will probably stay put. Focus on something or someone negative, and try to lift the finger or thumb again. It should lift easily. Make sure you use the same amount of pressure to perform the lift each time, the website of the Foundation for Research & Exploration of Mind Motivation advises. Once you have a baseline idea of how strong you are when you think “yes” or “love,” imagine and feel a situation, thing or person about which you are unsure. Perform the muscle test. If you finger lifts easily, your answer is “no” or “this is not good for me.” If the finger stays put, your answer is “yes” or “this is good for me.”

The Snap

A single-handed muscle-testing technique that you can perform on your own, the snap involves pressing the thumb and a finger of one hand together as if you’re about to snap your fingers. Use a firm but not painful pressure. Imagining and feeling your “yes” person or thing, feel the strength between the finger and thumb. Imagine and feel your “no” person or thing. Play with the pressure to determine how much you need to exert from the thumb to create a “snap” when you’re working with “no.” The snap is created when the finger gives way to the pressure of the thumb. Once you’re clear on the difference between a “yes” and a “no” muscle response, you can begin using the snap to self-test. If you’re curious about whether a particular food, herbal formula or supplement is good for you, hold it in your free hand and see if you can produce a snap. If your finger holds firm against pressure from your thumb, the item is probably OK.

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