Fitness for One and All Home Page

Books and eBooks by the Director

Self, Home, and Surrogate Testing

by Gary F. Zeolla

Note: Be sure to read the Update" at the end of this article, or you will get the wrong impression of the writer's final attitude towards NAET.

Other articles listed at NAET and Applied Kinesiology describe the basics of Applied Kinesiology, also known as muscle response testing. This article will describe additional ways of performing this diagnostic method.


Applied Kinesiology is primarily a diagnostic tool used by medical practitioners. But it is also possible to perform the testing method on oneself. In fact, learning to do so can be very beneficial in taking control of one’s own health.

One method for performing self-testing is called the “O-ring” test. This is done by touching the tip of the thumb to the tip of the pinky finger. You then use the index finger of the other had to try to pull the fingers apart. And unless you have some structural problem like carpal tunnel, you should not be able to pull the fingers apart.

You then place a sample of a possible allergen in the hand forming the “O.” And if you are allergic to the item you should now be able to pull the fingers apart. This might sound sounds simple enough to do, but it actually takes quite a bit of practice to learn how to do it properly.

I had known about this self-testing method for some time from reading the book Allergy Relief by Sylvia Godlfarb, but I could never seem to “get it.” Even when I was holding something I knew I was allergic to I still couldn’t pull my fingers apart.

But I finally figured out what I was doing wrong: I wasn’t waiting long enough before trying. It seems that for me to get an accurate reading I need to hold the item for at least 15 seconds, and it also helps if I sniff it. So to be sure I was in fact getting an accurate reading, I took several items I had self-tested into the doctor I was seeing at the time for NAET treatments.

I had her test me on the items I had tested at home. I ended up being correct on all but one item. And I re-tested that one when I got home I got it right as well.

Another point to note is the doctor said that being dehydrated can cause one to get inaccurate results. So if you’re thirsty, you should drink something before trying to do any testing.

I learned how to do the O-ring testing method first as it’s the method described in the above mentioned book. But a second method is described in Dr. Devi’s book Say Goodbye to Illness. It is called the finger on finger method.

Dr. Devi explains, “The finger on finger test is used in self-testing. Strength of the interphalangeal muscles of two fingers is compared here. Middle finer is pushed on using the index finger of the same hand or vice versa in the absence and presence of the allergen in the other hand” (p. 108).

It only took me a couple of minutes of practice to learn how to do this. How I did it at first was to hold my index finger straight out. I then put the tip of my middle finger on the fingernail of the index finger. I then pushed down with the middle finger and resisted with the index finger. In the absence of an allergen or the asking of a question, the index finger should remain strong and straight.

Later I tried reversing the fingers, and found this a little more comfortable to do. I wrapped my index finger around my middle finger, placing the tip of the index finger on the first knuckle right below the fingernail of the middle finger.

I was sitting outside when first tried this so I first tried asked questions using this method. I started with a couple of obvious questions: “Am I a male?” “Am I a female?” To the first question my index weakened and bent down indicating the “yes” response. To the second it remained strong and straight indicating the “no” response. So I knew right away that I could self-test using this method.

And as I practiced with this method I realized it was even more valuable than the O-ring testing method. With the finger on finger method only one hand is needed to test for allergens or to ask question. So it can be discretely used in a public place.

But whatever method one uses, it is very important for someone with a history of allergies to learn some kind of self-testing method. It takes practice and being "tuned in" to one's own body to do so, but the effort is worth it.

As Dr. Devi Nambudripad writes:
After considerable practice, some people are able to test themselves efficiently using these methods. It is very important for allergenic people to learn some form of self-testing technique to screen out contact with possible allergens to prevent allergic reactions in order to have freedom to live in this chemically polluted world…. Hundreds of new allergens are thrown into the world daily by non-allergenic people who do not understand the predicament of allergenic people. If you want to live in this world looking and feeling normal among normal people, side by side with the allergens, you need to learn how to test on your own (Nambudripad , Say Goodbye, p. 109).

I know by experience that this self-testing works. Before I was treated for all of my allergies with NAET, this testing enabled me to identify what I was and was not allergic to. If I tested okay with a food and ate it, I suffered no ill effects. If I tested as allergic to something and ate it anyway, I would immediately get very congested.

And it has worked great in a self-diagnostic manner as well. For instance, with my fibromyalgia there have been many times when I have felt pain in a muscle like I had pulled it. But I would use the self-testing to ask if I had in fact I injured myself. And when I would get that I did not, I would make sure by asking if I could safely ignore the pain. And when the testing said I could, I went ahead and went to the gym to work out. Or if I were already working out, I would just continue my workout.

In many cases, the pain was gone by the time I got to the gym, or it eased up while as I continued to lift. I never made the pain worse by working out. But if it had been a real injury, then lifting weights should have made it worse.

So the muscle testing saved me from missing workouts when there would have been no reason to do so. In fact, with as often as I was getting such pains, if it hadn’t been for the muscle testing, I might have given up on lifting altogether like I had once before due to such pains. But instead, I am now not only working out but actually doing so with surprising success. See My Powerlifting Background for more in this regard.

One final point needs to be mentioned in this regard. At one point I was getting seemingly inaccurate answers to my self-testing. And it took an appointment with Dr, Caryl to determine why.

In the article Proper NAET Treatment Method, I mention about the doctor touching various parts of my body corresponding to various organs. And if I tested “weak” she would rub the area until tested strong. Since I hadn’t been to the doctor in over two months, this hadn’t been done in quite a while. And most of my organs were now “out of balance.”

So what the doctor figured was that this lack of balance in my organs was the reason I was getting some inaccurate answers in my self-testing. She then gave me a chart showering where the organ points were and said I should periodically rub them myself to keep myself in balance. And after this, I began to get different but more accurate answers to the same questions I had asked previously. So it is important to “stay in balance” either by going to a practitioner or by home treatments.

Home Testing

I also went to another practitioner for NAET treatments. In the spring of 2001 he held a free health seminar. He even graciously gave me permission to sell my Creationist Diet book at the seminar. At the seminar he talked about the muscle testing that he uses in his office.

He explained that Applied Kinesiology is based on the principle that all objects emit some kind of energy. If the energy of the object conflicts with the energy of your body it will weaken it. As a vivid example of this, he had someone come forward who had loaned him a watch to use before the seminar. The doctor doesn’t wear a watch himself as he considers it unhealthy.

The reason for this is the energy from the battery could interfere with the energy flow in one’s own body. The electrical current can easily pass through the watch to one’s wrist as the back of the watch is generally made of metal. And even the LED readout could be a problem.

In any case, he had the man hold out his arm and hold the watch in his other hand. The doctor then told him to resist and pushed down on the man’s arm. The arm went straight down. the doctor then used just two fingers and was still able to push the arm down, and then using just one finger. He then told the man he would give him a $100 gift certificate to his office if he could hold his arm up, but the man still couldn’t, even with $100 on the line! This whole scene was rather funny but a vivid example of how effective muscle testing can be.

Also at the seminar the doctor had everyone stand up and try to do the arm testing with a partner. He told the tester (the one trying to push the arm down) to think (not say out loud), “Is this person a male?” And then, “Is this person a female?” Such questions are a good way to test to see if you are getting accurate answers. And some people did look like they were getting some kind of results.

I was sitting by myself at the seminar behind the table where I was selling my books, so I wasn’t able to try this then. But I tried it later with my dad, but unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get accurate answers. It took me quite a lot of practice until I was as able to test myself, and I would suspect that to be able to test others would require even more practice.

But it would be nice to be able to test family members and others for allergies or even for the need for supplements. However, one has to be careful here, especially if one starts to try to diagnose the cause of other people’s health problems. This should really be left to those with the proper training.

In fact, later the doctor gave me a pamphlet explaining what is involved in getting certified to use Applied Kinesiology as a diagnostic method. The pamphlet states, “To practice AK, one must take a basic course that takes over 100 hours of classroom study and practice to complete. A basic proficiency exam in AK must be passed at the end of the course.”

Moreover, not just anyone can take this course. “The International College of Applied Kinesiology and the courses offered by the College are only open to those individuals who are health care practitioners, licensed to diagnose or students enrolled in an accredited program who, upon completion, will be granted license to diagnose” (Applied Kinesiology pamphlet).

So it might be interesting to play around with trying to test others, but to actually use Applied Kinesiology to test others is a serious matter. And it is important that a practitioner is skilled in doing muscle testing. It is an art that requires quite a bit of practice.

Surrogate Testing

At the seminar, the doctor also discussed “surrogate testing.” For this, the practitioner does not do the muscle testing on the person to be tested directly but to another person. Two people sit beside each other, first the person to be tested and then the surrogate. The practitioner stands in front of the surrogate. The testee holds the item to be tested in one hand and places his/ her other hand on the surrogate’s hand, and then the tester tests the outstretched opposite arm of the surrogate.

I know this sounds strange, but it does work. The reason for it, as the doctor explained, the energy of the testee passes through into the surrogate. If one doubts this, the doctor said to have two people hold hands and have the first person stick his finger in an electrical socket. He claimed that only the second person would get electrocuted but not the first.

I have no doubts that the second person would be electrocuted, but I’m not so sure that the first wouldn’t. But I’m not about to conduct such an experience to find out! But whatever the case, my, and I’m sure anyone else’s, reluctance to be even the second person in such a test shows that we all just “know” that energy can pass from one person to another.

The value in using a surrogate is when the person to be tested can’t understand what needs to be done or can’t hold his/ her arm out and have force applied to it, such as in the case of small children or someone who has some kind of problem in both shoulders.

For that matter, there is also a certain skill involved in being the testee. The person being tested needs to hold his/ her arm out with the same amount of resistant each time something is tested or a false reading might be given. It is probably to save time explaining all of this that the doctor uses the surrogate method almost exclusively, at least with new patients.

2012 Update

I no longer recommend or trust "applied kinesiology." According to this testing method, my health is just fine. But it most definitely is not. I am feel allergic to just about everything and am so fatigued that I can barely function. I most definitely would not use it to test for muscular injuries. I injured my right leg on two different occasion (the hamstring then the adductor). In both cases, I tried self-testing and it told me they were not injuries, so I ignored the pain and kept lifting. In the process I really screwed my leg up. So now, years later, both injuries still bother me tremendously and have never healed. Between my worsening health and these injuries I can barely work out anymore. For further details, see Dangers of Applied Kinesiology and NAET.

Applied Kinesiology pamphlet. ICAK-USA. Shawnee Mission, KS, 1997.
Godlfarb, Sylvia PhD. Allergy Relief. New York: Avery, 2000.
Nambudripad, Devi, M.D.Say Goodbye to Illness. Buena Park, CA: Delta Publishers, 1999.
Zeolla, Gary. Creationist Diet: Nutrition and God-given Foods According to the Bible. AuthorHouse. Gary F. Zeolla, 2000.

Self, Home, and Surrogate Testing. Copyright 2002 by Gary F. Zeolla.

Disclaimer: The material presented in this article is intended for educational purposes only. The author is not offering medical or legal advice. Accuracy of information is attempted but not guaranteed. Before undertaking any diet, exercise, or health improvement program, one should consult your doctor. The author is in no way responsible or liable for any bodily harm, physical, mental, or emotional, that results from following any of the advice in this article.

The above article was posted on this site September 21, 2002.
The Update was posted August 15, 2012.

Dealing with Health Difficulties
Dealing with Health Difficulties: NAET and Applied Kinesiology

Text Search     Alphabetical List of Pages     Contact Information

Fitness for One and All Home Page

Books and eBooks by the Director