Manual Muscle Testing Response In Phobic and Control Subjects 


A preliminary inquiry into manual muscle testing response in phobic and control subjects exposed to threatening stimuli.
Kristopher B. Peterson, D.C.
Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 1996:19(5):310-6


Objective: To determine phobic and nonphobic subject response to a provocative threat stimulus and to determine variables that confound the response.

Design: Randomized blind examiner test-retest of randomized phobic and control subjects with qualitative, semistructured, informal postint-ervention interview.

Setting: Private chiropractic clinic.

Subjects: Thirteen phobic individuals, as determined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Third Edition-Revised (DSM-III-R), and 14 control volunteer subjects.

Intervention: Manual muscle testing was performed while each subject viewed a threat stimulus (i.e., a cue word on a printed card). The results were recorded as “weak” or “strong.”

Results: The analysis of data demonstrates poor inter- (K = -0.19) and intraexaminer reliability (K = -0.14(-) +0.29) the test for independence for valid muscle testing was strong for both examiners (p = .462, p = 1.00). When confounding variables were corrected for, the validity of muscle testing increased to 91%.

Conclusion: This preliminary inquiry demonstrates the need for musculoskeletal, attentional and presensitized subject variables to be controlled to ascertain if muscle testing can be reliably used as a tool to identify emotional arousal.

Key Indexing Terms: Clinical Trial. Journal Article. Randomized Controlled Trial.