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If you’ve ever visited Dr. Lynelle McSweeney’s holistic chiropractic practice here in Reno for treatment, it’s very likely you’ve been the recipient of a unique form of muscle testing. She uses this tool, along with many others, to identify the issues causing your pain and discomfort. There’s some amount of controversy surrounding the efficacy of muscle testing. Here’s why Dr. McSweeney uses a particular form of muscle testing, which she prefers to call muscle-to-nerve testing, and how it benefits you as a patient.


Muscle testing is a manual tool used to help pinpoint underlying issues in organs or body systems, which could be dietary, nutritional deficiencies, nerve tissue damage, or chemical imbalances. There are multiple techniques in this realm of wellness, which include applied kinesiology, contact reflex analysis, indicator muscle testing, strength testing, meridian muscle testing and manual muscle testing. Dr. McSweeney and Dr. Allen use a blend of several techniques that involve testings electrical impulses to check the function of every major organ in the body. Usually, it’s as simple as checking the indicator muscle group in an extended arm.

From the patient perspective, muscle-to-nerve testing is completely non invasive and pain free. For Dr. McSweeney, it’s an effective way to truly ask her patient’s body about the problem. Performed correctly, more than 100 clinical studies verify its reliability and validity as a clinically useful tool. A recent study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience also shows its efficacy for testing allergic responses, with a reported success rate of 90.5%.

Because the body is constantly evolving, Dr. McSweeney uses muscle-to-nerve testing to assess its current level of dysfunction or healing. Often, muscle testing reveals an imbalance in which two or more muscles aren’t working together properly, impeding communication to the brain via the nervous system. For patients experiencing back, knee and hip pain, spinal problems, headaches, wrist and elbow dysfunction, and a number of other issues, Dr. McSweeney uses nerve-to-muscle testing to identify which muscles aren’t properly communicating with the nerves.


As a technique, muscle testing is intended to assess the contractile response of a particular muscle to get information about its current state, which can shed light on sub-clinical factors that are negatively impacting your health. Because there’s a real art to the practice and it provides information that may be beyond the scope of clinical reasoning, it has its share of skeptics.

For Dr. McSweeney, muscle-to-nerve testing is a useful tool in combination with a number of other tools and techniques, often identifying muscle-nerve dysfunction and nutritional inadequacies that are contributing to lowered immune function and dysfunction that present as chronic pain. Learn more about how muscle testing can benefit you — schedule a visit today.