Autonomic Response Testing Revisited

Volume: 10
Issue: 9
September 15, 2015
Autonomic Response Testing Revisited

Dear Colleagues:

This month I want to spend some time re-visiting autonomic response testing (ART), a method of detecting interference fields that was discovered in the early 1990s by Dietrich Klinghardt and Louisa Williams.  This was a breakthrough for North American neural therapists who were finding too many patients reluctant to accept the classic method of multiple test injections. (Between 10 and 23% of the public are needle-phobic, depending on how the phobia is defined.)

Only later did North American neural therapists discover that at least some of their South American colleagues had already been using variations of autonomic response testing for several decades.   Dr German Duque of Columbia had learned the basic principles from George Goodheart DC, himself,  (the founder of applied kinesiology), but other methods such as bi-digital O-ring testing and VAS were already in use.

Autonomic response testing, like applied kinesiology, has its share of detractors.  To be fair, scientific explanations of how it works are hard to come by, using standard high school or university physics. And this can be a barrier for some patients.

As I mention in chapter 4 in my book on autonomic response testing, some patients are apprehensive about even the idea of energetics (i.e. communication independent of the special senses). In these cases I will sometimes simply avoid using ART. 

However for many, simple explanations of ART in the context of a general physical examination will help overcome their fears.  Thinking about ways to explain ART to patients has actually helped me to better understand the principles myself.  

For example I explain the changes in muscle strength we observe with an autonomic response as one part of a “fight-or-flight” phenomenon, similar in nature to a slight change in pulse or pupil size. (Most patients have no trouble with the “fight-or-flight” concept.)

Next, when introducing the idea of interference fields, I refer to them as locations where the body “feels vulnerable”, either from a past trauma or from a current irritation of the nervous system. It is then explained that the presence of the examiner’s hand elicits a fight-or-flight response, which can be detected as a change in muscle strength.

Patients will sometimes say that with testing they cannot tell whether their muscle is weakening or if the examiner is exerting more force.  I reply that probably both are true, as the autonomic response transfers readily into another person, as evidenced by the Heartmath experiments. Nevertheless, the patient’s weakening can usually be demonstrated by using only one finger of the examiner to overpower the patient’s arm.

The placing of significant substances into a patient’s field (or personal space) to trigger an autonomic response is a more challenging idea to convey.  Here I use the idea of “resonance”, that all matter resonates in characteristic patterns determined by its molecular structure and energy level. When structures or substances resonate, they are sharing a response to a frequency determined by their structures.  We even speak of ideas “resonating” with an audience, when the listeners hear something that has special meaning to them.  Having said that, it is still a source of wonder to me that the autonomic nervous system recognizes and expresses this recognition. For this I have no explanation.

One final point:  From the beginning, Klinghart and Willliams stressed the importance of autonomic “regulation” in the nervous system’s capacity to respond to stimuli, i.e. “open regulation” means that the nervous system is calm enough to react to subtle stimuli.  Bruno Chikly DO teaches manual techniques to “down-regulate” the sympathetic nervous system when searching for somatic dysfunction within the brain and spinal cord. (These somatic dysfunctions are identical to interference fields.) It would seem that an autonomic response is easier to detect when the background “chatter” of the sympathetic nervous system is at a minimum.

Porges shows that the “smart vagus”, i.e. the parasympathetic outflow from the nucleus ambiguus has an attenuating effect on sympathetic tone. The “smart vagus” responds to and initiates relaxed, reassuring behaviour, which is why calmness on the part of the physician is so important in autonomic response testing.

Many variations of autonomic response testing and applied kinesiology exist, but the concept of sympathetic nervous system arousal in response to stimuli of various kinds is foundational to understanding how this system of diagnosis works.


Letters (regarding safety of dental implants)

Excellent evaluation of the current situation, Robert.
Totally agree.  

Pierre Larose DDS
Montreal, Canada.


I would like to make 3 comments: 

1. As you know I’ve switched almost exclusively to zirconium implant, CERAROOT. They are ultra-biocompatible.  Dr Robert Cass – probably the oldest, wisest EAV practitioner has been tracking these zirconium implants with EAV on hundreds of patients; he was happy enough with the EAV readings to proceed to have zirconium implants himself.

2. The DURABILITY of these implants, which in previous forms were weak now (past 10 years) has improved DRAMATICALLY with the Ceraroot implants.

Here is a YouTube link that is shockingly convincing and I’m not exaggerating.

3. The mandible dystonia patient – I am STRONGLY suspicious that this dystonia was set up over time with a gradual tooth attrition causing years of muscle compensation / hypertrophic almost always asymmetric then TRIGGERED by the upper veneers. Why the upper veneers? The upper jaw is “fixed”; of course the lower jaw moves… The analogy I give my patients is that the maxilla is the door-frame fixed and the mandible is the door itself that moves and has to fit within the door. So these new upper veneers have changed the door-frame and the mandible thus muscles have to further compensate to fit the mandible within the confines of the maxilla!

Veneers/crowns on upper front teeth are notorious for triggering muscle spasms/dyskinesia.  If made too long or too retruded they act as “jail bars” for the mandible because they lock or restrict escape/forward movements of the mandible. Forward movements of the mandible are very important for oxygenation due to increasing volume of oropharynx thus restrictions to this forward movement by upper veneers can trigger very systemically disruptive events such as sleep apnea or other musculoskeletal crisis. Oxygen is the key!

Ali Farahani DDS,
Stratford, ON, Canada

My comment:

Thanks for these interesting observations. You may be correct about the jaw muscle dysregulation and the triggering effect of the veneers in this patient.  He had several missing molars on the left side and no doubt his dental mechanics were disturbed.  Nevertheless he clearly did have interference fields in the lower molars accompanied by a therapy localization sign.  This always indicates a significant irritation of the nervous system. And since dystonias, wherever they arise, are of central nervous system origin, it is hard not to conclude that the implants were playing at least some role.



About the interesting topic of implants: In many patients where an odontofocal test in the implant area was performed, with a positive response, I have seen that the recommendation of removing an implant was successful. Thinking that a solid strange body inside the bone could, via the trigeminal nerve, establish an anomalous reflex, periodic procaine injections in the area or, much better, removing implants, were solutions in the patients I treated. 3/4 of the time the implants were related to an aching shoulder, and in one of the patients, hypothyroidism was successfully treated by removing the implant.

Dr. Kidd, thank you for your letters and for your efforts, My father, my brother and I, are MD’s. We all use NT, my father for over 40 years. Your letters give us always topics to think about.

Dr. med. I. Coral
Medicina Biológica 
Quito, Ecuador

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