Autonomic Response Testing Detailed
Autonomic Response Testing (ART)
ART uses muscle testing through biofeedback of the Autonomic Nervous System
(ANS) to determine disturbances and potential remedies. ART is a Functional
Assessment medical tests used by the Holistic/ Integrative Doctor, which measure bodily
function (or dysfunction) not specific disease.
Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt who blended the muscle testing of American Applied
Kinesiology with the understanding of the anatomy and physiology of German Neural
Therapy developed ART. The result is a highly structured muscle testing biofeedback
system designed to give reliable and reproducible results.
The ANS is our functional nervous system, responsible for normal bodily
functions and abnormal adaptation to health problems. Detectable problems within the
ANS are present in all chronic disease and dysfunction and all chronic disease and
dysfunction has a treatable autonomic component to the problem. Conventional medicine
and many Holistic Practioners do not understand the role of the ANS in health and
A medical assessment tool (like ART) that records generalized and localized ANS
disturbance can be helpful in determining the root causes of health disturbances. ART is
one of a growing number of functional assessment tools used by the Integrative Medical
Doctor along with his/her Conventional Medical tests and sound Medical judgment to
develop an Integrative Medical strategy.
ART primarily evaluates dys-autonomia, disturbances in the ANS, both
generalized and local disturbances. There are four specific sequentially applied tests
employed in ART required to give it its accuracy and repeatability:
1. The Regulation test- the ability of the ANS to react appropriately to a
subtly measured stress with the appropriate stress response (muscle test).
Chronic ANS stressors beyond the threshold of one’s functional limit cause a
generalized dys-autonomia. What is affecting the ANS, in a generalized way
is critical to find and treat because all other disturbances will be the direct or
indirect result of the major ANS disturbance(s).
The Major ANS chronic stressors that “block” normal ANS
a. Heavy Metals: Mercury has the most devastating impact to the ANS
but tin, nickel, arsenic, cadmium and lead are also ANS toxic. Heavy
metal detoxification therapeutics needs to consider the biochemical
toxicity and the impact (and treatment strategies) to the ANS to be
understood and consistently successful. The effects of Heavy Metals
on he ANS is not well understood by many in the health care field as
b. Allergies/ ANS hypersensitivity: Certain foods and environmental
substances can cause total bodily dys-regulation- Wheat, milk, eggs,
corn, soy and mold are the most common. Note many patients have
allergy/ hypersensitivity to foods, toxins, environmental biological and
chemical substances and other “commonly occurring substances”,
which need to be treated in a comprehensive integrative medical
c. Toxic Chemical overload: The solvents, petrochemicals, pesticides
and chemicals that we are continuously exposed can reach threshold
toxicity and in addition to the toxic biochemical effects on the Physical
body overwhelm the ANS causing / contributing to generalized dysautonomia.
d. Psycho-emotional conflicts that remain unresolved can have a major
impact to the ANS. These can be consciously remembered as a posttraumatic
stress disorder or more commonly stored in the subconscious
mind. It is our experience that all chronic dysfunctions, pain or disease
has an unresolved psycho-emotional component that could be treated
and part of a comprehensive integrative medical therapeutic strategy.
The field of Applied Neurobiology employs biofeedback-processing
techniques using ART and Eye Movement Directional Therapy with
colored glasses to resolve these Psycho-emotional conflicts from the
past and present. Unresolved psycho-emotional conflicts affect the
beliefs, thoughts and attitudes of our Mental body and when
unconsciously aggravated reduce the functional reserves of our organs
and structures causing or perpetuating disease, dysfunction, pain and
lack of healing (chronic problems). The connection of the ANS and
the Psycho-emotional brain is the basis behind mind-body medicine.
e. Areas of focal disturbance (Interference Fields-IF) are local areas of
ANS disturbance generated by electrical pathological tissues, whose
chronic discharge is overwhelming to the ANS. Most commonly these
IFs are scars, dead teeth (also root canals), chronic infections of the
jawbone, and organs like sinus, tonsil and appendix. Neural therapy,
the German discipline of treatment of the ANS, and Traditional
Chinese Medicine has been aware and has treated these disturbances
f. Major structural disturbances impacting the cranio-sacral systemTMJ.
g. Noxious bio-energies- geopathic stress, from underground water
steams and electromagnetic radiation usually generated from
electricity can be detrimental to the ANS especially if these noxious
energies are in the patient’s area of sleep. In is the experience of most
Integrative Medical Doctors, who assess for noxious energies that the
chronically ill patient will not heal unless the detrimental effects from
the noxious energies are resolved.
h. Chronic infestations: chronic viral, bacterial, fungal and parasites can
create or perpetuate an ANS distress of such magnitude that it causes
generalized ANS dys-function. The diagnosis and treatment of these
chronic infestations, which escape the immune system and are often
intracellular is fundamental to treating a wide variety of diseases from
heart and blood vessel occlusion diseases, arthritis, most (if not all)
degenerative conditions to autoimmune diseases.
i. Chronic cellular communication problems- chronic imbalances or
deficiencies of electrolytes, immune enhancers, neurotransmitters
enzymes and dehydration.
j. Chronic dys-oxygenosis, tissue acidity and lymph congestion: Dr.
Ali, the President of Capital University of Integrative Medicine
(CUIM) and an internationally known physician and author has
advanced the thesis that all chronic disturbances, degeneration and
aging are ultimately the result of the body’s inability to utilize oxygen
properly, which he calls dys-oxygenosis. The causes are the major
chronic stressors to the ANS listed.
k. Chronic GI disturbance: The bowel toxicity from overwhelming
pathogenic infestations, digestive enzyme problems resulting in lack of
properly digested food and feeding the “bad bugs”, inflammatory GI
conditions creating “leaky gut” problems dump more toxins into the
liver and blood than can be handled. The primary Naturopathic
principle is to clean up the gut first. This wisdom is practiced by every
ancient and modern Indigenous Medicine discipline of the world.
l. Hormone dys-regulation: The Physical body is regulated in a
generalized way by the Psycho- neuro- immunological and hormonal
systems all-functioning as one. Hormonal problems involving the
pituitary gland, the master gland, which receives its direction directly
from the ANS brain centers, the adrenal gland the stress gland
regulator, the thyroid, the metabolic gland regulator and the sex
hormones are often problems in chronic health problems and a specific
therapeutic strategy to resolve.
m. Chronic anti-oxidant protection and free radical damage.
2. The Acute Focus Test (or switching)- is a challenge test to determine
if the ANS is seriously disturbed by a focus (See e above). An Acute Focus is
a generalized dys-autonomia where-by the electrical or pathological
disturbance (focus) is of such magnitude that causes brain disorganization.
The most common causes of Acute focus are:
b. Dead teeth, chronic infections in jawbones, tonsils, sinus, and
c. Jewry (that often have some significance), watches, and electrical
3. Therapy Localization (TL)- is an evaluation of the regional (or
localized) ANS dysfunction. The first application of TL is to find the primary
organ that is disturbed. Then the chief complaint of the patient can be
addressed if the problem is localized on the body.
4. Direct Resonance- developed by Dr. Yoshiaki Omura who discovered
that a substance placed over the skin resonates with the identical substances
inside the body. Utilizing these test concentrations of heavy metals, toxic
chemicals, chronic infections, cancer and any other normal or pathological
tissue or concentration of substance can be detected.
ART is a functional tool, which not only gives the Practioners the ability to “see”
the ANS disturbance but also is able by biofeedback to therapeutically be guided in
ART is the functional tool that is used in Allergy/hypersensitivity Elimination
Therapeutics, an ANS biofeedback reprogramming of the ANS stress response to
hypersensitivity/ allergic factors; Psycho- Neurobiology, the assessment and resolution of
Psycho-emotional disturbances affecting the mind and body; and Neural Therapy, the
direct treatment of the ANS. In fact, Dr. Klinghardt first developed ART as an
assessment tool for Neural Therapy.
In must be clear that ART is an ANS dysfunction testing tool and that the
therapeutic categories listed as major chronic stressors causing dys-autonomia are not the
only treatments in an Integrative Medical Doctors arsenal. Physical body therapy
involving drugs, herbs, vitamins and mineral supplementation are some of the
biochemical options, and physical, massage, chiropractic, exercise or osteopathic therapy
are some of the therapeutics that treat the structural part of the physical body.
A lengthier booklet has been prepared to help the student and patient understand
the proper application and usage of ART. The course notes on ART (taught at CUIM) is
available for a more in-depth understanding. In addition these booklets are helpful for
further understanding of the concepts and therapies discussed here: Integrative Patient
Orientation III, the Psycho-bio-energetic component of therapeutics, Understanding
Functional Assessment, Looking for root causes to your health issues; Neural Therapy
(Applied Neurobiology); Developing Critical Thinking about Integrative Medicine at
Capital University of Integrative Medicine; Integrative Health Models and Principles- J
of CUIM volume 1, number 1.