Equine Muscle Testing
One of the methods being widely used by holistic veterinarians that has been proven to be quite useful in diagnosis and prescribing for horses is Applied Kinesiology - equine muscle testing. Horse owners can use muscle testing in a number of ways, including determining the specific Bach Flower remedy (or combination of remedies) to use, ascertaining the best homeopathic remedy (and specific potency), or making sure a new herb, supplement or food will not cause an allergic reaction.
Muscle testing utilizes "muscle resistance" to determine whether a substance strengthens or weakens the body. When you are testing for an animal, a second person must stand in for the animal as an intermediate or surrogate.
The following is a step-by-step method that you can use for your horse. You will need a partner to do the procedure with you. Before you begin the actual muscle testing, you must test the normal level of resistance of your partner's arm muscles. If this method of testing is new to you, it will become clear as I proceed.
Finding Normal Resistance
Step 1: Face your partner.
Step 2: Your partner should raise one arm up from the side of the body so it is at a right angle to the body and level with the shoulder, with the thumb pointing toward the floor. Imagine a bird with a wing outstretched and you'll have the correct arm position. The other arm should remain at the side of the body.
Step 3: Now place one of your hands on your partner's extended arm, just above the wrist. Place your other hand on your partner's opposite shoulder.
Step 4: Instruct your partner to resist as you push down, firmly and steadily with a hard pressure, on the extended arm. Say out loud "Ready--Resist," as you are about to push down on your partner's arm. You are not trying to force his/her arm down, their arm should stay fairly level during the pressure, however, you want to place a hard steady pressure on the arm in order to measure their normal level of resistance. You should press firmly for several seconds, and then release.
When doing this testing method, do not , look directly at your partner's face, because facial expressions can affect the outcome of what you feel. Also, remember that this will work only if you both understand that you are looking for a level of resistance in the arm muscles.
This is not in any way like arm wrestling, you are not trying to over come your partner, and, similarly, your partner should not try so hard to resist the pressure that he/she recruits other muscles to "fight back." When their arm muscle starts to fade, your partner should allow it to do so. This is very important.
Muscle testing is being used more and more by veterinarians and horse owners. As I mentioned above, it is not infallible as a method of prescribing but, when you must choose between two or more viable alternative, I find muscle testing and invaluable tool. If two alternative remedies both check strong, I know that either will be effective. However, if one checks weak and the other checks strong, I know which one is best. I use muscle testing frequently and find it quite reliable.
Now you are ready to involve the animal in the equation. Your partner becomes the intermediary who will touch your horse while he is being tested.
Muscle Test Using Intermediary
Step: 1 Face your partner.
Step 2: Ask the intermediary to place one hand on the horse and to hold the substance you are checking in the same hand. If the substance being checked is in a container, take the lid off of the container. Your partner should not know what substance he/she is holding. Ask them to stretch out their arm as they did in Step 2 above.
Step 3: Place your hand on your partner's outstretched arm, just above the wrist, and your other hand on his/her opposite shoulder.
Step 4: As in Step 4 above, ask your partner to resist as you push firmly and steadily down on his/her arm. Press firmly for several seconds, and then release.
If the resistance of the arm is made stronger while you are pushing down, the substance your partner is holding is a good choice. If the resistance is weaker, and the arm is easily pushed down, this substance is a poor choice, ineffective, or not agreeing with the animal's body. If more than one item gives a positive response, it is sometimes possible to discern that one feels even stronger than the others and is therefore the best choice.
In addition to using muscle testing to check medications, I have found a remarkable degree of accuracy when testing for food allergies. It almost always agrees with skin tests for allergies. Since skin tests are expensive, painful, and can take many efforts until the allergen is identified, I recommend muscle testing first. I have also used it to identify supplements that contained ingredients an animal is allergic to. Without the muscle testing, the animal would have been given the supplements, and we would not have known there was a problem with them until the animal's health was affected.
Pet Remedy Charts for Horses the equine guide to using herbs, homeopathy, flower remedies and acupressure in natural home health care.