I'm a Ph.D. candidate in molecular biology, I can handle science. But my mom and grandma are armchair experts in neuro-psycho-biology. What are 5 ways I can convince them holding vitamin cans and assessing their grasping arm strength will not tell them what ones to take or not to take? I'm concerned about them overdosing on the vitamins that come in the heaviest bottles.

If you're wondering exactly what I'm talking about, please see the second paragraph on "claims": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Applied_kinesiology#Claims


  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This seems like a somewhat poor question given all of your concerns are addressed in the next two sections of the Wikipedia article? $\endgroup$
    – Seanny123
    Commented Dec 28, 2017 at 17:55
  • $\begingroup$ Can you prove that it's worse than placebo? $\endgroup$
    – jjack
    Commented Dec 29, 2017 at 14:36
  • $\begingroup$ It is placebo, just as great as placebo, but worse than medical diagnosis and much worse than proven treatment. $\endgroup$
    – zdebruine
    Commented Dec 29, 2017 at 18:23
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not sure why you thought to ask this question here. It might have been on-topic on health.stackexchange.com It's probably not too late to migrate it there. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 0:30

1 Answer 1


Here is more than 5 reasons:

Applied Kinesilogy a Fraud

Here are some findings that point to Applied Kinesiology being fraudulent:

  1. Three practitioners testing eleven subjects made significantly different assessments; their diagnoses of nutritional deficiencies did not correspond to the nutrient levels obtain by blood serum analysis; and that the responses to nutrient substances did not significantly differ from responses to placebos [10].
  2. Another study found no effect from administering the nutrients "expected" to strengthen a muscle diagnosed as "weak" by AK practitioners [11]."
  3. Researchers who conducted an elaborate double-blind trial concluded that "muscle response appeared to be a random phenomenon [12]."
  4. Another study showed that suggestion can influence the outcome of muscle-testing. During part of this experiment, college students were told that chewing M&M candies would give them instant energy that would probably make them test stronger. Five out of nine did so [13].
  5. Four AK practitioners tested seven patients were extremely sensitive to wasp venom. Altogether, 140 muscle tests were done to see how the patients responded to preparations of venom or salt water in a bottle. If the test were valid, the venom bottles should result in "strong" reactions and the salt-water bottles should produce "weak" test reactions. However, the practitioners were unable to identify which bottles contained which [14].
  6. Several chiropractors were tested at a medical office while under unblinded and blinded conditions. During the volunteers could resist downward pressure when a drop of glucose was placed on their tongue but could resist when fructose was administered. The the arm tests were repeated using substances in coded test tubes so that the volunteer, the chiropractors, and the onlookers could not tell which solution being applied to the volunteer's tongue. When the code was revealed, There was no connection between ability to resist and whether the volunteer was given the "good" or the "bad" sugar [15].

[10] Kenny JJ, Clemens R, Forsythe KD. Applied kinesiology unreliable for assessing nutrient status. Journal of the American Dietetic Association 88:698-704, 1988.

[11] Triano JJ. Muscle strength testing as a diagnostic screen for supplemental nutrition therapy: a blind study. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 5:179-182, 1982

[12] Haas M and others. Muscle testing response to provocative vertebral challenge and spinal manipulation: a randomized controlled trial of construct validity. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 17:141-148, 1994.

[13] Applied kinesiology - Double-blind pilot study. Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry 45:321-323, 1981.

[14] Ludtke R and others. Test-retest-reliability and validity of the kinesiology muscle test. Complementary Therapy in Medicine 9:141-145, 2001.

[15] Hyman R. The mischief-making of ideomotor action. by ideomotor action. The Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine, Fall-Winter issue, 1999. Republished on Quackwatch, Aug 26, 2003.


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