Those recovering from chronic illness typically have cabinets full of pill bottles and may take 50-100 pills a day or more.


After spending thousands of dollars, many wonder which supplements are helping, and which are a waste of money. While working with an experienced practitioner is critical for developing a personalized treatment plan, things can change frequently in between appointments. There are some simple techniques to muscle test your supplements, and with a little practice, they can be fairly accurate. Many realize that half of what they take on a daily basis is not necessary. Obviously, you shouldn’t scrap the protocol created by your doctor based on your own testing, but it can be a helpful tool to make adjustments on your own.


The way that muscle testing works is by measuring your nervous system response. When the nervous senses a stressor, it freezes, and the muscle becomes weak. This is a defense mechanism left over from reptilian evolution. Many animals such as lizards, snakes, and possums will freeze and play dead (“play possum”) when there is a predator nearby. This is not a conscious decision to play dead, but rather a reflex of the autonomic nervous system. While muscle testing can get more complicated than this, for the purpose of doing muscle testing at home, all you need to understand is that humans have this reflex too. This reflex can be used as a simple diagnostic tool at home.


Dowsing is one of the most popular ways of muscle testing.


Dowsing involves using an instrument such as a rod or pendulum to detect subtle movements in the arm muscles. It is not some magical force that causes the pendulum or dowsing rods to move, but rather an extension of your own muscle movement. Dowsing rods have been used for hundreds of years to find underground water for digging wells, sometimes referred to as geomancing or “water witching” (even Albert Einstein was a proponent of dowsing, once saying: “The dowsing rod is a simple instrument which shows the reaction of the human nervous system to certain factors which are unknown to us at this time”). The way that water dowsing works is that the human body can subconsciously detect disturbances in the earth’s magnetic field from underground water. When this happens, there will be a change in muscle tension, causing the dowsing rods to move.

In more recent history, dowsing has been adopted for use in energy medicine. The same mechanism that is used for detecting underground water can be used for detecting changes in a person’s (or any lifeform’s) energy field. Dowsing is a simple way to test supplements or remedies and dosages. There are a few different dowsing tools that can work, and each has pros and cons:

An assortment of different dowsing tools.

Y Rods and L Rods: These are typically used for water dowsing, but can be used for muscle testing. The downside is that these require two hands, and for supplement testing you need the one hand to hold the substance that is being tested. Y rods and L rods are a good tool for finding geopathic stress zones from underground water, which can disturb sleep if they are located beneath your bed. Y rods will move up or down, and L rods will cross to determine an answer.


Pendulum: Pendulum dowsing is a popular method, which is done by holding a pendulum, and looking at which way it swings or rotates.


Biotensor: This is a one-handed dowsing tool, in the category of bobber rods. A yes answer will bob up and down, and a no answer will bob side to side. This is a very sensitive dowsing tool that is great for supplement testing, but it takes a lot of practice to get used to.


Aurameter: The aurameter is like the swiss army knife of dowsing tools. It has combined aspects of all of the above tools. It gets its name for being a useful tool for detecting auras.

The aurameter is also commonly used by treasure hunters for finding buried items, but it is also a great tool for supplement testing.


All of these dowsing tools and books on how to use them can be purchased from the American Society of Dowsers. There are also many instructional videos on dowsing available on YouTube.


The laser pointer test is another accurate way to muscle test. It is done by holding a laser pointer and shining it at a wall. How far you can “draw” the light across the wall is an indicator of muscle tension. You may be surprised how a supplement may be able to restrict how far you can move your arm.


It is also important to know that what determines a yes or no answer can be different depending on the person and the tool. You may need to “calibrate” it by asking what movement means a yes answer, and what means a no answer. While some of these methods are somewhat crude, with practice they can be a helpful tool. The most common problem people have is overthinking it. Thinking too much will bias the result from your logical brain: the key is to shut off your brain and let your body tell you it’s response. It takes practice to learn how to use intuition instead of logic, but with time it can be a useful tool to make adjustments to your regimen.


By Bryant Rubright