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Splankna Critique Essay

Questa is governed by a Mayor and a four-member Village Council, who have 4-year
staggered terms.

  • Mark Gallegos, Mayor –
  • Louise Gallegos, Councilor –
  • Brent Jaramillo, Councilor –
  • Charlie Gonzales, Councilor –
  • John Anthony Ortega, Councilor –

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Questa, NM 87556
phone:  575-586-0694

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Last Summer, I experienced a strange phenomenon.  My wife was struggling with chronic back problems that had plagued her for several years, and she couldn’t find lasting relief.  We were referred to a doctor who worked out of her home and claimed to be a Christian doing a form of “alternative medicine”.  At first it started out normally (describing symptoms, height and weight, a few diagnostic tests), but then things started getting strange and setting off my theological radar.  I wasn’t sure what I was witnessing, but I definitely wanted to find out.

So, I began a 6 month reading frenzy on what I came to know as Applied Kinesiology, with many of it’s various subsets and related disciplines.  This was the largest reading and study project I’ve ever attempted, covering dozens of books and articles and thousands of pages of reading and research.  To say I learned a lot would be a severe understatement.  In order to justify the amount of work I was throwing at the project, I wrote up my research as a project for an apologetics class.  The following is the paper I submitted to my professor, who admitted that this was not what he was expecting to read, but found it quite enlightening.  I hope my reader(s) likewise think critically about something that, until recently, I was blissfully ignorant about.

Feel free to comment or contact me with questions.

For the record, I’m not a doctor and my advice is not medical.  Consult properly trained physicians with questions regarding your physical health and treatment for physiological issues.  Consult the scriptures and your pastor with questions regarding your spiritual health and treatments for sin, deception, foolishness or worldview corruption issues.


The Alternative Allure

It’s official; alternative medicine is big.  Not just big; huge.  How big?  Well, in 2007, Americans spent $9.663 billion on going to movies, and that was the best year for Hollywood ever, with approximately 1.404 billion movie tickets sold.[1] But, in 2007, Americans spent almost four times ($33.9 billion) that much on alternative medicine, making 354.2million trips to various alternative medical practitioners. [2] If someone wanted to ‘make it big’ in Hollywood, 2007 was the year to become a star.  If someone wanted to realistically get rich, 2007 was the year to get into alternative medicine.  Not only is there money to be made in alternative medicine, but many Christians find themselves drawn by pragmatism and promise toward alternative medicine.[3] The pragmatism argument is simple (if it works, do it), but the promise argument is equally so; study 7+ yearsof ‘western’ medicine and only heal the body, or study 2-3 years of ‘alternative’ medicine and heal the body and mind (and possibly soul).  To many, that sounds like a win/win scenario; one does less study on peripheral things and focuses on ‘what works’ to maximize effectiveness.

It is not within the scope of this paper to evaluate the huge field of alternative medicine or even examine the field, but rather to evaluate and examine a specific sub-field.  The field is a rapidly growing subset of chiropractic called Applied Kinesiology, which has various subsets and thousands of practitioners in well over 50 countries.[4] Also, with the penetration of various schools of alternative medicine into Christian circles, and recognizing that some of the original proponents made very direct and far reaching religious claims, one must answer the question of whether or not Christians should embrace or avoid Applied Kinesiology.  When one examines the general worldview and practice of Applied Kinesiology, one discovers that it is primarily a system of unbiblical eastern religious belief and secondarily a dubious system of alternative medicine that should make a biblically informed Christian keep their distance.

Understanding Applied Kinesiology

In attempting to have a comprehensive and compelling understanding of Applied Kinesiology, one must answer two basic questions. First, one must answer the question of where Applied Kinesiology comes from, with regard to worldview (i.e. basic beliefs).  Second, one must understand how the significant developers and practitioners of Applied Kinesiology claim it ‘works’ (i.e. mechanistic explanation).

A Brief History and Definition

Applied Kinesiology (hereafter shortened to ‘AK’) is a school of Chiropractic medicine.  Chiropractic medicine was started by Daniel David Palmer, who began as a magnetic healer in 1885 and believed “thoughts are real substance” and “the mind must be cured as well as the body”.[5] Through two questionably authentic ‘healings’ via spinal manipulation in 1895[6], Palmer surmised that the misalignment of vertebrae was the ‘virtually universal’ cause of illness.[7] By 1910, Palmer had written a 985 page manual explaining his system of Chiropractic medicine.  He taught that most disease was caused by skeletal subluxations (minor dislocations) and most subluxations were spinal.[8] Palmer called his system of medicine “The New Theology” and claimed that his system integrated physical health with “The Intelligent Life-Force of Creation”, which was a universal power in every living creature, including plants.[9] Palmer eventually referred to this force as “Innate Intelligence”, which became shortened to “Innate”, a term that is still used in some Chiropractic circles today.  ‘Innate’ circulated through the nerves and caused the body to function harmoniously, and spinal misalignment disrupted its flow, thus creating disease.[10] Also, Palmer compared himself to Christ, Mohammed, Joseph Smith and Mary Baker-Eddy, referring to Chiropractic as a “new religion”.[11] Palmer’s Chiropractic school and empire continued to grow after his death in 1913.[12] His son B.J. continued the family operation and maintained prominence in Chiropractic circles until his death in 1961.[13]

In 1939, a young man named George Goodheart graduated from the National College of Chiropractic in Chicago.  Through various sessions of trial and error, Goodheart started incorporating the teaching of various other medical practitioners. Goodheart incorporated techniques from various other health professionals and in 1964, discovered the piece that helped him put all his various components into a coherent framework; the piece being acupuncture.  George, already suspecting organ/muscular/lymphatic relationships that contributed to disease from his own study and having a quasi-eastern understanding of the universe from his chiropractic teaching regarding “the Innate”, officially incorporated acupuncture teachings in his 1966 text on applied kinesiology.  “Since that time acupuncture has grown to be a standard portion of applied kinesiology and forms a basis of much of the information we have been able to identify about the meridian system.”[14] Goodheart finally understood, through the meridian and Ch’i systems of acupuncture, how “the Innate” communicates through the body and that the body, through the application of what was called the ‘Manual Muscle Test’, can directly inform the Chiropractor of both the nature and cause of illness.  Goodheart thought that this bodily self-diagnosis was a great step forward in medicine since though all medical practitioners have varied and accurate tools for arriving at an educated guess of diagnosis, interacting with the body itself is a far superior method of diagnosis since “the body never lies.”[15]

How Applied Kinesiology Apparently Works

One of the techniques that Goodheart borrowed from other medical disciplines was the Manual Muscle Test (hereafter shortened to MMT).  The MMT was originally a simple muscular strength test that eventually became the main diagnostic tool of AK.  Physically speaking, the MMT is a relatively straightforward operation that, due to its simple nature, can be learned and performed by a relatively unskilled practitioner.  John Diamond, another pioneer of AK and developer of an AK subset called Behavioral Kinesiology, describes the ‘basic’ MMT as:

1.  Have the subject stand erect, right arm hanging loosely by the side and left arm held out parallel to the floor, extending straight out from the side and not the chest.

2.  Face the subject and steady the right shoulder with your left hand.  Place your right hand on their left arm just above the wrist.

3.  Tell the subject that you’re going to attempt to push down on their left arm, and ask them to resist with all their strength.

4.  Push down on the arm fairly quickly, firmly and evenly with just enough pressure to spring the arm downward, not fatigue the muscle.[16]

If the subject can resist the tester, the muscle is strong and shows that the Ch’i in the area being tested is strong (and not the culprit of whatever problem). The AK practitioner can test any series of muscles by simply touching them while performing the MMT and can also test any infinite number of physical substances by having the patient in contact with them while administering the MMT.  Many AK practitioners have even utilized the MMT for the direct answering of propositional questions unrelated to any muscle or physical substance (i.e. “Are you having trouble sleeping at night due to work related stress?”).  The main ‘positive’ about the MMT is that an AK practitioner can simply ‘interact’ directly with the body, discovering sensitivities, allergies, illness and other things of which the conscious mind is unaware.  The MMT is “a system of feedback from the body itself.”[17]

The worldview of AK began with the general eastern leanings that Goodheart learned from B.J. Palmer, but where Goodheart partially embraced the eastern teachings found in acupuncture, those who came after him fully embraced the Ancient Chinese spirituality and went far beyond it.  John Thie was the next pioneer after George Goodheart, writing the popular book Touch For Health in 1973, which is filled with meridian maps and statements like:

In oriental medical philosophy we have learned that there is an energy that is magnetic having a north pole and a south pole and this energy is expressed in the body as positive and negative polarities.  The positive power is called “yang” or male and the negative power is called “yin” or female.  The yin energy flows in general from the feet toward the head and the yang from the head toward the feet.  The body as a whole and in its subdivisions has both the positive within the negative and the negative within the positive.[18]

Thie was explicit about Ch’i, suggesting that Ch’i was both “universal energy” and “Jesus Christ”[19], that no person can heal the body; only the body can heal itself,[20] and that “the ultimate responsibility for one’s well-being must reside in the individual.”[21] Also, it’s worth noting that allergy testing was an almost immediate application of the MMT by AK practitioners.[22]

After Thie, came John Diamond, who wrote Your Body Doesn’t Lie.  Diamond, as well, was explicit in his embracing an eastern worldview in his practice of AK and his offerings of mechanistic explanations.  Diamond commented on how “all illness starts as a problem on the energy level”,[23] how the MMT allowed the AK practitioner to ‘ask’ the body to diagnose itself with perfect accuracy,[24] how the thymus gland was the control mechanism for Ch’i in the body[25] and he even spent dozens of pages in Your Body Doesn’t Lie recording MMT test results for everything from sunglasses to whole wheat bread, categorizing what decreased a person’s life energy.[26]

After Diamond and Thie, came others like Tom and Carole Valentine, who were less ‘eastern’ than many other practitioners, though still recognizing the meridian system[27] and the legitimacy of using MMT for muscle testing and collecting diagnostic data.[28] Their focus was more on diet and eating the right food with the right “food energy.”[29] Many of the applications of AK are along dietary lines (following the trends of the times), with some authors writing about how most common illness is related to curable[30] and misdiagnosed food allergies[31] due to a wrong definition of “allergies” by ‘western medicine’.[32] One of the most bold of the ‘allergy cure’ proponents is Devi S. Nambudripad, who authored Say Good-Bye to Illness.[33] Nambudripad claims “any imbalance in the Yin-Yang state causes disharmony.  This disharmony is allergy.”[34] She essentially argues that the amount of possible allergens in one’s world are innumerable, ranging from newspaper ink[35] to your spouse[36] to your own emotions.[37] Her book is filled with testimonials of people who’ve been ‘cured’ of absurd allergies, and Nambudripad strongly recommends utilizing her NAET (Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Techniques) to guarantee that one’s not falling victim to unseen allergens in one’s home or psyche.

The practitioners of AK are definitely eccentric and diverse, but the one underlying constant in AK is the belief in the reality of Ch’i (by various names), the reality of the meridian system in the body, the dominant nature of Ch’i in life and disease, and the ability to manipulate that Ch’i to create health.

Evaluating Applied Kinesiology

Now, in attempting to have a comprehensive and compelling evaluation of AK, one must evaluate AK in the light of God’s revelation in scripture and nature.  Is AK, or any component of AK, directly forbidden in Scripture?  Is the Worldview a biblical worldview?  Does the practice appear to have stumbled upon an empirically valid technique in spite of the offered mechanistic explanations?

Biblical Prohibitions

On the basis of incorporating techniques forbidden in the Old Testament, one has sufficient reason to reject a practice of alternative medicine. [38] If the main operational technique is forbidden in scripture, one cannot perform the technique and thus cannot utilize the system.  It is most certainly the position of the author that MMT is explicitly forbidden in the Bible, since MMT is a form of divination. Putting on one’s biblical thinking cap, there’s only two worlds: the natural and the spiritual.  If one is attempting to perform a ritual with a Ouija board, a bucket of sprockets or a human arm to discover if a person is sick, or allergic to something, or whether or not they should buy AOL stocks, that’s attempting to derive propositional information from the immaterial world; i.e. divination (or possibly some form of omen reading or witchcraft).  Divination (and omen reading and witchcraft) is condemned in Leviticus 19:26; Deuteronomy 18:10; 2 Kings 17:17 and 2 Kings 21:6.  Throughout the OT, God forbade interaction with any spirits other than himself, and “the entire history of Israel provides graphic stories of the personal disintegration and national corruption that resulted when God’s people violated this command.”[39] If one is thinking biblically, and the information derived from MMT is accurate in any way, it’s either random chance or from demonic sources (the only other option).  Even if the information is completely unreliable, Christians should have nothing to do with a ritual that is attempting to communicate directly with Ch’i that is flowing through one’s meridians.  Meridians don’t exist and neither does Ch’i, so one who performs MMT is making efforts to communicate with the only forces that are actually there; demons.  Communicating with demons is miles past where any Christian should ever willfully tread.

No Christian should ever experiment with any form of divination, omen reading, astrology, or any other forbidden spiritual practice but for the record, a discerning Christian should also not be shocked if they witness an AK practitioner producing authentic results or revealing true information.  The demonic world is real and powerful, and false signs, lying revelations and counterfeit miracles should be expected.  This doesn’t mean that any ‘successful’ diagnosis or treatment by an AK practitioner is entirely pseudo, psychosomatic or demonic, for many AK practitioners are also trained chiropractors and do have significant medical knowledge and training.  This also doesn’t mean that every idea discovered by administration of an MMT is a categorical lie.  The Bible records Pharaoh’s magicians reproducing at least some of the authentic miracles of Moses (Ex. 7:11-12; 22; 8:7) and warns of convincing false signs (Deut. 13:1-3; Matt. 24:24-25; 2 Thess. 2:9-10).  Also, the demons said true things about Jesus (Mark 1:24, 34; 5:7; Luke 4:41) even though they are characterized by lying (John 8:44), and demons can easily deliver factually true information if the ultimate outcome leads a person away from Christ and into a false religious system.

The Biblical Worldview

AK and MMT are practices and systems of medicine thoroughly cemented in eastern mysticism, a worldview that is neither true nor glorifying to God.  The Pantheistic worldview of the east is “a natural opponent of Christianity.”[40] A Christian worldview cannot simply be superimposed on an energy based worldview by renaming the source of power. The entire understanding of reality differs in these worldviews.[41] In contrast to the eastern worldview, nature and the body are real and not an illusion.[42] Biblical faith is dualistic, not monistic.  All is not one.[43] In the Christian worldview, spirituality is essentially a relationship with a personal God, not impersonal energy.[44] God is the only true healer, not energy or nature.  “Nature is not a wise and benevolent physician.  It has no conscious intentions of its own.”[45] The priority of the Christian is not the maintenance of physical health, but perseverance through all suffering (physical and otherwise) fueled by the hope of the resurrection (Rom. 8:18-21; Heb. 11:35; 1 Peter 1:3-4) and the cultivation of righteousness in reaction to all suffering (Rom. 5:1-5; James 1:3-4; 1 Peter 1:5-9).

Empirical Credibility

Is AK or MMT an empirically valid technique in spite of the offered mechanistic explanations?  Although there have been several efforts at demonstrating the effectiveness of AK and the reliability of the MMT, it appears that the empirical validation of AK and the MMT has suffered several major blows:  First, the clinical verification put forward for AK is severely lacking.  Second, the possible curing of allergies (a major use of AK and MMT) is currently not a reality.  Third, there are plausible explanations the varied ‘successes’ of AK and the seeming reliability of the MMT.

AK proponents were dealt a significant credibility blow in 2007, when George Goodheart (founder of AK and AK-USA research committee chair) and Scott Cuthbert (AK-USA research committee co-chair) published an large article in Chiropractic & Osteopathy entitled ‘On the reliability and validity of manual muscle testing: a literature review’, where they reviewed “more than 100 studies related to MMT and the applied kinesiology chiropractic technique” and concluded “The MMT employed by chiropractors, physical therapists, and neurologists was shown to be a clinically useful tool…”[46] Six month later, Cuthbert published an article in Dynamic Chiropractic Journal where he reviewed his own Chiropractic & Osteopathy article, clearly hiding the fact that he co-authored the Chiropractic & Osteopathy article[47], and shamelessly praised the article, calling it “a landmark study” and proclaiming that “this paper demonstrates that good to excellent reliability and validity exist for the use of MMT”.[48] These two articles were subsequently attacked aggressively in both Chiropractic & Osteopathy and Dynamic Chiropractic.  The Chiropractic & Osteopathy critique revealed how the Goodheart and Cuthbert article had numerous comprehensive methodological problems that invalidated much of their work.[49] The Dynamic Chiropractic critique attacked Cuthbert for reviewing and shamelessly praising his own work, saying “History, not an author himself, labels a publication as a ‘landmark.’ One cannot even imagine Newton labeling his Principia as a landmark.”[50] Ironically, it is the opinion of this author that neither rebuttal will have much effect on AK, due to the overwhelming role of testimonial evidence in marketing AK; it’s unlikely that potential clients would research AK by reading a single journal article and it’s more unlikely that most potential clients would have the patience to sort through hundreds of pages of clinical studies to arrive at an educated opinion regarding AK.

Even though the academic defenses from practitioners of AK are dubious, the much more controversial ‘allergy testing’ use of the MMT is exponentially more dubious.  The concrete understanding of immunological and allergy medicine is that there is currently no cure for allergies, although their effects can be somewhat minimized either by elimination of allergens or immunotherapy.  Dr. Adrian Wu, an immunology and allergy specialist from Hong Kong, states “While complete elimination of allergen exposure is sometimes possible with animal and occupational allergens, it can be difficult or even impossible with other allergens.”[51] Regarding immunotherapy he states “A recent study of oral egg desensitisation in seven children with non-anaphylactic allergic reactions to egg showed that five subjects could be desensitised to tolerate at least 8 g of egg without reaction.”[52] Andy Nish, of the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, recently wrote in their winter 2009 bulletin that “while there is no cure for allergies, immunotherapy is the next best thing.”[53] A fairly recent article released by the Australian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy Inc. on unorthodox allergy testing states “At the present time, the only proven ‘allergy elimination technique’ is allergen Immunotherapy” and specifically addresses the claims of Devi Nambudripad, saying “the approach lacks any scientific rationale or physiological basis, and there is not a single published study demonstrating its effectiveness for any medical condition.”[54] So, diminishing allergic responses is possible but immunotherapy, not Ch’i manipulation, is the only verified way of doing so.

Moreover, there are at least two double-blind clinical studies that give reason to think that MMT is unreliable as a form of allergy testing. One was where experienced AK practitioners tested subjects for allergies with MMT with a positive success rate of 39 out of 120 attempts (32.5%).[55] Another was where dental AK practitioners tested subjects for tolerance of dental composites, with a corresponding accuracy of 35%.[56]

Seeing the weak positive case for AK and the MMT and considering some of the strong arguments against AK and the MMT (especially on the foundational worldview issues), there are still the experiential arguments: how in the world does someone explain away AK if it ‘just works’ for some?  There are several plausible explanations of success.  The first is the obvious answer of the placebo effect. A 2007 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association examined 75 trials in which adult patients with major depression were randomly given medication or placebo. Just how powerful can a person’s expectations of improvement be? “…in approximately half of the studies, 30% or more of the patients assigned to placebo exhibited a clinically significant improvement.”[57] Physicist Dr. Robert Park writes “before 1940 about the only medicines doctors had in their bags were laxatives, aspirin and sugar pills.  Studies have shown, in fact, that if the patient believes the sugar pills will relieve pain, they will be about 50 percent as effective as aspirin.”[58]

Besides the placebo effect, there are other reasons for apparent success of AK.  During the AK treatment period (days, weeks), the disease could simply run its natural course and fall into a remission stage.[59] There’s also what’s known as “regression to the mean”, meaning that people only seem to seek treatment when an illness gets more difficult to endure than normal, so a return to ‘normal’ can be seen as a marked improvement.[60] A fourth explanation could be that a person’s health improves independent of the treatment for non-treatment related issues (changes in diet, sleep, exercise, stress, etc.).[61] It stands to reason that if, for example, someone is experiencing stress related symptoms, the very process of talking to an AK practitioner and gaining a listening ear may be more therapeutic than the actual prescribed treatments (changes in diet, etc.).

A fifth explanation for some successes of AK (specifically the reliability of the MMT) would be related to what’s known as ‘Ideomotor Action’, which essentially means “under a variety of circumstances, our muscles will behave unconsciously in accordance with an implanted expectation”[62] Psychologist Dr. Ray Hyman even suggests that “awareness of ideomotor action does not make one immune from its expression”.[63] Even if one knows what’s happening and purposes to act a certain way, the pressure to perform can overrule one’s desire.

Finally, the last reason is the most obvious; spiritual deception.  Satan is a liar and his minions work to deceive (Deut. 13:1-3; Ex. 7:10-12; 2 Thess. 2:9-11; Matt. 24:4).  As previously stated, the Bible definitely entertains the possibility of divinely authentic signs and wonders being performed by demonic power.  For the purpose of leading believers away from Christ and the gospel or for the purpose of distracting individuals from the gospel and the truth about reality, demonic power could easily be used to move someone’s arm or whisper secrets to imagination.  If Satan’s purpose is to deceive people or lead them away from Christ, leading them into an spiritualistic quasi-eastern religion via a questionable medical practice is as good a way as any other.


The desire for Christians to utilize any new or extremely effective medical abilities is an honorable desire, and the desire to bring ‘healing’ to both mind and body is a possibility for a physician and counselor who are operating within a Christian worldview.  The theory and practice of Applied Kinesiology have grown in the blatant and unapologetic soil of an eastern religious worldview, and the supposed empirical triumphs of AK are aggressively challenged by the findings of clinical trials.  After examining the general worldview and practice of Applied Kinesiology, one sees how it is essentially a system of unbiblical eastern religious belief and secondarily a dubious system of alternative medicine that should make a biblically informed Christian keep their distance.  The witch doctors of the world will divine allergies, energy roots of illness or the answers to innumerable other problems with relative success or failure, but the Christian should never be found in their waiting room.


Australian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy. “Unorthodox Testing and Treatment for Allergic Disorders. No Pages. Cited 14November 2009.  Online:

Ankerberg, John and John Weldon. The Facts on Holistic Health and the New Medicine. Eugene, Or; Harvest House Publishers, 1992.

Cuthbert, Scott C.  “Chiropractic Muscle Testers Rise to the Challenge of Validating Their Work”. Dynamic Chiropractic 25, no. 18 (August 27, 2007).  No Pages. Cited 1 November 2009.  Online:

Cutler, Ellen W. The Food Allergy Cure. New York: Harmony Books, 2001.

Diamond, John. Your Body Doesn’t Lie. New York: Warner Books, 1979.

Garrow, JS. “Kinesiology and food allergy.” British Medical Journal 296, (June 1988): 1573-1574.

George J. Goodheart, “You’ll Be Better: The Story of Applied Kinesiology,” No Pages. Cited 8 November 2009 Online:

Goodheart, George J. Jr. and Scott C. Cuthbert.  “On the reliability and validity of manual muscle testing: a literature review”. Chiropractic & Osteopath 15 no. 4 (March 2007).  No Pages. Cited 1 November 2009.  Online:

Hartman, Steve. E.  “Why do ineffective treatments seem helpful?  A brief review”. Chiropractic & Osteopath 17:10 (2009).  No Pages. Cited 1 November, 2009.  Online:

Haas, Mitchell, Robert Cooperstein and David Peterson.  “Disentangling manual muscle testing and Applied Kinesiology: critique and reinterpretation of a literature review”. Chiropractic & Osteopath 15:11 (2007).  No Pages. Cited 1 November 2009.  Online:

Hyman, Ray. “The Mischief-Making of Ideomotor Action.”  Pages 95-116 in Science Meets Alternative Medicine. Edited by Wallace Sampson and Lewis Vaughn.  Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2000.

The Journal for Christian Nursing. “A Response to Energy Based Theories and Therapies.”  No Pages. Cited November 2009.  Online:

Nambudripad, Devi. S. Say Good-Bye To Illness. Buena Park, CA: Delta Publishing Company, 2002.

Nish, Andy. “Looking Forward to Spring with Immunotherapy,” No Pages. Cited 1 November 2009. Online:

Park, Robert. Voodoo Science: The Road from Foolishness to Fraud. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Pearcey, Nancey and Charles Thaxton, The Soul of Science. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Books, 1994.

Pearcey, Nancy. Total Truth.Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Books, 2004.

Perle, Stephen M.  “Intellectual Honesty: Chiropractic Muscle Testers Have Not Risen to the Challenge”. Dynamic Chiropractic 25, no. 24 (November 19, 2007).  No Pages. Cited 1 November 2009.  Online:

Schmitt, Walter H. Jr. and Scott C. Cuthbert.  “Common errors and clinical guidelines for manual muscle testing: ‘the arm test’ and other inaccurate procedures”. Chiropractic & Osteopath 16:16 (2008).  No Pages. Cited 1 November 2009.  Online:

Shelly, Judith Allen and Arlene B. Miller. Called to Care: A Christian Worldview for Nursing. Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press, 2006.

Singh, Simon and Edzard Ernst. Trick or Treatment.  New York: W. W.  Norton & Compnay, 2008.

Staehle, H.J., M.J Koch and T. Pioch.  “Double blind Study on Materials Testing with Applied Kinesiology.” Journal of Dental Research 84 (2005), 1066-1069.

Thie, John. Touch For Health: A Practical Guide to Natural Health using Acupressure and Massage. Rev. ed. Marina Del Rey, CA.: DeVorss Publications, 1994.

Valentine, Tom, Carol Calentine and Douglas P. Hetrick, Applied Kinesiology. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 1985.

Walsh, Timothy B., Stuart N. Seidman, Robyn Sysko, Madelyn Gould. “Placebo Response in Studies of Major Depression.” Journal of the American Medical Association 287, no.14 (April 10, 2007): 1840-1847.

Whorton, James C.  Nature Cures: The History of Alternative Medicine in America.  New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Wu, Adrian. “Can Allergies Be Cured?” The Hong Kong Medical Diary 12, no. 3 (March 2007): 17-18.

__________. “Immunotherapy – Vaccines for Allergic Diseases?” The Hong Kong Medical Diary 9, no. 9 (September 2004): 8-11.

Zollman, Catherin and Andrew Vickers. “ABC of complementary medicine: What is complementary medicine?” British Medical Journal 319 (September 11, 1999): 693-696.

[1] Box Office Mojo. “Yearly Box Office” n.p. [cited 18 November 2009]. Online:


[2], Richard L. Nahin, Patricia M. Barnes, Barbara J. Stussman and Barbara Bloom, “Costs of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) and Frequency of Visits to CAM Practitioners: United States, 2007,” National Health Statistics Report 18 (July 30, 2009). n.p. [cited Nov. 1, 2009].  Online:

[3] Ankerberg writes how pragmatism is the main reason that Christians justify alternative medicine, with little concern for investigating the spiritual elements.  John Ankerberg and John Weldon. The Facts on Holistic Health and the New Medicine (Eugene, Or; Harvest House Publishers, 1992), 7.

[4] John Thie, Touch For Health: A Practical Guide to Natural Health using Acupressure and Massage (rev. ed. Marina Del Rey, CA.: DeVorss Publications, 1994), 2, 7.

[5] James Whorton, Nature Cures: The History of Alternative Medicine in America (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002), 167

[6] Palmer claimed to heal one man’s hearing via spinal manipulation, though other reports simply reply that Palmer heard a joke and aggressively slapped the individual in the back, with the individual later commenting on how the slap made him hear better.  The second healing was of an ankle injury that was somehow “life threatening”, which sounds slightly suspicious. Ibid, 168.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid, 169.

[9] Ibid, 170.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst, Trick or Treatment.  (New York: W. W.  Norton & Company, 2008), 161.

[12] There is debate whether Palmer died of natural causes or whether Palmer’s son B.J inherited the family empire after killing Palmer with his first car.  Ibid.

[13] Ibid.

[14] George J. Goodheart, “You’ll Be Better: The Story of Applied Kinesiology,” n.p. [cited 8 November 2009]. Online:

[15] Ibid.

[16] John Diamond, Your Body Doesn’t Lie (New York: Warner Books, 1979), 42-43.

[17] Diamond, 33.

[18] Thie, 17.

[19] Ibid.

[20] Ibid, 20.

[21] Ibid, 124.

[22] Ibid, 117.

[23] Diamond, 27

[24] Ibid, 33

[25] Ibid, 61.

[26] Ibid, 123-181.

[27] Tom Valentine, Carol Calentine and Douglas P. Hetrick, Applied Kinesiology (Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 1985), 16.

[28] Ibid, 41.

[29] Ibid, 61.

[30] Ellen W. Cutler, The Food Allergy Cure (New York: Harmony Books, 2001), 8.

[31] Ibid, 31

[32] Ibid, 23.

[33] Devi. S. Nambudripad, Say Good-Bye To Illness (Buena Park, CA: Delta Publishing Company, 2002)

[34] Ibid, 2.

[35] Ibid, 51.

[36] Ibid, 99.

[37] Ibid, 103.

[38] Ankerberg and Weldon, 6.

[39] Judith Allen Shelly and Arlene B. Miller, Called to Care: A Christian Worldview for Nursing (Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press, 2006), 103.

[40] Nancy Pearcey, Total Truth (Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Books, 2004), 388.

[41] The Journal for Christian Nursing, “A Response to Energy Based Theories and Therapies” n.p.  [cited 1 November  2009].  Online:

[42] Nancey Pearcey and Charles Thaxton, The Soul of Science (Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Books, 1994), 22.

[43] Ibid, 205.

[44] Shelley and Miller, 99.

[45] Ibid, 138

[46] George J. Goodheart Jr. and Scott C. Cuthbert, “On the reliability and validity of manual muscle testing: a literature review,” Chiropractic & Osteopath 15 no. 4 (March 2007).  n.p. [cited Nov 1, 2009]. Online:

[47] Cuthbert did not refer to the author once and only provided a url to the online publication of the article in the footnotes.  Quite strangely, the other 75 footnotes in the article contained complete bibliographic information on referenced material.  These two facts were called to attention in the following reviews.

[48] Scott C. Cuthbert, “Chiropractic Muscle Testers Rise to the Challenge of Validating Their Work,” Dynamic Chiropractic 25, no. 18 (August 27, 2007).  n.p. [Cited 1 November 2009].  Online:

[49] The authors commented on how Goodheart and Cuthbert showed unconscionable bias, neglected searches of relevant journal databases, confused terminology, clearly ignored at least 9 relevant clinical trials that had negative conclusions about AK and MMT, used misleading search criteria for finding articles and grossly misrepresented data. Mitchell Haas, Robert Cooperstein and David Peterson, “Disentangling manual muscle testing and Applied Kinesiology: critique and reinterpretation of a literature review,” Chiropractic & Osteopathy 15 no. 11 (August 2007).  [cited 1 November 2009].  Online:

[50] The author, Stephen Perle, was quite aggressive in his critique of Cuthbert, insinuating dishonesty 7 times in a 14 paragraph article and closes with the statement “We perceive cherry-picking the physical therapy and rehabilitation literature on standard, manual muscle testing and inappropriately trying to pawn this off as proof of the reliability and validity of the applied kinesiology version of manual muscle testing as completely intellectually dishonest.”  It was one of the more vitriolic journal articles this author has ever read!  Stephen M. Perle, “Intellectual Honesty: Chiropractic Muscle Testers Have Not Risen to the Challenge,” Dynamic Chiropractic 25, no. 24 (November 19, 2007).  n.p. [cited Nov 1, 2009].  Online:

[51] Adrian YY Wu, “Immunotherapy – Vaccines for Allergic Diseases?” The Hong Kong Medical Diary 9, no.9 (September 2004): 8.

[52] Adrian Wu, “Can Allergies Be Cured?” The Hong Kong Medical Diary 12, no.3 (March 2007): 18.

[53] Andy Nish, “Looking Forward to Spring with Immunotherapy,” n.p. [cited 1 November 2009]. Online:

[54] Australian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, “Unorthodox Testing and Treatment for Allergic Disorders,” n.p. [cited 14 November 2009]. Online:

[55] JS Garrow, “Kinesiology and food allergy,” British Medical Journal 296, (June 1988): 1573.

[56] H.J Staehle, M.J Koch and T. Pioch, “Double-Blind Study on Materials Testing with Applied Kinesiology,” Journal of Dental Research 84 no. 11 (2005): 1066.

[57]Timothy B. Walsh, Stuart N. Seidman, Robyn Sysko, Madelyn Gould. “Placebo Response in Studies of Major Depression” Journal of the American Medical Association 287, no.14 (April 10, 2007): 1844.

[58] Robert Park, Voodoo Science: The Road from Foolishness to Fraud, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), 51.

[59]Steve E.  Hartman, “Why do ineffective treatments seem helpful?  A brief review,” Chiropractic & Osteopathy 17 no. 10 (October 2009) n.p.  [cited 1 November 2009].  Online:

[60] Ibid.

[61] Ibid.

[62] Ray Hyman, “The Mischief-Making of Ideomotor Action.”  in Science Meets Alternative Medicine (ed. Wallace Sampson and Lewis Vaughn. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2000), 98.

[63] Ibid, 114.

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alternative medicine, Apologetics, Applied Kinesiology, Chi, manual muscle test, NAET, Theology