How I Learned to Listen to What My Body is Telling Me February 03 2016

Just a little over a year ago, I was close to 50 pounds overweight. I was also tired, depressed and physically in pain thanks to carpel tunnel that came on with the pregnancy of my first child ten years prior. And yet, whenever I sought the help of professionals, I was always told my blood and nutrient levels, along with my eating habits and portion sizes, were “perfect.” I had given up. I was resigned and angry and felt the only logical thing to do was to verbally assault my own body. Crazy but true. In order to get the full effect of the attack (after all, I was furious), imagine that the following is written in all capital letters: “If you told me what was wrong, body, I’d fix it!!! If I knew what you wanted, I’d give it to you!!!”

Electronic Muslce Response Test (MRT)

The very next week I happened upon a little herb store in a town not too far from my home.  Out of curiosity, I walked in, and an innocent conversation led to me scheduling something called an electronic Muscle Response Test (or MRT) the following week. “Please, God,” I said to myself on the way to this MRT, “Please let them find something for my horrible digestion, zero energy and carpel tunnel,” which by this point was waking me up from the elbows down several times a night. Not one word about my issues was exchanged before the test, which took five minutes. 

Herbal Remedies

The results came back: “Take these herbs for your digestion, lack of energy and inflammation.” No way. Was it possible? Could it really be that easy? I contemplated the print-outs and went back to the store the next day to make my purchases. Within three days (ed. note – not everyone will have the same results), I felt better than I had in my entire life. Within three days, my stomach had settled down, I had given up my necessary 3:00pm afternoon nap and I hadn’t woken up once in the middle of the night. I was hooked.

But what exactly is MRT and why does it often come with a negative connotation? The second part of that question is easy: Unfortunately, there are many (including yours truly) who initially fail to explain what the test is and how it works. After first learning how to do it manually, I was so excited that I ran around exclaiming proclamations like, “No cheese for you! I could pull your fingers apart! Uh oh, weak fingers - looks like you’re allergic to wheat, too!” Ugh, what a disservice. I might as well have said I was selling snake oil. So let’s end that right now.

Electrical Beings

For starters, as human beings we are electrical beings. Our bodies are filled with energy and that energy flows throughout our bodies and in and around all of our parts. This energy is used by our nervous system to control our functions and communicate with the rest of the body. MRT is a non-invasive assessment that detects where in the body this electrical flow is weak, why it is and how it can be corrected. By using MRT, I have been able to determine the root cause for all of my clients and even determine that one client was getting ready to undergo surgery on the wrong body part! But I digress…

First, make sure that both the person doing the testing (you) and the person being tested (the client) are balanced. Sometimes, this takes just a few deep breaths. Next, receive permission from the client to actually do the test. After receiving the client’s permission, ask the client to lock up a muscle (usually in their arm) to see how strong it is. This is critical because if the objective is to see which areas are weak, one first needs to be strong. Otherwise, every single part of the body will test “weak” or “deficient” and make the assessment useless. If the muscle is weak, the naturopath has the capability of making it stronger by doing a few different things i.e. spindling the muscle, etc.

Checking Polarity

Once we know the client’s muscle is strong, polarity is checked. This is simply the energy flow that exists between our personal north and south poles (yes, we have them!) located on the tops and bottoms of our head, feet and hands. This is an important step since, should a client’s polarity be “off,” the whole test’s effectiveness is in jeopardy as the client could test “strong” or “weak” when they are really just the opposite. Again, should this flow be disrupted, it can be reset using a variety of methods.

Finally, now that the client is ready to test, the naturopath touches a reflex area that connects to a particular part of the body. The nervous system responds by either sending the same or lesser amount of energy to the locked muscle. How the muscle reacts determines whether or not the tested part is functioning properly. For example, if the muscle is strong, oxygen and nutrient levels are sufficient to function optimally. If, however, the muscle is weak, that suggests the opposite is true. There are, of course, other reasons it might test weak. One possibility is that the area has insufficient nerve flow. 

Checking Nutrient Levels

If nutrient levels are being checked, the results show whether or not the person tested is deficient in that vitamin, mineral, etc. Muscle Response Testing can be used to determine anything if the skill level of the naturopath is high enough. Which natural remedy would work best for me? How much of it should I be taking? How often? The possibilities are truly endless – small children too little for testing can be tested “through” their parent and even out-of-town relatives can be “assessed.”

For those out there who are still in doubt, it’s important to point out that overall body strength has nothing to do with it. I’ve tested a seven year-old girl’s iodine levels and her arm did not budge an inch. I’ve also tested a highly-trained police officer - with an extensive martial arts background whom I’ve seen lift a 300-pound armoire – who was deficient in B vitamins and his arm dropped faster than you can fathom.

Determine Primary Weaknesses

More often than not, because of the world we live in that is filled with stress, bad nutrition, pollution, chemicals, etc., numerous parts of the body test weak. Does that mean that you should plan on walking out after your MRT with a tote bag full of product? No. Again, a good naturopath will know how to determine primary weaknesses (i.e. the stomach is only testing weak because the liver is unhappy or strengthening the small intestine will also make the large intestine become stronger).

They will also be able to conclude if each weak/deficient area needs to be strengthened or cleansed. Nothing makes me crazier than “one plan fits all” approaches to health, such as, ‘Everyone should avoid meat” or “Everyone should be a vegetarian” or “Running a 5K is great for everyone!” Folks, if we applied that theory, someone could get hurt. Not everyone is strong enough for a cleanse and knowing if you are or not before you do one is very important.

Empowering Knowledge

Newly empowered with the knowledge of what an MRT is and what it can do, you are now empowered to make the best choice for you. Personally, I prefer asking my body what it wants rather than force-feeding it with invasive tests. One year later, the afternoon cat naps are still off the agenda, twenty of the fifty pounds and many waistline inches have disappeared, the carpel tunnel is gone, and the depression has officially been replaced with happiness and overall vitality. I’ve now moved on to tackling bigger root issues that have plagued me for over 40 years. Will it be an easy battle? Heck no. I often have to remind my Taurus self that patience is a virtue. But will I be victorious?  No doubt about it. After all, thanks to Muscle Response Testing, I know exactly what to do.

Written by Karen Nelson of
Karen Nelson is a certified Natural Health Educator and the Director of New Life Naturopathy in Springport, Michigan. No longer sick and tired, she is ¼ of the way towards fulfilling her dream of becoming a Doctor of Naturopathy.