David J. Getoff, Naturopath/Clinical Nutritionist

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Homeopathy - a misunderstood science
By David J. Getoff, CCN, CTN, CNC, FAAIM

Homeopathy may possibly be the single most misused and misunderstood word in the entire field of holistic health. It is commonly (but incorrectly) used to mean holistic, alternative health, nutritionally related, the use of herbs, or to apply to vitamin and mineral supplements. Very often it is used to refer to those who treat illnesses with the use of diet changes and nutritional supplements. None of these uses of the word homeopathy or homeopath is even remotely correct, accurate, or appropriate. Homeopathy is a separate and distinct medical science and is not a part of the fields of allopathic medicine, nutrition, naturopathy, herbalism, aroma therapy or any other modality excepts its own. It is certainly possible for practitioners in these other fields to have studied homeopathy and even for some of them to have become practicing homeopaths but there is no other connection.

What is homeopathy? How does homeopathy work? Does homeopathy work? What are homeopathic remedies? How are homeopathic remedies made? What is the difference between classical homeopathy and complex or combination homeopathy? What is a homeopathic proving? What is a repertory? What is a Materia Medica?

The preceding nine questions are the focus of this article and I hope that in these paragraphs, I will be able to provide you with a much better understanding of homeopathy than you may currently possess. Please read on so that you will never again use the word homeopathy in place of the word holistic. Please give this article to your clients, patients, and friends so that they too can better understand homeopathy. Hopefully they will reduce their incorrect use of the word while at the same time increasing their actual usage of homeopathy itself.

Let me begin by saying that the purpose of this article is not to teach you homeopathy. If you wish to learn homeopathy, you will need a great deal more time and effort than it will take you to read this article. Thinking you can learn homeopathy from a short journal article would be as silly as reading an article in a medical journal in order to become a physician. Homeopathy is both simple and extremely complex. Most of the best homeopaths will generally admit that if they continue studying for the rest of their lives, they might learn to be as good a homeopath as they would like to become. I myself enrolled in a three year residential training program in classical homeopathy, but at the end of three years, I felt as though I know less that when I began. It was not because I did not learn a great deal during those three years, since indeed I did. It was simply that I discovered just how much more there was to know and therefore what a tiny percentage of this new larger whole that I had actually learned This might make homeopathy sound so complicated that you do not ever want to start your training. Nothing could be further from the truth. You can quickly learn enough about homeopathic first aid that you will be able to help your family in ways you never imagined and without the use of toxic drugs. If you are a health practitioner, you can quickly learn ways to help many of your patients with remedies like arnica, hypericum, chamomilla, ledum, apis, staphysagria and others to greatly improve the results you get in certain conditions with your patients. So read on and begin your education. After all, you have to start somewhere.

The founder/discoverer of homeopathy was Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, a physician and chemist. He was born in Germany in 1755 and died in 1843. Dr. Hahnemann received his medical degree at the age of 24, but soon realized that, similar to the medicine practiced today, doctors often created more problems then they helped, and rarely truly cured anyone of disease. (Note: only our bodies can actually cure a disease)

Dr. Hahnemann discovered and expanded on the principle of like cures like which is the main doctrine of homeopathy. In simplistic form this means that a substance which will cause a certain set of symptoms (often referred to as the symptom picture) in a healthy person, will help heal these same symptoms in the ill person, hence, like cures like. At first examination this may seem preposterous or at the very least, extremely difficult to believe. When examined more closely however, this principle begins to get extremely interesting. Hahnemann first experimented with Cinchona bark, a malaria cure, and found that it produced in him the chills, weakness, and sweats that are common to the actual illness of malaria. Hahnemann found that diluted and potentized concentrations of various substances could indeed cure the same symptoms in the ill person that they would otherwise have caused in a healthy person. His major work on homeopathic philosophy and treatment was (and is) called the Organon of Medicine and was continually updated and republished throughout his life. The final 6th edition was actually published 75 years after his death and was based on his final notes and writings toward the end of his career.

What is homeopathy?- Simply put, it is the science of treating any health related problem or condition by making use of homeopathic remedies based on the like cures like principle. When I say any problem, I am not being over expansive in my description. Homeopathy is being used to treat all manners of dis-ease and un-health. Many homeopaths, for instance, specialize in the treatment of emotional disorders, so homeopathic treatment is not restricted to any particular form of health problem. On the contrary, a homeopath is generally looking for the remedy that is the similimum, or the exactly correct homeopathic remedy for each patient. The premise of homeopathic prescribing is that if the exact remedy or similimum is found and used correctly, the individual will slowly heal on all levels and in all ways. This philosophy is extremely difficult for most non-homeopaths to accept. It is almost impossible for physicians trained in drug based therapies to accept. The idea that a patient’s various and sometimes numerous emotional and physical ailments can all be addressed by little pellets of a certain homeopathic remedy is mind-boggling. Nonetheless, this is what has occurred with many thousands of patients around the world who have sought out and found a good homeopath. For some, the movement towards better health is rapid, while for others it may take many months or even years. Our bodies do not heal immediately from problems that have plagued us or have been developing for a great many years. Often, during the homeopaths search for the correct remedy, many different remedies may be used over an extended period of time. This could cover many months or many years during which time the patient is most often continuing to improve. No form of medicine is an exact science, but at least with homeopathy, symptoms do not get suppressed, they get addressed and slowly (or sometimes quickly) reduced or eliminated (healed).

There are so many thousands of remedies and numerous intricacies of each, that finding the correct remedy for major health problems takes a great deal of experience and training. Please do not get discouraged by what I have just said. The use of homeopathy for first aid around the house is a great deal simpler to learn. Treating your family and patients for things such as insect bites/stings, nausea, fevers, bruises, headaches, recovery from surgery, improved healing, broken bones and much, much more, may be learned from some of the books I reference at the end of this article. More importantly, the knowledge you will gain from reading these books and utilizing homeopathy can be both rewarding, time saving, money saving, pain saving, and possibly even life saving. Just remember not to consider yourself a homeopath simply because you have read a book on homeopathy and have helped a number of patients or family members with various injuries or health problems.

A proving is what is carried out in order to determine the symptom picture for a particular homeopathic preparation. A number of people are given a particular remedy, and then for a number of days, weeks, or months, they must record every symptom that they experience which is not normal for them. This is complicated and would include things like what types of dreams they had, any itches or twitches, vision problems, emotional changes, fevers, temperature abnormalities, headaches and a great deal more. They must be in contact with a supervisor, often daily, since it can be easier and more accurate if a professional is asking them questions, to be sure to extract every little difference in their life that shows up during the proving.
All of these symptoms from the various individuals are recorded and carefully cross-referenced to form the symptom picture for that remedy. Please do not think it is as simple as I have just described, it is not. In fact, almost every part of this article is in a simplified and condensed form. There will be a number of books and other references listed at the end of this article for those readers interested in gaining more information about the fascinating field of homeopathy.

What are homeopathic remedies? Any substance whether it is of animal, vegetable, insect, or mineral origin can be made into a homeopathic remedy. There must generally be a proving done so that homeopaths understand what to use the remedy for, but the list of possible substances is endless. Bee venom, tarantulas, pus, Echinacea, lead, mercury, arsenic, table salt, dogs milk, etc, ad infinitum. These are but a tiny number of the remedies listed in the homeopaths master reference book called the Materia Medica.

How are homeopathic remedies made? This is actually done in a very regimented but simple manner. First a mother tincture is made by mixing the substance being used with a diluent such as water, grain alcohol, or a mixture of the two. For example the herb Arnica is often used as a remedy in homeopathy. If the flowering heads of an arnica plant were ground up and soaked for a number of days in an alcohol solution, so as to extract the active ingredients of arnica, this mixture would now be a called a mother tincture or herbal concentrate. This concentrate would then be filtered or strained to remove the plant parts. In order to sequentially dilute this herbal tincture into a homeopathic remedy, the following procedure might be followed. One ounce of the tincture would be added to nine ounces of a solution made up of 50% grain alcohol and 50% distilled water . This diluted solution would then be succussed (rapped firmly against a surface such as a book) 100 times in order to imprint the energetic force of the arnica into the molecular structure of the liquid. This solution is now referred to as being a 1X potency. One, because it is the first dilution from the mother tincture and X to represent the decimal or 10th or one part in nine of the dilution. The same procedure continues in order to get higher potencies. For example one ounce of the 1X solution is then added to nine ounces of the diluent (the 50% alcohol and water mixture). This second dilution is succussed 100 times and is labeled Arnica 2X and so on continually till the 6X, 12X, 30X or greater is reached depending on what homeopathic potency is desired. If, instead, you began by diluting one ounce of mother tincture in ninety nine ounces of diluent then the first dilution would be a hundredth or centesimal dilution and would be labeled 1C for first centesimal dilution. This in turn would be continued to get higher centesimal dilutions.

You can see that although the procedure is both straightforward and simple, it gets extremely time consuming. The fact that we can purchase the necessary remedies pre- made is essential, considering how many remedies are in general use today. After a remedy is made, it may be absorbed into small pellets or sugar pills so as to be sold and used in that form or may be kept and used in liquid form. Storage and shipping is easier in pills or pellets and leakage or evaporation is no longer a problem. Both liquid and pellet forms of remedies are used throughout the world. Some homeopathic remedies are referred to as the polychrest remedies. These are the ones which are used the most often, have been well proven, and whose effects are the most well documented and understood by homeopaths around the world.

Does homeopathy really work? This is a question that has been discussed, argued, researched and written about for a very long time. In my view, to ask if homeopathy really works is no longer a valid question. It is as silly a question as to ask whether Acupuncture or Ayurvedic medicine really work. The answer to all three questions would have to be yes. They have all been used on numerous thousands or more accurately hundreds of thousand (actually millions) of patients around the world. They have all been thoroughly studied and have been instrumental in the healing of large percentages of the populations of various towns, cities, and in some cases entire societies. Like the very new field which we today call allopathic or drug based medicine, none of these other fields of medicine is able to cure every disease or alleviate every symptom. The difference is that of the four, only modern allopathic medicine is documented to be killing hundreds of thousands of people every year between dangerous and/or unnecessary surgeries and deadly prescription and non prescription drugs and drug interactions. The Hippocratic oath of First do no harm appears to be being violated by the vast majority of medical doctors in practice today. Homeopaths, Naturopaths, Nutritionists, etc., appear to be the real health professionals who are actually working within the boundaries of the Hippocratic oath.

My own personal opinion, and that of many thousands of other health professionals, is that homeopathy works extremely well when used correctly. In addition, homeopathy does not have the deadly side effects of the numerous drugs currently being prescribed by many physicians and which are taken by the handful by many millions of their patients.

You will never hear a news report that some properly prepared homeopathic remedy, has been taken off the market, because it caused too many deaths from heart attacks, liver or kidney failures, strokes, or any other deadly reaction.

How does homeopathy work? This question is a great deal more difficult to answer. Even in modern times, there is a vast amount of information that we do not yet know. In many cases, we teach things as fact in schools and universities as well as in medical schools, that are later proven false. It is universally accepted, for example, that we do not understand all of the ways in which aspirin works. There are still many different premises on how and why we age. Our knowledge of endocrinology is far from complete and the current cutting edge research on the role of RNA (not DNA) in healing is fascinating. Many things about the human body and its plethora of complex biochemical and electrical interactions are still well beyond our grasp. Should people stop living just because we do not yet understand all there is to know? Should we stop using aspirin just because we do not fully understand it? The best rule will always be first do no harm. If we actually stick to this rule, then we would continually investigate all possible methods of healing even if we cannot fully elaborate on exactly what is taking place. United States Government studies have shown that over 50% of drugs and surgical procedures have never been proven to do what is claimed for them, but they continue to be used every day. Many drugs and surgical procedures, if medicine were to do only honest, ethical non-political and non-profit based research, would stop immediately.

It is believed by many scientists that all life is energy. Ki, Chi, Qi, Prana, and other words in other languages are used to designate the esoteric term of life force energy. If we temporarily accept that we are in fact electrical beings, run and effected by energies, then homeopathy becomes a bit easier to fathom. The body, human or otherwise (animal, bird, fish, reptile, etc.) has millions of electrical energetic forces which continually act within it and upon it, help it to live, or in essence actually are its life. Since energies react with one another, then every food, herb, water, sound, emotion, etc., will in some way effect any living thing in its proximity, since they are all forms of energy. Homeopathic remedies are made by sequential dilution and succussion as previously explained. The energy of the remedy has been imprinted into the molecular structure of the diluent (liquid) and will then be released and begin to act upon the living animal or human which takes or is given the remedy. This is a vibrational energy, and it may act in a more subtle manner than magnetism, infra red heat, or gamma radiation. In fact, many low dose (6 or 12X and 6 or 12C) remedies, do not generally have any noticeable effect unless there is an appropriate problem in the organism for their energy to act upon. In other words, if you take a low dose homeopathic remedy to treat a problem, and you have chosen an incorrect remedy, there will be no corresponding set of symptoms and there will be no detrimental (or beneficial) effect noticed. It is for this reason that homeopathy is so safe to use and to learn. The remedies sold in drug stores and health food stores are generally low potencies and therefore not harmful if you prescribe them for yourself or your family incorrectly.
Two of the most important books for the professional, or even the serious amateur homeopath, are the Materia Medica and the Repertory. There are many different versions of each written by various authorities in the field, both past and present.

A Materia Medica is a book made up of a compilation of the reported symptoms from the provings of thousands of homeopathic remedies. It is arranged by organ system and is used by every homeopath in order to help find the correct remedy for a particular symptom picture. There are quite a few materia medicas and various homeopaths prefer one or more over others. Page through one in a homeopathic pharmacy or bookstore to get a better understanding of just how complex and thorough they are and the kind of information they contain. The first time you try to use a materia medica, it will seem overwhelming, but without one, it is impossible to truly practice homeopathy other than basic first aid. Most good homeopathic first aid books or other beginner books on the subject will have a useable but extremely abbreviated materia medica.

A Repertory is the other important book for the practicing homeopath. While the materia medica lists a homeopathic remedy and then gives every single symptom associated with its use, the repertory is quite different. This equally voluminous work, first lists the symptom (you are looking to treat) and then gives you all the possible remedies which may be associated with the treatment of this symptom. As with the materia medica, there are quite a few different repertories for which homeopaths show their various preferences. You will be just as overwhelmed the first time you try to use a repertory, as you are with your first experience using a materia medica. Many good beginner books and first aid books on homeopathy will contain a very useable but extremely abbreviated repertory.

If you decide to expand your knowledge past what you gain from reading a few beginners books on homeopathy, you will most definitely need to purchase at least one repertory and materia medica. If you truly get into the field, you will end up owning a number of each for their variations, as well as possibly $500 to $5000 dollars worth of homeopathic computer programs. As I emphasized before however, neither of these two special books, nor the expensive computer software, is required in order to begin your instruction and make good use of homeopathic first aid for your patients or family members.

The LAST thing I want to do is to discourage anyone reading this article from getting your feet wet. This is a fascinating field and can be used it in your office or your home to great benefit. Actually, I encourage you to indeed get your feet wet soon. Just pick up a couple of the beginners books I recommend at the end of this article. To me, one of the important aspects of using homeopathy, is that it seems to be generally accepted as not being harmful during pregnancy. There are a number of books specifically on this topic and besides, treating a woman during pregnancy, with pharmaceutical drugs, should rightly scare any reasonable physician or the expectant mother due to all the possible unknown effects of the drugs on the fetus.

This last part of my article will be a discussion of the difference between Classical homeopathy and what is often referred to as complex homeopathy. I will try to be as open minded and accurate as possible, since I am in the business of education as well as in the practice of helping people get well. This topic is often one which promotes heated discussions, since most professional homeopaths feel that complex homeopathy is either bogus, incorrect use of homeopathy, misuse of homeopathic principles, or not homeopathy at all. I will attempt to stay somewhat clear of this argument as I explain the differences. I will however give some of my observations as well as the observations made and expressed to me by some of my mentors and teachers.

In general, the professional practice of homeopathy is that of classical homeopathy. This is to say that if you see a professional homeopath, he or she will be practicing what is referred to as classical homeopathy. You will generally have a one to three hour intake or first consultation, during which you will give the homeopath a tremendous amount of information about yourself. With this information, the homeopath will develop a symptom picture and either at that time, or a day or two later, the homeopath will determine what remedy he or she believes is correct for you. Most often, you will be instructed to take a single dose of this remedy in a particular potency, and wait to see how it affects both you and the symptoms for which you sought their help (as well as many additional symptoms which came up during the initial consultation but which may not have been part of your reasons for seeking help). The amount of time which may pass during this waiting and reporting period may be as short as a few days, but is more often a number of weeks and could easily be many months. Homeopathic remedies can continue working and balancing the body energies for a very long time before they cease to be effective (unless they get antidoted). During this time, the homeopath will generally not want to switch you to another remedy or re-dose the one you were given, so long as they believe it is still pushing you in the direction of cure.

When working with a classical homeopath, you will probably be instructed not to consume any foods or participate in any activity which it is felt might antidote the effects of the remedy you will be taking. There is some disagreement as to what can, may, or may not antidote (stop or interfere with) the curative effects of homeopathic remedies. A few of the items on this list include coffee, menthol, strong mint flavored foods, radiation or chemotherapy, acupuncture treatments, steroids, and certain other drugs.

Complex homeopathy is the use of remedies that contain more than just one single homeopathic substance or potency. Often they may contain a combination (and are also called combination remedies) of as many as 3-15 or more different single remedies together in one bottle. There may even be a number of different potencies of some of these remedies. (Note a product containing a number of different potencies of the same homeopathic substances is called a homaccord). Complex or combination homeopathic remedies have been formulated for many different uses. Health food stores and pharmacies generally carry remedies labeled for colds, headaches, nausea, constipation, teething, etcetera. If you looked up any of these symptoms in a repertory you would find numerous different remedies listed as possible treatments for the problem. Since a persons headache, for example, might be different in many ways from the headache that another person has (different type, area of head, quality of pain, time headache is felt, etc.) a different remedy might be correct for each headache. The combination remedies try to include many of the possible substances for a wide variety of possible headaches. The premise is that the correct substance will help effect a cure or alleviation of symptoms. The incorrect substances, when used in low potencies, are thought to simply not do anything since there is no similar vibratory problem for them to act upon. In many cases these combination remedies may work very well. In others, they will not work at all. The classical homeopath might say that the correct remedy simply was not there or that the other remedies got in the way or altered the effects.

Another common use for complex (combination) remedies is for drainage and detoxification. I have been to numerous seminars regarding the use of homeopathic drainage formulas and they have all been complex or combination remedies. An example might be the use of potentized (homeopathically diluted and energized) dilutions of pesticides or possibly cleaning chemicals which are then used to slowly help prompt the cells of the body to release these same toxins which have built up from prior environmental exposure.

It has been my own experience that this is one of the best ways to help slowly reduce the toxic load for those who are environmentally sensitive. Being able to aid the body in prompting the slow and controlled release and elimination of these toxins gets me the best results when working with this particular condition in my practice.

A number of medical doctors who are practicing homeopaths have all made similar observations regarding complex drainage remedies. I have personally attended many professional seminars where professional homeopaths lectured in regard to following information. Their observations were that when seemingly properly prescribed homeopathic remedies did not seem to be working, it was often due to some form of toxic energetic blockage in the patient. After using some homeopathic drainage products first, a number of their remedies would then have the desired effects and healing would begin. Each of these physicians related to us (the seminar participants) that as classical homeopaths, they had been warned against the use of combination remedies. They all admitted that when they finally opened their minds and became willing to at least try the complex drainage remedies, their beneficial treatment results increased exponentially with many patients.

Always remember, the mark of a great practitioner is the willingness to admit they do not know everything and that in fact they may even be wrong regarding one of their main principles or beliefs. After making this admission, they must then be willing to stretch their beliefs and try new ideas or products. While keeping the first do no harm requirement in the forefront, many new products and procedures can be investigated. I myself strive to keep my open mind seated firmly beside my scientific and skeptical mind. I must also be careful to not allow my ego or assumed knowledge to prevent me from experimenting with new products that I do not believe will work, or I can no longer find those few that actually do work.

Having taken a three year program in classical homeopathy, I have a much greater respect for its abilities than I had previously. Although I continue to practice mostly Traditional Naturopathy and all its variations, I sometimes refer patients to a classical homeopath if I feel it may be helpful. Possibly, one day, I will begin to use more classical homeopathy in my own practice. Currently I use it mostly during pregnancy.

Please learn about, and begin to practice, homeopathic first aid for your patients and your family. It is a fascinating science that may change your life.

Reading List with brief descriptions

Family Guide to Homeopathy by Lockie Easy to understand. One of my favorites for general family information.

Homeopathic Medicine at Home by Maesimund Panos M.D. & Jane Heimlich
This is an excellent beginners book. It is well indexed so that you can immediately find the symptoms and the descriptions of possible remedies. A very good first book especially for someone who is not interested in learning about homeopathy, but would like to try using it with their family.

Homeopathic Remedies by Asa Hershof, ND
This is another favorite beginners book. Very easy to use and to locate remedies with good descriptions of the variations and excellent charts.

The Peoples Repertory by Luc De Schepper M.D., PhD., Lac
This is one of my favorite beginners books, but only if you want to learn a bit more about homeopathy. There is no index and the table of contents is brief and inadequate. With that said, it is a great book. Luc is a well respected though sometimes controversial homeopath. He is also a teacher and seems to have laid out the book with that in mind. In order to get the great benefits that this book has to offer, you need to put in a little time. You should take a pen and a colored highlighting marker and read through the book. Highlight anything you want to be able see quickly, and make your own index at the beginning of the book with the important page numbers and the information to be found on those pages. This may sound like a nuisance, but it will teach you a great deal and this book will then become a treasured reference.

Everybody’s Guide to Homeopathic Medicine by Stephen Cummings & Dana Ullman. Another good beginners book with a great deal to offer

Homeopathy for the modern pregnant woman and her infant by Sandra Perko (expensive professional book)
The best I have found on the subject.

Homeopathic Medicine for Children and Infants by Ullman An excellent parents guide to using homeopathy

Homeopathy for Pregnancy, Birth, and your Babys First year by Miranda Castro
Because this is one of the few excellent books on this particular area of homeopathy I felt I needed to list it for those readers for whom it is currently appropriate.

Best mail order companies for homeopathic books:
Minimum Price Books www.minimum.com
Homeopathic educational Services www.homeopathic.com

David Getoff, CCN, CTN, CNC, FAAIM is a traditional Naturopath, board certified clinical nutritionist and educator. He teaches classes and seminars and has a busy private practice in Deerhorn Valley in the foothills of south eastern San Diego county California.

An older version of this article was printed in the Price Pottenger Nutrition Foundation Journal in 2000. It has been lengthened and revised for The Original Internist
Copyright 12/2004 and then again for inclusion on my own web page Copyright 7-2006
David J. Getoff www.naturopath4you.com

Muscle Testing:
Scientific Information Gathering Technique or Nonsense?

By David Getoff, Naturopath and Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist

Muscle testing is a simple procedure but it is often misunderstood, and even more often it is done incorrectly. Numerous professionals are using muscle testing to gather specific information about the subject being tested, and in many cases even to apply a treatment to the subject. Many professionals have created special names and sets of initials to designate their particular protocol or methodology. A few of these include CRA, TFA, JMT, and NAET. I will not go into any of these special techniques nor will I give opinions as to which ones I feel are more or less valid or effective. This article discusses what I believe to be the most scientific and objective form of muscle testing and it is this basic form which I use in my office every day. This is also the only form that I teach to both the public in short classes and to health practitioners in comprehensive 2 day seminars. Both are also available in video instruction format. The basic 3 hour course is sold through the non-profit Price Pottenger Nutrition Foundation www.ppnf.org. Health professionals may email me directly about the 12 hour professional course which is also approved for contact hours by the California Board of Registered Nursing. The cost is different and an exam is included for contact hours. Provider # 13946

What is muscle testing? It is a methodology or procedure in which we utilize the strength of a muscle or group of muscles in the subject’s body in order to gather information. It is most often done with a subject’s arm but more and more health practitioners are beginning to instead use the subject’s fingers. Muscle testing is based on the belief (I believe this to be a fact) that the energy field which is generated by a substance such as a food or nutritional supplement, will have an effect on any living thing (such as the person being tested) if the item is placed in their immediate field such as in their hand or on their lap. The energy fields of substances are identifiable and can even be reliably photographed with the use of special high voltage photography developed in Russia called Kirlian photography. Consantin Korotkov and his cameras can be searched and read about on the web. His cameras are used worldwide and a great deal of research has now been done both on and with the use of Kirlian photography. He has also written a number of books that are available in English. Please do not confuse this technology with the “Aura” cameras that are being used at public health fairs. This is not the same scientific technology and I have no idea as to the validity of these aura devices one way or the other.

In the standard form of muscle testing, the subject stands with an arm outstretched either forwards or to their side. The tester then needs to determine whether they are able to discern a noticeable difference between the strength of the subject’s arm muscles when they are holding a harmful substance versus when they are not. Normally the tester will tell the subject to resist, as a downward pressure is applied to the wrist of their outstretched arm so as to gauge their strength. They will then stop pressing and have the subject hold some substance which is not good for them such as a packet of Equal™ or of sugar. In my office I use a bottle of 98% DEET (N,N Diethylmetatoluamide) insect repellant since DEET is a strong toxic nerve poison. With one of these toxic substances in the subject’s other hand, the outstretched arm is again pressed downward while the subject resists again with an equal amount of strength to what they exerted the first time. In most people, the strength will be noticeably diminished due to the weakening effect on the body caused by contact with the damaging energy field of the harmful substance. If the substance is removed and they are tested again with nothing in their hand, the original strength will return.


When it comes to science, we are more ignorant then we are knowledgeable. Every few years, we are forced to change “facts” that we have published in the previous years’ scientific or college text books. We make these changes when we learn that the “facts” were incorrect, and we replace them with new facts that we yet again believe are correct. Muscle testing works, but like some of the effects of aspirin, and the ability of a bumble bee to fly, we are not certain as to the exact science behind it. We know that energies effect living things. There are numerous examples of this in the scientific literature including the documented effects of various forms of radiation, colors, different types of lighting, and homeopathic remedies. These are just a few of the areas in which research has been published to show that we are affected by energy.

With muscle testing, we are simply making use of some muscles in the body in order to gauge whether the energy of a substance is strengthening, weakening, or neutral in its effects on the subject being tested. Muscle testing is currently being used as an almost limitless information gathering tool by physicians, physical therapists, chiropractors, naturopaths, nutritionists and others trained to use this technique. It has been my unfortunate observation that a great many professionals who use muscle testing are doing it so poorly that their results are meaningless. Others are apparently using it to “prove” that their supplements are superior and should be purchased by the patient or client being tested. Muscle testing, like any other tool, is only as good as the professional who is using it and both technique and ethics are important.

If you have been muscle tested and you are certain that when you were told you were weaker, the tester was simply applying more pressure and that when they said you were stronger they simply applied less pressure, you are not alone. I have most definitely experienced this incorrect (or even bogus) muscle testing from both supplement salespersons, licensed health professionals, and even those teaching muscle testing! On the other hand, as I teach in my professional muscle testing classes and on my videos, there is also another possibility to examine. When your body is made noticeably stronger due to the supportive energy of the product in your hand, it will indeed be easier for you to resist the tester’s pressure on your arm or fingers. In many cases and with many subjects, this difference in strength can be very dramatic. When this happens, it will indeed feel as though the tester is applying less pressure since your muscles are temporarily considerably stronger. A second example that was suggested to me by my wife, a massage therapist, occurs in massage. When she is working on an area of the body which is tight or overly sensitive, her client will often ask why she is pressing harder on that area even though she is not, it is simply more sensitive. So how do you know? Later in this article I will explain how you may be able to determine if a tester is good, as well as how to tell whether those who think they can test themselves, are really able to do so.

At the beginning of this article I mentioned that I refer to the muscle testing technique that I use as “scientific” muscle testing. To clarify this, I mean that I will only test the effect of an actual substance being held by the subject. A food, a vitamin, an herb, an amino acid, a homeopathic remedy, a perfume, a soap, an essential oil, a detergent or a tooth paste are but a few examples of products which I might be testing. On the other hand, I will not ask a question such as whether someone has parasites, if their problems have emotional causes, or if they need a particular supplement and then test for a strong or weak muscle to try to get an answer from their body. I will also generally not test for the dose of a supplement nor do I like to test someone while asking a question about some other person who is not in my office (which is a technique of surrogate or long distance testing). Kirlian photography has been used to verify the more scientific manner in which I use muscle testing. An allergy study compared muscle testing results to blood allergy testing and the results were amazingly similar. In fact, they were as similar as the results that a good laboratory might be expected to get if they ran the same allergy test on the same person’s blood twice.

What makes muscle testing so exceptional, as long as it is done correctly, is the number of ways in which it can be used to gather information. Let me give an example of what I feel is a good and a bad way to use muscle testing and you will see an obvious problem emerge.

Someone came in for their initial consultation and when I was ready to begin muscle testing, she tried to save me some time by telling me that her liver was fine and did not need any support. When I inquired how she knew this, I was told that on a recent visit to another practitioner, she asked if they would test her liver. The other practitioner muscle tested her as to whether she was strengthened while holding the product which that particular practitioner used for supporting liver function, and it did not strengthen her. This indicated to her that she was not in need of liver support. I proceeded to test her for 7 of the products I use to support liver function. When one of the products strengthened her so much that she could dramatically feel the difference, she exclaimed, “I sure need some of that, what is it”. I told her it was an herbal liver support product and then I had to explain how her other practitioner had been misled. Muscle testing tests the “here and now “ and it is very exacting. Her practitioner believed that she was testing if the liver needed support. In fact, with the exactness of a computer, she was only testing whether that specific product was supportive to that person at that time. Her liver needed support but could not get it from that particular product and so it did not test strong. On the other hand, I have found that I need many different products for liver support in order th be certain to find one that will do the job best.

I have found that, due to numerous personal differences including sensitivities to certain herbs or combinations, many good formulas might not be supportive to people who do in fact need the type of support that the product is offering. Liver and kidney function are so vitally important that I test with 5-8 liver products and 3-5 kidney products. In this way I am more certain if the organ being tested really needs (or does not need) support.

In a similar fashion, I have had people who had just been tested (within 48 hours) by a practitioner who uses point testing and found the same problem. In this method, the tester may put their hand or fingers on the organ to be tested to determine if this elicits a weak or strong response. In other words the tester might put their hand on the subject’s liver or kidney area while often saying the name of the organ for verification, and test for a strong or weak response. I have found this also to seemingly not be as accurate as the method I use.

Laboratory blood tests are the standard of practice in medicine for determining whether liver or kidney function is impaired. Although many laboratory tests are extremely useful for diagnostic purposes, the elevated liver enzyme test appears not to be in this category of accuracy. Simply put, if someone’s liver enzymes are elevated, then we know there is a problem, but if they are not elevated, it may easily NOT mean that this organ is working anywhere near its optimal or even healthy potential. Muscle testing shines in this case as a very effective additional method of gathering information on the liver. This particular organ will manage to produce healthy, “in range” laboratory values on a blood test, even though it is only working at 20-40% of its total ability or capacity. The muscle test however will show that the body would be strengthened with the use of a liver support formula. After a few months of support, the product will no longer test as helpful, as the liver heals itself. The incomplete accuracy of western medicine’s standard liver enzyme blood test can allow a person to seemingly have good liver function one week, and then for no apparent reason, an extremely elevated liver test the following week. Only a special test where the liver’s clearing abilities are checked both before and after challenging it with certain clearance chemicals, can we find that it is already below par even though the standard test is showing no problems. For those health practitioners who are unable to order laboratory tests, the muscle test, when properly done, gives what I believe to be a very acceptable indication that some completely non- toxic and harmless liver support products might be very helpful.

One additional aspect of muscle testing, which I go over extensively in my health practitioner training seminars, is a peculiar phenomenon. The body apparently has a brief memory in that it can still “remember” the energy it felt from a substance that was being held by the subject during a past undetermined number of minutes (1,2,3, 10, ?)
This can actually be shown in a scientific way with the Kirlian camera. Take for example a person whose Kirlian image shows a deficient energy in their kidney area. This person is then muscle tested for a number of kidney support remedies, and the one which tests strongest is chosen. If the subject simply holds this product (or puts it in their pocket) while a second Kirlian image is taken, the kidney area is noticeably improved or possibly appears completely normal. It is the same energy which made this remedy test strong, which is helping, on an energetic level only, to temporarily support the kidneys. Although there will be no real lasting effect unless the remedy is actually taken for weeks or months, there will be a short term effect. If the remedy is removed from the subject, and Kirlian images are taken every 30 seconds for the following 15 minutes, a strange occurrence will be noted. As time passes, the supportive effect from holding the substance will be noticeably diminishing as time passes until it no longer exists. The amount of time it will take for the effect to diminish completely will vary from individual to individual.

The very interesting retention of an energy signature that I just described, gives a fascinating ability to the field of muscle testing. It enables the tester to determine the order in which supportive supplements might best be utilized. When testing for kidney and liver products, many subjects will test as being benefited by both. The best procedure at that point is to let the subject hold the kidney and the liver product for which they tested. The subject is tested again with both products. If supporting both organs at the same time will not cause any problem, then the subject will still test very strong or possibly even stronger. If they test at all weaker with both products then they did while holding them individually, only one should be used at a time. Immediately, the subject should be re-tested with the products singly. The one which the body “desires” to get supported first (I know of no other way to describe this phenomenon) will still test strong. The product to be used second will now test weak. This gives you yet another example of how properly used muscle testing can give us information which might not otherwise be available or accessible.

In closing, I would like to give my suggestions for determining if a prospective health practitioner is likely to be a good muscle tester. Ask them (not their secretary) whether they basically know which supplements will be needed, and that the muscle testing is just a verification, or whether muscle testing often shows them that many of their choices would have been wrong. Unless they tell you that muscle testing often shows them where their supplements’ choices would have been wrong and that this is why it is so useful, you may wish to consider a different practitioner. With as many people as I have tested and as much knowledge as I have absorbed, I am still amazed at how many times a week I gain important knowledge that I would never have accessed without this wonderful technique. Numerous times, a product that I am certain will be needed by a specific patient, does not test well for them. The muscle testing proved my belief or intuition was wrong, and so I do not recommend the product.

What I have tried to do in this rather brief article is to explain muscle testing techniques, go over some of its apparent abilities, problems, and peculiarities, and provide an example of how it might be used as an adjunct to standard laboratory testing for liver function. This article is not meant to teach you the technique of muscle testing. If you wish to learn this skill to have fun trying to test friends and family members, to show how sugar or NutraSweet™ weakens them or to see if they might be better off avoiding certain foods, I suggest you order the three hour video Muscle Testing for your Health from the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation at 1-800-FOODS4U or www.PPNF.org
A much more expensive ($300-400) comprehensive instructional video designed for health practitioners only, is available directly from my office. If you are a health professional and wish information on this video set, go to my web site
www.naturopath4you.com and look under the health professional tab for more information.

Copyright© 2002, 2004, 2006 David Getoff, Naturopath

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Note:  The information on this web site is for informational use only and is not meant to diagnose or treat any medical condition or to take the place of your physician. Always consult the appropriate health care professional when you have health problems that you feel might require professional attention.

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