Andrea testing Sam with a pear.
Testing Charlee with a dog food.
Applied Kinesiology and Food Assessment
We all know how important it is to nourish ourselves. Every cell in our body relies on the correct balance of nutrients to function properly. We change what we eat with every meal, making choices about appropriate dietary ingredients. Our pets do not have this luxury; they eat what they are served, whether it is optimal or not.
Feeding a well-balanced diet, high quality commercial food (canned or dry for dogs, canned for cats), home-cooked, or raw, is the first step in promoting good health, but there is another important aspect to optimal nutrition that should be considered. Does your friend have any food ingredient intolerances?
Food allergies are extremely common in our canine and feline patients. The symptoms can vary from mild lethargy or poor coat quality to severe skin allergies; from occasional bouts of soft stool or vomiting, to persistent, severe vomiting and diarrhea.
It is not normal for a dog to get diarrhea whenever he eats a little something different. It is not normal for cats to vomit weekly. In many of these cases, food allergies are to blame. Long standing food allergies can lead to a serious inflammatory disorder of the intestine (and stomach) called inflammatory bowel disease.
Skin and/or ear inflammation is a common symptom of a food allergy. This is thought to occur when an inflamed gut becomes leaky, allowing the allergen into the bloodstream, and provoking a reaction in the skin.
Dogs and cats will lick, scratch, bite and chew in an attempt to calm the burning in their skin. They usually lose hair and some individuals develop recurrent hot spots. The red, hot skin (or ear) of the allergic patient is susceptible to invasion by bacteria and yeast.
These skin symptoms of food allergies can mimic those caused by reactions to environmental allergens like pollen, grasses, and house dust. The traditional way to determine if food is the primary or only reason for the skin inflammation is to change the diet and see how the patient does.
Years ago, we chose a new food (containing ingredients unlike those in the current diet) for our patient and asked our client to feed it exclusively for 2 to 3 months. If the dog or cat got less itchy, we confirmed the diagnosis of a food allergy. If there was no improvement, the patient either did not have a food allergy or we had picked the wrong diet. If we still suspected a food allergy, we would guess again and try yet another new diet.
Thankfully, instead of repetitive dietary trials, we can use an energetic technique called muscle testing to tell us what ingredients to avoid in our canine and feline patients.
Detecting Food Allergens with Muscle Testing
About 10 years ago, we started doing an energetic technique called muscle testing, also called applied kinesiology. This technique is similar to dowsing for water – the technique of using a willow stick or metal rods to locate a good place to drill a well. We use muscle testing to assess the body’s response to a whole host of things, but we use it primarily to detect food allergens.
When we want to know if patients have food allergies, we start by energetically checking them on their regular foods and treats. Are these items compatible with the patient’s body energy? To determine the answer, we hold the food next to the patient. In human medicine, the patient’s arm is tested for strength. If he/she can hold the arm firmly and resist downward pressure (a YES test), the food item is not a problem.
If the patient can not hold up the arm with the food in her/his energetic circle, the food item is not acceptable (a NO test). If a human is too weak to hold an arm strongly to resist downward pressure, a surrogate person, who has a strong arm, is used. This is how we muscle test our four-legged patients—we use a surrogate human.
If a patient tests YES to the foods they are currently eating, they do not have food allergies. If the patient tests NO, we then have to test each individual ingredient in the food in the same way. We create a YES/NO list and then choose a diet that matches the patient’s acceptable ingredient list.
The most common we allergens we see in dogs are: chicken, corn, rice, and wheat. In cats, it is corn, chicken, and fish.
Food allergies, as well as environmental allergies, are widespread in our 4-legged companions. In the last few years, we have been using frequency-specific low level laser therapy (see FSLLL articles) to help reduce the over-exuberant/inappropriate immune response that causes the symptoms of all types of allergies. Rather than suppressing the reactions with drugs (a traditional western approach), our goal is to “reprogram” the immune system so it stops over-reacting.