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Section 12B... Alternative Medicine

 

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Muscle Testing

by Dr. John Ankerberg, Dr. John Weldon
 (excerpted from The Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs, Harvest House, 1997)

Please Note: Each coloured link within the article will lead you to a related topic on a different page on this site. However while the text is part of the original article, the links are not. The author of this article may or may not agree with the views expressed on those pages.

Also See Applied Kinesiology   and    Section on The New Age
 

And The Message of the Bible   and  The Warnng of The Bible
Far from being outdated, out of touch, and largely irrelevant to modern society, the Kingdom of God Jesus was sent to earth to proclaim (No, His main message wasn’t about ‘love’) is exactly the utopian world most men and women can only dream of. However, there is also a warning. The Bible very clearly tells us that we all have a choice to make in this life - the most important decision we will ever make. And, if the Bible is indeed the word of God, as it claims to be, and Jesus is the Son of God as He said He was, the consequences for the individual who chooses to ignore, or counter the evidence with clever arguments, will be fatal.
 

Bible1-Bar 

Applied Kinesiology (AK), Touch for Health (TH), Behavioral Kinesiology (BK)

INFO AT A GLANCE

    Description. Muscle testing is often a combination of chiropractic and Chinese acupuncture theory plus "muscle-testing" practices. It involves physical diagnosis, e.g., testing the supposed "strength" or "weakness" of muscles which are believed to be related to organ systems. And it may employ treatment or healing by acupressure, meridian tracing, "cosmic energies," or other dubious methods.

    Founder. George Goodheart (AK), John Thie (TH), John Diamond (BK).

    How does it claim to work? Muscle testing claims that disease can be evaluated, at least in part, through specific patterns of muscle weakness. It also claims to manipulate alleged body energies to produce and maintain healing. By supposedly "unblocking" congested energy along meridian pathways, or by infusing energy into deficient organs or bodily areas, practitioners believe that physical health can be maintained.

    Scientific evaluation. Discredited.

    Examples of occult potential. Manipulating invisible energies can easily become an occult practice, e.g., a form of psychic healing. In addition, many muscle testers employ pendulums, dowsing instruments, and other radionics devices.

    Major problems. Muscle testing rejects the known facts of human anatomy by accepting undemonstrated connections between muscles and specific organs and diseases; it also claims to regulate bodily energies whose existence has never been proven.

    Biblical/Christian evaluation. Muscle testing is often based, in part, upon Taoist philosophy or other Eastern metaphysics, is scientifically discredited and potentially occult. It should be avoided on this basis.

    Potential dangers. The attendant hazards of misdiagnosis and occult influences.

Note: This material is general and introductory. Modern "New Age" muscle testing methods must be distinguished from the scientific discipline of kinesiology proper. Webster’s Third New International Dictionary and the Encyclopaedia Britannica both define formal kinesiology as "[the] study of the principles of mechanics and anatomy in relation to human movement." Webster’s New Twentieth Century Dictionary defines it as "the science or study of human muscular movements, especially as applied in physical education." While New Age muscle testing may or may not employ some of the methods of formal kinesiology, scientific kinesiology never employs the methods of New Age muscle testing. The two disciplines are based on an entirely different approach to physiology and health.
 

INTRODUCTION AND INFLUENCE
On a windswept Sunday morning in Los Angeles, an articulate young Chinese woman surveys an audience of 2500 and asks for three volunteers. She has just concluded a message on the energy systems of the universe and their application to classical Chinese acupuncture. In return for braving the elements and leaving behind the Sunday Times, the audience now will be treated to a most unusual demonstration.

Two young women and an older man stand somewhat nervously onstage as the Chinese woman explains how applied kinesiology, or muscle testing, can demonstrate changes in one’s life energy. With arms stretched forward and hands clasped, the first volunteer easily resists the speaker’s efforts to pull her arms downward. Quickly, the speaker touches a few points around the head, and the startled volunteer’s arms are pulled down without resistance. More points are touched, and strength returns as before.

The second woman is tested for arm strength. The speaker then places her hands in front of and behind the volunteer’s head. Suddenly she passes her hands downward to the floor, like an illusionist making a magic pass over a box whose contents are about to disappear. After this is done, the second volunteer’s arms drop with an apparently effortless pull. Then with a quick upward sweep of her hands, the Chinese woman restores the volunteer’s strength as easily as she apparently drained it.

The third volunteer easily resists the arm pull, then waits as the woman walks behind him. Twice she gives a thumbs-up gesture behind him for the audience to see, followed by unchanged tests of strength. After a thumbs-down gesture, the surprised volunteer’s arms drop with an easy pull. Another thumbs-up signal, and complete resistance returns. The woman ends her presentation with an admonition to use such abilities for good. Later she informs a small group of bystanders that she did indeed lower the third volunteer’s energy level simply by willing it to be done. "Is this magic?" one bystander asks.

"Only if you call it that," she answers.

The Chinese woman is Effie Poy Yew Chow, Ph.D., who has served as president of the East-West Academy of Healing Arts, as an appointed member of the former National Advisory Council to the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, and as organizer of a major conference on holistic health and public policy in Washington, D.C.

The previous paragraphs began coauthor John Weldon’s book with Dr. Paul and Teri Reisser, New Age Medicine, as an illustration of the "muscle testing" technique of holistic medicine. In its most basic form, "muscle testing" is one of the simplest to learn and most popular of all New Age health practices. Three kinds of muscle testing dominate the marketplace—applied kinesiology (AK), "Touch for Health" (TH), and behavioral kinesiology (BK).

AK was developed for health professionals by chiropractor George Goodheart in the 1950s. According to at least one source, Goodheart allegedly received some of his data on AK by psychic means, although we have also been told that he denies this. In the early 1970s, AK was popularized and made available to laymen by New Age chiropractor, John Thie, through his "Touch for Health" method. The third form, behavioral kinesiology, is an extended, if bizarre, application of AK, developed in the late 1970s by psychiatrist John Diamond

In essence, applied kinesiology and "Touch for Health" are very similar. Behavioral kinesiology is a related but separate discipline that has greatly expanded the application of applied kinesiology while incorporating additional strange theories of diagnosis.

Muscle testing is often employed in conjunction with other New Age treatments. Because it is easily integrated with a wide variety of New Age health practices, it is frequently combined with other techniques as part of a "comprehensive" health treatment program. For example, naturopaths, chiropractors, reflexologists, iridologists, psychic healers, acupuncturists, and those using various forms of yoga and body-work techniques may all incorporate muscle testing in their treatment programs. And the "muscle testers" themselves often employ one or more additional methods of New Age health practice.

Like most New Age therapies, muscle testing is used for both diagnosis and treatment and stresses its "natural" approach to health by assisting the body’s "innate" ability to heal itself through the "proper" regulation and maintenance of mystical life energies.


NATURE AND USE
In part, muscle testing assumes that physical illness and disease result from a blockage or deficiency of psychic energy within the body. Thus, muscle testing claims to work by manipulating this mystical life energy (called chi, prana, the life force, and so on), which is supposedly circulating within the body. The purpose of manipulating these alleged energies is to cure illness and maintain health.

Muscle testing is also based on certain beliefs of chiropractic (including, in some forms, D.D. Palmer’s theory of "Innate Intelligence"), and on ancient Taoism, in particular the meridian structures of classical Chinese acupuncture. It teaches that, if left untreated, blockages or imbalances of the body’s "energies" (the "life force," or chi) eventually result in physical illness or aberrations.

One way to examine the condition of the "life energy" it is said, is through the body’s muscles. Because specific organs are allegedly "connected" to specific muscles through the Chinese acupuncture meridian system, when these muscles are "tested" and discovered to be in a "weakened" condition, this is said to indicate that the muscle and its corresponding organ are deficient of chi. Thus, various methods of physical, intuitive, or even psychic manipulation are used to "test" muscle strength and to treat alleged energy imbalances.

Muscle testing is used in two basic ways: for prevention of illness and for treatment of existing problems. For example, muscle testing may be used to treat current specific symptoms. A patient may complain of back trouble or a stomach pain. By applying pressure against the corresponding muscle(s) thought to be related to the illness, the muscles may test "weak," indicating the underlying deficiency, or blockage, of cosmic energy. Treatment would employ acupressure methods (finger pressure applied to acupuncture points), or "hand passes" above the skin along specific acupuncture meridian lines related to the problem, which supposedly "unblocks" or "realigns" the energy imbalance and so restores health (see below). Muscle testers also claim that their methods can detect food allergies, dietary deficiencies, structural problems, and other physical maladies.

Muscle testing also purports to be used preventively to detect preclinical problems. In this case patients are encouraged to have a general diagnostic checkup, even when they feel fine. Here the therapist tests all major muscles to discover which ones are "weak." Proper treatment is then applied before the underlying "problem" has a chance to manifest outward illness on the physical level. Because it is believed that months, or even years, may pass before the blocked energy causes an illness, disease, or other problems, muscle testers encourage regular checkups.


PSYCHIC CONNECTION
Some aspects of muscle testing may be indistinguishable from psychic diagnosis and healing. In applied kinesiology, chiropractor George Goodheart recommends a method called "therapy localization." Here, the hand is placed on the body over an alleged point of energy imbalance so that the practitioner can diagnostically "test" an area for a suspected problem. The hand is thought to become a sort of psychic "conduit," able to locate the point of impaired function, allowing the practitioner to successfully "treat" the symptom. Some practitioners claim that they use their hands to "sense" various energy imbalances in different organs, much in the manner used by practitioners of psychic healing. Goodheart calls "therapy localization" the "most astounding concept in applied kinesiology" because it "is capable of identifying virtually all faults and dysfunctions that have an effect on the nervous system. These encompass everything from [chiropractic] subluxations of the spine to imbalances in the body’s energy fields."

Chiropractor John Thie teaches that "Touch for Health" can be performed in virtually the same manner as psychic healing. For example, in so-called meridian tracing, one can apparently regulate mystical energy flows by mental power alone. "In fact, you do not even have to make contact with the body. You can simply follow the meridians in your mind’s eye, through concentration, and produce much the same effect." He further teaches a common New Age belief that "we are all one with the universe, the universal energy.... Our bodies are literally this universal energy in some of its various forms." [See Overview of The New Age]

Most muscle testing, therefore, is simply a combination of or variation upon classical chiropractic/acupuncture theory and the ancient Chinese practice of acupressure, plus the novel approaches to muscle "weakness" developed by George Goodheart or John Diamond.


BEHAVIORAL KINESIOLOGY
Behavioral kinesiology (BK), an outgrowth of George Goodheart’s applied kinesiology, is the novel brainchild of John Diamond, M.D. Family Circle magazine is one of many popular newsstand periodicals that has carried glowing comments about its alleged "miraculous" powers. Famous personalities use it, and many athletes, dentists, artists, and New Agers swear by it.

Dr. Diamond himself argues that BK’s magic is applicable to literally every area of life, which explains its wide appeal:

    It provides us with the means of assessing and evaluating the effects of nearly all stimuli, internal or external, physical or psychological, on the body. Furthermore, it gives us a new understanding of the comprehensive action of the entire body energy system. There is no area of life to which BK does not apply. It even sheds light on such diverse topics as instinctive behavior, the creative process, the origin of language, anthropology, ethnology, the aesthetic experience, and modes of communication such as gesture.

BK is established on the basic philosophy of applied kinesiology: "Every major muscle of the body relates to an organ," and that muscles and organs can be "tested" to determine the condition of the "life energy" flowing through the supposed meridians related to them.

By "muscle testing," BK claims that it is able to determine the "strengthening" or "weakening" effect of a vast array of objects upon a person’s "life energy," from foods and other items to symbols and thoughts.

The centrality of the thymus gland is Dr. Diamond’s unique contribution to applied kinesiology. His book is subtitled "How to Activate Your Thymus and Increase Your Life Energy." He calls the thymus gland "the seat of the Life Energy," and relates the supposed powers of the organ to knowledge derived from expanded consciousness and the ancient "gods." He even claims that his system "ushers in the Third Golden Age of Thymology." "A major discovery of Behavioral Kinesiology is that the thymus gland monitors and regulates energy flow in the meridian system."

The thymus is a lymphoid organ beneath the breastbone at heart level. In infants and children, it regulates the production of the lymphocytes, or white blood cells, that fight infection. Alter puberty, the gland atrophies and continues to do so until death. Its role in the immune system of infants and children is established, and it retains that function in adults. It might even be a more important organ than we know. Yet, despite Diamond’s claims, it is not known to regulate mystical energies:

I have come to believe that all illness starts as a problem on the energy level, a problem that may exist for many years before it manifests itself in physical disease. It appears that a generalized reduction of body energy leads to energy imbalances in particular parts of the body.

What is the "life energy" that Diamond claims BK can regulate? It is the same old occult energy found in many different cultures:

Our Life Energy is the source of our physical and mental well-being... throughout recorded history it has had many names.... Paracelsus called it the Archaeus; the Chinese, Chi; the Egyptians, Ka; the Hindus, Prana; the Hawaiians, Mana. It is all the same thing.

Dr. Diamond believes we can use our thymuses to properly regulate our "life energy." Indeed, everything in our personal world—from objects, to emotions and habits, to environments, lifestyles, and even beliefs—can and probably should be tested to determine if they "increase" or "decrease" our all-important "life energy." For example, we can "test" the effect of the type of music we listen to, how to walk or swim properly, the color to paint our house, which tooth to have pulled, which medicine to use, which foods to eat, and which vitamins or homeopathic treatments to take. Apparently, we can even use BK tests to prevent or detect heart disease or cancer and treat them—the list seems endless. We can even test for individual lifestyles:

For many years I have used BK to investigate the environments, lifestyles, and personal habits of a wide variety of people. My findings have been generally consistent... by all means test them for yourself.... If the muscle goes weak, then you know that the stimulus has interrupted the energy flow to your thymus gland and thereby reduced the energy in your entire body-energy system.

The quack aspect of BK is easy to document. Consider the following claims, as reported on pp.74-106 of Dr. Diamond’s book. Thymus tests supposedly reveal that your life energy is:

Increased by

Decreased by

Head nods (vertical)

Head shakes (horizontal)

Smiling (or merely seeing a drawing or picture of a smile)

Frowns (or merely seeing a drawing or picture of one)

Seeing normal faces

Seeing "sanpaku" eyes (with three sides of white visible around the eye)

The swastika

The Roman cross

Organic foods

Synthetic or refined foods (the more foods are processed, "the less, if any, Life Energy will remain in them"

Life energy is also decreased by

The musical note C

Sunglasses

Electric wristwatches (but only in certain positions)

Most hats

High-heeled shoes

Ice water/cold showers

Microwaves

Police "speed gun" detectors (effective within 100 feet)

Perfume

Artificial light

And (surprise!) people do not respond well to breathing gas fumes!

If you want to find out whether you are affected by cooking gas, just go over to the stove and see whether the indicator muscle goes weak first before and then after you turn on the front burner. It’s as simple as that Your body’s answer is immediate and direct.

And according to BK, not just cooking gas, but most things in our modem technological world are conspiring against us, depleting our "life energy." Anyone who believes all this is welcome to his views. But consider the following incredible claims and explanations offered by Dr. Diamond.

Concerning the Nazi swastika (a symbol which BK says will increase our life energy!),

    "Even Jewish concentration camp survivors test strong in its presence.…" Goodness, can the people who survived the torments of Nazi Germany’s death camps really have their "life energy" increased while looking at the symbol of their destruction? And why on earth would the Christian cross supposedly deplete our life energy? Furthermore, the clockwise swastika will supposedly have a different result on people than the counterclockwise swastika.

Dr. Diamond also thinks that facial gestures, such as smiles and frowns, are related to the ancient Chinese acupuncture meridians. Smiles or frowns supposedly regulate life energy because "all gestures relate to specific meridians; these gestures of acceptance and rejection relate directly to the thymus, the monitoring center for energy imbalances of the entire meridian system." Perhaps the National Academy of Sciences should look into all this.

If the previous ideas are not silly enough, consider that people with depleted energy can deplete others’ thymus energy just by being in their presence, even through the television set!

Somehow the Life Energy of the "strong" person was diminished by his coming into personal contact with someone with a weak thymus. Not only this: If you test various meridian (energy system) test points throughout the bodies of the interacting subjects, you will find that a specific imbalance can be transmitted from one person to another.

To be weakened by another person, you need not be face to face or even one to one. Your involvement can, for example, be over television. ... If a public figure has a specific energy (meridian) imbalance or an under active thymus, he can adversely affect a large number of people [i.e., the TV audience]. An emotional state, negative or positive, can spread through a community and even a country from its primary source, the television personality, to the viewers, to their neighbors, and to all the people with whom they come in contact. If we are susceptible—of low Life Energy—we can pick up like an infection the emotional attitudes that are "going around."

A photo of Adolf Hitler will "destroy your thymus" but, remember, the Nazi swastika energizes it. Advertisements can weaken you, and two slightly different portraits of the same person can have exactly opposite effects on your thymus, depending on whether you are looking at the original or a copy. Symbols must also be carefully evaluated. "Through the techniques of BK I have been able to demonstrate the effects of hundreds of symbols on the body. Each affects a specific energy system." And although most rock music greatly decreases life energy, "In contrast, the Beatles never do." Amazing. And refined white sugar is always bad. "A poison is a poison! So get out of the habit of thinking: ‘Well, a little sugar won’t hurt me.’ A substance either raises your energy or lowers it. It is one way or the other."

Occasionally, even Dr. Diamond runs into trouble with his theory. For example, sometimes people will test strong with refined sugar and weak with raw honey. "This paradoxical finding is hard to explain," as are other even more bizarre BK principles than the ones we have discussed.

It should again be stressed again that the use of the term "kinesiology" in muscle-testing practices involves an entirely different application than in formal kinesiology, which is the scientific study of bodily movements and the muscles which control them. Applied kinesiology, "Touch for Health," and behavioral kinesiology are a distortion of scientific kinesiology, although they may employ its methods and insights. New Age kinesiology and scientific kinesiology are opposed to one another in the same way that New Age medicine and scientific medicine are opposed to one another. The former is based on mystical energy concepts and various novel, even bizarre, practices; the latter restricts itself to physical medicine regulated by the scientific method. Confusing them will be consequential.


CHIROPRACTIC INFLUENCE
Chiropractic can be safe and effective for a number of muscular and related conditions when used responsibly by adequately trained chiropractors. Unfortunately, there is another side to chiropractic, as we documented in Can You Trust Your Doctor?. Not unexpectedly, the chiropractic profession is almost single-handedly responsible for the introduction and promotion of muscle testing in America. John Thie, the developer of "Touch for Health," states that "most of these [Touch for Health] methods and techniques have been exclusively the province of the chiropractic profession." A text on applied kinesiology confesses, "Most applied kinesiologists are chiropractors."

Muscle testing was developed by chiropractors and is often taught at chiropractic schools. We have mentioned that George Goodheart was the chiropractor who may have used psychic methods to develop his system of applied kinesiology, that New Age chiropractor John Thie popularized it (with Goodheart’s help), and that John Diamond, an understudy of Goodheart, took applied kinesiology and extended its principles into his strange system of behavioral kinesiology.

It is important to understand the logical connection between chiropractic, the potential for dabbling in the psychic world, and muscle testing. Classic chiropractic theory easily lends itself to the acceptance of a psychic realm as related to health. (We documented this in Can You Trust Your Doctor?.) That Goodheart might have used psychic means to develop his system of applied kinesiology would not be surprising. Furthermore, although elements of the chiropractic profession are scientifically oriented and practiced responsibly, chiropractic itself often rejects the safeguards of the scientific method; historically, it has opposed medical science and rejected any findings disproving its theories. Chiropractic, for example, was founded upon a false theory of subluxations being the cause of all disease, and its early concept of the "Innate" is difficult to distinguish from psychic energy in general.

Thus, the two characteristics that have strongly influenced chiropractic historically—the rejection of medical science and an openness to the psychic—help explain the unscientific and New Age orientation of much modern chiropractic practice. It is hardly surprising, then, that chiropractic would be the principal agent for advancing the practice of an unscientific and/or psychically based system of muscle testing in the United States.

The ease with which chiropractic and New Age muscle testing are blended can be seen in the many books advocating a union of the two, such as the Valentines’ Applied Kinesiology, chiropractor David S. Walther’s Applied Kinesiology: The Advanced Approach in Chiropractic (Pueblo, CO: privately published, 1976), and Chiropractor Fred Stoner’s The Eclectic Approach to Chiropractic (Las Vegas: privately published, 1976). Walthers is author of the "definitive textbook" on AK, Basic Procedures and Muscle Testing:

Goodheart’s original research is now being expanded, and more investigations are being carried out by many of his fellow chiropractors, hundreds of whom are finding applied kinesiology of inestimable value in their practices as a diagnostic aid. It is a fast and reliable way to discern where structural imbalances lie, to access dietary deficiencies and allergies, to detect organ dysfunctions, and even determine the extent to which psychological factors are involved.*
 

OCCULT POTENTIAL
Each
of these systems variously accepts the occult idea of a mystical "life energy" flowing through the body. Although promoters may attempt to explain it scientifically, they accept the unproven premise of ancient Chinese Taoism and of much occultism, which teaches that psychic or mystical energy (chi, prana, mana, and so on) flows along energy pathways in the body called meridians.

As a result, applied kinesiology, "Touch for Health," and behavioral kinesiology are based upon an unfounded and unscientific concept, involving the same mystical life energies promoted in the occult and Eastern religion. Because these methods claim to manipulate invisible energies, some of the practices employed are indistinguishable from those used by psychic and spiritistic healers. This is why muscle testing may introduce people to psychic or spiritistic practices under another name, or influence them to seek out practitioners of these other forms of so-called "natural healing."

We believe that any system which claims to regulate or manipulate "invisible energies" is, at least potentially, an introduction to occult energies and should be avoided. Since these methods are not based upon the findings of scientific medicine, they are unscientific, whether or not they introduce someone to the occult.

In New Age Medicine, Reisser, Reisser, and Weldon discuss why AK, BK, TH, and related methods should not be accepted uncritically, and why they should be avoided:

We strongly urge that patients avoid any therapists who claim to be manipulating invisible energies (Ch’i, life energy or whatever), whether using needles, touch, hand passes, arm-pulling or any other maneuver.

Why do we take such a hard-nosed stand? For two reasons. First, we have seen how the invoking of life energy, especially in the spin-offs from applied kinesiology, throws critical thinking to the wind. Therapists who use such techniques have strayed far from the mainstream of objective knowledge about the human body. Their "science" is based on conjecture, subjective impressions, unreliable data and, most importantly, the precepts of Taoism. They stand separate from the scientific community. You will never see muscle testing written up in Scientific American or recognized by the National Institutes of Health. We challenge anyone who is involved in this therapy to take a hard look at its origins, its underlying assumptions, and its supporting evidence (or lack thereof).

Our look at Jin Shin Do provided an example of our second objection: the general orientation of the literature which promotes the doctrines of Ch’i and meridians. The overwhelming majority of authors express a distinct spiritual perspective which is some variation on Eastern mysticism or the New Consciousness. We have seen no exceptions to date. John Thie, originator of Touch for Health, proclaims in Science of Mind magazine that "we are all one with the universe." lona Teeguarden and her spirit guide tell us how Jin Shin Do can open our psychic centers to experience the universal flow which is love and magic. Hiroshi Motoyama, a Japanese physician, acupuncturist, and psychic researcher, is actively seeking to unify ancient Chinese medicine, East Indian kundalini yoga, and virtually all other psychic or mystical experiences into a single "science of consciousness." Psychic healer and medium Rosalyn Lee Bruyere, mentioned previously, claims to "see" auras, chakras, and meridians, and manipulates the latter two in her practice. Under the direction of two spirit guides who instruct her regularly, she teaches a blend of psychic healing, spiritism, reincarnation, and Eastern mysticism. The pattern is unmistakable. There is no neutral "science" of life energy and meridians, but rather a highly developed mystical system with strong ties to the psychic realm.

[See Overview of The New Age]

What does all this mean? It means that energy therapists, whether they realize it or not, are carrying out a form of religious practice and conditioning their patients to accept its teachings. Indeed, some therapists enter a trancelike state in order to become a channel to direct Ch’i (or whatever they choose to call life energy) into the patient. The idea of the healer’s injecting invisible energy into another person may seem innocuous to most (and silly to some), but the results may be anything but trivial. Brooks Alexander, co-director of the Spiritual Counterfeits Project, warns:

It is not difficult to see that... psychic manipulation could turn an otherwise benign form of treatment into a spiritual booby trap. The nature of the doctor-patient relationship implicitly involves a kind of trust in and submission to the healer on many levels. For a Christian to accept the passive stance of "patient" before a practitioner who exercises spiritual power (either in his own right or as a channel for other influences) could easily result in spiritual derangement or bondage.

We find it particularly unsettling to see members of the Christian community having their energies balanced by chiropractors and other therapists who claim a Christian commitment and who feel that they are not involved in any questionable practices. These practitioners may claim that Ch’i, yin and yang, and meridians are neutral components of God’s creation (similar to electricity and radio waves), available for anyone to use; but they ignore the roots of these ideas.

The products of natural science—the technologies of electronics, biochemistry and so on—can be validated by controlled experiments whose results are not tied to the religious beliefs of the researcher. But the "technology" of life energy is totally defined by the belief system of its promoters: the mystics, the psychics and the leaders of the New Consciousness.

Christian energy balancers present us with a paradox. They claim reliance on Scripture, but they carry out the practices of an occult system. Most are sincere in their desire to help their patients. Unfortunately, they lack discernment, failing to see the implication of the ideas they promote. Some are even dabbling in the psychic realm, diagnosing disease through hand passes or over long distances, claiming that this is a natural by-product of their sensitivity to life energy.

To these therapists we offer a challenge and a warning. Take a long look at the world of Chinese medicine and then decide whether you belong there. Do you feel comfortable as a part of the New Consciousness movement, promoting Taoist philosophy, supporting a system whose basic message is that "all is one," and helping usher in the New Age of miracles and magic? If not, then it is time to stop participating in therapies which lend credence and support to a world view which is antagonistic to the most basic teachings of Scripture.* 

In conclusion, muscle-testing practices are scientifically unestablished or discredited and potentially occult. Therefore, they are not true healing methods. And due to their reliance on "mystical energies," they are vehicles for introducing ancient pagan concepts or irrational approaches to medicine into modern health care.

*Documentation for all quotations in this series may be found in the Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs.

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