In the past I have discussed that binary Manual Muscle Testing can and will produce skewed results. The traditional binary conversion is limited to a dualistic relationship, facilitated/inhibited, strong/weak, or yes/no. The non-binary conversation includes the four possible nervous system responses to the stimulation of the MMT on structure and the nervous system. I’ve categorized those four responses as hypotonic, normal, functional dysfunctional and hypertonic. Read more about this here. There is an additional nuance that needs clarity that is generally unknown in this regard. This nuance is one of the more unique and important aspects of the Dynamic Neuromuscular Assessment™ method of working with clients.
One of the ways that people get confused in MMT is when a direct test flips to an indicator. A direct muscle test can flip to an indirect test under specific circumstances. When this occurs, it is an unknown variable that the practitioner is not aware of. This produces confusing information from the result of that direct movement evaluation.
Direct Test: This is a feedback movement evaluation where the practitioner is applying a gentle force along a specific vector to elicit a musculoskeletal response from the nervous system. The practitioner is evaluating the capacity of the NS to respond to that force and vector.
Indirect Test: This feedback movement evaluation utilizes a prequalified movement response. A qualified indicator has capacity to temporally facilitate or inhibit under specific neurological stimulation. That stimulation can be receptor based or limbic, ie… thought-based. Our thoughts and experiences can and will affect the outcome.
Now let’s clarify how the nervous system would flip a direct movement evaluation to an indicator. The nervous system is responding to stimulus. That stimulus is both conscious and non-conscious. When we are using a direct testing strategy, the nervous system can flip that direct test to an indicator in a few ways.
One way is the previous stimulation can be active in the sensory motor system. If there is a dysfunctional component within that active motor program, the NS will flip the direct test to an indicator. It is indicating that there is something wrong in the previous stimulation. This is why we must evaluate each motor component in the clear. If we don’t, we risk getting forced into the “searching for a needle in a haystack” kind of process.
Another way is either the client or the practitioner is altering the direct test by providing a secondary stimulus. For example, a client’s NS will self TL to increase their capacity to respond. In addition, the practitioner can unknowingly be adding a TL with either a secondary body contact or through limbic resonance.
As practitioners, our clarity in the objective of the assessment process affects the outcome. We can do better and we must do better. The first step to this is learning to get out of a binary conversation. A primary objective in Dynamic Neuromuscular Assessment™ is to learn how to have a conversation with the nervous system. It is through this conversation that we apply a template that vets out the skewed data points resulting from a binary conversation. After we learn the fundamental vernacular, then we can have a conversation with the structure. Vetting nervous system response in a clear and concise methodology is the beginning to have a meaningful conversation with the nervous system. This leads to deriving precisely what the NS needs to restore balanced homeostasis.