Can muscle response testing (MRT) help you find what’s causing your allergy symptoms?

pat_shCan muscle response testing (MRT) help you find what’s causing your allergy symptoms?


What is muscle response testing (MRT)?

MRT (also known as kinesiology) is a fast, non-invasive technique, which is used to investigate substances that your body may be reacting to.


How does MRT work?

The MRT technique was founded by Dr George Goodheart, a chiropractor who developed applied kinesiology. Goodheart’s research recognised that muscle weakness can be affected by three types of stressors:

  1. Physical stress (such as back pain)
  2. Chemical stress (such as sensitivities to foods or environmental pollutants)
  3. Mental or emotional stress (such as moving house or changing jobs).

When you’re exposed to a chemical stressor, your body becomes stressed and requires more energy to maintain its normal function. To compensate, energy is pulled from less important parts of the body (like your limbs) to more important vital organs (like your heart). This transfer creates a momentary weakness in the arms or legs, and it’s this muscle weakness that your practitioner looks for during MRT.


How is MRT used to help minimise allergy symptoms?

At Health & Wellness Australia & Auckland (HWA) we use MRT to help identify the substances that your body may be sensitive to. During testing, you’ll be asked to:

  • lie down and keep one arm straight (by the side of your body)
  • hold a glass vial in your other hand, which will contain a concentrated amount of the substance suspected of triggering your symptoms (such as dust mites)
  • gently press your arm into a table.

While you’re pressing down, your practitioner will gently resist your pressure, feeling for a ‘lock’ or ‘unlock’ in the muscle. This is because, when you’re exposed to something that has a neutral effect on the body, your muscles remain strong (‘locked’). But when you’re exposed to something you’re sensitive to your muscles will be momentarily weakened (‘unlocked’).

Following testing, you can work with your practitioner to address any sensitivities revealed during your MRT using a natural allergy treatment called Positive Association Technique (PAT).

PAT is a non-invasive holistic therapy, which:

  • draws on acupressure and kinesiology techniques
  • aims to re-train your body
  • may reduce your reactions to substances that may be causing or exacerbating your symptoms.

Goodheart’s research suggested that muscle testing may reflect the influence of the body’s nervous, lymphatic, vascular and/or meridian systems. Each of these systems are represented in the intervertebral foramina – the natural openings between the vertebrae in the spine through which the nerve roots of the spine exit. And it’s these intervertabral foramina which are stimulated during PAT; positively conditioning your body to respond well (or neutrally) when exposed to the trigger substance (e.g. dust mites).


Why do we use MRT during a PAT consultation instead of a Skin Prick Test (SPT) or a Radioallergosorbent test (RAST) results?  

  • MRT is a non-invasive form of testing – you must avoid antihistamines prior to having a SPT and you must include the food you are getting tested for before having a RAST. Both procedures also involve breaking the skin. This isn’t necessary for MRT as it’s a non-invasive procedure which doesn’t test histamine reaction or antibodies in the blood. However, we do ask that you avoid stimulants (such as coffee and confectionery sugar) two hours before testing.
  • MRT may pick up sub-clinical reactions – at HWA we see a lot of clients who react to a food or environmental substance that didn’t show up on a SPT/RAST. This may be because the reaction is a sub-clinical reaction, which means it’s not ‘severe’ enough to show up on a SPT/RAST. Having one mild reaction on its own may not be so bad. But once you have five or six reactions working together you may start to notice symptoms. This is where MRT may help, as mild reactions do not need to be over a certain threshold to be picked up.
  • No allergy/sensitivity testing is 100 per cent accurate – while MRT has not been scientifically validated, other tests such as SPT have been found to produce “false positives” in about 50-60 per cent of tests[1]. This means that the test shows a positive result even though your body is not actually reacting to the substance being tested.

It’s important to remember, however, that MRT does not diagnose allergies. Our naturopaths use MRT to test the body’s reactions to certain food and environmental substances. We do this in conjunction with a full consultation, where we look at individual symptom history and overall health.

Want to know if PAT is right for you? Get in touch!

Send our practitioners a question using our Ask a Practitioner service, and you’ll get a call-back or reply straight to your email inbox.

Call our Head Office on 1300 853 023(Aust) / 09 479 5997(NZ) 9am-5pmEST Monday-Saturday

Request an E-PACK straight to your email inbox with more information about how we can help you with some of the most common allergy-related conditions and for more information about your local clinic.

Want to try Positive Association Technique (PAT)?

Request an appointment with one of our experienced PAT practitioners in one our clinic locations – North Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth or Auckland.

This blog is intended as general information only. PAT cannot cure allergies. It is intended to decrease your reactions and help you manage allergy-related symptoms. It is not intended to raise unrealistic expectations. If symptoms persist, consult your GP.

[1] Food Allergy Research & Education. Skin Prick Tests.

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