Muscle testing is a tool used in the Emotion Code®, Body Code™, and Belief Code® to help practitioners tap into the subconscious knowledge of their own needs and those of their clients. Muscle testing was first used in the 20th century and has gained in popularity over the last 30 years. It’s a non-invasive method used by many different kinds of energy healers during examinations and evaluations. This tool is often used to assess a wide variety of problems. Many users have reported their success in helping clients find health and happiness by identifying the root causes of issues!

A Timeline of the History of Muscle Testing

100 BC

Eastern knowledge of the meridians (or lines of energy in the body) and acupuncture or acupressure points have influenced the development of muscle testing techniques and originated centuries ago. The first documentation of these theories is The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine.

Late 1800s

The Royal Central Institute of Gymnastics (G.C.I.) in Stockholm, Sweden founded a new occupational group that became the foundation for most physiotherapy and physical therapy.


 R.W. Lovett, an orthopedic surgeon from Boston, created a process of manual muscle testing to evaluate muscle function and nerve damage in polio patients. His premise was that muscle testing could determine where nerve damage had occurred because muscles that tested “weak” were often associated with the same spinal nerve.


Two physiotherapists named Henry and Florence Kendall continued to work from Lovett’s premise and built their own model for muscle testing. They published their combined ideas in the book Muscles: Testing and Function.


A chiropractor in Detroit named George Goodheart used the information Kendall and Kendall had collected in his chiropractic offices. Through his experiences testing the client’s muscles, Dr. Goodheart found he was able to provide additional healing beyond chiropractic alignment. He discovered that some clients experienced a clearing of additional issues once he had balanced their muscles, and identified associations between chiropractic techniques and Chinese medicine. He called this new practice Applied Kinesiology.

Early 1970’s

Interest in George Goodheart’s study of Applied Kinesiology grew, as he lectured at conferences across America. He took on students and taught them his methods. These students in turn led study groups where they shared information with new students and developed their own methodology and systems for testing.

Late 1970s

One of Dr. Goodheart’s students,Dr. John Thie, theorized that muscles tested differently depending on the stress they were under. This knowledge led to an assertion that muscular symptoms were connected to imbalances. These imbalances could be related to energy blockages, physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, or nutritional issues.

Early 1980s

Another student of Dr. Goodheart, Dr. Alan Beardall, developed his own system of over 250 specific muscle tests. These specific tests were meant to isolate major muscles of the body. He also developed the concept that the subconscious mind could express itself through muscle testing with strong or weak responses correlating with ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers.


 Richard Utt developed an additional method of muscle testing which he called Applied Physiology. This included multiple muscle states (rather than the binary ‘weak’ or ‘strong’).

Late 1980s

 American scientist Charles Krebs added an additional element to muscle testing with the development of Learning Enhancement Acupressure Program, or LEAP. Krebs did extensive research into the brain and nervous system, kinesiology techniques, and energetic sciences.


Chiropractor Dr. Bradley Nelson tapped into his 20 years of experience to create The Emotion Code, using muscle testing to find and release Trapped Emotions and imbalances.


Muscle testing has evolved into a diverse range of evaluation techniques utilized by many practitioners who see its benefits. Millions of practitioners worldwide use muscle testing in many different ways. A few examples of these manual muscle testing systems are PSYCH-K, Total Body Modification, BodyTalk, the Emotion Code, Body Code, and Belief Code by Dr. Bradley Nelson, Neuro-Emotional Technique, and Emotional Freedom Technique.

Muscle Testing and the Emotion Code, Body Code, and Belief Code

Chiropractor Dr. Bradley Nelson relied on his 20 years of working with clients to create the Emotion Code method in 2007. His first book on the topic “The Emotion Code: How to Release Your Trapped Emotions for Abundant Health, Love, and Happiness” sold more than 125,000 copies and began an international energy healing revolution. Since then, Dr. Nelson has also gone on to develop The Body Code System and the Belief Code, two additional energy healing methods, that are used by Certified Practitioners around the world.

In all three of these systems, muscle testing is an integral part of the process, with the premise being that they discover energetic imbalances and detect trapped emotions. Once muscle testing has been used to find the emotional cause of a symptom, natural energetic healing is used to ease the blockage or correct the imbalance. This process has been used by many practitioners and clients, and they have reported improvements in their body’s ability to naturally heal themselves through this process!

Muscle Testing Research

Since muscle testing is less constrained by Western medicine and is now used within many different practices, extensive studies and research on the topic are limited. However, a scientific study of kinesiology muscle testing found that muscle testing accurately showed a ‘strong’ muscle test when tested after true statements, and a ‘weak’ result after speaking false statements. Another manual muscle testing study found that those with 5 or more years of experience had 98% accuracy using this system. Those with less than 5 years of experience had an accuracy percentage of 64. Manual muscle testing has been found effective in lowering the emotional response to phobias, as well as accurately determining food allergies or intolerances as seen in another study. 

How To Become Certified in Muscle Testing

If you’d like to start putting muscle testing to use for you and your loved ones, you may want to become a Certified Energy Healing Practitioner, as thousands of others around the world already have.

Still have questions? Get free access to our Intro to Muscle Testing Course.