Evaluating Applied Kinesiology…

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.

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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+ years of ‘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.

Recommendations

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.

Bibliography

Australian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy. “Unorthodox Testing and Treatment for Allergic Disorders. No Pages. Cited 14 November 2009.  Online: http://www.allergy.org.au/images/stories/aer/infobulletins/pdf/aer_unorthodox_allergy_hp.pdf

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: http://www.dynamicchiropractic.com/pdf_out/DynamicChiropractic.com-Chiropractic-Muscle-Testers-Rise-to-the-Challenge-of-Validating-Their-Work-1257226813.pdf

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

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

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George J. Goodheart, “You’ll Be Better: The Story of Applied Kinesiology,” No Pages. Cited 8 November 2009 Online: http://www.icak.com/about/goodheart2.shtml

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: http://www.chiroandosteo.com/content/pdf/1746-1340-15-4.pdf

Hartman, Steve. E.  “Why do ineffective treatments seem helpful?  A brief review”. Chiropractic & Osteopath 17:10 (2009).  No Pages. Cited 1 November, 2009.  Online: http://www.chiroandosteo.com/content/pdf/1746-1340-17-10.pdf

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: http://www.chiroandosteo.com/content/pdf/1746-1340-15-11.pdf

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: http://ncf-jcn.org/publications/opublications/ebttresponse.pdf

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: http://www.aaaai.org/patients/allergy_asthma_issues/2009/winter/immunotherapy.asp

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: http://www.dynamicchiropractic.com/pdf_out/DynamicChiropractic.com-Intellectual-Honesty-1257227010.pdf

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: http://www.chiroandosteo.com/content/pdf/1746-1340-16-16.pdf

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.

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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.

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[1] Box Office Mojo. “Yearly Box Office” n.p. [cited 18 November 2009]. Online: http://boxofficemojo.com/yearly/

 

[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: http://www.cdc.gov/NCHS/data/nhsr/nhsr018.pdf

[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: http://www.icak.com/about/goodheart2.shtml

[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: http://ncf-jcn.org/publications/opublications/ebttresponse.pdf

[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: http://www.chiroandosteo.com/content/pdf/1746-1340-15-4.pdf

[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: http://www.dynamicchiropractic.com/pdf_out/DynamicChiropractic.com-Chiropractic-Muscle-Testers-Rise-to-the-Challenge-of-Validating-Their-Work-1257226813.pdf

[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: http://www.chiroandosteo.com/content/pdf/1746-1340-15-11.pdf

[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: http://www.dynamicchiropractic.com/pdf_out/DynamicChiropractic.com-Intellectual-Honesty-1257227010.pdf

[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: http://www.aaaai.org/patients/allergy_asthma_issues/2009/winter/immunotherapy.asp

[54] Australian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, “Unorthodox Testing and Treatment for Allergic Disorders,” n.p. [cited 14 November 2009]. Online: http://www.allergy.org.au/images/stories/aer/infobulletins/pdf/aer_unorthodox_allergy_hp.pdf

[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: http://www.chiroandosteo.com/content/pdf/1746-1340-15-11.pdf

[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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66 thoughts on “Evaluating Applied Kinesiology…

  1. Loved this read!

    I’ve been engaged in conversation with some nondualistic thinkers, and their presuppositions to life and perception speak directly to the deceived intellect. Not that it’s surprising, but Satan will use anything to deceive the masses, looking something like A Mighty Wind:

    “Humankind is simply materialized color operating on the 49th vibration. You would make that conclusion walking down the street or going to the store.”

    Well written, well researched, and a welcomed read considering this last month I’ve shared the truth of the gospel to some followers of Eckhart Tolle and David Dawkins. We’ve reached the end of reason with these people wading in the muck and the mire of eastern spirituality. Praise God for his word!

  2. Thanks both of you!

    I’m glad that I can encourage critical reflective thought on issues regarding eastern worldview and theological issues and their subtle forms of penetration into the west.

  3. Pingback: Thoughts and Ramblings from the past, present and future… « Watch Your Life and Doctrine Closely…

  4. Thank you for writing such a thorough article on the subject of AK. I would like to have your permission to print out your article for my own personal use and also send portions of it to a friend who is struggling with the deceptions that the AK “doctors” give.

    • Thanks Victoria!

      I’m glad that I could be of help to you! Feel free to print off and distribute my writing, giving credit where credit is due.

      A word of warning though:

      People who get into things like AK are extremely defensive about it. It’s usually something that was recommended by a friend, or it’s something that they’ve found when their family doctor (or other western medical professional) has not been able to help them with a specific problem and they were desperate and frustrated. Either way, there’s a lot of personal investment in it.

      If a friend told them about it (and it worked at ALL), when you critique it they’ll hear “your friend is stupid” and their defenses will go on full alert.

      If they arrived at AK at a desperate time in their lives (and it worked at ALL), when you critique it they’ll connect your critique with their emotional connection to AK (i.e. their relief that they found something that worked), and their defenses will go on full alert.

      People who are into AK need to be spoken to gently and lovingly, and with great patience.

      • Thank you for your permisson– and most certainly credit will be given to your article. I’ll have your name plastered all over the piece! 🙂

        Also, I do appreciate your words of encouragment with my friend. In our culture, I’m beginning to see that many place, (in very high regard), things that come to appear as “signs”. As you mentioned, many whom have had kinesiology work for them, see this as a sign that this is indeed something good to do (aka, from the Almighty maker of heaven and earth). What is not clearly taught, is that the Father gives us a chance to *prove* that we love him by obeying Him. He made us, so He knows best how to make us work! 🙂

        Thank you for your article to expose this practice.

      • 06/5/14

        Hi Mennoknight, I hope this not too many years have gone by since this writing from Dec. 17, 2010. Something you said at the end strikes a cord of truth in my situation: “People who are into AK need to be spoken to gently and lovingly, and with great patience.”

        I am in process of reading the paper you wrote about “Evaluating Applied Kinesiology” and find it enlightening…. an answer to prayer (for the truth in this situation I find myself in).

        I do not want to post the details of my situation here as it is very private. I searched everywhere on this site and cannot find an email address for you. Would you please, respond to me via email so we could discuss further? I would appreciate it as the situation is oppressing both myself and a friend.

        Thank You and God bless you.
        MJ Rose

  5. Does the author realize that western medicine has its origins in sorcery? Pharmacy comes from the Greek word, pharmakon which means sorcery. There are no Biblical origins to the drug-based system that you have embraced. It is hypocritical to have this view without similarly researching western medicine.
    Matthew 7:1-5

    • Ah. Let me see if I track your argument:

      1. “Pharmacy” is etimologically related to “pharmakon”

      2. “Pharmakon” means “sorcery”

      3. Therefore Western Medicine has its roots in sorcery.

      …how does that work exactly? I mean, just logically?

      A word means something in Attic, Koine or Byzantine Greek and therefore the entire establishment of Western Medicine that isn’t even remotely related to the word is somehow fraudulent?

      Besides that, point 2 is objectively false. Pharmakon doesn’t simply mean “sorcery”. Pharmakon has a large semantic range. What is the source for your “pharmakon means sorcery” idea? What lexicon did you get your definition from?

    • He did not mention this, but that doesn’t make him wrong regarding AK. Don’t mix things up. Yes, western medicine has many problems. Drugs clearly present major health problems…what with breaking an herbs into its fractions and concentrating it. That is lack of wisdom and pride of man, thinking he knows better than the Creator. Men like quick fixes. And that is partly the appeal in AK, well. If you Google AK and divination, you’ll see how freely the word divination is used on non Christian websites, but boy will Christians fight that fact. We’re tired of much of western medicines’ weaknesses and dangers, so people are tempted, if not very discerning, to assume alternative therapies are harmless.

  6. The comments and research that you stated concerning this subject is very much appreciated. We have arrived in a day in which most “professing Christians” do not mind learning Bible truth or preaching against issues of which they themselves are not involved. However,when a person is already involved in any unbiblical practice, he tends to resist the Word of God regardless as to the amount of light on the subject. It is obvious that the origins of this practice have a philosophy and doctrine that is anti-Christ as expressed by its founders inspite of the existence of computer software and terminology that give the appearance that this practice is scientific.More alarming is the fact that professing believers are embracing this technique as a means to minister to the body of Christ, because of their disillusionment of the current medical system. They tend to start off by simply trying to minister to legitimate physical needs and inevitably end up involving themselves in full blown divination concerning subjects that have no connection to the medical field. This demonic philosophy is highly destructive and will pervert the strongest believer because it is demonically inspired and energised, no matter how sincere he may be notwithstanding. The real question one must ask himself is this, though one may experience a healing of some sort, how do you measure the effects of sin, doctrines of devils, and spiritual blindness? Where will the patient be ten years from now in his spiritual walk with God. What chronic depressions and strong holds of sin and demonic activity will take place not only in his life but that passed to his children becasue of his connection with this technique? We will not know the effect of this practice until the next generation and then it will be too late. What we do in moderation our children will do in excess.”When sin is finished it brings forth death” and death it will bring. When one has a chronic sickness, the Christian is instructed to examine his heart by the Word of God as well as fasting and prayer. He then is to contact his elders to be annoited with oil and to be further counseled and prayed over for healing.(James 5) Only after this biblical protocal should medical attention be sought for chronic illnesses. It is to be noted that many times people are afflicted with infirmities because it is the will of God. At this point one must submit to the truth that there may be no cure. How is it then, that people will neglect this instruction and run to medical doctors for treatment, much less embrace a philosophy and practice that is directly related to the occult because they will not submit to God’s program?

    • Thanks for your comments Bryon.

      I definitely agree that alternative medicine is not the path to take when one is seeking treatment for physical infirmity.

      If you want to see the fruits of the worldview from which it sprang, look at the condition of the countries that embraced it; specifically looking at where they were at before western medicine was introduced to them.

      It’s ironic that alternative medicine was almost entirely eradicated in China, Japan and many of the smaller asian countries as a result of the introduction of western medicine…simply because western medicine produced consistent, predictable, measurable and obvious results.

      I’m not certain that James 5 is the passage in scripture that gives THE program for dealing with illness, since in places like 1 Timothy 5:23 Paul doesn’t prescribe that program.

      If you believe in the providence of God, then God has provided highly trained medical professionals for you to go to for the treatment of physical ailment. I would never recommend consulting a physician as a last resort but I would rather suggest that one can consult proper medical professionals concurrently as one deals biblically with the sinful beliefs and actions that may accompany (or be causally related to) ailments and infirmities.

      Use everything that God has provided, and God has provided doctors.

      • I have one question though…you say use everything that God has provided…has not God provided the herbs and the plants? Has he not created these in such a perfect manor? Why would I not want to use what God put on this earth? Instead, by using what a physician gave me, which is what man made? I agree that using psychic energies is against God, not all alternative methods do this. I feel that our bodies are a temple for God and the Holy Spirit…so why would I want to put a whole bunch of man-made chemicals (prescription drugs in it?)…now granted the same thought process could be for tobacco, cocaine, and marijuana, I get it….but I would rather use something that was perfectly created by God than trust something man-made.
        Plus, a lot of things, such as essential oils, are described in the Bible and referenced throughout scripture.
        I do a form of muscle testing…but I don’t talk to spirits, I don’t do anything like that at all. Yes, I use a muscle, yes I touch the body, but I am engaging the nerve fibers, that’s it…no different than when doctors put electrodes all over your head to get an EEG or all over your chest to get an EKG to pick up your heart beat. BTW, I also am a cardiac nurse…there is nothing voodoo-ish about this. I have seen the horrible things that medications can do to people, and the poisons that medications cause. I don’t think God wanted this for our bodies.

        • Tracy,

          You’re missing two very important things:

          1. Genesis chapter 3.

          The herbs and the plants are not what they were at creation; every man, woman, child, creature and plant was affected by the fall.

          The plants were made perfect but they aren’t anymore. They have changes drastically, unless you can explain how there were things like fatally poisonous berries (among a thousand other examples) before the fall.

          2. God gives us physicians every bit as much as he gives us herbs.

          The idea that drugs are “man made” is simply incorrect. Drugs are made by God as well. All the ingredients that go into the drugs, as well as the worldview which makes empirical science even possible, came from God.

          There is no drug that some how sprang into existence while God wasn’t looking.

          We trust the research scientists who do pharmaceutical research to test all the plants, herbs and other chemicals in a proper way…and the “alternative medicine” that actually works becomes “medicine”.

          Also, if you do muscle testing, do you gain propositional information?

          Do you get a “yes” or a “no” when you muscle test?

  7. Your point on the effect of western medicine on 3rd world countries is well taken. I do not advicate the ignoring of doctors in dealing with infirmities. However, the point made above dealt with chronic life threatening conditions of which the afflicted is not able to come to the elders for prayer and consultation. But rather, they are summoned to the afflicted in their homes. It must be agreed that most infirmities deal with condiions that current medical treatment can address, However, we must also agree there are some afflictions that are the direct cause of Satan’s attack upon a person of which Jesus refered to concerning the woman that was bowed in her back for a number of years. We also should agree that other illnesses are caused by the effect of God’s chastening because of the existence of sin in the life of God’s child as refered to in I Corinthians. I John deals with the fact that some sins can be prayed for while others cannot, implying that the outcome is enivitable-meaning death. In either case, these infirmities are spiritually related and no medical treatment of any kind will cure the problem, especially eastern mystisim. Hence the need for counselling by qualified pastors to assist the saint in dealing with any sin or strong hold that may have given place to the enemy to afflict the person. (P.S. I am not for this ecumenical healing stuff, but there are guildlines concerning these issues that must be concidered nor am I saying that all sickness is the result of sin of which Jesus also addressed by answering the question posed to him by the disciples on one occasion). Not to mention that Jesus refers to some sickness that existed in ones life to bring glory to God and Paul’s reference to his instance of the thorn of the flesh that he recieved from a messenger of Satan in order that he might remain humble and useful for God’s work of which there was no cure. But God told him in response to his prayer that he “giveth” him more grace. Such infirmities will never go away and the child of God must submit to this truth as a gift from God as Paul did inspite of the agony and discomfort they may be in. This is not a popular response. Thus the temptation to disregard these basic truths and seek some form of deliverance from the torment they are experiencing, people are seeking the aid of questionable eastern practices not realising the destructive consequences that will follow. Again, your study and reading is very much appreciated and I hope you will build on this subject. I am looking forward to reading it. The subject at hand is fresh on my mind becasue we are having a serious issue with this in our church with potentially destructive consequences. Please forgive me for taken up so much time and space. God speed.

  8. Hey Menno,

    Question…..What were the strange things you began to notice that flaged your theological alert? I would like to know details and you can send the info to my email if you like.

    Bryon

    • The biggest thing was when the AK practitioner started administering the Manual Muscle Test.

      The way she described it sounded convincing at first, but then she started asking propositional questions to my wife and getting her answers from pushing on her arm.

      Seeing that someone else was paying for the treatment and things were “creepy” but not explicitly sinful (i.e. my wife wasn’t asked to do anything beside lie still), I held my tongue and decided to learn about what I was witnessing.

      Once I started reflecting on the situation and trying to re-pack the “explanation” I was given into biblical categories, I realized that I had just watched a very strange form of divination.

  9. Howdy,

    My whole family uses AK, with some good success, but I remain sceptical.

    I noticed one sentence in your article: “Meridians don’t exist and neither does Ch’i, so …” What is your evidence that they do not exist? Isn’t it possible that there is some purely natural mechanism in the body, perhaps electrical and/or chemical or something like that, which has just never been understood by western medicine? Or maybe things that are understood, but viewed from a different angle, in the same way that a field of corn can appear as a random arrangement from one point of view, but as neat rows from another. What makes you so confident to deny any other possibility?

    I offer this question in the spirit of seeking the truth, politely and co-operatively. I don’t want a flame war.

    Tom C

    • “What is your evidence that they do not exist?”

      The truth of the scripture.

      Well, the overwhelming and damning evidence I have is the objective condemnation by scripture of the pagan religion from which they spring.

      I could give you lots more lines of evidence, but that’s more than enough.

      • Howdy,

        Let me try again. Your Rules of Engagement require logical argument. My claim is that your logic is flawed. By starting with the claim that “Meridians don’t exist and neither does Ch’i, …” you have assumed an answer to the very question you were trying to prove.

        I disprove your claim that there can be no other possibility than demonic divination with this counter-example of one such other possibility: “The principles of acupuncture (Meridians, Chi, etc) may describe a purely physical mechanism of the natural human body. That they are phrased in the terms of mysticism is only because they were developed in ancient times when there were no other terms.”

        In your response, you only say scripture condemns pagan religion, which I certainly agree with. But that doesn’t touch on my argument, unless your argument is that all pagan cultures are completely incapable of any worthwhile understanding of nature. If so, that argument is disproved by the inventions of gunpowder and the kite, both from China, I have been told.

        Do you see what I mean? The question is if there is any scientific truth that can be ferreted out of Oriental (or “Asian”, I guess they say now) medicine apart from any religiious or philosophical teaching that is intertwined with it.

        Tom C.

      • Is there truth somewhere to be found in the sense of a mechanistic or natural understanding that can make sense of the outcomes of things like AK or accupuncture?

        Of course. I don’t believe I’ve ever suggested otherwise.

        If we take the definitions for “ch’i” or ‘meridians” as they are presented by the proponents of AK or other eastern, energy healing techniques, then when we find whatever natural explanation there is (if and when that occurs), we will openly deny the pagan explanation and replace it with the mechanistic/naturalistic understanding.

        Ch’i, as it is defined in AK, does not exist and will never be found to exist. Micro-cellular electro-magnetic stimulation of endorphins (or whatever mechanistic explanation is found of the effect) will not REPLACE ch’i as the “explanation” of how the effects are realized.

        We’ll finally have an explanation for why the effects are realized.

        • Howdy,

          It sounds like you are now accepting that some alternative medicine can work(that “the effects are realized”) and that someday we may better understand how it works, but that you completely reject the current explanation for how it works.

          Would you then advocate (or accept) seeing an AK or acupuncture practitioner who was also a Christian and who has rejected the pagan roots, accepting only the mechanics of the treatment?

          Tom C.

      • Some alternative medicine may produce some sort of results. It’s been fairly well documented that acupuncture can alleviate pain to some degree, and we also have a mechanistic understanding of why this is so.

        As for applied kinesiology, I don’t place it on the same level as acupuncture for a simple reason:

        ***All expressions of AK I know of involve gaining propositional information (apparently from the body).***

        All the AK practitioners that I’ve encountered or read about use it for things that require gathering propositional information, like allergy testing. When my wife had an AK treatment, it was for this purpose. The woman administering the AK discerned things that she was “allergic” too, and this information was gathered from direct communication with my wife’s “energy”. The practitioner made no bones about gathering propositional information from my wife, but via her body/lifeforce/c’h’i itself and not her conscious or unconscious mind.

        If someone does a simple form of stretching or physical therapy and calls it AK, they’re not doing AK. They’re doing physiotherapy or Pilates or whatever else, but it’s not AK.

        AK in every manifestation I’ve seen, whether it be Goodheart, Diamond, Thie, Nambudripad, etc., is straight up divination. In AK, one gathers propositional information that is the fruit of ideomotor action, random chance, or a center of consciousness that is not a human being; a demon.

        If it’s ideomotor action, it’s the fruit of the tester or the expectations of the testee; either way it’s utterly unreliable.

        If it’s random chance, it’s utterly unreliable.

        If it’s a demon, it’s divination and sin.

        As a Christian, I’m commanded to not simply abandon the pagan worldview of a pagan spiritual practice. I’m commanded to abandon the pagan spiritual practice as well.

  10. How do I respond to friends who say: All of the world belongs to God and is His and the area of AK/MMT needs to be reclaimed for God.

    • I’d tell them to repent.

      I say that because I’d strongly suggest that trying to reclaim AK is sinful.

      Why do I say that?

      Well, imagine if your friend wanted to become a “Christian prostitute” and suggested that prostitution had to be reclaimed for God? What would you say if that friend started sleeping around for money, but left gospel tracts on their client’s pillows and shared the gospel with them during their business activity?

      Yeah, it’s stupid. The question is why. Why is it stupid?

      It’s stupid because it’s both idiotic and sinful. It’s idiotic because prostitution is, by it’s very nature, not redeemable for any sanctified purpose, and it’s sinful because the very act of fornication/adultery is explicitly forbidden in scripture.

      Redeeming AK is idiotic because the entire understanding of the human body in AK is categorically incorrect, and it’s sinful because AK involves divination (talking to demons), which is explicitly forbidden in scripture. You cannot turn pseudo-medicine into real medicine via having “Christians” do it, and you cannot sanctify something that is inherently sinful.

  11. I want to thank you for you concern but I want to warn you against a lack of balance. When I say that I noticed in one of your post that you spoke of those involved with AK are going to be defensive because they have invested a lot of time into it. I ask you not to get defensive about your considerations because of the time you have invested into this research. As a pastor and someone who does not want anything to do with mysticism, I have completely discounted and turned away from John Piper and part of that is his contemplative prayer issues. I have warned my congregation against yoga and am disturbed when churches practice it. I consider myself reformed and believe that the word of God is the only true relevant teaching and have believe strongly modern Christianity and Biblical Christianity are too different things. With that said my entire family and most of my church (small congregation of about 40) see a AK doctor. This man is a professing Christian and I will use that qualifier because I have not been a part of his life other than office visits. I have however discussed with him at length AK. He was a chiropractor (which at one point was considered in the same light) and felt much the same you do about AK. Once he studied it and saw the results and that the false religious aspects of it could be removed and the healing focused upon, he became an NRT doctor. What if you ER surgeon was a Hindu (good possibility) does that discount Him from emergency surgery. If our Dr. even mentioned one hint of Eastern Mysticism we would be gone and I would put those in my church under discipline if they did not leave. However I would much rather go and be healthy and this is not the placebo effect. We watched a good friend of ours who suffered from hyperemesis (the body’s act of trying to abort the pregnancy) through four pregnancies. When our friend went under our current doctor and he found the cause and did not treat the symptom she had a normal pregnancy. I can give you instance after instance and it is not placebo, people coming off their medication, autistic children being healed, MS patients with no symptoms. Modern medicine is the one with the satanic hold on our culture, if you don’t believe me name me a commercial for a medicine that does not have a head scratching side effect. Sir just because something is linked to something else does not mean it is unbiblical. It means we must be cautious and take the good understanding God has given us and it to glorify HIm. I know many who glorify God for their health and they know it is Him. One of the reasons they know it, is because His spirit lives within them and they have produced fruit unto righteousness and would reject false teaching. Another reason they can rejoice is they see a Christian doctor who rejects eastern mysticism but uses the good God has given him to show others how to be healthy.

    • Thanks for your thoughts Kenny.

      You toss out a bunch of ideas, so I’ll start at the top of your list. You said “I have completely discounted and turned away from John Piper and part of that is his contemplative prayer issues.”

      So what’s wrong with John Piper now that he’s doing contemplative prayer?

  12. Thank you for writing this. I had this done last week and like you, red flags were waving and I wanted to know what was going on.

  13. Hello. I have a quick and sincere question that I’m hoping you might have encountered so as to provide some insight.

    Firstly, I should state that I am not an advocate of AK or MMT due to the “creepy”/demonic factor. That being said, I recently came across a method of ridding the body of food sensitivities called “lasering”.

    Briefly, lasering is where you hold the food that you are sensitive to approximately 2″ from your belly button and shine a laser light through it for 2 minutes. Then, wash your hands and don’t come into contact with that food for 24 hours. (Apparently it can be used on things like animal hair, etc. if there is a sensitivity to animals.)

    As with the other modalities mentioned, upon reading the protocol, red flags were flying and it seemed “creepy” not scientific. I searched online for some form of scientific explanation but came up empty handed.

    Have you heard of this and/or what is your gut instinct?

    Thank you in advance for any light shed.

    • Hey there,

      I believe that this SOUNDS like what is called “colorpuncture”, which is a non-invasive form of accupuncture using different wavelengths of light. From what limited reading I’ve done on it, the power is in the wavelength of the light to “tell” your body whether a food or substance is “good” or “bad”, and the laser is used to “reprogram” your various internal systems.

      It basically boils down to if you shine a red laser through corn, that tells your body “corn is bad”, and if you shine a blue laser through corn that tells your body “corn is good”. It is about as reasonable as making pancakes and straining the batter for doubloons…you know, just in case. You NEVER know when there might be pirate treasure sneaking its way into your pancakes…

      I would STAY AWAY from things that don’t make a lick of reasonable sense.

  14. Thank you so much for this thorough article, which I will recommend in my article on alternative healing on my website. I have been warning Christians about AK since I was a new believer, often to no avail. In the last decade or so, modalities such as AK have infiltrated the churches to such a degree, that it has created a vulnerability to New Age concepts.

    I also appreciate your responses to the questions and comments here as I know the enormous amount of time and energy (not New Age – ha!) that goes into it, since I have been dealing with this for close to 15 years of full-time ministry and even before that. So I want to encourage you in this endeavor as you clearly have a gift for it.

    • Marcia Montenegro? From Christian Answers to the New Age?

      HA! I’m bewildered that you somehow stumbled across my blog! My wife and I have been fans of you for years; we have listened to your lectures at the Calvary Santa Fe apologetics conferences and have read a good bit of your stuff!

      Welcome!

      I told me wife that you found this post and she giggled with delight and said “REALLY? Marcia Montenegro? From CANA?” and then gave a huge squeal! HA!

      Thanks for the kind words!

      I’m also consistently shocked at how many people simply participate in AK without giving it a moment’s thought.

      Thanks for all your wonderful work with CANA!

      God Bless!

      • Well, hello! Your words really deeply encouraged me! The link to this was sent to me by someone who is researching New Age alternative healing because she is coming across it in her church (this is very common, as I’m sure you know). She saw that you had a link to my website so she sent it. I’m glad you have found my website and lectures helpful. Thank you again for your comments and may the Lord bless your work as you serve Him!

    • Divination is getting information via a non-natural means and/or by reading hidden meanings in imagers, patterns, events (the latter can also be reading omens, which is a form of divination). Getting supposed information via AK is a form of divination because there is no natural basis for it. I was in the New Age for 20 yrs. and was a professional astrologer for the last 8 of those years. I also had Tarot Cards, knew a bit about reading palms, and was quite familiar with divination. Divination can take any form; it’s the principle underlying it that makes it divination. Put a pencil on the end of a string and ask a question – that is divination. AK just throws in some pseudo-scientific jargon and fancy terms, but that does not change what it is.

  15. 7 years ago, our family was offered AK. I researched extensively. I never found the word “witchcraft” or “divination”, but did find disturbing practices such as testing someone over a phone connection (several states away) and repairing a lawnmower using AK. My daughter was very sick and AK promised to be the answer…so I continued to read. My husband and I went as far as visiting a “Christian” naturopath that practices AK. We took MUCH of her time peppering her with questions. She told us how she had healed a Portuguese speaking woman (while visiting her missionary-Bible-translating daughter in another country) because the energy of the words was enough for this lady’s body to translate across the language barrier. She also showed us how we could cross our arms across our chests, face north (magnetic field) and ask our body any question at all. It was at this point that our search ended with a solid, “DEATH FIRST” response from us! Eventually (2 1/2 years later), this daughter recovered. Flash forward to today. I have accumulated several food allergies which make it a daily challenge to eat. People at church keep telling me about this wonderful lady who can help me. I talked to her. She offered AK. I replied, “DEATH FIRST.” Hats off to you for doing the research and exposing AK. It is becoming common in the church and it is surprising how many do not smell trouble. I’m not sure what people are expecting modern-day witchcraft to look like.

  16. So if you do back stretch exercises for a sore back such as hands downward, standing hands upward, etc is this satanic yoga stuff, or just exercises because you want to have a better back? If it is a spontaneous stretch, and not a planned series, is it ok? Or does it become “YOGA!” -gasp- if one does a series of stretches? Who decides?
    I am seeing quite a bit of the Genetic Fallacy in action. Blame the geographical region (ahem EAST) or non-Biblical religion (cough my expert exegesis). Sure, there are some more clear cut examples in Scripture. But if you look about in fear and see devils around every corner (as C.S. Lewis warns about)…than we would still be in the dark ages of leeching. Relax. God love you and that person doing yoga over there, too. (OH NO!)

    • Why are we talking about Yoga and back stretching on an article about Applied Kinesiology?

      You might be seeing a genetic fallacy, but I see a “Captain Crunch” fallacy (where someone mentions something unrelated to the topic at hand; i.e. we’re talking about the military and you bring up breakfast cereal, confused about the word “Captain”).

      Where in this post did I suggest that Yoga is Satanic?

      Who sees devils around every corner?

      Where is that exactly?

      You should come back here when you’re ready to discuss the topic at hand…or at least show evidence knowing what the topic even is.

  17. And responses to comments like this don’t help:
    “What is your evidence that they (meridians) do not exist?”
    – The truth of the scripture.
    – Well, the overwhelming and damning evidence I have is the objective condemnation by scripture of the pagan religion from which they spring.
    Um, no.
    (Genetic Fallacy blaming source religion and not concept or practice … also not well reasoned. Glad you took some time the second time around with the dude more civil than you. I notice he left.)
    Also, things appearing random at one level can turn out rather systematic on a more sophisticated level by someone of higher training or in time. This is sort of a strange Devil of the Gaps. “I don’t understand it. Therefore I will cast a veil of suspicion and blame/suspect divination” Granted, blind faith in scientism or a watered-down understanding of God is dangerous. But so is fear-mongering and the misuse of critical thinking. I used yoga, which is not AK, agreed. One example. Greg Koukl is an awesome apologist. He was (and I think is) against yoga. He is an immensely awesome apologist and is a great speaker…but it is funny that he decried yoga but when he started having back pains, yoga stretches were okay as long as it wasn’t worship.
    Also using “never” and “prove” is dangerous, philosophically. Prove to me that meridians don’t and never will be found to exist. Good luck with the universal negative thing. Does that mean I believe in them? Doesn’t matter. Its sloppy thinking.
    You can have your blog back. I give your paper a B+ for earnestness and attempts at research diligence. I am assuming for college?

  18. One does not have to prove meridians don’t exist; what needs to be done is show evidence of meridians with objective data. Anyone offering treatment based on something like meridians that has no discernible evidence has the ball in his court. Meridians are the (admittedly) invisible channels for the universal energy of chi and are a religious belief that came out of Taoism. There is no reason to believe meridians are real, especially since there is no evidence for their existence.

  19. I would love if you could do some quick mini-research on Splankna Therapy and provide your thoughts: http://splankna.com. Their book, Splankna: The Redemption of Energy Healing for the Kingdom of God, is also full of detailed information on the practice of Splankna Therapy as it relates to much of what you have been discussing above, if you are wanting to dig in further. I am thinking that the spiritual premise (we are to be co-reigners with God) Splankna offers is a perspective that is beginning to infiltrate our churches, and providing, as Marcia stated above, an open mentality toward New-Age concepts.

    One premise the author provides for Splankna’s form of MMT that differs from what you’ve already discussed here concerning divination is that it accesses our body’s catalogue of already-known information – the subconscious. She concludes that since one’s body already knows the answers to the questions posed in MMT in its subconscious, we are not seeking special knowledge or power, as is done in witchcraft, and therefore the information in our subconscious is fair game for us to access. Splankna makes many other claims to justify the practice in biblical grounding. The author also uses the argument that using a Biblical worldview, we need to think critically to distinguish between New Age/Eastern “observations” and “conclusions.” That we can agree with an empirical observation made by someone with a New Age worldview (i.e. the energy is moving), without the same pantheistic conclusion as they do (i.e. God is in all things).

    I personally am on a journey out of the extreme Charismatic movement. My husband and I were deeply involved (he was on staff) in a well-known worship branch of the NAR camp, without truly knowing the roots and depth of everything we had jumped into – just wanted to “heal the sick and bring the kingdom.” During my deception in this movement, I became trained as a Splankna Practitioner. This was unrelated to the movement – I sought it out on my own, after my daughter was “healed” (I thought) through both Splankna and AK allergy testing of something we had been dealing with through western medicine for years. Up until this point, I have tabled my further research of Splankna since leaving the movement, as it was something I was passionate about for awhile, and wasn’t quite ready to admit may not have actually been from God. I was fueled by a desire to help heal the body of Christ and help believers to walk in freedom. I am just beginning to see that this may have been another well-veiled branch of the same deception…such similar teachings as Word-Faith/NAR (power to create, power of intention, use of imagination in hearing prophetically, authority to address demonic forces, etc.), with a theotherapy/mind-body twist. I had completed the advanced level of Splankna training, and have friends who are continuing on to complete the master’s level. I would love to be able to enter into discussions about this from an actual Biblical perspective.

    Truly appreciate your blog. I am reading through all of the Charismatic Primer articles. MacArthur’s Strange Fire book was a huge component in helping us to recognize the deception we were under. Also, I just recently met a friend at our new church who I think knew you from seminary at Master’s, and referred me to your site because of the Charismatic info. I am thankful to have found this well-researched article on applied kinesiology!

    • Cathryn, thanks so much for sharing about Splankna and the link. I just quickly looked and saw this, which is New Age (I am familiar with Thought Field Therapy and NLP already – have looked into EMDR but don’t know what to think about that as it is not New Age in nature as far as I can tell). I will look at this and write something for my Facebook pages and post those comments, or some of them at least, here. But it may be a few days before I can do that. Thanks again.

      ==Energy psychology utilizes the same system in the body that acupuncture and chiropractic are based on to alleviate emotional trauma that is physically stored. The Splankna Protocol incorporates elements from three different energy psychology protocols: Thought Field Therapy, EMDR and Neuro-Emotional Technique==

    • Cathryn, I think I know who you’re talking about. If you’d like, her and I are friends on Facebook. Feel free to friend me and I can attempt to send you some information.

      I apologize for just approving this comment; it’s been kinda forgotten in my queue.

      Also, Marcia (the above commenter) is highly knowledgeable in these areas too. She has a website here and blogs here.

    • Cathryn, thanks for bringing up Splankna. I did finally look at the website and wrote something up on Facebook. This is what I posted:

      VERY STRONG WARNING ON SPLANKNA THERAPY
      Splankna is a Christian attempt to Christianize New Age concepts with something called Splakna Energy Therapy. It is based on the pseudo-sciences of Thought Field Therapy and Neuro-Emotional Technique. They also use the faulty New Age practice of Muscle Testing. The statements on this site are such a blatant example of bad biblical interpretation and Christian-New Age syncretism that one hardly knows where to start. There are 700 Splankna practitioners in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. They have a certification program which must be updated every 2 years. Below are some excerpts with my comments.

      ==The call on our lives has been to separate the created mechanisms of Energy Psychology from New Age theology and redeem these tools for the Body of Christ.==
      http://splankna.com/about-us/who-we-are/

      COMMENT: They think they are able to remove New Age concepts and somehow make it into a valid and Christian practice, but they can’t.
      Redefining terms to make them mean something else changes nothing.

      ==“Energy” is the word physicists use to describe the unknown force that causes the sub-atomic particles to move. It is not used in the strict sense but metaphorically. This sub-atomic motion has structure within the body.==
      http://splankna.com/about-…/what-is-splankna/what-is-energy/
      COMMENT: Note contradiction! If “energy” is an “unknown force,” how can it also be connected to subatomic particles. Aside from that, it is not true that when physicists use the term “energy” that they are referring to the “energy” in New Age beliefs..
      ==He is placing the needles along the energy Meridian Line===
      http://splankna.com/about-…/what-is-splankna/what-is-energy/

      COMMENT: The meridian line is invisible and does not exist. There is no evidence for this. It comes from Taoist beliefs and is a core belief in New Age healing therapies.

      ==At Splankna we believe that John 1 speaks more directly to what is happening in Energy Psychology. John explains to his audience that the Logos (typically translated “word” but also accurately translated “active will/intention”) sustains all things. Johns’ audience was familiar with the term “Logos.” They used it culturally to refer to the universal life force, the cosmic animating principle==
      http://splankna.com/a…/what-is-splankna/energy-in-the-bible/

      COMMENT: This site is equating the Eastern-New Age concept of energy with God’s power to sustain the universe.

      On other pages, they try to explain that Splankna is not New Age or witchcraft. But they fail because they are redefining terms and they are reading meanings in Scripture that are not there. Christ’s power is not an “energy” because in no way is He a part of creation. Equating the Logos of John 1 with a universal life force or principle is to say Christ is impersonal and composed of created matter.

      They believe in generational curses. You can click on the wall chart and see it there:
      http://splankna.com/shop/wall-charts/#prettyPhotowoo/0/

      The training is for
      *Christian Counselors interested in a Biblical application of mind-body techniques.
      *Believing professionals in Chiropractics, Massage Therapy,
      *Nutrition or other holistic disciplines looking for effective tools for handling the emotional component that often surfaces in their work.
      *Pastors in need of biblically sound tools to expedite heavy counseling loads in their ministries.
      http://splankna.com/become-a-practitioner/level-1-training/

      COMMENT: My point in posting the above excerpt is to make sure you are not consulting someone who has studied and uses Splankna since it seems to have spread to several professions and health workers.
      This is from their Disclaimer:

      ==The prevailing premise of the Energy Techniques is that the flow and balance of the body’s electromagnetic and more subtle energies are important for physical, spiritual, and emotional health, and for fostering well-being. The Method is designed to help get to the origin of an emotional issue with the goal of rapidly desensitizing the emotional stress and restoring proper energy flow.

      Although the Method and the Energy Techniques appear to have promising emotional, spiritual, and physical health benefits they have yet to be fully researched by the Western academic, medical, and psychological communities. Therefore, the Method and the Energy Techniques are considered experimental and the extent of their effectiveness, as well as their risks and benefits, are not fully known.==
      http://splankna.com/disclaimer/

      COMMENT: Note they admit that this has not been researched and is “experimental,” and the effectiveness, risks, and benefits “are not fully known.”

      REFUTATION
      I could only find one Christian critique of Splankna.
      That I could only fine one denouncement is a very sad commentary on the state of the church, the lack of discernment, and perhaps apathy as well.
      Excellent response from Women of Grace:
      http://www.womenofgrace.com/blog/?p=13997

  20. This is very shocking to read and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the research, time and effort you have done in this article. An practitioner of this has taken my local church by storm and teaches it strongly within sermons from the pulpit . I had no experience of it and obviously did not know its origin. All I did know was I found the talk strange and the speaker very bold and quite an angry person under the surface. Your article explains a lot. And I have found it very helpful. If you wouldn’t mind please if possible could you email me or send me an email address to discuss this privately. Many Christians are taking this therapy in lock stock and barrel. It is a very serious situation it is seeping into Christian churches.
    Thank you again for your article.

  21. Lyndon and Marcia,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to look into this. I so appreciate your feedback. I will be removing myself from personal association with Splankna, and praying for courage and opportunities to begin to hold up truth in this area.

    • I am glad you asked about it, Cathryn, so now I know. This is how I find out about many things like this. I am glad the info has motivated you to dissociate from it.

  22. Your next article needs to address the greater danger of pharmakeia, which western medicine is steeped in. If you think applied kinesiology is bad, take a look at a system we all embrace that is clearly prohibited in scripture, for it is “healing without repentance.” Our mainstream healers are licensed drug dealers, in direct violation of God’s word and we say nothing.

  23. Thanks for this article. We’ve just left a formerly fundamentalist Baptist church, where Splankna swept through the staff, after two years of Buckleyan “standing athwart history, yelling stop”…in vain, sadly. I wish we’d found the article a bit sooner, but I fear for those who have drank to the dregs of this particular Kool-Aid, they are too bought in and critical thinking is met with a storm of defensive logical fallacies.

  24. Here is the problem and question that I have. If American medicine is sorcery and against God and if Alternative Medicine is also against God, then what is not against God?

    The bible is 100% true. The bible says that once you are saved, and baptized that

    Mark 16:15-18
    And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. “These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

    Also Jesus says himself that,

    John 14:12King James Version (KJV)

    12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

    Are we as human supposed to just accept our sickness and die in pain and misery? What are we supposed to do to combat the sorcery and paganism that is already being done to us everyday? How do we heal naturally without offending God and going to hell?

    I am not entirely sure that Muscle Testing is of the Devil but I am trying to find out.

    Thank you for your responses.

    Kris

    • I’m guessing that you’re new here, so it’s hard to jump into a topic with a few dozen places where we’re likely not on the same page.

      That means you’ll likely not like, and certainly misunderstand, what I’m about to say. That being said, the short answer is this:

      Western Medicine isn’t sorcery or against God.

      Western Medicine sprang from a thoroughly Christian worldview where there aren’t spirits living in objects, miracles are incredibly abnormal (hence they’re “miracles”), and God manifests his faithfulness through the regular uniformity of nature, and our understanding of nature is understood via through God’s written revelation.

      Alternative medicine generally is the part that is sorcery and against God. Much of alternative medicine springs from a worldview where causation is mechanistically unrelated to result but rather ultimately due to capricious spirits, impenetrable to all but those with secret knowledge, and God’s written revelation to mankind is subjected to myths, ignorance and foolishness.

      As for Mark 16:15-18, why do you quote that?

      I’m guessing you’re unaware of the generally uncontested fact that Mark 16:9-20 isn’t actually canonical scripture.

      But even so, if you’re quoting it you’re probably doing so because you think the “lay hands on the sick and they will recover” should somehow be normative.

      I have yet to see anyone consistently claim vs. 20 as well as the preceding verse that mentions drinking poison.

      If you’re taking the one promise as something that be expected and not the other, your biblical interpretation is inconsistent.

      Your questions about pain and misery make a bunch of assumptions.

      We all die, and death usually involves pain or misery of some sort. That’s pretty self-evident.

      We all suffer, including whoever taught you those ideas. That’s a biblical promise that you cannot escape (i.e. Rom. 5:1-5, 8:16-25; 2 Cor. 1:3-7; Phil. 1:27-30; 2 Thess. 1:3-8; 2 Tim. 3:12-13; Heb. 12:3-11; 1 Pet. 3:8-17).

      Anyone who says otherwise is a liar and a fool.

      Combating sorcery and Paganism is spiritual warfare, and that’s essentially ideological.

      The way that we ultimately heal naturally without offending God is by believing the Gospel, embracing his discipline in our lives, and attaining the resurrection unto life when all that ails us (including sin) will be finally gone…forever.

  25. I know I’m late to the party, but I just wanted to thank you so much for writing this! I too went to one session of AK where it seemed like it was mostly just chiropractic adjustment with a bit of “weirdness” thrown in there about meridians and such. I was really hoping that it was going to help my back and neck problems but it turned into a session where I was being asked if I’d had this or that health issue lately and how my back problems could actually be telling me that I’ve got those health issues as an underlying cause? Something to that effect…. Anyways I left the session feeling very weirded out, unfortunately my Google searches about AK beforehand hadn’t really turned up much info. I wish that I’d seen this first! I wouldn’t have gone.

    • Forgot to ask, do you consider chiropractors to be in the same category as AK practitioners? If so, could you please send me more info on that as I’ve had more than a few friends recommend that route to me for my back and neck issues….thank you!

      • Thanks for your kind words, Mrs. M!

        Chiropractors aren’t synonymous with AK practitioners, but they’re related. As far as my limited knowledge goes, the Chiropractic world is divided, rather distinctly, between those who lean toward the objective-science-based world of Chiropractic/Osteopathic/Western medicine and those who lean toward the subjective-testimonial-based world of Chiropractic/Applied Kinesiology/Eastern medicine.

        The easiest way to tell the difference is to look at what a specific Chiropractor claims to be able to heal.

        If a Chiropractor claims to mostly offer relief from back and neck pain, or is part of a sports clinic, they’re likely leaning toward the Osteopathic side (my wife regularly gets adjustments done by a really good sports Chiropractor who’s also a physical therapist).

        If a Chiropractor claims to offer relief from back and neck pain, AND claims to be able to cure allergies or help resolve emotional issues like depression, they’re likely leaning toward the Applied Kinesiology side.

        I wouldn’t have a problem with the former, but I would with the latter.

    • Well Yolande,

      Red flags go up when someone has to cobble together a post hoc biological system, which is composed of multiple currently understood biological systems, to explain the existence of Qi and meridians. If a scientist admits that they’re performing science to arrive at the confirmation of a presupposed conclusion, their scientific bias is rightly challenged.

      Secondly, it reduces the whole equation to the nanoscopic realm. The claim is made that “we haven’t seen this stuff because it’s SO small”, but that doesn’t work for multiple reasons:

      1. The Primo Vascular System was apparently discovered in the 1962/3 by Bong-Han Kim, and the Primo Vascular System has STILL not made it’s way into medical textbooks or widespread acceptance…because after 60 years of trying with FAR more advanced research technology than was available in 1962/3, his findings have been not repeated outside of a suspicious circle of self-admittedly biased quacks.

      2. The appeal to the nanoscopic undermines his claims because it’s an obvious “appellare ad mysterium” fallacy (appeal to mystery). The PVS proponents claim that people haven’t seen the PVS because it’s SO small that everyone missed it, but THEY have confirmed its existence because they were looking for it. Call me crazy, but if there were an entire bodily system out there just waiting to be discovered, THAT would be absolutely guaranteed Nobel prize material; hands down. Most research scientists would kill their cat and eat it for a chance to get a Nobel prize; that’s guaranteed tenure at any university in the world and guaranteed fame and fortune. So far, nobody has claimed that Nobel prize for discovering the Primo Vascular System…and they’ve had 50+ years to do it.

      *cough*

      3. The whole conversation is veiled in psuedoscientific jargon and doesn’t present a lot of clarity or objective facts, or is outright impossible. I mean, it SOUNDS scientific to claim that “the biochemical components of Primo fluids are DNA, RNA, nitrogen, fats, reducing sugar, hyaluronic acid, 19 free amino acids, and 16 free mononucleotides”, but when you remember that you’re talking about nanoscopic fluid extracted from nanoscopic vessels, one is forced to wonder how in the WORLD they extracted the fluid in the first place? Given the scale that is being discussed, there isn’t a needle in existence that is fine enough to extract Primo fluids…so how did they figure out what’s IN Primo fluid again?

      You can say all you want about “traditional medicine” and “big Pharma” and stuff, but at least Big Pharma tends to produce stuff that can be objectively and mechanistically explained. Not only does most of it work, but we know HOW it works.

      That cannot be said for 99% of alternative medicine.

      You’re free to believe whatever you want, but critical thinking and logic should give you pause when swallowing the claims of the PVS folks…at least until you can explain what they’re talking about with clarity, showing how and what exactly is being claimed and tracing the trail of evidence. Far bigger and more competent people than myself have tried and failed: https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/the-primo-vascular-system-the-n-rays-of-acupuncture/.

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